Laura Kaufman, MBA - Zephyr Real Estate
 


  How I Work with Buyers

"When we were looking for our first home, our ambitions were quite lofty . . . Admittedly we started out skeptical of what a buyer's agent would do - from an outsider's perspective, isn't everything you need to know on the Internet? But after going through this process for the first time, we would say no, most of what you need to know is *not* on the Internet, and Laura was a terrific and knowledgeable guide throughout the process."

MAXIME KO AND JOHN DUVAL


It is so important to have a trusted, seasoned advisor helping you when buying real estate, probably the biggest purchase you will ever make in your life. Working with a home buyer is much more to me than conducting a business transaction; I enjoy getting to know each of my clients on a personal level, helping them achieve their dreams of home ownership. I always put my clients' interests first - you can be assured that I am 100% on your side!

If you are thinking about buying property, I hope you will check out the links below and contact me.

How I Work With Buyers
Success Stories



Thinking about buying?
  • I will meet with you to discuss what you are looking for in a home and discuss
    your preferences

  • I will educate you about different SF neighborhoods and what kind of home you can get in your price range, always sharing my honest opinions; we will look at MLS (multiple listing service) listings together so I can show you examples of available homes for sale

  • I will walk you through the home buying process step by step

  • If you are not yet pre-approved for a home loan, I will put you in touch with an excellent mortgage broker who will educate you about your financing options

Working together to find you the right property

  • Given your preferences, I will set up a search in the MLS (multiple listing service) and if you'd like, I can set up the system to send you an automatic email every time a new listing comes on the market that meets your search criteria

  • We will go to open houses together to view available homes for sale – this outing will give me an even better idea of what features are most important to you

  • I will view new listings for you on Tuesdays during the broker's tour and will email you timely feedback on the homes I have seen. If I see anything that I think you should see and you cannot attend the next open house, I will make a special appointment for you to view the property at your convenience.

  • On Wednesday mornings, I will preview new Zephyr listings before they hit the market and will let you know if I have seen anything that looks like a great fit for you. Oftentimes, I can arrange for you to be one of the first buyers to see such a listing.

  • Friday at noon is the deadline for new listings to hit the MLS in order to be included on the following Tuesday's broker's tour. After this noon cutoff, I will email you those listings that meet your search criteria, along with viewing recommendations. If you cannot make it to the open house, I will preview the property for you and let you know if I think
    it's worth your time.

  • Eventually, we will find the right property for you. There is no formula to determine how long the process will take but I will do my best to weed out those properties that are not right for you and to ensure you know about the best properties so that we are making the best use of your time.

Making an Offer

  • Once we have identified a property that you are especially interested in, I will talk to the seller's agent to find out why the seller is selling, when they are taking offers and how much interest there is in the property; I will also obtain the property disclosures for you.

  • We will review the property disclosures and I will give you information on comparable properties that have recently sold.

  • If you decide to bid on the property, we will strategize your offer, taking into account not only your offer price but also the terms of your offer which in many cases are just as important to the Seller as the price. We will work with your lender/mortgage broker on determining the most realistic financing terms.

  • I will help you write a personal letter to the Seller and will include my own personal letter to the listing agent, highlighting your strengths as a Buyer. We will also include a pre-approval letter from your lender/mortgage broker.

  • When it comes time to submit your offer, I will promote your strengths with the seller's agent and will provide you with prompt feedback on where you stand. If it's looking like your offer is not the top offer, I will determine if there is any way to put your offer into contention.

Managing the Escrow Process through Closing

  • Once you have an accepted offer in place, I will begin the escrow process and be your advocate through the transaction.

  • I will give you, the escrow officer and your mortgage broker a written timeline of all contingency/closing dates to keep everyone on track.

  • I will schedule and attend all property inspections, including any necessary follow up inspections, and I will closely review all resulting inspection reports.

  • I will provide your mortgage broker with any information they may need in order to
    get your loan approved.

  • I will closely monitor all contingency dates and make sure that all the necessary paperwork and information has been submitted throughout the transaction.

  • I will schedule and attend the signing of all your escrow/loan documents at
    the title company.

  • I will coordinate a final walk through and key exchange at close of escrow, when you become the official new home owners!

After Close of Escrow

  • I am not going anywhere! I will still be here to answer any questions you may have and to trouble shoot any problems that may come up.

  • I give all my clients a list of my favorite contractors (painters, floor refinishers, gardeners, etc) and can provide you with any other resource suggestions you may need for fixing
    up your home.

  • I will stay in touch and let you know about recent comparable sales in your neighborhood, keeping you up to date on what's going on in the SF real estate market.

  • I especially love visiting clients after they've made improvements to their new homes. It's really exciting to see how far they've come since we started the home buying process!


Success stories

"The SF housing market is a scary place, but Laura makes it manageable.  My husband and I both have demanding jobs/schedules and Laura was always proactive and responsive with emails, texts, and phone calls--usually within minutes!  She helped translate the real estate jargon and was an excellent negotiator.  It put us at ease to walk into an open house, mention her name, and inevitably have the agent say 'Oh yeah, Laura...we've done several deals with her. If you're interested tell her to give us a call.'  She is also a great "therapist" especially after months of looking, being overbid, and just losing steam--Laura had the energy, stamina, and positive attitude that finally got us into a great house in an amazing location!"

PATRICIA GOLDHOFF AND MICHAEL GESKE

"We were recommended to work with Laura through a Seattle Real Estate Agent who had done his research and had heard great things about Laura. We were extremely eager to buy a home as soon as possible and Laura was equally as aggressive in making sure we saw everything that fit the criteria we were   targeting. After only 2 weeks of touring homes in SF, Laura contacted us after a home got price-cut to our price range. She lined up a showing the very next morning so we were the first people in after the price-cut and we put in an offer that day and closed in 30 days!  It was an estate sale, so there was a lot of communication between multiple parties and Laura was on top of every e-mail exchange and request that came through. Before we put an offer in on our house, I also would go to see houses on my own, and every time I mentioned I was a client of Laura's there was not one broker that didn't know who she was which made me feel like she was very plugged into the market and had a good reputation. She also knew multiple vendors for us to use (Inspectors, painters, carpet, molding, marble, etc) and went above and beyond making sure we had the right contacts even after we closed. She is very detail oriented and was present for our inspection, final walk-through, multiple showings, etc. She also is very knowledgeable about all of the different San Francisco rules and regulations regarding foundations, codes, etc. Overall the most important thing to know about working with Laura is that she is very genuine, honest and communicative.  We feel so lucky that we were referred to work with Laura."

"You should hire Laura because of her network (most of the other agents know and respect her), her extensive knowledge of real estate in San Francisco, her access to information that it seems other agents don't always have, and her team that works behind the scenes to get things done very quickly.  I worked with Laura to purchase a one bedroom condo in SF.  When I lost a bid on a unit in a great condo building in my desired location, the very next day Laura had arranged for me to see the unit next door that was not yet on the market.  I ended up successfully purchasing that unit before it went on the market because Laura and her team were able to rapidly prepare an offer, line up inspections, etc.  Overall, I was very satisfied with my experience with Laura.  Other things that are useful to know: she is not at all pushy (i.e., she'll keep working with you until you find a place you are sure you are satisfied with), she is friendly, responds quickly to queries, and also gave me a great list of trusted referrals for various work (e.g., carpet installation, hardwood floor refinishing). Finally, I was also impressed with her willingness to ask difficult questions of other agents in a very friendly manner."

"Laura Kaufman found our perfect home in San Francisco! She patiently worked with my husband and me, looked at over twenty places, and she found the perfect home for us! San Francisco is a very tight and competitive market, and having someone like Laura made all the difference. She has experience, KNOWS EVERYONE, is nice and really comes across as loving working with people. There was no pressure, no attitude, just 100% service, smile and intelligent guidance! Thank you Laura!!!!!"

"Wow, Laura is awesome!  She gave us tons of personal attention and was extremely responsive via phone and email.  She would regularly send us listings for homes that met our specific criteria, rather than sending a generic set of listings like some other agents.  She definitely made us feel as if our search was a priority for her.  Laura also impressed us with her ethics.  Several times we were interested in home for superficial reasons, but didn't have the insight to realize these homes might not be a good investment. Laura gently discouraged us from pursuing these properties.  After talking with more experienced home owners, we realized that this is an extremely rare trait in a real estate agent, and is certainly a sign of Laura's integrity and commitment to her clients.   Laura made us feel confident and taken care of throughout the entire process, and now we live in a beautiful home that we are grateful for everyday!  We would absolutely recommend working with Laura!"

"We worked with Laura last fall and had a highly positive experience with her. We found Laura to be sharp, efficient, communicative, thoughtful, friendly, passionate and easy to work with. She is a savvy negotiator and not afraid to ask/answer tough questions. Laura really advocated for us with tact. She is very aware of the current market and how to respond effectively and she is authoritative on neighborhood comparisons and property types. In addition to that, Laura stayed on point through our protracted escrow that spanned the holidays, is well connected in San Francisco and has shared great resources with us as we moved in and got settled. Laura has stayed engaged with us and has checked in several times since to make sure everything is going well. We really appreciate her expert handling and would recommend her with confidence."

"My wife and I worked with Laura . . . . to find us a condo in San Francisco . . . As we all know, the market right now is super crazy - you can tell by all the reviews from sellers saying how happy they are getting way over their asking price.  Well on the buyers side that's not such a great thing.  But Laura . . . helped us navigate through the process even when slanted heavily against buyers as the market is today.  She always provided an honest and accurate assessment of the market situation and pricing surrounding the various properties we looked at.  Her advice on what to offer (and counter-offer, and then counter offer again....) was very helpful and instrumental in our ultimately being successful.  Her knowledge and patience in addressing all the steps and the questions that came up was exceptional.  She was also extremely responsive, a pleasure to work with overall.  We wholeheartedly endorse her as a great broker to guide you through the market and help you achieve your goals."

"Laura is highly regarded among fellow professionals and that directly reflects in the way they treat you. She is smart and honest to the point of telling you when NOT to put an offer on a property you think you love and offer critical insights on every property you view. And when it is time to put in that offer, she leaves no stone unturned to get you an edge over the rest. The best thing about her is she gets you in no time and understands what kind of home you are looking for. I think only an individual who is passionate about their work is capable of the kind of commitment that Laura has to her clients. She truly loves helping people find that place they can call home. Thank you Laura for the excellent service. It's been a pleasure."

"I can personally attest that all the fantastic reviews of Laura are completely true. As a first time home buyer, I feel extremely fortunate to have been referred to Laura. Her . . . professionalism, expertise, honesty, consideration and promptness (I could go on...), all surpassed my expectations. From speaking with friends who have also recently purchased or sold homes, real estate agents who are of such caliber are few and far between. From my initial meeting with them all the way down to post-moving in details, Laura was there to make sure I was completely satisfied with every last bit of the process. She has a wealth of knowledge and expertise on the general real estate market as well as the minute details of everything involved in the purchase process. Beyond this knowledge, she is constantly looking out for the very best for her client. I highly highly recommend Laura to anyone who is considering selling or purchasing a home in SF. As another reviewer put is, THE BEST REAL ESTATE AGENT EVER."

"Laura is absolutely fantastic.  She has gone above and beyond what we ever would have expected from a real estate agent.  We are first time homebuyers and were a little intimidated by the process.  Laura's knowledge and diligence helped make us feel comfortable throughout the entire process from start to finish.  Her dependability and honesty sets her apart.  We always felt like she had our best interests at heart, which really allowed us to trust her advice.  She was always available to discuss any aspect of our purchase, or to answer questions.  Since moving into our house, when we thought her job would have been done, she has continued to help us as we get settled into our new home. We feel very lucky to have met and befriended Laura and would highly recommend her without reservations."

"I firmly believe that I wouldn't have gotten this property if it wasn't for your excellent guidance, knowledge, and likable/warm demeanor. These traits hold heavy in an environment where reputation is key (especially the latter). BTW, I never told you, but every house that I went to look at would have the realtor asking me who my agent was... After I told them, they always had a warm reaction and good things to say about you :) "

"We wanted to let you know that we moved into our new home . . . it would have been impossible to do this without you! It's a wonder how smoothly everything went, working with pros like yourself. The process was busy, but it never felt overwhelming or rough. You were always looking out for us and our interests: I know that's what all agents are supposed to do but you really walked the walk (and then some, like an 8am sewer line inspection!) . . . you really made us feel like we were your only clients - quite a testament to your hard work. Thank you so much!"

"Laura is fabulous!! From start to finish looking for our new home she was there....until we found the perfect home for us. I didn't ever imagine a white picket fence for our family, especially in San Francisco, but that is exactly what we found and so much more. Laura asked the right questions at the right time and was patient while we figured out what we really wanted as our family living situation was up in the air and we needed to explore our possibilities. She cautioned us about homes that wouldn't work down the line and we are so glad we didn't go down the wrong path out of worry in this crazy market. Laura is very thorough and thinks of things we wouldn't have known to look out for. She gave us the feeling that we will make a move when the time and place was right and never felt pressured. Laura was always there for us and weighed all our options so we could make an informed decision to be sure the house was the best fit. Now, we could not be any happier in our beautiful home."

"Just bought my first home in SF.  When I began my search, I had literally no idea which neighborhoods I wanted to live in.  Throughout the entire process, Laura was patient, personable, and honest.  She never hesitated to explain why she thought a particular listing wasn't the right fit for me.  In a tough, supply-constrained market, she arranged for me to view properties before they were listed on MLS.  As a result, I got an incredible deal on my first (and only) offer, which I was able to put in before anyone else even saw the property.  If you are looking for a new home, I highly recommend Laura!"

"In a tight market, Laura helped me buy a house that I'm super happy with. She was the experienced, professional, active, and trustworthy guide that I needed as a first-time buyer . . . Laura's help was especially crucial during the bidding process. With guidance from her, I made an offer I expected to be competitive. Timely information from Laura led me to make a slightly higher offer before anyone else could counter. I got the place while avoiding a bidding war. During the run-up to bidding, and during the close, she was on top of everything. She helped make closing as smooth and stress-free as possible. When some issues with the home came to light, Laura negotiated a sizable price reduction and a full credit toward closing costs. She helped me save a lot of money. In addition to Laura herself, I was impressed with the people she put me in touch with - mortgage brokers, roofers, contractors, insurance agents, etc. While I didn't use everyone she recommended, I had faith in all of them, and felt that, like her, they were trustworthy partners in the homebuying process."

"We had an amazing experience with Laura. We ended up going with her after interviewing a couple of agents because she was very approachable, but seemed the type of person who could be intense and strong when we needed her to be. She is very data focused when coming up with comps in the area. Most importantly, her number one goal is to get you into a house you love. We were lucky in that we found a house that was great for our specific needs pretty early in our search. Though we were initially skeptical of what an agent could help us with, I now don't know what we would have done without her . . . Our offer ended up being the one the sellers accepted despite not being the highest one, thanks to Laura. It was a huge relief to have her by our side. And. . . we were only looking for a month in an extremely competitive market."

"After bad experiences with two other realtors, I called Laura after a referral from a friend.  She was immediately helpful and willing to work with me and my limited budget.  During the entire process, Laura explained everything clearly, gave excellent advice, and asked questions about properties that I would have never thought to. She was present and helpful every step of the way and very easy to communicate with.  Laura helped me purchase my first home and I am so excited and grateful!  I definitely recommend her." 

"Laura was a completely committed advocate for our first home purchase. She accompanied us to showings, assisted with financing contacts, kept us up-to date with regular phone calls and emails, attended inspections, and got us into contract although a higher offer was outstanding. We found a home within our price range that exceeded our expectations, and the entire process from start to close took less than two months. A few years ago during our first foray into the real estate market, we had an agent who pushed quick-sale new construction condos even though we wanted a single family residence. 

Working with Laura is an entirely different and lovely experience.  She not only respected our wishes, she convinced us to aim higher.  If we were wowed by a home's exterior, she would remind us to check the its internal systems. Laura wanted us to have a perfect home more than she wanted a sale, and her attitude helped us to be patient and wait for the right property.  Instead of the fixer upper we first considered, we now have a fully renovated and move-in ready home within the same price range and neighborhood. We are very excited!!"

"Working with Laura was great.  The thing I like the most about her is her determination and perseverance.  I was a first time homebuyer and I had a very difficult time deciding in which neighborhood I wanted to live.  Laura was very patient with me.  She really took an interest in what was important to me and spent a lot of time with me touring the various neighborhoods to help me narrow my search.  I also really enjoyed Laura's honesty and integrity.  I never felt that she was out just to earn a commission. Instead, she always had my best interest in mind.  There were many times when Laura told me something was not worth the price or that the house needed too much work or was not in the right neighborhood.  It was great not feeling pressured into a huge purchase."

"Laura helped me buy my first home and was great to work with. Our working relationship was brief because I found something I wanted very quickly. There was already an offer on the condo I wanted and Laura kept me up to date on everything that happened. I was new to the process and she managed to explain it clearly without being patronizing. She stayed in constant contact with me through every step. Laura was incredibly responsive. She wrote my offer and went over disclosures with me while she was on a family vacation to make sure that I did not miss my chance!

Laura was also great in knowing what questions to ask that I may not think of. I also believe she was sincere in providing opinions which is invaluable when you are making big decisions for the first time. Laura has continued to be helpful after closing with referrals and keeping me up to date on the market. I am very happy in my new home and would refer someone to Laura without hesitation."

JULIE GREENFIELD

More success stories


 

COPYRIGHT © 2011. LAURA KAUFMAN REAL ESTATE. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

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