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"Asking Joanna to represent us in the sale of our home was the best decision we could have made. She is an absolute expert on the Oakland and East Bay market, and her care and concern for her clients is unmatched. Joanna and her team beautifully refreshed and staged our home, brilliantly marketed it and achieved multiple offers over the asking price. We had moved out of the area by the time the house went on the market, and Joanna took total responsibility for its welfare while making it a priority to keep us informed through every step of the process. We're actually a little sad that our business with Joanna is concluded because we enjoyed working with her so thoroughly. We recommend her to you most enthusiastically and know you'll have the same wonderful experience"
"Joanna helped me to sell my house, helped my parents to sell their house, and helped us to find a multi-generational home together. This was no small undertaking, and Joanna did so beautifully.
Joanna's extraordinary understanding of the entire process from marketing to staging to value helped both me to get the best price for my small two bedroom, one bathroom home in Oakland. Those skills helped her do the same for my parents with their four bedroom, three bathroom spacious home in Castro Valley. Her vast knowledge of the Bay Area then helped us to find the perfect place for us to live together.
We couldn't have been happier with Joanna's professionalism and the care she showed us throughout the entire process. She listens, pays attention to details, and has the experience necessary to make suggestions and decisions as needed.
I highly recommend Joanna Hirsch as both a seller's and a buyer's agent."
"I wish there were more stars to give for "responsiveness" as that is exactly what I feel her strongest skill is. It was one of the major things that I loved about working with her because I am so not good at that; if it were up to me, we would still be living in our old house just contemplating moving, instead of having sold our old place and been in our new home for nearly a year. As it is, my family has been working with Joanna for over 11 years and we have seen her in a variety of real estate settings, and over time. Here is my story:
In 2003, we bought a home in Montclair with my in-laws to split into a duplex. We were a tough audience, 4 picky people (one of them 8 months pregnant, me) shocked by the prices of homes and wanting good schools, yards, new bathrooms, all that. She was working with our incredible realtor at that time (who was getting ready to retire), mentoring and developing a clientele.
During the next 10 years, it turned out that my second child and her child shared a preschool; and so we spoke briefly in passing, but just as mamas.
October, 2013: we needed more space for our sons, and our in-laws wanted to move to Petaluma, so we met with Joanna to discuss the market, timing, and preparation to sell our house and buy a new one. It was with the greatest respect that she answered our questions, and presented difficult information in a way that we could hear, while at the same time readying us for the brutal market that we were about to enter. Things had changed tremendously in the 10 years since we had bought, and I feel that she prepared us for that.
Bottom line- she provided the experience, framework, guidelines, strategies, relationships with tradespeople, stagers and other agents, to make our selling experience successful. Our unique, original 1960's kitchen, duplex-y home with no yard sold in 2 weeks, cash, for over asking.
We also worked with her to buy a home in Berkeley. She helped me overcome sticker shock and major cold feet when I felt we were trying to buy at the height of the market, and I sit here writing from the dining room of our new house looking out at the new garden that I just put in, and I know 100% that we would still be renting if it weren't for her. But I also feel that while she offered advice, she always respected our thoughts, gave my husband and I time to talk together, and never, ever, did anything without the utmost integrity. The first house we made our very well-planned bid on is the house we ended up buying. And buying right now is brutal, I am just gonna say it. But the housing prices continue to climb in the neighborhood around us, and so again, her advice and professional instincts were absolutely correct.
I contrast my experience with that of my friend who used a different local realtor to sell her beautiful, modern home with 3 bedrooms, new kitchen and a backyard in the same Montclair area. This realtor told her what she wanted to hear: that they didn't need to paint or do any work, that their own furnishings looked good enough and just to clean and de-clutter, and that they could live there while selling. Well, 4 months and no realistic offers later, they had to fire their agent, and start again from square one.
I commiserate with anyone who is trying to buy or sell a home in our area, it is not an easy experience. The best thing you can do is be open-minded as you go along and partner with someone as tough, smart and experienced as Joanna to help guide you."
"I can confidently say that my husband and I could not have gotten our dream home in one of the most competitive markets in the nation without Joanna. As a first time home buyer on a tight budget, we set out in the process trying out multiple Redfin agents so that we could save on closing costs, naively assuming that an agent does little more than process your bid for you. After being consistently disappointed with the lack of care, expertise and advice, Joanna came highly recommended to us through family. The difference with working with Joanna was dramatic and instant. She will get it done for you. No matter the price range, season, etc., she made us feel as though we were her only clients. She was able to offer us perspective and insight at every step and had an uncanny way of helping us really refine our priorities. She was always available to us and managed all our anxieties and expectations expertly throughout the process. She is an absolute force and professional. What is truly special and specific to working with Joanna is that you can be confident that she is putting the best foot forward for you in representing your interests. You know that if anyone can get it done for you, it's Joanna. Buying in the Oakland market (we bought in the peak of last summer) would have been impossible for us without her and we are still continually thankful that we found her. She has a strong presence, opinion, will and follow-through that will give you the best chances in a hard market, but it is also coupled with a generous care, respect, and committment to do the best job for you. I can not say enough about her knowledge, experience, and integrity and would recommend her to anyone who is seriously wanting to find their dream home."
"I really can't say enough about Joanna's guidance through our home-buying process. She was patient when we were nit-picky, she cheered us up when we were cranky, she answered casual emails with immediate phone calls, she was informative when we were ignorant. She found us a house that we might have dismissed otherwise, based solely upon internet criteria. She called us on her way back to the office from the agents' tour viewing (the Tuesday before it went on the market) and said that we had to come see it. She knew we would love it, and she was absolutely right. She got us the house with no counter-offer, even with another offer on the table. She set us up with a mortgage broker that we adored. Every inspection professional she recommended was spot-on, from general to roofing, and I tend to be picky about contractors. She had a solution to every problem, told us what we should worry about and what we shouldn't, and was always right. Joanna was born and raised in the Montclair/Piedmont area of Oakland, and basically grew up in the business, as her mother was a longtime agent. Joanna's been an agent for over a decade, and her experience and familiarity with the area truly shows. She works everywhere from El Cerrito down to San Leandro, with emphasis in the Oakland/Berkeley area. She introduced us to neighborhoods that we'd never really considered, and we always loved them. I'm a little sad that she found us such a great house, because it means that we can't work with her again for a long time, but we whole-heartedly recommend her to anyone who's looking to buy or sell a house here in the East Bay. She will work tirelessly to make sure that you get the house that you want, or that you sell your house for the optimum price. Thanks, Joanna!"