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"+ Two agents! More perspective, knowledge and experience
+ Very responsive, dedicated and accommodating
+ Valuable insight on cost of repairs and severity of issues noted in disclosure packs
+ Strong relationships and able to provide helpful information from selling agents
+ Fun, great senses of humor and skilled with small children
My wife and I, first-time home-buyers, had been "window shopping" for roughly six months, but had hesitated to commit to an agent. We had exchanged contact info with a few agents and I found their auto-generated "properties you might be interested in" emails to be rather useless in the age of Redfin.
We met Rachel and Jay at an open house they were showing. Rachel didn't do the awkward "I could work with you" thing that many agents do and we usually dismissed with a smile and a thank you. She asked us to set up a time to meet her and Jay at their office. She promised it would be informative and said there would be "no pressure" to work with them as agents. I was skeptical, but my wife and I figured we'd give it a try since we knew it was time to take this whole home-buying thing more seriously.
The meeting turned out great. Rachel and Jay spent over an hour answering our questions and providing real value-add advice and insight into the home buying process, including reviewing a standard contract and other materials. As we were flipping through some papers, we got to a page that we could sign to formalize the agent-buyer relationship - as promised they simply said, "here's a page you can sign if you decide you want to work with us" and left it at that.
After that first meeting, Rachel and Jay suggested we set up an afternoon on the upcoming weekend to see some houses in different areas of the peninsula. We told them broadly what we were looking for (and which cities had been our focus). They took that input and used the afternoon to expand our view of what is available in the area, showing us a variety of styles and sizes of homes across our price range, and gauging our reactions to each. They took my generally negative observations and my wife's more constructive comments about each home we visited in stride, and after that first weekend showed a real understanding of what we liked and our priorities. We decided after that afternoon that we wanted to work with Rachel and Jay -- but we never did sign any agreement, and they never brought it up again.
Over the next month, or so, we found Rachel and Jay to be incredibly helpful. Often, my wife and I would spend time on weekends going to open houses by ourselves and then follow up with Rachel and Jay if we saw something that interested us. Then, we would typically meet to see the house together late on a weekday afternoon. Often, they'd come with suggestions for a few more houses to look at - including previewing ones that were still coming to the market or that might have opened since the weekend. Overall, it was a really efficient use of time and throughout the process Rachel and Jay were both super responsive and flexible to accommodate our schedule. And, they are hilarious - you just need a few minutes with them to appreciate their back-and-forth. Our baby was also super happy being held by either of them.
As we visited each home, Rachel and Jay were really helpful at a few things that we thought were critical: (i) they pointed out potential - whether it was disregarding a worn interior that could be repainted or the ability to tear down a wall in a cramped kitchen, it helped to level-set what might otherwise be a poorly-gauged reaction by someone like me that had spent less time looking at houses; (ii) while not putting themselves out as experts, they provided high-level thoughts on the cost to renovate or do repairs. This was really important to me as I tried to gauge both how much to bid as well as what kind of "project" we might be taking on at a given house; and (iii) similarly, they provided insight into the severity of issues we observed (e.g., a cracked wall) or read in disclosure packets, telling us when we might want to walk away from big issues.
When it came time to bid, my wife and I would come up with a range and Rachel and Jay would use their relationships to provide important last-minute intel on the number of bids, etc., which helped us decide how aggressive we wanted to be. Ultimately we won the second house we bid on - at a price we felt was reasonable and we are very happy with - largely thanks to the information and guidance from Rachel and Jay.
Rachel and Jay were amazingly dedicated and high-touch throughout the process - both came to meet us every time we got together - and their commitment did not end after our winning bid. They helped us keep on top of our loan agent and the title company through closing and have continued to provide referrals to contractors etc. as we've explored making some changes to the house.
We highly recommend Rachel and Jay!"
- Christopher C.
Bought a Single Family home in Central, Belmont, CA.
"We were so lucky to have found Rachel when we moved to the SF Bay Area. As our Realtor, she helped us find the right home in the right neighborhood for the right price. She was incredibly patient as we traveled abroad to look at homes over several months. In short, she was always on our side working to make our deal as simple and successful as possible. The best part about working with Rachel was that she was always more focused on answering our questions, giving us good advice, and finding homes that met our needs than she was on closing a deal. We would recommend her in a heartbeat to anyone that needs someone that they can count on."
- Doris C.
Bought a Condo home in Famous Ships, Foster City, CA.
"Rachel is a very easy agent to work with. She knows what she is doing and expert in her trade. She is very responsive and can be reached anytime for questions. She patiently walked us through all the papers and highlight to us what we need to pay attention to. All done with a smile. She really go an extra mile to help us to sell our house at a price that we wanted in two weeks. She really surpassed our expectation.
We would definitely recommend her highly. By the way, we also bought a Condo through her. Keep it up Rachel. Job well done! Thanks for all your helps and advice."
Bought and sold home in Sullivan Corridor, Daly City, CA.
I am just so impressed by you! You are an incredible agent and will recommend you to all my friends.
Thank you so much for being by my side every step of the way. The decision to sell and move has not been easy for me. I could not have had a better person to get me through this emotional time in my life. You are such a wonderful person!!
I have a great feeling about the family who purchased the home. I know they will love and cherish it as much as I did. Most importantly because of their love of the house they have the resources to improve and maintain it’s beauty.
Getting a great price for the house made it hurt less.
You earned every bit of that commission and then some. I have never seen a real estate agent work so hard and have it so together. It’s no wonder you are at the top of your class, lol. Well done my friend!
I can’t thank you enough!!!"
Sold a Single Family home in Laurelwood, San Mateo, CA
"Rachel Ni recently helped us in both buying our new home and selling our old property, and we could not have been more satisfied with the process. Rachel is extremely professional and knowledgeable. We were terrified of the real estate horror stories in the bay area – but Rachel’s expert guidance helped us buy our dream home fairly quickly and at the right price ! She was patient, understanding, always available and most of all handled the entire deal with total engagement. She made us feel like we were her only clients. What I loved most is that she constantly put herself in our shoes and really understood what we wanted. Another thing to point out is that she was not overly pushy as sometimes agents can be and often steered us away from homes we thought we liked (very rightly so). Her preparedness and expertise also helped us sell our old home at an incredible price!"
Bought a Single Family home in 2018 in McDougal, Belmont, CA
"I asked Rachel to be my buyer agent because of her clients' excellent reviews and my experience demonstrated that she deserve all the praises. I had wonderful experience to cooperate with her. First of all, as a high-performance agent, her schedule is super full but she always replies me at the first time and answers my questions patiently, just like I am her only client. Secondly, I would say Rachel is very professional and experienced. She is good at all kinds of techniques and skills to help me get the house I like. She does not only rely on the public platform but also use her excellent relationship with local agents to obtain house resources. That means you won't miss any opportunity. What's most important is Rachel always stand in my shoes and protect my interest: In such crazy real estate market, it's very hard for a buyer to keep calm, especially after you are beat several times. Rachel always stand beside me and remind me whether my offer price is reasonable. She doesn't want me buy something way beyond our ability or pricey. All in all, cooperating with Rachel is making a good friend who really care about you instead doing a business."
Bought a Single Family home in Millbrae, CA
"Rachel helped my husband and I buy our first home on the peninsula. It took 5 months and several offers given the competitive nature of the market here, but Rachel always gave us attention and followed through. She was very responsive (during both the week and weekend, day or night) and accommodated several last minute requests for more information prior to an offer; she even asked her contractor to come examine a crawl space for me on very short notice. She went the extra mile!"
Bought a Single Family home in San Bruno, CA
"Having lived in 3 cities in different countries and going through multiple buying and renting homes, Rachel was by far the best agent that we worked with. Not only she had answers to all of our questions and concerns, but she also provided us with many tips and advice that we never even thought about. Home buying process could be a lot of stress from open houses to choosing the house to making offers to mortgage applications to check points during walk through, Rachel was on top of everything, worked with us tirelessly, and negotiated for us based on our true needs. And what impressed us the most was her hospitality AFTER our offer was accepted. She gave us tons of useful insights of things we need to do until and after the move-in. Bay Area real estate market is a challenging market and Rachel’s preparation and proactive action played a major role throughout. Sun Tzu said “Every battle is won before it is ever fought” in the 5th century, but this is ever more true in the 21st century. Having Rachel as our “strategist” was our key for getting our dream home. We are very fortunate to meet her as an agent and now as a family friend."
Bought a Single Family home in Central, Belmont, CA