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Sarah & Andrew

Berkeley Hills

When you buy a house, there are so many things that you get nervous about.

Sarah and Andrew Rosenbach's experience buying a home in North Berkeley can be summed up in one word: persistence. The couple spent four years searching for the right house in the right East Bay neighborhood – a long journey for any home buyer.

"It was such a competitive market when we started looking," said Sarah. The couple wanted to avoid a bidding war at all costs and were particular about the properties they'd make offers on.

They met one half of their agent duo – Gillian Leaper – on a visit to the Red Oak Realty Solano Avenue office, and soon would find her patience with them a virtue as they struggled with the frustrations of house after house not working out. Gillian, along with fellow agent Pat Leaper, were able to facilitate everything the Rosenbachs needed to find and purchase the right home. Most importantly, the Leapers supported them emotionally so that they could stay focused on the search.

"They understood what our needs were and it really felt like they wanted us to get what we wanted," said Sarah. After four years, the couple appreciated the agents' patience and resistance to pushing them into houses they weren't interested in living in.

While a lot of their friends questioned why they needed an agent for a home purchase, they said that when it came down to the deal it was beneficial to have someone on their side who really knew the market and who could offer them educated estimates of what renovations would cost.

That's where Pat and Gillian's expertise was crucial. Sarah and Andrew found a house in North Berkeley they were interested in bidding on, but it was labeled a multifamily property. Thanks to Pat's referrals, the couple found a real estate lawyer who helped advise and investigate how the property was officially recorded. Pat's experience with renovations was also critical in figuring out how much things would cost and how much the couple should offer on the house in its current condition.

"It was a complex deal, and Pat and Gillian really helped us navigate that well," said Andrew. "And they were a good pair – very fun to work with."

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