“It was a pleasure selling our house with the help of Anna and Greg. Anna recalled from HOA docs received from another sale that I was on the HOA and knew my last name when we met. We were surprised that the townhouse she had worked on before sold higher than the listing price at that time when the market wasn’t as hot!
“When my husband and I first met with Anna and Greg, we were unsure of when to list and they encouraged us to explore different options and to consider our situation and not immediately list it. It was the little and big things that mattered. To name a few: bringing a replacement light bulb for our dining room light to having a stager come in to advise us and having a professional photographer take beautiful pics, that makes Anna and Greg stand out.
“We were nervous about the process but they calmed us and kept us on track. Once offers came in, Anna discussed them with us. When we got a really great offer, she advised us of the pros and cons and knew what we needed to do to protect ourselves. What attracted us to use Realty World Neighbors is that they are a local Hayward realtor. They both live and love the community and it really shows. We knew they could best sell our townhouse because their enthusiasm is real!
“They did more than just sell the townhouse — they sold the entire community. Part of “selling” the community included researching which historical members of the local community were buried across the street at the cemetery. We had this list available at the open house so potential buyers could appreciate the history of the area instead of just the fact that there was a cemetery across the street.
“We would not hesitate to recommend Anna and Greg to friends buying or selling their homes or use them again ourselves if the opportunity presented itself.”
UPDATE: Lynn & Rick are now in contract on their first big purchase as a newly married couple!
Rick and Lynn are newlyweds in their later years. Both musicians, Lynn is a classically trained soprano and jazz contralto and teaches elementary vocal music. Rick plays Double Bass in various Bluegrass bands in the area. Eclectic in their tastes, both enjoy the performing arts, taking part in as well as sitting back and watching great live theatre and indie and noir film. Rick has been an avid hiker for over 40 years. Lynn has been a passionate dog lover for many years, having rescued and parented large and small canine cuties. (Lucy and Leo are their present fuzzy kids.)
Rick and Lynn are musicians, but won’t be blasting their tunes – they are considerate, respectful neighbors. Lovers of nature, they appreciate native plants and green, green tree-lined streets.
Rick and Lynn are desiring to move from Oakland to San Leandro, to one of its scrumptious older neighborhoods with history, wooden details and welcoming quiet character.
Do you have or know of someone who wants to sell their San Leandro home to this great couple?
“My partner and I were looking for a house in early August of 2013. We had interviewed a couple of Realtors before interviewing and making the commitment to work with Greg and Anna May. We were referred to them by friends of ours who had worked with them before. One of the reasons we chose them was because they readily provided contact information for their past clients and we liked what they had to say about Anna & Greg’s work. We had done some house hunting on our own and had an idea of what we wanted in our next house. My partner does a lot of trips abroad for business and during our search for a home, he had to go away on one of those trips. I was looking at the houses with Anna and Greg and taking videos and sending them to him through email. These guys (Anna & Greg) know what they’re doing; they know exactly what we were looking for. While my partner was away, he had a heart attack. Since he was out of the country, but near his family, he instructed me to keep going with with the search. Anna and Greg were the most supportive people I knew during that time.
“They stayed in touch with him and me through email and teleconferencing calls. After deciding on a house remotely, Anna and Greg (with the assistance of one of their associates, Simon), drew up the necessary paperwork for the transactions that were needed and we were in escrow before my partner could medically be allowed to fly back home. Initially, Anna & Greg were proactive in securing a ratified back-up contract on a house that already had a buyer. They went as far as setting up an appointment with the listing agent and the sellers for a personal meeting to entice them to see us favorably as buyers. Although that house didn’t work out, the day my partner came back we had already closed escrow on another house and had keys in hand. And to top it all off, Anna & Greg made a banner up with our pictures welcoming us to our new home after knowing what he went through. They provided food for our housewarming party too. We would definitely rely on Anna and Greg when it comes to our future real estate ventures.”
-Kevin Case & Shai Erlich
“We know Anna May and Greg Jones and their brokerage, Realty World Neighbors, because of their involvement in the Prospect Hill Neighborhood Association, their efforts to help maintain the neighborhood’s open space and other projects.
“Our decision to appoint Anna and Greg as co-listing agents (and later as our buyers’ agents) arose because they work on a number of issues and we were impressed by their efforts and contributions. We have found that people who work well when they volunteer also do well professionally.
“Frequent communications kept us informed of progress over the transactions for which we hired Anna & Greg to assist in the Historic Prospect Hill neighborhood. We appreciated Anna & Greg’s attention and time to email, call or text as the sales progressed.
“As sellers, we appreciated the well-coordinated marketing plan for our unique home in the historic Prospect Hill neighborhood. They knew how to price it for the prevailing market conditions, how to promote it to the right groups and took care of all the paper work expeditiously. There were no errors, no last-minute deliveries or problems from the time we listed until the sale closed. We subsequently hired Anna & Greg to list and sell another home for us and we experienced the same high level of competency in that transaction too.
“We were extremely impressed by their knowledge of the market, pricing and their ability to get the word out about our home through their networks, professional organizations and advertising. They were very professional, competent and knowledgeable about real estate in the area.
“We’re delighted to now be in a larger Prospect Hill home and were able to purchase this home in part due to the negotiation skills of Anna and Greg. They negotiated on our behalf for the sellers to pay for repairs before we moved in. We would definitely hire Anna May and Greg Jones again and recommend them to others.”
-Al Parso & Andy York, Historic Prospect Hill Neighborhood residents
Exclusive Buyer Clients seek to buy their first home in Hayward, San Lorenzo, San Leandro or Castro Valley up to $550,000!
“We are a family of three (our daughter is five years old). We both have a background in electrical engineering. Engineering was always a big part of our lives and after some further developments we ended up in California, home of Silicon Valley. We were both born and raised in Greece. Although it pained us to leave our country, we knew that the opportunities we had in California were ones we couldn’t dismiss. We love our life here and our desire is to raise our daughter in this diverse multi-culture place.
“Our true passion is to build robots and gadgets that will make our life much easier – and more fun! We are also very excited to be part of an amazing non-profit organization that fights against climate change. As we are really concerned about global warming, it’s a great honor to use our skills and technology to restore the Earth’s natural heat shield in the Arctic, rebuild polar habitat, and help stabilize global climate.
“In our free time we enjoy to travel, volunteer, swim, hike, try new things and most important spent time with friends and family creating lifelong memories!”
M & E
Broker-Owner Anna May was interviewed by KPIX Channel 5 about the new development planned for this downtown Hayward site!
What do you think of this new project?
“Anna May and her team are amazing. From our first meeting with her we were impressed. She is truly dedicated to whatever she does. We felt comfortable in choosing Anna May and her team to represent us in our home buying experience. This woman knows what she is talking about. She was able to give us so much detailed information about the City of Hayward. Even when she went on vacation she was still in contact with us. Anna gave us excellent referrals. She only deals with the best. It was a wonderful experience working with Anna May and her team especially Gabriel Heredia. They made the stress of buying a home minimal. We would without a doubt recommend Anna May and her team to potential buyers. They were a true pleasure to work with.”
J & V (from San Mateo County to Alameda County)
“Anna is perhaps one of the most genuine realtors in the industry. While some realtors might tell you what you want to hear, she tells you what you need to hear. She really knows the industry in and out. After briefly meeting Anna back in 2008 (during the downturn in the real estate market) I knew that I wanted her as my agent during my recent sale. From the start, her and her partner Greg provided me with a very accurate analysis of my home with intelligent recommendations. She is very thorough and throughout the whole process, she always kept me updated of necessary repairs, inspections and legal matters that need addressing – and she was always there to handle it.
What I really admire about her is her ability to handle every situation diplomatically and in a professional manner, that is something worth noting in today’s industry where there is almost an endless supply of realtors. She is able to keep the focus on the main goal of getting things done in a timely manner even when unexpected situations come up. And most of all, she cares. At the end day, there may be some realtors who see a transaction just a sale, but Anna realizes that for some (as in my case) that it was not just a home, but the home I grew up in. throughout the entire process she had great respect for that and always kept that in mind during the sale of the house.”
“Anna and her team were very professional from the onset. Before we even listed our house we were presented all the comps in our surrounding area. We had the opportunity to carefully look at the information and make the best decision for our family. Her team advising on staging our house along with the professional photos helped us attain the selling price we were looking for. Anna May at Realty World truly sets the benchmark for Real Estate Companies. The next time we want to sell our house we’ll be calling Anna May.
“Greg Jones and Realty World (Neighbors) far exceeded our expectations. Greg updated us at every stage of our sale. We were never left to doubt what had happened and what to expect in coming days. His contacts removed much of the anxiety related to the selling of my Mother’s home. I will not hesitate to recommend the services of Realty World (Neighbors).”
-Ilse and Larry Rollin
“Greg Jones is an incredible real estate professional. He was instrumental in making our real estate transaction possible. Even meeting with us pro bono to go through the complexities and options available to us. With our son, we were buying a piece of property held in trust, by a family member. Greg represented both the buyers and seller and, without his expertise and his ability to keep us all informed and on track, our son’s new house might never have become a reality. In addition to representing all parties in this endeavor, he was also the agent for the sale of our son’s present home; which was to be used in part for the down payment. Greg did an amazing job of both selling our son’s home (6 days of the market) and closing in record time; which in turn allowed for the closure of this deal weeks ahead of schedule. We would definitely recommend both Greg and his associates at Realty World Neighbors for your real estate needs.”
-Bruce and Dottress R., Redwood City, CA
“I could not be happier with the quality of service Anna & Greg provided, very professional, great knowledge, and very respectful to our needs. We were on a tight timeline to sell our house, and Anna & Greg made it happen without any issues. I would highly recommend Anna & Greg to anyone needing help selling or buying a home!!”
“We are very pleased with the service Anna provided. Excellent and professional in every way. We had tried Sale-by-owner and at least another agent and had really unsatisfactory results (none). We signed on with her and within 15 day we had multiple offers and sold it. We closed on an offer of 14k over asking price. It happened so suddenly we found ourselves still reading the HOA news letter a week after the sale- LOL. She provided personal customer service that is hard to come by. She payed special attention to details and all flowed smoothly like clock work. Her hard work made our experience care free and stress free. Thank you Anna May!”
Ignacio & Alicia Lucero
“We’ve known Anna and Greg socially for many years, but when we decided to sell our Hayward home after 22 years, we thought, well how about professionally. We’ve been guided by them for seven months in the process of readying our home for sale, and putting it ‘on the market’. Anna and Greg were amazing….we had several minor bumps along the road, but they helped us through. Commitment is actually Anna’s middle name; don’t let the Laveria fool you. Her firm Realty World Neighbors is dedicated, and their work product is superior. Although we’re leaving Hayward after 40+ years, we’ll be back in the area frequently, and we look forward to seeing our friends in the real estate office.”
-Linda & Steve Bristow, community activists
Sadly, it isn’t uncommon to come across properties that, over the years, have work done without proper City or County building permits. Older homes that have had multiple owners lose the history of what has been done and when, so getting to the “real” facts about additions, changes, etc. becomes very difficult. And shudder to think, government records aren’t always accurate either! Even though an owner may think they got their worked signed off by the City or County, the jurisdiction has no record of it! Common improvements done without permits that we have seen in our years of real estate sales:
- Garage conversions
- Garage bathrooms
- Patio/sun room enclosures
- Electrical work (both indoor and outdoor)
- Window installations
- Hot water heaters
- Attic access improperly made
- Second dwelling units
So, what to do….
HOMEOWNERS: Please comply with your local building regulations regarding modifications to your home. If you want to ensure the work is done properly and up to code, hire a licensed contractor who knows what they are doing and acquires the appropriate permits and inspections. Ensure the permits are “finaled” meaning that they get the final sign off by the appropriate jurisdiction. Then and only then can you represent to a future buyer that the work was done with permits! Work done without permits must be disclosed to any potential buyers, and the value of your property can be severely impacted by not having work done to code. In some cases insurability may be impacted, as well as a property appraisal for a potential buyer’s lender.
Bottom line: get the necessary permits, use a licensed contractor, and add value to your property, not diminish it.
BUYERS: So, you see that dream house, with that added family room (used to be the back patio sunroom) and 1/2 bathroom in the garage…but were these building modifications done with permits? The Seller is required to disclose what they know about a property, but perhaps they bought the property with those “improvements” already there, so they don’t the status of any permits. We assist our Buyer clients in researching such matters at the appropriate governmental agency. If work has not been done with the necessary building permits, it may have been done unsafely. Worse yet, if the work results in some sort of other governmental code violation (such as a garage conversion), a Buyer may later be required to tear out the improvements either permanently or have them redone with permits. Both of these scenarios can be very expensive. Finally, a Buyer’s lender may not accept square footage that was added without building permits and where the public record does not reflect the additional square footage in the County Assessor’s tax records. With square footage excluded from an appraisal, the available loan amount may be severely impacted and the Buyer unable to finance the purchase.
Bottom line: review thoroughly all disclosures available regarding the property. If there is ANY discrepancy in the square footage being represented and the County Assessor official records, get to the bottom of it by checking on issued building permits. Have a general property inspection done to determine the overall safety and quality and condition of the property. Unfortunately, in this very hot real estate market, there are property investors/flippers that cut corners to get the property back on the market to make top dollar. Be wary, check the disclosures and the quality of the work that’s been done. As they say, you can’t judge a book by its cover: investigate the property thoroughly or risk years of disappointment.
So YIKES…be careful when a property has non-permitted improvements: for your own safety and physical and financial well being!
We have wonderful clients. Believe it or not, we have some buyer clients who grow concerned that THEY are wearing US down because they haven’t yet found their dream home. We gently remind them that until they find a property they are excited about, that they can picture themselves in for years to come, that meets the majority if not all of their requirements in a home, we will be with them every step of the way.
The current market can be very frustrating for buyers, with historically low inventories and multiple, sometimes irrational, offers in competition. However, buyers who are patient (with patient agents too!) will eventually get into a place to call home. So, don’t be discouraged…be patient and let the process and market unfold. Then schedule the housewarming party LOL.
All of us get our butts out of bed in the morning for different reasons. For us, it’s this pesky dog. Rufus the Dufus whines and cries and whimpers at the crack of dawn until we let him out to go potty. He is an annoying little 50 lb.-creature, but he gets us out of bed. It’s hard to be mad at him once our sleepiness subsides.
What gets us into the office is something entirely different. Our Clients have an expectation that we be at the top of our game when it comes to representing them. There is a big difference between a “Buyer Client” and a mere “buyer customer”. We ONLY advocate for the interests of Buyer Clients after they’ve formally retained our services to do so. We’d rather avoid working on behalf of buyers for weeks or months, putting aside our evenings and weekends and family time only to (argh!) have a buyer suddenly decide to have their newly licensed cousin represent them, for example.
Part of formal buyer representation includes an “Exclusive Buyer Representation Agreement”. This document outlines what the buyer and agent parties can expect of each other and what documentation is required to get started. We take representation of Buyer Clients as seriously as we take our representation of Seller Clients. Here are a few of the benefits of formal buyer representation:
- We’ve built a reputation among fellow agents in our market area for having rock-solid buyers. Our Exclusive Buyer Clients benefit from this by having their offers submitted by us be taken more seriously, especially in multiple offer situations which are common in our area. This means we have compiled a complete Buyer Package before we show even one property to a buyer.
- Exclusive Buyer Representation ensures our Clients that they are our first priority. Evenings and weekends, for example, are reserved for Clients first and foremost.
- Many of our Clients are high profile, very busy individuals. We take the time to preview properties for Exclusive Buyer Clients and record walk-thrus and report to them whether or not a property is even worth seeing.
- We attend weekday real estate marketing meetings where we broadcast what our Exclusive Buyer Clients seek, and often learn about upcoming listings long before they hit the market.
- We send out monthly real estate e-newsletters to broadcast to our databases what our Exclusive Buyer Clients want, and through this medium, we also learn about properties that will be available before they hit the market.
- If our Exclusive Buyer Clients MUST move into a specific neighborhood, we’ll knock on doors and send mailers out to ask those neighborhood property owners if they have interest in selling rather than wait around for something to come available.
Right now, our Exclusive Buyer Clients include a recovering peninsula dweller buyer, the newly engaged couple, the seller of this gorgeous home who’s buying in the San Ramon area to be close to family, and also the family of a US veteran who’s seeking an affordable home in the East Bay.
We’re darn good at what we do, so there are certain steps we take before we use our talents, expertise, network and experience to advocate and help protect a Client’s interests. There are only 24 hours in a day, after all…
One such Exclusive Buyer Client of ours has been “engaged” for quite a while and for a number of reasons, has not sealed the deal.
Being “engaged” in a real estate transaction means that a proposal has been offered and accepted. The engagement is sometimes dragged on and on for many months while one or both parties work on some issues.
Sound familiar, all you serial monogamists?