This is long over-due, but we wanted to send you a final word of thanks for the amazing job you did in shepherding us through the selling process. Your warmth, humor, flexibility and professionalism were much appreciated. Your years of experience were evident in the highly competent handling of our sale. Your sense of timing was exquisite, and the evaluation and advice you offered as to how to present our beautiful but bedraggled home was “spot on”. We were astonished that a process we feared might drag on for months was completed, start to finish, in about 3 weeks! Your excellent strategizing resulted in our receiving three bids ABOVE our asking price, and this in what we believed was a luke-warm market. Wow! Needless to say, we would give you the highest possible recommendation for the excellent job you did in all aspects of our sale. Also, it was fun just hanging out together and discussing our common interests. Wish we had more houses to sell! Warm regards,
— Tom Rucker and Sita Packer
Brett deftly coordinated and handled every aspect of our sale, as my wife and I were out-of-state when we put our house on the market. He was knowledgeble, dedicated, and responsive throughout the process. Had we sold our house for the same price through a 6%-fee agency, we would have paid over $12,000 more in commissions. I would definitely recommend him to friends and family.
— Tyler Wong
I can’t imagine you would find a more knowledgeable, conscientious, trustworthy, and professional real estate agent then Brett Weinstein of Realty Advocates. He is truly an advocate for his clients. Brett works in Berkeley and Oakland and knows the neighborhoods and the market extremely well. He helped us buy and sell our first home in central Berkeley and then buy our next home in West Berkeley just this past summer. He has also been the agent for two other families that we know, all of whom loved him as well. I can’t say enough about him. He saved us several thousand dollars when buying our first home by helping to negotiate a lower price. In addition, that home needed a lot of work, and Brett has excellent connections to quality carpenters, contractors, etc., which helped a lot. He is also quite knowledgeable about structural and other home repair issues himself, which comes in handy when considering a home. In regards to our most recent home purchase, we had significant structural issues that Brett himself helped to uncover and to ensure were repaired at sellers’ expense. This too saved us thousands of dollars. Brett has been an invaluable source of guidance and advice throughout the process of buying and selling a home and we highly recommend his services.
— Sweena Burroughs
Broker Brett Weinstein helped us get the house ready for sale, created compelling marketing materials and advertising, produced multiple offers and gave us sage counsel on how best to respond. His approach is both highly ethical and extremely thorough. On top of all this and the great price he got for us, his lower commission put almost $16,000 more in our pocket. He has our deepest gratitude.
— Jeff and Dominique, Sellers of 915 Fresno
If you want a smart, honest, hard-working, highly knowledgeable, capable, amiable, straight shooting, no nonsense, non-pushy, patient, available and supportive realtor, Brett is that guy. Seriously.
We just closed on a duplex in Oakland in April, our first home purchase. We are thrilled with the house, and I truly don’t know if we would have gotten it without Brett.
He was recommended to us by a colleague when he heard we weren’t happy with the first realtor we had met with. When we couldn’t reach her for a couple days and a house we were interested in seemed ready to slip through our fingers, we called Brett. It was a Saturday, and he met us at the house an hour later. He then showed us all the reasons we shouldn’t buy that house (and he was very right). We then had a discussion about what we were looking for and what resources we had. He gave us some advice and tried to get our expectations more in line with the way the market was going (which is increasingly crazy).
We looked at several more houses with him over the following weeks, and he taught us how to recognize faulty seismic retrofits and problematic foundations, how to interpret pest reports and seller psychology. We went from knowing nothing and feeling totally overwhelmed to feeling like we knew what we were doing.
Then it came time to make a bid on a house. Brett was great about helping us assess the situation and make a solid, attractive offer. We ended up being spot on, just barely behind the top offer on the price of the house, but slightly ahead on other things like percentage of down payment. The selling realtor tried to get concessions out of Brett because our total was lower, but he somehow refused to give anything and still got them to accept our original offer.
Through all the inspections, Brett handled everything, bringing in great people, making sure we were happy with everything, going the extra mile to address our concerns and eventually helping us get some concessions from the seller.
I really do not think we would have gotten this house without Brett. And even if we somehow had, it would have been a much more stressful process. His candor, experience and skill at his job really put us at ease, which I honestly did not think would be possible in this inherently stressful situation.
And he didn’t just cash his check and walk away afterwards either. He’s been there to answer our questions, check in on us, give us advice, recommend people for the work we needed on the house. And he is also a landlord, so his guidance on renting out the other half of the duplex has been great too.
I would not hesitate to recommend Brett to my friends and family. He’s clearly a great realtor, with a great depth of knowledge and a knack for understanding how much help you do or do not need. He saved us time, money and headaches, and he’s fun to work with. We were so glad to have him on our side through all of this. Particularly if you are a first-time home buyer, do yourself a favor and talk to Brett.
— Betsy M.
My husband and I had a very positive experience with Brett Weinstein when he sold our first home for us this fall. He has a nice nature, and always listened thoughtfully to our concerns, and he led us through the process with a gentle but firm hand. For sellers, he takes really good photos of your house and displays them appealingly on his web site. I appreciated that throughout the entire process he was always up front and honest with both us and the buyers. Most importantly, when it came to the deal, he was a skilled negotiator who always kept our best interests at heart. Recommended!
— Louisa Spier
I recently worked with Brett Weinstein on my first real estate transaction (as a buyer). Since this was my first experience in real estate, I was nervous, to say the least. I found Brett through a referral from a friend. Having Brett guide me through the process and offer his advice was invaluable. I never felt like he wasn’t engaged. He’s honest, candid, friendly and above all – trustworthy. I honestly can’t imagine having gone through this process without him.
— Raquel Domgaard
Brett Weinstein from Realty Advocates brings it all: he is smart, strategic, and supportive. Thanks to Brett, we just bought our first house, on our first bid – great bones, in our target neighborhood in North Berkeley, on a big lot, and for a price we can afford.
We were successful with Brett because he has multiple and nuanced intelligences – market intelligence, construction and design intelligence, and emotional intelligence. His many years following the Berkeley market meant his predictions on what to expect were spot-on. He has an amazing eye for good design. He is able to identify at a glance structural strengths and weaknesses of a home, and very good at explaining how those attributes aligned with our priorities.
He is an excellent communicator – he’s comfortable getting technical about structural engineering and construction materials, he’s comfortable talking about race and class, school choice, marital conflicts, family dynamics and financial planning. We trusted Brett. He was encouraging with us – always hopeful – but never unrealistically rosy. He instilled confidence and calm when we were anxious. Brett is patient and wise – we took six months to bid, and he supported our effort to wait for the home we really wanted.
When we found that house, he demonstrated one-of-a-kind strategic know-how. Brett counseled us on how to bid aggressively but responsibly. Because Brett knows the market, because he has mastered bidding strategies, and because he had come to know us as a couple – he maximized the strength of our bid and saved us at least $35 thousand. I’m left with no regrets, excitement about living in our new place, and total gratitude for Brett’s counsel.
— Liz Jackson and Tarek Rached
I heartily recommend Realty Advocates and Hal Feiger. He did an excellent job of serving our needs, going above and beyond the call of duty. He was patient, confident, punctual and very detail oriented. He held many open houses (some with catered food!) so that our home got maximum exposure to other agents and buyers. Our home was not an easy sell. It was the smallest house on the smallest lot in the neighborhood during a “buyer’s market.” We got the price we needed and the lower commission meant a great deal to us.
— Doug Munro and Kate Nathan
Brett sold our house on Acton Street for what was then the highest price for a two bedroom in the neighborhood. He also represented us in the purchase of our current home. Brett is a savy negotiator and his backround in architecture and construction was extremely helpful. In hindsight, the fact that he also saved us some $5,000 in commissions was the least of his accomplishments!
— Joel ben Izzy
I’ve done four real estate transactions with Brett and have had consistently positive experiences. When I was a buyer, he’s carefully guided me through the process and assisted me in obtaining high quality expert advice about any issues I may be facing with the property. He helped me identify and plan for improvements or upgrades that need to be made and connected me with excellent, very reasonably priced professionals. When I was a seller, he has again gone above and beyond. With my recent sale, I wanted to make several improvements to get my home in top shape, and he made sure that the scope of work I was undertaking to prepare my property for sale made sense: “I don’t want you to put a dollar into it that you won’t get back out of it.” When I was busy and away from the property, he was always there to provide access to workers and checked in repeatedly on their progress. His marketing skills are outstanding. In a tough sellers’ market, his advice has been invaluable in getting my property sold. He’s patient, knowledgeable and friendly. I refer him often to clients and friends. I’ve never chosen to work with Brett because his fee is 25% less than others. It’s simply been a wonderful benefit.
— Deborah Dubroff
A great deal of thanks and appreciation for everything you did on both the sell and buy of our homes. We know none of this could have happened without your tremendous efforts and expertise. Your wisdom and strength over these last few months made the buying and selling experience so much easier on what might have been an overwhelming experience for both of us. You also got us a great price in a short period of time on the sale of our home and saved us thousands of dollars in commissions. Thanks again to both you and the rest of your office for a job well done.
— Abro and Aliza Sutker
I highly recommend Brett Weinstein. He was our realtor when we bought our first home 8 years ago and again when we recently sold it. Over the years, I have appreciated Brett’s low-key, no pressure style – we considered putting several offers on other homes in the interim period and Brett patiently worked with us to explore those options every time. Brett has a wealth of experience and knowledge of the East Bay real estate market, (particularly Berkeley where we were located). Buying or selling in this market is very stressful even in the best circumstances, but Brett’s calm manner and savviness will help you manage it. He is extremely trustworthy and supportive.
We had coffee on Saturday in a sunny breakfast nook in our new house because Brett Weinstein was our realtor. Brett helped us tune out the noise of the housing market and focus on the facts that shaped our search. His expertise and energy put us in a house that we love.
We were first-time home buyers and initially found the process in a competitive market obtuse and frustrating. We interviewed with Brett after leaving our first agent and liked his approach immediately. He actually wanted to talk to us before taking us as clients, to make sure we could work together well. What a reassuring change from agents who immediately assured us that they would find our dream home and that we could have everything we wanted before they even knew what that was. Brett talked about the tough choices (budgets/schools/commutes/space) that helped us to focus our search. We are very grateful for Brett’s calm and realistic approach to the housing market. He understands the access that we all now have to home listings and immediately communicated that his biggest value would come after we saw a house we were interested in.
Brett helped us be selective about the houses we visited. Once we did find a house we liked, Brett helped us evaluate the condition of the house and prepare a fact-based strategy for submitting an offer that was tailored to our budget and our approach to the house. We didn’t know how the seller would respond to the offer, but we knew what our options would be, and why. As the offer played out over a week, Brett’s counsel was spot-on and it made the difference between us getting the house and staying in our apartment.
As the transaction wound its way through the financing and inspection process, Brett’s direct, low-key advice kept us calm, kept the deal on track and consistently saved us money. As closing grew near, Brett helped us transition from first-time buyers to homeowners. He guided us through turnover of the house and continues to be invaluable in recommending tradesmen to help us get the house ready to be our home.
Brett’s a smart guy who knows his stuff and likes his job – a lot. That comes through every step of the way and it makes every part of the house hunting process easier. At every step we were well taken care of by an advocate we trust completely. We look back on our work with Brett, unsuccessful bids as well as our purchase, and find we enjoyed buying our first house. Our only regret in the whole process is that we like our house so much it may be quite a while before we can work with Brett again. If you are trying to buy a house, talk to Brett!
Right from the beginning, I was impressed with Brett’s market acumen. We were in a competitive offer situation, and Brett’s experience and calm counsel directly resulted in us not only getting the house, but at a price below what we were willing to pay. We felt very grateful to have him as our agent.
— Kris Starr
We just wanted to let you know how much we appreciate all your help in buying this beautiful house. And thanks for your help with the successful sale of our little bungalow and for always being available and working calmly through all the little (and bigger) problems that arose along the way. You guys rock!
— Laura Counts and Mike Mechanic
You were the greatest thing about all this house “thing.” Really! I felt lucky and safe and taken care of by you, from beginning to end. Thank you.
— Hagar Oren
We are very grateful to Brett and Realty Advocates. First, his attention to detail and knowledge of construction helped us tremendously on the house we bought in Piedmont. Secondly, his orchestration of all the elements involved in getting our current house on the market (like arranging for inspections, painting and various handyman projects), and advising on the staging were all flawless. Third, we thought his marketing material and newspapers ads were fabulous. His large ad in SF Chronicle really stood out and made most of the other listings look skimpy by comparison. Brett’s marketing plan and discipline resulted in us getting not just two, but ten great offers. The fact that Brett’s commission was $13,000 less than what other agents wanted to charge was just icing on the cake. Great service and great value. Brett Weinstein gets our unqualified and most enthusiastic endorsement.”
— Sharon Stafanson and Jason Altieri
I so appreciate your unflappable professionalism in the service of selling our house on 10th Street. I am so pleased to know beyond any doubt the great service and fabulous value that Realty Advocates offers. I hope that this is only the first time we will be able to enjoy your superior work in East Bay real estate transactions.
— Fern Leaf
What impressed me most about Brett was his great enthusiasm for both my house and the neighborhood, his first-hand familiarity of all the recent sales, and the fact that his commission was thousands less than the other agents I interviewed. I was especially pleased that he was able to convince the buyer to “forgive” the $10,000 termite report and take the house as-is. I think people are crazy to pay a 6% commission when someone as good as Brett is available for thousands less!
— Ivan Rosenblum
Most of the other agents we interview seemed resistant to, if not actually offended by, the idea that they should sign for less than 6%. Some of them warned that “cut-rate agents” would mean cut-rate service. In your case they could not be more wrong. We found your handling of our home sale to be highly professional from start to finish — from providing us with your best opinion of the anticipated value of the house even when it diverged from our expectations, to getting the house ready to show, getting it listed, getting it shown, helping us evaluate offers, and providing us with calm counsel throughout the offer and escrow process. I can hardly imagine what better service any “full-price” agent could have provided.
— Ryan Werner and Julie Parr
While we were initially tempted to sell “by owner”, Realty Advocates’ low commission convinced us otherwise. We chose their full service and with just 5 days on the market, they brought us eleven offers resulting in a sales price exceeding our wildest dreams. They have our unqualified endorsement.
— Pamela Grove and Gerald Nelson, DDS
You did a great job! Never missed a beat-no matter how crazy we got. Thanks,
— Roslyn Fuerman
We had originally purchased our property with an interest-only loan back in the real estate bubble of the early 2000’s and though we loved our place, after almost 10 years we had outgrown it but were unable to refi and barely above water even though we’d reliability paid our mortgage for years. Additionally, we had strained relations with our most recent neighbors which we felt it necessary to disclose which made it far from a sure thing that we’d be able to find a willing buyer.
Brett advised us with extreme candor and thanks to the benefit of his significant experience, we had not one but two offers and closed our escrow in just about 30 days. He gave us honest and specific direction as to where to invest our time and attention when preparing the property for sale. Certainly had we not taken his direct advice on the timing and strategy of the sale things could have turned out far differently for us.
It was absolutely the best possible outcome given our unusual circumstances and we’ll always be grateful for his guidance.
— Adam Zabarsky
Brett Weinstein did a fantastic job helping us buy a condo in Berkeley. He left us alone to search for a place, as we requested, never pressuring us to buy. When we were ready, he was ready (and it took us years to find a place we wanted and could also get). He was always available when we sought his help, despite the fact that we never promised to buy anything; he walked us through various possible properties, always demonstrating the same intelligence, helpfulness, and non-pushiness.
— Audrey Jaffe
Brett Weinstein sold my house in Oakland for me while I was living far away. I was able to delegate the sale to him completely and not worry AT ALL. The sale went through quickly and easily with no glitches. His ability to give me exactly the right amount of information, no more and no less, demonstrates expertise, confidence, and professionalism that is so important when it comes to major real estate transactions. I would recommend him highly, especially if you are someone who does not want to have to micromanage the sale.
— Jana Carter