Letters from satisfied clients

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.

Adam and Alex Rosenthal - 609 Pond Isle, Alameda


We had the pleasure of working with Thomas for both the purchase and sale of our house. We first met Thomas when we relocated to the Bay from Los Angeles. Thomas was extremely knowledgeable about the different neighborhoods, and about assessing and evaluating homes for value, architecture, and craftsmanship. He is an expert in mid-century architecture, but is also very knowledgeable about other styles. In several cases, he was able to point out architectural and construction/safety issues that we were not fully aware of. We always felt that Thomas worked for our interests, and not just out of an eagerness to close a deal. When we were ready to place an offer, he helped us navigate the competitive SF-area real-estate market and to draft a winning bid, and was tremendously helpful in making sure that all of the home-buying inspections and procedures were carried out meticulously and in a timely manner.

Three years after we bought our home, we again relocated, this time out of the SF area. When we decided to leave, there was no question in our mind that we wanted Thomas to represent us. Throughout the selling process, Thomas made us feel very comfortable and in control. He came to look at our house and to offer advice about the selling strategy. He was never pushy and always listened to our requests, and was motivated to get us top dollar for our investment. One great thing about working with Thomas is that he is not shy about letting the clients know what he thinks, but he communicates in a very easy manner. We trusted his eye and expertise and worked together to stage the home (at no cost!!!) and prepare a plan for the sale. He brought in a great photographer, and worked to take pictures in many different ways, to best highlight the strengths of our house. In scheduling open houses and marketing, Thomas went above and beyond. Because our home sale was through a relocation company, we were required to compare three agents, and of the three he offered the most strategic marketing, advertising, and open house schedules. Our home sold for the highest price in our neighborhood, and we think that Thomas’s expertise was critical for that to happen. We could not recommend him any more enthusiastically.