Adrian Mello - Sequoyah Hills, Oakland
After an exhaustive year-long search, I recently closed on a home in the East Bay hills. Throughout the entire process, from search to close and beyond, I was assisted by Thomas Westfall of Alain Pinel. I’m writing this letter because I’ve bought and sold a number of homes in the Bay Area, and Thomas provided the best service I’ve ever received from a realtor.
I was careful about selecting a realtor because of a number of specific requirements. I wanted a full time professional who was knowledgeable about all types of residential sales. Based on previous experience, I was also wanted someone with a good understanding of marketing, pricing, negotiation, inspections, financing, with a strong network of professional contacts. Having grown up in an Eichler, it was also important for someone to be as knowledgeable about them as I am.
After interviewing several realtors, all of whom were “Eichler specialists,” I chose Thomas. He met all my criteria and was exceptionally knowledgeable about Eichlers. Not only was he familiar with Eichler history, models, and building materials, but also specific Eichler maintenance concerns, such as radiant heating, roofing, dry rot areas, Arcadia doors, mahogany paneling, and other design and construction details.
Throughout the process, Thomas provided exemplary service. In all my experience with service professionals and consultants, I’ve never encountered anyone as consistently responsive, patient, and thoughtful. He patiently educated me about current market conditions. He promptly, thoroughly, and cheerfully responded to my endless questions and concerns. He carefully learned my preferences (which sometimes changed or became more specific) to better tailor the search to my preference and busy schedule.
Due to a shortage of inventory, I expanded my search a couple times to more distant neighborhoods. Thomas took time to carefully research the sales activity and homes in the areas and prepared detailed reports for me. For one neighborhood, he even created a detailed spreadsheet that included relevant information on every home, even though none of the homes were currently on the market. For the same neighborhood, he took photographs of every property and built a database of the photos for me to refer to.
Thomas also took the extraordinary extra steps of canvassing neighborhoods on foot and helping me prepare personalized introductory letters. Thomas has impressive powers of observation and often noticed telling details about the homes that informed the search. This combined with a tireless work ethic, eventually led to identifying the home I purchased, which due to his vigilance, he had identified before it came to market.
Once he identified the property, he helped me to carefully evaluate its condition. He spent a lot of time with me inspecting the home, scheduling and accompanying inspectors, and going back to the selling agent to capture more information and history. His experience as an Eichler owner and enthusiast helped me understand the true condition of the home and budget for upgrade and maintenance costs. After working on my home, I’ve found his estimates to be uncanny in their accuracy.