I am not sure I even have the words to express Nic and my appreciation for all you did for us (which is why it has taken me so long to consolidate my thoughts and feelings into this letter). I think one very rarely encounters a person in day to day life who makes you want to climb up onto your roof and yell to the world how amazing they are, despite what the neighbors might think. - You are just such a person.
From our first conversation to our last, we felt that you were up-front and honest with us and an excellent resource for information on a myriad of different topics. I have already told everyone I could think of what a wonderful experience we had working with you, but for anyone we haven't met, I would like to share with them our story.
We decided to move to California from Colorado during a brief weekend stay in San Diego. We had no acquaintances in San Diego and knew little about the area. Just by luck, we found Justin through his website which seemed to be the most organized and comprehensive source of information that we could google. As it turns out, this is the case because Justin actually understands the entire process down to the smallest detail.
Although we were not first time buyers, we had never purchased in California before and were not familiar with any regional concerns or conventions. After the purchase experience we had on our last home, we resolved to never again participate in a real-estate transaction without the aid of an exclusive buyer's agent. We learned the hard way that there is a big difference between working with a listing agent (who is hopefully neutral and honest) and a buyer's agent who is firmly in your camp. This time around, with Justin as our agent, we not only felt that there was someone with experience looking out specifically for our interests, but he also acted as a sounding board (and sometimes counselor) as we sorted through the plethora of options and decisions that we had to make during the process. Looking back in hindsight after experiencing a purchase using a buyer's agent, I can't imagine doing it any other way.
From the outset, Justin took time to really get to know Nic and myself. He was beyond patient as we satisfied our curiosity for what it would be like living in various neighborhoods. We had recently experienced a number of life changes and during our house hunt we ended up doing quite a lot of soul searching on how we wanted to start the next chapter of our lives. Justin never pushed us or even hinted that we should make up our minds. Even when we began to think that we should just settle for what we could get because we did not see anything that really seemed to fit, Justin assured us that what we wanted was in the area and the price range that we were looking for and rallied us to get back out there and find the home that really spoke to us.
We arranged to return to San Diego for a month during the spring to continue our search. Justin was always punctual and prepared. He worked tirelessly gathering details on anything we had questions about. He even offered to knock on doors in a neighborhood we liked to see if there was anyone considering selling. Justin was always available to take our calls or set up showings. We were always amazed to hear that he was working with other clients because we always felt like we had him exclusively to ourselves.
As Justin predicted, we knew immediately when we walked through the door that we had found our new home, just as we knew soon after that we had also selected the most complicated and potentially disappointing option of the lot. The home was a short-sale with non-cooperative sellers in the middle of a divorce and a listing agent with some ethically questionable propositions. Justin helped us analyze our options and navigate through the offer process by spending countless hours with us in person, on the phone, and over email hashing out various scenarios that we might need to plan for or protect against. Justin has a comprehensive understanding of many of the nuances of home buying, including the pitfalls and disappointments that can come with a short sale. He prepared us mentally for the long process ahead and helped us research the property to give us a better understanding of the risks involved.
We returned to Colorado after our trip without an accepted contract on the home and Justin continued to push to get our offer accepted with our terms in place. What followed was six months of challenges as the sellers negotiated their divorce and the tricky short sale process with both their first and second lender, and the seller's agent who was also an attorney seemed busy with more important things, and the escrow officer failed to order the proper documents, all of them missing deadlines and making a number of mistakes or oversights along the way. Justin took the time to explain each document, so even with the questionable circumstances, we always felt like we knew what we were getting into and what our options would be for various scenarios. It is easy to become overwhelmed with paperwork during a home purchase and to be honest, I am not sure I ever really understood everything I signed during previous purchases. Because documents and contracts are there to protect us if things go wrong, and luckily we are not commonly forced to utilize them, I think we overlook the importance of having accurate documents with balanced protection for both the seller and the buyer. Having a buyer's agent to push for specific options in the contracts seems like a small detail until you understand what kind of risk each decision holds.
Justin followed up once or twice a week with everyone to keep everything on track. His attention to detail and extensive knowledge about each specific document and its role helped him catch a number of errors, and as deadlines approached, he was always one step ahead of everyone making sure everything went off without a hitch. Even when we moved up the closing to the day before Thanksgiving to meet our schedule constraints and the short sale window, Justin was on vacation with family hiking in a jungle and he was still texting and calling to make sure that everything came together.
So thanks to Justin, we came away with more than just a home - but also have peace of mind and a better understanding of the inner workings of the home buying process.
Justin puts a genuine part of himself into the process, works nights and weekends, and on vacation, and seems to sincerely care about finding you not just a home, but the right home. I would, without hesitation, recommend Justin to anyone who cares half as much as he will about your future home.
Nic and Tigger P.
Justin Gramm is the founder and principal broker of Globella Buyers Realty, your San Diego Exclusive Buyer Brokerage. He also writes this blog, "For San Diego Home Buyers."
Exclusive Buyer Agents do not list homes for sale and never represent sellers. They have no "inventory" to try to sell you. They can represent you in purchasing any home. They are specialists at representing buyers only on the buyers' side of the transaction. Exclusive Buyer Agents work to get buyers the best price and terms when they buy a home.
If you are thinking of buying a home or condo in San Diego County this year, contact Justin Gramm to hire a San Diego Buyers Realtor on your side of the transaction. Call Justin at (858) 437-2662 or E-mail.
More about Justin Gramm on Google+.