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Agents Sound Off


David Gunderman & Andrew Raskopf
Oakland Hills – Montclair Village

Question: Do I still have a chance if I’m not the highest bidder?

Answer: The highest bid almost always wins. Almost.

If you have the ability and the wherewithal to match your competition, there are ways to approach the terms and presentation of your offer to secure an opportunity to prevail in a counter offer phase (but never assume you will get that opportunity as you draft your initial offering.) One of your agent’s responsibilities is to try to find a way to get the seller to give you the opportunity to match or beat the best offer if it is not yours. There are also instances where the seller values something more than top dollar (i.e. a smoother closing, better terms, or they choose to bequeath the home to someone who has tugged at their heartstrings). In addition to assessing value and analyzing disclosures, it is important that your agent find out what the seller values and you should consider including a letter with your offer that builds emotional bridges to the seller while remaining true to who you are.

Lastly, relationships matter in real estate. Lower offers can prevail when the listing agent and seller trust the lender and/or the buyer’s agent to get the job done, especially if the highest offer seems uncertain.

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Where: 11787 Sierra Drive in Truckee (listing | virtual tour)

Breathtaking luxury mountain retreat situated on over 28 acres, offering exceptional views of the Sierra Crest and backing to national forest lands with hiking, mountain biking and nordic ski trails right outside your back door. Thoughtful design with quality features and playful details both inside and out. Enjoy the natural light, open living spaces, top-of-the-line appliances, built-in sound system, wine room, and bonus room above the large two car garage. This stunning setting is made complete with the beautifully landscaped grounds including waterfall, fire pit and hot tub patio. A truly unique location with total privacy, “Sierra” lies within minutes of world class ski resorts, downtown Truckee, Donner Lake, shopping, dining and easy access to I-80.

This home is listed by Linda Granger of Alain Pinel Realtors Lake Tahoe.

Offered at: $2,400,000

See more homes for sale in Truckee. | Visit our Lake Tahoe community page.


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Agents Sound Off


Nick Granoski
Palo Alto

Question: What do buyers and sellers often fail to account for?

Answer: The power of live conversation can be underestimated in this age of technology, especially as it relates to fast-moving real estate transactions.

Buyers and sellers are using technology to be faster and more efficient with communicating via text, e-mail, etc. While this does facilitate faster communication, it’s important to remember that real estate transactions can also be emotional, and technology does not always translate emotions effectively. Feelings matter, and deals come together (or fall apart) based on what is communicated or interpreted.

Live conversation during transactions can quickly clear up misconceptions or assumptions faster and more cohesively than an ongoing exchange of e-mails or text messages back and forth. Tone of voice, clarity and questions that evolve based on the flow of conversation can be assessed quickly, accurately and will save both buyers and sellers lots of money and time when done correctly. Don’t underestimate the power of communicating the old-fashioned way when it comes to effective real estate transactions.

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007_Dining Room


Where: 420 Mission Bay Boulevard #1203 in San Francisco (listing | virtual tour)

12th Floor  condominium in Madrone, Mission Bay’s newest San Francisco’s waterfront development. Luxurious and drenched in light 2 bedroom and 2 bath spacious condo on the South West corner. Amenities include outdoor 75 foot pool, sundeck, spa, fitness studio, sauna, screen room, business center, conference room and 24 hour front desk staff. A lifestyle development you can get used to.

The home is listed by Denise Paulson of the Alain Pinel Realtors San Francisco office.

Offered at: $1,675,000

See more homes for sale in San Francisco. | Visit our San Francisco community page.


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Leading US Private Equity Firm and Chinese Real Estate Firm Will Convert 18-Acre Historic Drive-In Site Into Largest Upscale Office Development on the Mid-Peninsula

Burlingame Point

BURLINGAME, CA – Represented by Jeff Diodati and Sandy Comaroto of Alain Pinel Realtors (APR), internationally-backed Burlingame Point LLC closed on 300 Airport Boulevard, also known as Burlingame Point, last week. The buyer, a joint venture of H&Q Asia Pacific (H&QAP) and KYLLI, INC (KYLLI, which is 100% owned by Genzon Property Group of China), intends to spend approximately $300 million to build the largest upscale development of office space on the Peninsula waterfront in more than a decade.

“The Burlingame Point project will further cement the mid-Peninsula as a center for business and natural sciences. The proposed plans, including open spaces, is a tremendous win for businesses, residents, and visitors,” said Joanne Wondolowski, APR Vice President and Burlingame Manager, whose agent helped broker the deal.

KYLLI is a Palo Alto based real estate firm backed by Genzon Property Group, a successful Chinese real estate development firm with a portfolio of approximately $5.0 billion. H&QAP is an international private equity firm based in Palo Alto with 30 years of experience in cross-border technology investments.

The purchase reflects larger trends in the market according to Ron Gable, APR Vice President and San Mateo Manager. “In both residential and commercial real estate, the Bay Area is a destination for international investment. People from all over the world recognize this as a universally appealing and thriving business center.”

The property, once home to the Burlingame Drive-In before it was demolished a decade ago, was sold by Millennium Partners. The real estate developer, most known in the area for building San Francisco’s Four Seasons Hotel and Millennium Tower, had previously purchased the suburban site in 2006 and began plans to develop the site. Under their planning, the site was approved by the City of Burlingame for construction of four buildings with 767,000 square feet of office, technology, and life sciences space, along with a retail center, food services, a separate amenities building as well as structured and below-ground parking. The plan also calls for relocating an existing section of Airport Boulevard away from the Bay shoreline and into the site itself, allowing for new open space along the waterfront and a new segment of the Bay Trail. The project will now be implemented by the new buyers.

“Burlingame Point is an important addition to our growing Bay Area portfolio,” said Mr. Hok-Kan Dang, the founder and CEO of Genzon Property Group, who with KYLLI also own 225 Bust Street, a historical Class A office tower in San Francisco’s Financial District. “We look forward to working with the City of Burlingame and H&QAP to leverage our existing real estate development experience and technology-related service track record to bring global innovation to this strategically located space.”

Genzon and H&QAP have a long-term relationship having previously partnered in developing a premier office complex in Shenzhen, China with tenants including global technology leaders such as Microsoft and Tencent, one of China’s leading internet and social media companies.

“We have enjoyed a highly successful partnership with Genzon Group over eight years characterized by shared vision and deep mutual trust. We are truly excited to develop Burlingame Point into a destination for global technology companies” said Dr. Ta-lin Hsu, Chairman of H&QAP.

For the real estate agents involved, the transaction also was a personal one. “Jeff and I grew up in the area and went to the Burlingame Drive-In as teenagers. We always wanted to see a wonderful development here, and being able to play an instrumental role in making that a reality is an honor,” said Sandy Comaroto of APR. “The location is fantastic – on the water, close to transportation hubs and equidistant between San Francisco and Silicon Valley.

“This is a very exciting project that will transform the Peninsula waterfront and take advantage of this site’s untapped potential,” explained Jeff Diodati of APR.

The transaction was backed by the City of Burlingame, local politicians, and the Burlingame City Council

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