“After you graduate college – what are the first 3 things you think about?
For most, it’s the following:
1. Get a job
2. Get married
3. Get a house
The first two are challenging enough, but come naturally with time. You’ve probably been thinking about the type of career you’ve wanted for years already, and as for getting married? Well, no need to rush that – the right person will come along.
Now, when it comes to getting a house, you’ll likely have NO idea where to start, where to look, how to look and if you are even ready to buy a house. This was my family’s situation, and it felt like the most daunting decision in our lives.
Well, that was the case until we met the professional team at Equity West – and choosing them was one of the best decisions of our lives. The team consisted of:
1. Gene (our main real estate agent) – a knowledgeable go-getter who made the experience feel exciting, low anxiety and fun. He has immense knowledge in construction, solar and much more.
2. Winnie – a detail-oriented real-estate super-star who made the most complex paperwork and processes as simple as can be with the fastest turn-around times imaginable. She even has a background in house design as well
3. Willis – another real-estate veteran who literally knows any and all questions that you throw at him (I’m serious – give it a try!) and has knowledge on housing construction that is second-to-none.
I’m not going to lie – when first meeting with the team, we were apprehensive. We didn’t think we needed to buy a house yet. More so, I wasn’t even sure my family could even afford one. Their reply when I told them that? “It’s a big decision and at no point ever do we want you to feel pressured. Need to take a step back? Go ahead! But we will be here every step of the way – driving you to your first open house, to grabbing pizza to talk about contract details, to the moment we pop your champagne the night you receive your keys.” And it pretty much happened just like that.
All-in-all, we must’ve looked at a dozen open houses, many more online listings, put in a handful of offers and had more-than-you-can-count number of phone calls. The part that we appreciated the most? The house we ended up purchasing was one that we initially turned a blind eye to. It was not until Gene and the team’s convincing of “think outside the box – this could be the opportunity you’ve been looking for” did we actually go in and give it a look. At first, we thought the house was okay – but after 25 minutes of walking through the house with the team and generating ideas from all their perspectives, we were immediately sold and put in an offer that night. A day or so later? We got our offer accepted.
To this day, when we talk to our friends and family, they’re amazed at how smoothly our house buying process went. We came in with a top-3 fear, and left with a house, great memories and a group full of friends.
Whatever this team is doing, it’s working! The team is professional, knowledgeable, and wants what’s best for their clients. The next time we buy a house or need to provide a referral, we won’t think twice – we know we will trust the bay area real estate experts at Equity West.”
“My fiancé and I have known Willis and Winnie for a long time now. There were no doubts that they would be our agents when we were ready to buy our first house together. We knew they are not only hardworking agents but also truly passionate about what they do and helping their clients find their dream home. We contacted them around October 2019 to let them know we want to start looking for our future home since our wedding was less than a year away. I was a little worried initially because of our timeline and we did not know where to begin. It felt like we were all over the place. But luckily, we had Winnie and Willis to guide us from the start. They started showing us houses almost every weekend in various Bay Area cities (Oakland, San Leandro, Hayward, Castro Valley, and Union City). This gave us a better sense of what neighborhood we want to live in while staying within our budget. In addition, Willis and Winnie helped us focus on our needs and priorities in our first home. We cannot thank them enough for how patient they were with us because we finally found our “home” after more than 6 months of searching. Willis and Winnie never gave up on us even when there were times we felt discouraged ourselves. They never pressured us to buy a house just because they want to close a deal as fast as possible. In fact, when we were about to close on a deal during COVID-19, they checked in with us to make sure we still feel comfortable buying a house at this time. They even try to help us negotiate for a better price since my fiancé unexpectedly got laid off due to the outbreak. We know we can trust Willis and Winnie because they are always honest and transparent with us. When we found houses that were attractive and popular, they never hesitate to tell us that it may not be the right starter home for our current needs. We wanted a house where we can simultaneously rent out while we live there to help cover some cost. They are extremely knowledgeable about building ADUs (additional dwelling units) and the rental market in different neighborhoods. Willis and Winnie also provided a lot of valuable insights and recommendations on how to remodel our home. They are very experienced with home renovation so they are able to provide good estimates of the cost, which we find helpful in keeping us within our budget. I would highly recommend using Equity West if you are looking to buy or sell your home. Willis and Winnie are super hardworking, detailed, organized, and thorough. They would answer all our questions promptly whether it is late in the night or early in the morning. On our big signing day when the shelter-in-place order was going on, Willis even offered to come out to our apartment so he can show support and witness the moment we become homeowners. We truly feel blessed to have them as our agents and we cannot thank them enough for all their help, patience, and support in making our first home possible. We look forward to working with Willis and Winnie when we buy our second home in the future.
And did I mention that Willis and Winnie have the most adorable baby ever? Baby Willow made our house hunting process even more enjoyable. She has inspected our new home and gave her stamp of approval! You can’t go wrong with Willis and Winnie because they are the “Will-Win” Team. They’re gonna make you feel like a winner when you buy your dream home.”
“As newlyweds my husband and I had been thinking about buying a home together but had also been intimidated by the Bay Area market. Winnie and Willis really came in and helped bring our confidence in searching for the right home. We had an idea of what kind of home we wanted and W&W were able to get us a tour 3 days before the open house. Once we toured we knew we wanted to make an offer right away. With their construction expertise, they were able to help us negotiate a winning offer and our offer accepted that same weekend with a 21 day close. W&W made sure that they were with us throughout the whole process and can’t thank them enough for all their help.”
“My husband and I decided it was time to start thinking about buying a home, after a decade together and almost a year of marriage. Winnie and Willis were the first to come to mind, and I am so glad we worked with them! Their knowledge of the Bay Area is unmatched, and they really make a great team! Winnie and Willis made the whole process smooth from Day 1. They understood we were casually looking, but still provided us white glove service and demonstrated their expertise of the market, which made my husband and I more comfortable with the thought of actually pulling the trigger and looking more seriously. After just one weekend of visiting open houses around Oakland and Richmond, we knew we were in amazing and experienced hands. They were very patient with us, as my husband and I can be very indecisive, and took the time to detail out the pros and cons of each house, including providing suggestions on immediate repairs vs. what could be fixed further down the road, as well as provided estimates regarding how much the repairs could cost us. They also got a really good feel of what we were looking for, even with our indecisive tendencies, so each open house we visited was better and better! They were very consistent with their communication between us and the sellers agents.. without them being so organized, knowledgeable and determined, we would not be so lucky to have purchased our dream home! (Which we were so blessed to find within 2 weeks!!!) They answered our questions even before we could ask them, and provided so much insight. I would highly recommend Winnie and Willis for your home buying needs!”
“Winnie is great! I will be recommending her to all of my friends and family. Winnie helped my girlfriend and me find a perfect space for a couple to start their lives together and we feel we got the place for a great price. It was me and my girlfriend’s first time going through the process of buying a home and we were completely lost until Winnie helped guide us. She helped us narrow down our search to exactly what we needed and then from there she offered suggestions of homes for sale on a weekly basis. For over two months we spent every weekend with Winnie going to open houses and private showings until she found us our new home. Winnie is very thorough with her paperwork and processing. Every time we put an offer in on a property we were strong contenders- not because we put forward the most money, but because of how Winnie framed our offers. Once we won our bid Winnie walked us through every form and step of escrow. We felt we were in good hands from start to finish. We had complete trust in Winnie. As I said before- my girlfriend and I will be recommending Winnie to everybody we know. Winnie will be helping us sell this property once we outgrow it and she will be helping us buy our next home. We were extremely satisfied with Winnie’s level of expertise (knowledge of market trends in the Bay Area, property value, sales process) and responsiveness (responses within minutes at all times of the day). 5/5 stars!”
“Winnie and Willis were very helpful in helping my wife and I find our 3rd investment property. Thank you Winnie and Willis!”
“My husband and I have been looking for the last 10 months to purchase our 3rd investment property. We were just about to give up until we stumbled across the one. Willis showed me the home and provided insight on the neighborhood and the repairs needed. Winnie helped put the contract together and negotiated on our behalf and we were able to beat out several other cash offers on this property. My husband and I are very satisfied with Winnie and Willis and their level of care and expertise in the market. Highly recommend them!”
“Winnie and Willis were amazing agents for first time homebuyers. First and foremost, they are agents that you can absolutely trust to be honest and transparent with you. When our home had over 10 offers and the seller was deciding, we almost jumped to upping our offer, but they very coolly told us to hold off until we got more information– which turned out to be the right move because our offer won without needing to change our offer. They are super knowledgeable and provided a ton of helpful background information, recommendations and have a good reputation among other players in the market. We had a lot of questions and moved very quickly and I always felt like we had their full attention, which was extra impressive because their baby Willow was only 6 months old when we bought our home. And they made sure to get answers to the questions we didn’t know to ask. They have a lot of experience renovating homes as well which is super helpful when you are trying to assess how much work/money might be needed to fix or customize your home. The kicker was when we needed an emergency home repair months after we closed, we reached out to Willis for a recommendation of a contractor and he sent someone over the next business day and personally came by to make sure the work was getting done well.”
“My boyfriend and I have known Winnie and Willis for quite some time now, and when we finally decided to look for our first home, we knew exactly who to go to. Being a first-time home buyer, we had no clue on where to start. At the time all we knew was that we wanted to live in the the East Bay, but not too far from San Francisco. Winnie and Willis provided suggestions and guidance by interviewing us on what we were looking for in our first house. We had specific needs and expectations but they also had endless possibilities. After about month and a half of looking, we still haven’t found the place that we felt comfortable in and almost gave up. When we told Winnie and Willis about our frustrations, they didn’t give up on us. They continued to do their research and provided us with some potentials. When we finally found a place, that’s when they made the biggest impact on us. With their persistence and strong negotiation skills, we had no doubt that they will make it happen. Soon after that, we landed a house to call our own. They never failed to respond to our inquiries whether if its late at night or early morning. Winnie and Willis cares about their clients so much that they will do everything in their power to make them happy. That’s impossible to find nowadays. Not only do they have incredible knowledge and experience in real estate, but they also do renovations. All in one shop, what else can you ask for! We inquired about renovation services since our lovely home needs some touch-ups. Willis provided reasonable timeline and accurate estimates, which shows you he’s a pro! I’ll let you know when that finishes We highly recommend them for any of your real estate or renovation needs!”
“We had the pleasure of working with Winnie and Willis (W&W) on the search for our first home. We needed much guidance from the very beginning and were very fortunate to have them as our agents. Initially, my wife and I could not agree on which side of the Bay to settle down in but W&W provided us with pertinent information on each area which helped us come to an agreement on the location, one we’re both very pleased with. We were impressed with how knowledgeable W&W were of the various neighborhoods in the Bay Area. Though their office is based in East Bay, they are no strangers to SF and the Peninsula. They are very aware of the different price points and criteria needed for a competitive offer that would grab sellers’ attention. W&W were very patient with us and generous with their time. They promptly responded to our numerous questions during the process (from search to close) and provided valuable advice. Further, they sent us listings on a weekly basis and took us on tours of the properties just about every weekend. They understood our financial situation and showed us houses that fit our budget. W&W are also in the construction business so they were able to provide us with the estimated costs for fixes and updates, which was a huge plus! We could not be happier with the house we bought and can’t recommend Winnie & Willis highly enough! We are extremely thankful for them.”
“My Wife and I are first time home buyers and we could not have had a better first time experience than with Equity West. Both Winnie and Willis both work as a dynamic duo. We decided to work with Equity West because of their knowledge and familiarity with all of the Bay Area. As first time home buyers we really felt that they took the time to educate us and explain the pros and cons of not only the homes we visited but also of the surrounding area and neighborhoods. We wanted to work with agents that had honesty, care and integrity and they both surpassed our expectations. Communication is key to any relationship. So when you get involved with something as sensitive as buying a home you want to be able to be in touch with your real state agents any given moment you have doubts or questions. Winnie and Willis happily stayed in touch whether be email , texts or phone calls. They never gave us the impression as though we were bothersome. I highly recommend you get in touch and reach out if your in the market for you new home. Never did I get the feeling or impression they were trying to push a sale on us, extremely patient if anything. Many occasions revisiting homes when Winnie and Willis saw there was a spark in our eyes. On much of our visits they picked us up and dropped us off at Bart after looking at homes well into the late evenings. If it was not for Winnie’s expertise, strong communication skills and being in touch with the sellers agent throughout the process I don’t believe we would have landed our gem. Willis has a strong background in the remodel industry which added to the value and knowledge when looking at each home and the endless possibilities. You guys a remarkable I will never have enough “Thank You’s” and appreciation to show you guys. You guys really helped my wife and I find our dream home and start the new chapter of our lives.”
“Buying your first home can be intimidating and stressful. For someone who easily gets buyer’s remorse, the numbers can get overwhelming, especially in a competitive market. Willis and Winnie both made me feel at ease throughout the entire home buying process. With their expertise in the market, they negotiated a successful deal on a fixer-upper to make my own, as well as another investment property. I am very blessed to have a real estate power couple here in the Bay Area who works diligently to meet and exceed your expectations. I highly recommend them to all my friends, family, and colleagues!”
“Winnie and Willis did a great job in helping our family sell my Mom’s house. Besides helping with design and cleaning up the property they helped guide us through the legal requirements with the City of Oakland and Alameda County. All parties including us and the buyer were pleased with how smoothly the transaction went.”
“I have known Winnie and Willis for years. My family and I were looking for a home and we always wanted to live in San Francisco. We didn’t think it was possible because of the competitive nature of the market so we thought about settling for Daly City, Oakland, or San Leandro. We were all over the place. Winnie and Willis was able to keep us focused on our goal and didn’t quit until we found a house that was right for us. They showed us some neighborhoods in SF with potential for growth and came up with creative financial solutions and ideas to work through our current situation. With some negotiating, they were able to land us our dream home in San Francisco within striking distance of our budget. After a few years we contacted Willis and thought about selling to cash out. During that night, Willis actually convinced us to hang tight because he knew the market was only going to get better and since then, we have gained another 40% in equity! Winnie and Willis have earned their spot as our Realtors for life!”
“Before we were under the care of Winnie and Willis, we were casually looking for the perfect home for over a year. We actually had another buyer’s agent help us make an offer on another home in San Leandro but we didn’t get the place. As soon as we contacted and Willis and told him what we were looking for, he went straight to work. For a few months, Winnie and Willis wasn’t able to find anything within our price range that we actually. Then one day when we were out of town, something out of our budget popped up. From assessing the situation and based on their experience, Willis knew that we had to move quickly. We were out of town when the house came on the market so we were going to try and look when we got back on Monday. Willis explained how important it was for us to see the house ASAP, so we got my parents to look at the house the same day, made an offer, and got it accepted before the weekend was over. Winnie and Willis’s experience, hustle, and determination helped us avoid a multiple offer/ bidding war situation. Through his expertise and negotiation skills, he even was able to get us some money back after inspections. We wish we used them earlier…they definitely would have save us a lot of time and money!”
“I found Equity West on Facebook for a price quote. Then met Willis. Willis was brief and candid to answer all of my questions and recommended improvement we should to do before selling which gave me focus on what to do. He is an outstanding one in this field. I am very glad to know their business and we are close by & Thanks!”
“It was an absolute pleasure working with Winnie and Willis! I would recommend the both of them to all my family and friends looking to purchase – it was a great experience buying knowing the both of them had our backs and were trying to achieve our home buying dreams with us!”
“Winnie and Willis are professional, knowledgeable and so nice to work with. They always answer questions on time and provide a lot of tips for me (first time home buyer) as well. I feel really confident and comfortable having them handled the whole process for me. They guide me through the process step by step with a lot of patience.”
“Winnie done very good job. She did excellent services. I will recommend my friend to her. My niece referral Winnie to my daughter, she is very patient to show the houses over 6 months. Finally we found the house. The escrow closed smoothly.
“I am a 1st time home buyer and had many questions about purchasing a home.winnie was patient enough to explain everything to me in English n explained it to my mom in Cantonese.no matter what time day or night when I had doubts about a home we had just looked at,when I called looking for answers she was always available.i would definitely have Winnie represent me if I were to buy or sell another home.”
“I met Willis at an open house and asked him to be my realtor on a 1031 exchange I needed to complete in 45 days. Both he and Winnie were there for me 24/7 and we were able to close the deal on both sides of my 1031 exchange within 3 days of eachother! Highly recommend them for both residential and commercial property!”
“Absolutely just professionally, personable and pleasant experience from start to finish. Winnie is genuine, honest and strategic. She works hard and does her best to listen and work with you. The home buying experience is probably one of the biggest purchase and having Winnie by our side helped alleviate the stress and tension. We were able to get the house we wanted in the shortest amount of time. I’d definitely recommend her to all my friends and family. Thank you again Winnie!”
“Willis and Winnie were great in our process of finding a home. They were flexible, patient (dealing with the wants of multiple people), and super informative of the area we were looking in. And their abilities to remember the details of each home we looked at was amazing and so helpful when making a decision. What made them stand out even more was their willingness to take care of us till the end even post escrow and us settling in. I would highly recommend them to anyone looking. They really take care of you.”
“Winnie & Willis are hard working, goal-oriented, knowledgeable professionals in the real estate industry! As a first time homebuyer, I was overwhelmed. They explained a lot of the real estate lingo, the processes, and their thought processes as well. They helped me and my fiance find our dream home. I am so thankful to have Winnie & Willis as my agents, and would never go any other way. If you are unsure as to whether or not to choose Winnie & Willis, I hope my review will sway you in her direction!”
“My husband and I worked with Winnie Tam to find our first home. She has been very helpful throughout the whole purchasing process, from helping us understand the different house layouts and neighborhoods to the many suggestions on banks and mortgage loans. She was very thorough about what we wanted for our home, sending us weekly updates on various house’s that were on the market. When we didn’t make it to the open house schedule, she was very flexible with our schedule, and Winnie would meet us at the house’s on our availability. When we walked through the houses, Winnie helped us picture what the house would be like if we wanted to fix it up or what potentials the home had. Overall our experience with Winnie has been perfect and we would recommend her to any one who’s looking for a Realtor who truly cares.”
“5 stars! Buying my first home was overwhelming.. I was ready to give up on my search, but then I found Winnie to help me through the process. Winnie was great at finding listings that fit my criteria within my budget. She really listened to my want list and each time we scheduled home visits, she was extremely organized and prepared. When I was indecisive, Winnie offered her professional opinion with pros and cons of each choice, and was extremely patient and optimistic throughout the whole process. Both Winnie and Willis have extensive knowledge on home maintenance and reconstruction, so they helped break down the home inspection reports into layman terms. I appreciated their honesty about whether or not findings were concerning. Winnie and Willis were a dream to work with – do not hesitate to contact Equity West!”
“Winnie and Willis has been the most knowledgeable, personable, and helpful agent ever! They are always looking out for the best interest of me. Willis took time to research the neighborhoods I was interested in and Winnie thoroughly went over the contract to I felt very comfortable with it. Together, they’re outstanding when it comes to negotiating offers!! Without them I don’t think I would have the lovely home I do today!!!!! Thank you guys for all that you have done!!!!”
“Was refer to Winnie by a friend. I found my first home with Winnie. She was super helpful when I had questions very knowledgeable on buying and selling. Willis was able to help with finding contractors to do repairs or modifications interior and exterior. I will be looking for Winnie and Willis again they are a great team!”
“First time buying a home I thought would be super stressful. Contacted Winnie shes very knowledgeable help answer all my questions made it seem so easy and no stress at all.She found a really nice house for me in my budget range. I am finally a home owner looking forward to moving in my first home”
“Winnie & Willis were a pleasure to work with and were able to help us out from open houses, escrow and even after closing! I would highly recommend them for anyone!”
“We have the pleasure of having Winnie and her team to represent us in selling our home. She was enthusiastic in getting things done, and knowledgeable about the selling process and the area. She has work long and hard with us to get the house ready for sales. Her staging of the house looked fantastic and the potential buyers were clearly impressed. Her pricing strategy and prep work created a deep sense of value and buzz among buyers on the house. All their work made a quick sales. The houses were only opened for two weeks and got multiple bids that were almost over 100K of the asking price, with very favorable terms like removing all contingencies. Overall going with Winnie was the best decision we have made.”
“Winnie is one of a kind. Her commitment to us was unparalleled and she really takes pride in her work. Winnie is an excellent negotiator on both ends of the transaction. She has a good read on each transnational situation and knows when to push forward or pull back. She helped us purchase this property and sell after we remodeled it. Winnie has a knack for design and helped us with everything from layout design, picking finishes, and all the way to staging the home. She cares for every home as if it was her own and I don’t think we would have had a better result if we went with a different realtor. I definitely recommend Winnie for purchases and sales. She is very easy to work with, knowledgeable, personal, and seem to have a good relationship with other realtors…very important! If she is unclear about something, she will not rest until she gets answers.”
“I could not have asked for more from Winnie. She is very accommodating, quick and scrappy. She fought hard for us when we needed it. Was my first home purchase and I hope to work with her again in the future! She is also very knowledgeable in the ways of realty.”