“It’s Not Everyday You Trust A Realtor To Buy A Home Sight Unseen”

Happy Holidays to all of you, and congratulations to some more happy clients on their purchase of one awesome San Francisco property!
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Our search for a home in San Francisco started after reading Alex’s site TheFrontSteps.com. We were impressed with his insight into the market and his interest in finding a property that fit our needs. Due to a job transfer, we had limited time to search for property and even less time to actually see what was available. Through many phone calls, text messages, and emails, Alex gave us a solid understanding of neighborhoods, prices, and how to make a competitive bid. It’s not everyday you trust a realtor enough to buy a home sight unseen, but Alex found us the perfect property! Alex listened to our needs and interests and found a home for us that we love, in a neighborhood that fits our lifestyle. And, did I mention that we did all this in less than 30 days? Thanks, Alex!

You’re so very welcome Kris, and you can’t imagine the relief I felt when you told me you loved the place! I was sweatin’ for days!

-More Testimonials Of The Service I Can Provide [Alexander Clark, theFrontSteps & Paragon Real Estate]

When Buying Luxury High Rise Property In Downtown San Francisco

I would like to thank my agent Alex Clark for his excellent and hard work in the past year for finding me the right place in this competitive market. My property just closed about one week ago, and I’m thrilled! I approached Alex over one year ago in search of a condo in downtown San Francisco. I had very specific and narrow requirements for the type of unit that I was looking for. I am a very busy professional with a challenging travel and work schedule. Alex was focused and determined to find me the right place with the right price. His swift approach and tireless work ethic helped me to secure the unit that meets all of my specs. He should be top of mind for anyone who would like to find a high-end piece of real estate in the city by the Bay. Alex is THE go-to-agent to have for your new home purchase!!!

Louisa L. Zhao Dresser M.D.
Attending Physician of Dept. of Internal Medicine
CPMC, California Pacific Medical Center
Sutter Healthcare System, San Francisco

Thanks Louisa! I’m glad it all worked out, and I appreciate you and your business. Hi to your parents, and lemme know when is da pool party!

-More Testimonials [Alexander Clark]

“We Were On The Market For 1 Day Before Receiving 3 Offers (2 All Cash!)”

From my clients who just sold 1676 Hayes St.

My husband Jon and I wanted to take a minute to share our great experience working with Alex. He knows the SF market so well and was able to help us get staged and ready to sell very quickly. We were on the market for 1 day before receiving 3 offers (2 all cash!). All were well over asking and we closed 10 days later! We’d be very happy to work with Alex again and highly recommend him.- Elizabeth & Jon

Glad to be of service, and glad it turned out so well. Enjoy your skis!

Putting Together A Winning Bid “Takes A Lot More Than Just Choosing The Right Number”

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When my wife and I decided to move up to San Francisco, we knew the real estate market would be incredibly challenging. From our first conversation with Alex, we recognized that he understood what it took to find the right property and make a compelling bid. It was an arduous five-month process, but Alex never tired in his search for our perfect home. He maintained the right balance of enthusiasm and realism when it came to choosing our bids. I consider it a mark of his good instincts that we came within a hair’s breadth of winning several earlier bids that we ultimately lost, since it meant that we were making offers that were competitive without being foolishly high. Once we found the amazing home we’re now in, Alex worked tirelessly to help us put together a winning bid—it takes a lot more than just choosing the right number, by the way—and close on time, despite a string of unexpected complications and swerves along the way. We can’t recommend Alex highly enough!- Peter and Erin

Thanks guys. Hope you enjoy your casa, and can’t wait to see how the downstairs evolves!

“We Received Multiple Offers On Our Condo And Closed Escrow In 5 Days!” 16 Jessie a.k.a 1 Ecker

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From a recent seller represented transaction, in which we not only secured an all cash offer close in five days, but my clients are renting the property back, sold the furniture, and received $1000 worth of wine from the buyer. Bam!

Mike and I wanted to share our experience with our phenomenal realtor Alex Clark. From the get go, Alex knew we had a time crunch and was on the ball from day one. With his network of contacts, his social media outlets, and getting us on the front page of SFgate – we received multiple offers on our condo and closed escrow in five days with an all cash offer that was well over asking! We would highly recommend Alex for all your San Francisco real estate needs!
-Mike and Joe

I can do the same for you, but no guarantees on the wine.

More pics:

-Bay Area Loft Conversions: New Life For Old Buildings [SF Gate]

Thinking Of Selling Your Property? Read This First

Sellers, it’s time. We need your inventory, and look how happy you could be!

Alex thanks for selling my home as quickly and painless as possible at a price way beyond my expectation! I especially liked that you provided expert advice/service from staging, lighting and photography to make this a success. Using [electronic signature solutions] for all document signing made my life so much easier, and not to mention saving wasted paper from going into the environment. You keep up with the latest trends, you have access to new and potential audience/followers via social networking sites, and you’re just damn good at what you do so, THANKS!!!!

Cheers,
Judy

Brings a tear to one’s eye, doesn’t it. You’re welcome Judy! Thanks for the great testimonial. Call us when you’re ready to buy.

And to all of you other sellers, did you notice how good to the environment we can be? I’ll even come meet you on my bike. Just give a shout, and we’ll get the ball rolling to getting you top dollar on your property too.

-More Testimonials [theFrontSteps]
-Maximum Overbid Of The Week: 235 28th St, Noe Valley [theFrontSteps]

Mission Creek Buyer Finally Gets Offer Accepted…Couldn’t Be Happier

Without Alex, I don’t think I would have gotten my home. After several months of looking, multiple offers, and no success, a friend brought up Alex’s name as he specializes in pocket listings. It was apparent the day I met him that he would work hard for me and be more engaged in my search for a home. In a competitive market, Alex made sure that even if my offer wasn’t accepted, there was still an opportunity to get that home. After a year of searching, I purchased a condo that is basically everything I wanted and I am extremely happy.
-Prakash

Thanks Prakash!

And thank you Editors of Curbed for the referral. Always happy to help your readers!

1 Ecker (16 Jessie) Sellers Very Happy With Their Sale…Who’s Next?

It’s been busy…so let’s share some testimonials, get back to blogging, which in turn will create more testimonials. Sound good? Cool…

Alex knows the San Francisco market very well. This helped us, as sellers, to understand what different buyers value and what to expect. He is also adaptable and efficient. Our sale was the first resale in a new condominium, but Alex did not let that slow things down. He successfully navigated the administrative overhead of the situation. In addition, when we sold our home, privacy was of absolute importance. To meet our needs, Alex came up with an agent-first marketing approach that leveraged his pocket listings network (PocketListings.net). He also used social media (Facebook, Twitter, theFrontSteps.com Blog) to get the word out before and after our open house. In under a month from initial contact, even over the seasonally slow Christmas holiday, Alex obtained multiple offers for us. He then helped us identify the most suitable buyer, which ensured us a fair price and a smooth close. We would highly recommend working with Alex for anything real estate in San Francisco.

-Milla and Chad

[Editor's note: Links to websites were added by us.]

Thanks guys! Glad it worked out so smoothly for you, and the buyer. And very happy we were able to navigate all that “administrative overhead”…nice way to put it.

Sellers, let’s get your place on the market! We not only need the inventory, but you stand to make substantial gains.

333 Grant Avenue #501 SOLD In Four Days, $20,000 Over Asking

You all remember the great listing I had at 333 Grant Avenue, and I’m sure many of you are wondering how it played out, so let me enlighten you.

To begin, we had a considerable amount of interest (web traffic, phone calls, texts and emails) generated from the blog post I did even before the property hit MLS (something I offer ALL of my clients, and definitely not something you can get with other agents in San Francisco). Had I not been pushing to get this property to MLS for the sake of creating a new comp in the building (previous ones were not very good), we would have likely sold the property “off market”.

A couple days after the announcement here on theFrontSteps, we went to MLS. I put it in the system on a Friday and the phone started ringing. That weekend there were over 10 showings, and requests to “wait until at least the end of the week” before accepting an offer. We had a Tuesday Broker Tour (I was late getting there and agents were lined up (with clients) at the front door). I showed the property several times that afternoon, and the next morning, and was told by a colleague that they’d like to give us an offer right away. I called all interested parties and it looked like multiple offers were coming our way. Not wanting to lose the property, one buyer stepped up, offered $20,000 over asking, made it cash, didn’t want the leased parking, and sealed the deal. There were a couple bumps in the road along the way (like every transaction), but thankfully the other agent was a professional and we got the property sold.

As a result of that quick sale at 333, some other sellers are kicking around the idea of listing their units, and there are multiple buyers that I have on speed dial should that opportunity arise…on or off market.

I keep saying, it’s a good time to sell if you’ve been on the fence, and this is a perfect example why. The previous unit in the building that sold took ages to secure a solid offer, we did it in four days.

I have been relatively silent on the blogging front, but that doesn’t mean I’m not out there working it. If you are on the fence about selling and would like to get a considerable amount of exposure beyond what any other San Francisco agent can offer you for your property, give me a shout (alexclark@gmail.com), and I’ll come show you my spiel.

-333 Grant Avenue #501, Simply Union Square, Simply A Shopper’s Paradise, Simply $620,000 [and sold for $649,000] [theFrontSteps]
-“You know me, I’m on the three, three, three….”[Bondi Hipsters-theFrontSteps]

West Portal Buyers Find Happiness With Me On Their Side

I’m keeping up with my New Year’s resolution to ask clients for testimonials, and I’m thrilled at how willing you all are to share! I really, really appreciate it, and I enjoy working with all of you.

We were relatively new to the Bay Area and had been conducting a very haphazard and ineffective home search until we were introduced to Alex. He came highly recommended and we quickly found out why. He introduced us to different neighborhoods and new pockets of the city, opening our eyes to possibilities that we had neglected on our own. Alex helped us to be aggressive (but smart) in our negotiations. He was our ally and a trusted advisor from our very first meeting and we couldn’t be more pleased with the results. Alex is without a doubt an extremely important (and fun) person to have on your side during any home search.
-Annie and Morgan

Thanks guys! You rule! Enjoy your home and don’t be shy with invites to some barbecues in that awesome east facing (we talked wind) backyard…

-More Testimonials

Ditch Your Realtor, Get Ahead Of The Pack By Working With Me

Are you, or any of your friends, looking for a single family home in Noe or Cole Valleys (or anywhere in San Francisco for that matter)? Are you getting beat out by multiple offers in the over million dollar price range ($1.5M+), and showing up late to the party? Is your Realtor telling you they’re doing all they can (simply checking MLS everyday, which you can do too), but really not delivering? If so, you’re not alone, and I can help.

Within the past couple of months my buyers and readers have known about dozens of properties prior to them going to MLS. To think I share all of them online with everyone is simply silly. For example, my circle of clients knew about 707 Cole, 1027 Cole, 313 Parnassus, 785 Cole, 1340 Cole, 121 Beulah, 471 Duncan, 2975 Lake, and many more. There are also a dozen or so homes that never even made it to MLS and were shown without a hint of market activity, such as a mid-century home in Noe Valley, a grand, modern home on Sanchez, an AIA tour home in Golden Gate Heights, a penthouse stunner in SOMA, and a few others that I can’t recall the address off the top of my head.

Today, I present to you two more opportunities in Cole Valley, one in Nob Hill, and another on Lake Street not on MLS. Nowhere near MLS in fact. Not on PocketListings.net, not in my pocket, and not even on anybody’s radar. They are all single family homes, and they are all at least 2 bedrooms, and close to or over $1,500,000. They are not fixers, they are done, done, done…or turnkey as we like to say.

If you are interested, or know somebody that might be, you gotta contact me directly (alexclark@gmail.com), you gotta be unrepresented, and I’m going to ask you to work with me going forward and sign a written agreement confirming exactly that. No co-agents, no “I’ll work with you if you find me the property”, no “let’s try it out on this deal”…none of that. You either marry me as your agent or you don’t. Not sure if you should? Have a look at some recent testimonials I’ve been gathering and come take the plunge.

Like I’ve said, working with and finding a Realtor you like is like dating. If it’s not working out with one, you are free to leave to find another.

I’m also beginning to dabble in Lake Tahoe real estate, so if you’re interested in a second home, ski pad, lake front property, my finger is finding the pulse of that market too (and I know where all the good powder is).

So feel free to give me a shout, and let’s work on getting you ahead of the pack and into the home of your dreams. I’m also happy to help any of you sellers out there sitting on the fence in these markets. It’s a good time to sell in certain areas and certain price-points. I am at your service and available for consultation.

-Prior off market opportunities I presented [theFrontSteps]
-Testimonials
-Lake Tahoe Ski Cabin [theFrontSteps]

Do You Like To Golf, Surf, And Ski? So Do I…Let’s Work Together

Keeping with my motivation to provide the best service ever, I present you another testimonial.

Alex Clark did a fantastic job as my agent. He was incredibly responsive. It was rare that a communication would go more than 5 minutes without being answered. He listened to what I wanted and helped me find it, despite some difficult multi-bid situations. Alex worked tirelessly to look for what I wanted and also to make sure I saw other comparable options on the market so I could make an informed choice and know that I was paying a reasonable price. Alex’s knowledge of the local market is impressive. He was friendly but firm with the agents on the other side and was instrumental in getting me a large credit on the purchase price after we were already in contract. I will absolutely use him again the next time I buy or sell real estate and would refer him to anyone else looking to do so.

Thanks Rick!

Rick and I enjoyed a great celebratory round of golf at the Olympic Club, followed it up with fresh tracks at Squaw Valley last week, and plan on surfing together today. (You gotta love Northern California). Remember, it’s not only important that your real estate agent know their sh*t, but also important that you get along, because no transaction is easy, and most sales/purchases take time…lots of it. Don’t choose an agent simply because they’re claiming “top producer” and want to cycle you through their sales system. Choose somebody you wouldn’t mind hanging out with for a few hundred hours.

-More Testimonials

Another Russian Hill Sale And Testimonial

Another happy client has been so kind as to share a testimonial of the service I can provide to you and your friends and family.

I’m a commercial real estate professional – a few years back I chaired the commercial RE side of our trade association. My wife used to buy retail centers for a REIT. We know the value of having an experienced professional on our side. When we decided to buy a place in SF we chose Alex to represent us. We’re delighted with our new home and would recommend him highly.
-Ed & Susan



Thanks guys!

If you’re in the market to buy/sell San Francisco, Marin, or Peninsula real estate, please don’t hesitate to give me a shout.

-More Testimonials

“Recommend Him Highly”-That Would Be Me :-)

What better way to start the week than with a glowing recommendation from some happy clients.

For about a year we had been reading Alex’s blog and watching Redfin like hawks. Moving to SF from out of state was challenging, and though we had narrowed down our search to four or five neighborhoods, it was all still overwhelming. Contacting Alex was the best move we made. He was super responsive, super helpful, and listened carefully to get a solid idea of what we had in mind. Alex steered us through the (intense) negotiation process, and the (complicated) inspection process, and we couldn’t be happier with the outcome. Recommend him highly.- Matt & El

Thanks guys!

To all the other readers of this blog, I’m happy to put my skills and connections to work for you and your friends or family. Please don’t be shy. Feel free to contact me anytime.

-More Testimonials

Client Testimonials From Way Back

Bear with me while I reorganize my testimonials into individual posts. These are a few put together from way back.

*Alex was very easy to work with. He was straightforward, gave good advice about how the condominium should look when it was being shown, and managed the negotiations with the buyer perfectly. I always felt he was dealing with me honestly, and he kept me fully informed. I will go to Alex any time I want to sell a house in San Francisco. JOHN BARTON

*I don’t know any Realtors in this city [San Francisco] that have a better grasp of technology as it applies to real estate than Alex. His sfnewsletter is a phenomenal resource and great way to begin your home search, or research home sales should you be selling, and he is a pleasure to work with. He seemed to get along great with the other agents involved in our transaction and we’re sure it helped get us the price we want. He negotiated hard, but made everyone laugh the whole way and it was great. Now we live in the suburbs, but if we ever move back, we’ll use Alex for sure. Not to mention he’s a decent golfer too. -Joe Condy

*Carole and I feel that we were very fortunate to have met you at the open house and I am glad we chose you to work with. Be assured in the future when we are ready to look at the market again we will be calling, as well as referring any house hunting friends to you. Read More-Carole and Bruce Derr

*Alex combines an insider’s knowledge of San Francisco, innovative marketingskills and the honesty and integrity of a down to earth guy.-Rich Singer

*Like a lot of SFNewsletter readers, I figured Alex would be either too busy or simply uninterested in representing a first time buyer with a sub-seven figure budget. Ten months of searching and four offers later, we’re homeowners, and he’s still returning my calls…The cool thing about Alex is he’s new-school enough to embrace technology’s influence over his profession, but old-school enough to hold your sweaty hand through every step of escrow. 

Bottom line, if you’re looking to be escorted from property to property in your agent’s Mercedes while being lavishly praised for your exquisite taste and style, Alex ain’t your guy. But if you’re looking for consummate San Francisco market expertise, every tool you’ll ever need to find and evaluate your properties, and a Tiger Woods-like closing mentality – hell, you’re already reading his newsletter, posting to his blog, and god forbid you’re receiving his twitter banter – seriously, why use anyone else?! -Tim Stevens

*We had our condo at the St. Regis listed for close to 8 months with another agent. We hired Alex and he sold it in two weeks! Amazing! Truly amazing and he was fun to work with the whole time, knew the market, knew we should take the offer we received, and knows where I should buy my next place. He is truly a pleasure to work with and really knows his stuff. His newsletter is great too. -Stephanie Morris

*I had been reading Alex’s “sfnewsletter” for over a year, so I knew when I was ready to sell my house in San Francisco, Alex was my choice. His newsletters were very informative and intelligently written. I know this sounds corny, but I really liked his sign-off at the end of each newsletter — “Happy Aloha Friday”. Alex kept on top of all correspondence and paperwork and kept me apprised every step of the selling process. I am happy to say that we accepted an offer after only 2 weeks on the market. I would recommend Alex to anyone in need of a superior REALTOR.-Debra Comstock

*I can and have enthusiastically recommended you to my friends who are looking at purchasing property here in San Francisco. Specifically, I appreciate your diligent work and follow-through, as well as your integrity in working with the seller’s representative and myself that made it possible to get this deal done. Read More.-Larry Singer

*Wanted to let you know how much I appreciated your assistance and help during the purchase of my new [home] in San Francisco. You did a great job of working with me all Summer long trying to find my dream house on my crazy schedule. I didn’t know exactly what I wanted, but by Fall you had identified my criteria and started showing me homes that suited my needs. The house we found has a great ocean view and is close to the beach with a big yard and potential to add on. Read More. -Ryan Seelbach

*Alex and I worked together for over 3 month searching for the right property. He showed me several properties and advised me on the pros and cons of each property. On [my home] he assisted in compiling a very strong offer on property where multiple bids were accepted. I strongly believe it was due to his assistance that I was able to purchase the proeprty despite the other offers being close to or higher than my own. Read More-David Kaneda

*I had met with several real estate agents before I decided on Alex, and it proved to be an excellent decision. He knew the market, had excellent recommendations based on my specific requirements and goals, and most importantly: he knew how to package and position the offer for quick acceptance once I decided on a property. We quickly closed on a condo at 1998 Broadway that was a great fit for me. And I believe the price and conditions make it an exceptional investment. I’d recommend Alex to anybody. Read More-Drew Sechrist

Buyer Testimonial In Russian Hill – Opportunity For Long Term Guests And Corporate Renters, And A Little Scoop On 1177 & 1179 Union Street

Don’t ask me why, but for the past 5 years (at least) I haven’t been asking my clients for testimonials. True to one of my New Year’s resolutions, I’m going to begin gathering as many as I can, and sharing them here. Beginning with this one…

San Francisco is a city littered with real estate agents that look at buyers and sellers as “just another lead” to make money, but Alex is the exceptionally rare breed of real estate agent that just “gets” it.

Alex has helped me purchase two homes and there are two things that set Alex apart from the rest of the pack – patience and commitment. First, Alex was not only willing, but also actively enthusiastic about showing me a broad spectrum of properties while I was still unfocused in my search so that I could educate myself on individual micro-markets. Many agents would have considered this a waste of their time.

Second, once I had started down the negotiation process, Alex was completely committed to my cause – i.e. getting the best deal possible. Even when the 12th hour was nigh, and it looked as if I was about to walk out of what was already a great deal because of some overlooked loose ends on the seller’s part, Alex didn’t pressure me at all to close the transaction. Instead, Alex worked with me to execute an especially well crafted negotiating maneuver that extracted thousands more from the seller.

Well done, Alex.

Thanks Jason! It was a pleasure working with you. I hope your property treats you right.

For anybody interested in a quintessential San Francisco location for your long term guests, US Open of Golf (coming to San Francisco’s Olympic Club this June) or The America’s Cup (coming to our waters 2013) Visitors, or corporate executives, the units will be offered as a VRBO, corporate, and (potentially) long-term rentals. Details are at [temporarily offline].

For details on this transaction, feel free to contact me directly. Essentially, it was/is a two unit building recently converted to a condominium. The units separately were asking $865,000 for the bottom, and $1,065,000 for the top, for a combined $1,930,000. My client was able to get the property for under asking price, even though multiple offers were received.