My wife and I were looking to become first-time homeowners in a very tough San Francisco market and we were referred to Stefano by a good friend who’d just recently worked with him to buy her own first home.
At first, we were overwhelmed with the level of competition but Stefano’s positive attitude, intricate knowledge of our neighborhoods of interest and real estate technicalities, and friendly, personable nature kept us motivated to find what we were looking for.. there just seemed to be nothing he hadn’t seen before.
When we did find the place we really wanted, he helped us through the offer and purchase process with finesse, walking us through items we needed an additional explanation for, while saving us from overly excessive detail.
Now with the purchase behind us, we really can’t imagine having a better experience than we did with Stefano and would recommend him to any friend or acquaintance. He made our first home purchase memorable for all the right reasons.
Greg & Emily
The TIC real estate process in San Francisco can be intimidating to first-time home buyers. My husband & I had very little knowledge of the intricacies involved, until –meeting Stefano DeZerega. Greg and Emily, write this testimonial to memorialize in writing the outstanding service provided to us by Stefano DeZerega.
Shortly after meeting Stefano at an Open House he took the time to sit down with us and really listen to (and remember) our criteria. Stefano was extremely responsive right from the beginning, was very accommodating throughout the process, and he learned very quickly how to anticipate our needs. He gave great suggestions, and also listened intently and incorporated feedback accordingly. Stefano didn’t apply a one-size-fits-all approach to our relationship but took our own personal needs into consideration.
Stefano has an intimate knowledge of the different neighborhoods in SF and its properties, as well as local restaurants and areas of interest. When it came time to make an offer, Stefano quickly provided us with comparable sales in the neighborhood and up-to-date market conditions which enabled us to make our best-informed decision. Stefano is also extremely knowledgeable about TIC partnerships and patiently walked us through the specifics and the offer process, in terms we could understand. Stefano never pressured us at any point and was often at our house until late night while we were making our decisions. Moreover, we were always confident that Stefano was representing us truthfully and keeping our information confidential from competing interests.
Stefano is results-oriented and always took our requests and interests into consideration. When we needed an 8 pm private showing, he made it happen. If we needed a 7 am, he made it happen. When we needed a Saturday appointment for our dad’s to see the place, Stefano not only arranged for it, he sat down with us afterward for at least an hour to describe the “foreign” TIC process to them. Both dads’, who are seasoned in the real estate process remarked, afterward, said that we were lucky to be working with someone as knowledgeable as Stefano. If we had a question or concern, we knew that if we called or emailed Stefano, we would get him live in a matter of moments. Stefano also always maintained a sense of humor even under trying circumstances.
Greg and I were a bit sad when all was signed because it meant we weren’t going to be having regular contact with Stefano. Luckily he called a week or so later just to say hi and to see how the move was going, which a testament in itself to his follow through and customer focus.
We love running into Stefano and his family in Noe Valley, he is an asset to the neighborhood and to the brokerage. We highly recommend, and have already recommended Stefano to our friends. The next time we’re in the real estate market, we won’t trust anyone else but Stefano DeZerega.
How to adequately praise the real estate savvy Stefano Dezerega? Well, he certainly brings a plethora of negotiating tools to the table! His energy: vivacious. His knowledge: vast. His intuition: that of a woman’s. Smarm? NOT EVEN…. Aggressive? Bulldog throw-down as needed. Tightrope Walker: impressively balances his clinical cool with a level headed calculating mind. Not to be too melodramatic, but for my wife and I, he will always be: faster than a speeding bullet, more powerful than…. You get the picture. Can’t recommend him highly enough. He cut to the chase, knew exactly how to guide us through all the red tape, clearly understood us as individuals and was very insightful regarding our dynamic as a couple. He clearly understood our cash-based bottom line, crystal-balled the seller’s needs and led us to exactly the right dollar amount that in the end afforded us the dream home of a lifetime.
Stefano helped us sell our home in Bernal Heights this summer. I made the mistake years ago when purchasing our home using a non-local realtor. It turns out that it is essential in SF to hire a realtor that lives and breathes in the market – they know the exact market conditions and can help advise on strategy. In our case, we were selling our home during the COVID-19 pandemic, so it was all the more important to judge ever-changing market conditions as we prepared and listed our home for sale. I found that Stefano gave good advice and also did a good job of setting realistic expectations. I was thrilled to have him on my side when going through selling our home. Highly recommended!
“I was delighted with Stefano acting as our Realtor. Stefano is personable, caring, and a man of integrity. I trust Stefano and that he has my unique goals in mind, and I trust his business judgment. After my partner and I had seen numerous houses together and had all sorts of frustrating arguments, Stefano stepped in. He saved the day by articulating that we were not entirely on the same page with our needs and desires regarding what the property we were willing to buy together had to offer. So he sat with us while we listed the “must-haves” and “would-likes,” and we came up with a short but comprehensive list of requirements. With that list in hand, we re-started our home search and wasted less time on homes that would never meet our needs. Our search became so much more efficient and fun. He drove us around, and we walked through dozens of homes during several afternoons. Then we found the house that met all our needs at a price we were willing to offer. And then Stefano went to work with his superlative negotiating skills. The decision about the exact price to offer and other terms was the highlight of our buying experience. He identified the extra terms that would seal the deal with great finesse even though we were facing competing offers. We have been living here for almost two years, and we continue to feel we made the right decision. Thank you, Stefano, for helping us find our home.”
“Looking for a home, in my view, is a personal journey, an expression of self. It’s confronting how I would like to live and, at the same time, what I can afford. Stefano will patiently let you go on your personal journey and struggle through confronting reality. He has a wonderful acceptance of the entire process – the disappointments, the acceptance of reality, the reward embodied in making a sound decision. That’s because Stefano understands being human. He has ample emotional intelligence and genuinely enjoys working with people. And he’s candid about the pros and cons of each possibility and very generous with his time. It isn’t just about closing the deal with Stefano, although he’s excellent at negotiating the price and other terms. He’s extremely well informed about the real estate market and the finer touches of offering something that works for the selling party. This particular real estate search was more challenging because I was looking for a home with a partner, and we both had strong feelings about what we were willing and able to buy. The technique Stefano arrived at with us was clearly defining upfront what we both wanted. We used index cards, and we each wrote down what we could not live without. This technique worked brilliantly. Thanks to Stefano, we purchased a property in San Carlos two years ago that has met all our expectations. We are amazed when we return from vacations where we’re living. We have a gorgeous view and lots of lands. The layout works well for entertaining. He did a superb job for us.”
Lyda and Andy
“Sitting in our beautiful new house and writing this testimonial, we can hardly believe the events of the past few months and how we wound up here. And Stefano was such an important part of the process. We had been casually looking at houses over the past year, figuring out what would work for our family. We knew Stefano casually (as our neighbor) but had not worked with him or any other realtor yet. In November, we decided to get serious about the process, and we decided to work with Stefano. We were ready to start looking for real but imagined it would be a year or so until we found something just right. Stefano spent time with us, looking at a wide variety of houses and helping us and him get a better idea of what we could afford and what would be a good fit for us. But we all knew that the market would be slow in December and January, and we didn’t expect much to happen. Then, in December, Stefano called with the interesting news – he had found a house that would be just right for our family. It wasn’t going to begin showing until January, but because it was through his agency, we could look at it right away. Lyda walked into the house and immediately knew this was a home our family could really live in and grow in. With Stefano’s help, we put together an offer and submitted it. Stefano was there for every step of the transaction – offer, counteroffers, decisions, inspections, and signings. It was an amazing and wonderful experience. Not only was he professional and helpful, but as a father, he provided extra help. He spent time with our son while we looked at houses, and he came over in the evenings after our son went to sleep to do all of the paperwork with us. And it worked! They accepted our offer, and we moved into the house in late January. It seemed like it was over before it had even started. We were also touched by how Stefano’s commitment to the community and giving back. He earmarks a portion of his commission, plus a match by his brokerage, for the charitable contribution of our choice. We eagerly recommend Stefano as a knowledgeable, supportive, and wonderful agent.”
Peter & Carolyn
“Stefano is an exceptional agent who embraced every aspect involving the sale of our home: a complete market analysis at the outset; staying on top of sales in the area throughout the period before and during our home listing; providing sound advice and expertise with the piles of paperwork that accompany a home sale; and most importantly, making himself completely available during the entire process. The results of our sale with Stefano far exceeded our expectations. Stefano exudes confidence and knowledge when it comes to the real estate market. Still, one of his strongest assets is his ability to communicate effectively and relate personally to his clients and colleagues. He approaches every conversation with care, respect, and positivity. Stefano is a breath of fresh air in the often crowded and stuffy room that can sometimes be the real estate market.
Matt and Nicole
“Matt, Dylan, and I would like to thank you for helping us find our beautiful new home. You made it possible for us to be homeowners in San Francisco!! As first-time home buyers, you calmed our nerves by always making yourself available to us. You answered any of our questions time and time again, and it really helped us better understand the whole house hunting process. In the beginning, you took the time to find out what we were looking for, what we wanted, our likes, dislikes, and what our deal breakers were. By spending that time with us up front, you really understood what we wanted. You always had a clear and concise list, making it much easier for us to find the right place. One of our biggest challenges during the house-hunting process was to remain motivated and focused. We don’t think we could have done that without you. During the times we got frustrated and disillusioned, you kept us motivated. You understood that this was something we really wanted and told us that e would find a place to call home with a little time and patience with a little time and patience. We have found that home, and we owe it all to you. Stefano, how can we thank you? Our son, Dylan, has felt at home ever since we moved in. To see him this happy means the world to us.”
Richard & David
“As first-time buyers, we were eager to learn about the home buying process but were slightly intimidated by realtor horror stories and hard sales pitches. Working with Stefano was a pleasure from our first introduction to closing escrow. He was always friendly, enthusiastic, and energetic while maintaining a high degree of professionalism and patience. Stefano was very responsive to our questions and concerns and made us feel comfortable and secure in our agent representation. If any issues required additional attention, he quickly utilized tools at his disposal, including the internet, industry websites, and a network of peers. His life experiences as a father, teacher, and volunteer advocate compel him to place clients in properties that are not only prudent investments but happy homes. His service and guidance led us to a great residence in one of the most desirable neighborhoods in SF!”
Mark & Karen
“Stefano was both knowledgeable about SF real estate and willing to utilize the resources of his office to guide us through a difficult short sale. Thanks to Stefano, we have a great building in SF and a place to call home in the city.”
Matt & Brooke
“We cannot thank Stefano enough for all his help. It was such a pleasure to work with Stefano, and we really appreciate all the time and energy he invested in helping us find our first house. We will be recommending him highly to all who will listen, and hope we’ll have a chance to work together again.”
Jason & Alison
“As newcomers to San Francisco, we really appreciated Stefano’s knowledge of the city and the intricacies of the local real estate market. He was an absolute pleasure to work with, and we came to really depend upon his excellent judgment and business savvy. From start to finish, Stefano was always available, providing critical guidance and support. He’s a great person who we’re happy to now count as a neighbor and friend. We couldn’t be happier with our experience and would recommend Stefano without reservation.”
“If it weren’t for Stefano, we would have been overwhelmed with the purchase of our first home. With his expert guidance, we not only got the house of our dreams, but we actually enjoyed the process. It could have easily been extremely stressful for us as a couple with multiple bids on the property and a 3-week turnaround for escrow. Instead, it was smooth sailing and fun. He was always available and extremely patient with us as we navigated the paperwork and inspection process. He’s organized, smart, warm, and somehow relaxed. We would definitely work with him again!”
This was the second time that Stefano helped me purchase a property, and I will only work with him in the future. Even though I knew how great he was from my previous experience, Stefano went above and beyond our expectations. He was incredibly supportive and helpful throughout what turned out to be a frustrating purchasing process due to out-of-the-country sellers. The sellers left a ton of stuff in the house, and Stefano drove over with his personal car on our move-in day to take it away. He also hand-delivered documents to us late one evening when the closing date changed because he knew we didn’t have access to a printer. Even more amazing was that he got us access to the house a day early to still move as planned when the sellers delayed our closing date. Stefano is simply amazing.
They don’t get better than Stefano DeZerega when looking at purchasing or selling a home. We have now worked with him twice for buying and once for selling, and he made it all happen so smoothly. His strategic approach led to our first being able to buy a home in San Francisco and then a few years later buy the home of our dreams in the East Bay. His folks’ resources to work with are stellar as well, and together they make it all happen. A process that can feel stressful and overwhelming is made possible and approachable…and dare I say fun even…with Stefano. We’re so grateful to work with him and his team.
Stefano was the best person we could have found: patient, honest with his assessments, and very experienced. This was our first attempt at real estate, and Stefano provided the calmness we needed in the process. We felt assured that we will eventually find what we want while this may take longer. Stefano’s patience was important because, with us, it was a process of discovery: we learned more about what we were really looking for only after looking at a few places. Here Stefano’s experience was key: he guided us through understanding when new listings would happen, what we should be looking for etc. Finally, when we did find something, his experience with the process is unquestionable. He knows when to push for things to get done and also has references for everything you would need in the process.
Selling our house last month was the 5th time in several years I have been through this process, and this was, without doubt, the best experience I have ever had. Stefano exudes professionalism and trustworthiness but, at the same time, is such a joy of a person to spend time with that it was always a pleasure. He worked hard, and yet he always retained a great sense of humor. We wanted to move swiftly, and Stefano was so organized and ahead of the beat in all departments that the sale went through swiftly and without a hitch. We are so grateful for finding him and feel that he was exactly the right person to help us. I recommend him without reservation.
Stefano DeZerega is basically the best. I know that’s not a very nuanced review, and it’s rarely true, but in Stefano’s case, it is. I’ve worked with Stefano twice–to sell my father’s house here in Berkeley and buy my own house in Berkeley a few years later. My father’s maintenance-deferred house required quite a bit of fixing up to sell, and I lived in Los Angeles. Not only did Stefano provide every necessary contact and vendor, all at very reasonable rates, but he also helped oversee it and weighed in on all the decisions. A few years later, my husband and I returned to Berkeley and bought a house–during Covid, a difficult time of hand-holding for any real estate transaction. Stefano was patient and kind. He’s also one of the friendliest, most personable people ever. Stefano assesses his clients’ needs and is willing to say, “I don’t think this is your house,” even if, say, it’s a more expensive one. He really has his finger on what clients want, even if they themselves don’t. Finally, Stefano is smart. He’s a true businessman, not a dilettante realtor. He knows the market, understands finances and business, and can objectively evaluate options and opportunities in a way that always brings more information to the table. See? He’s basically the best. You can’t go wrong. Like me, you’d be very fortunate to work with Stefano.
We worked with Will when we bought our house in Daly City in 2014 and then again with Stefano when we sold it in 2020. These weren’t our first real estate transactions (bought and sold houses before), and these guys are the best in business. When we were buying in a hot market where initially we were getting sorely outbid, Will helped us find the gem we were looking for that matched all our desires within our budget. When we were selling in a very uncertain market during COVID, Stefano managed all the preparations efficiently and sold the house within a month for the price we were hoping to get.
Stefano and Hugh helped us sell our home in Bernal Heights this summer. I made the mistake years ago when purchasing our home using a non-local realtor. It turns out that it is essential in SF to hire a realtor that lives and breathes in the market – they know the exact market conditions and can help advise on strategy. In our case, we were selling our home during the COVID-19 pandemic, so it was all the more important to judge ever-changing market conditions as we prepared and listed our home for sale. I found that Stefano and Hugh gave good advice and also did a good job of setting realistic expectations. I was thrilled to have them on my side when going through selling our home. Highly recommended!
Stefano and Hugh, thank you so much for selling my home in SF. Through all the twists and turns, you remained focused and calm - and helped me keep focused and calm as well! Selling it off-market at a great price was exactly what I was hoping for.
You made this piece of my life -- selling my home-- so gentle and full of pleasantness. You went beyond..thank you so very much!
I have only the highest praise and recommendation for Stefano. In the recent purchase of our new home, we never felt rushed or pressed to go in any direction on any of the homes we viewed. Stefano listened to all our thoughts and opinions and made sure homes we looked at always met their mark. He made us feel as though his schedule was completely open for us, accommodating our hectic lifestyle and awkward hours. His vast knowledge of market analysis, contractors, financial options, legal issues, etc. showcases that he is one of the best in the industry.
I really can’t say enough about how competent, smart, personable and all-around excellent Stefano is. Stefano shepherded us through a very complicated TIC purchase in January 2013, and we couldn’t be happier with the results.
The deal was difficult from the beginning–we were buying the home with a friend, which made interpersonal things tricky, our financing was challenging, and the sellers fought us every step of the way. Stefano was 100% right about how to approach each new challenge, and his instincts about when to push the seller for a better deal or when to back down were spot on. He took the time to assess what we all wanted in a home purchase and helped us clarify what we were willing to compromise on and what things were non-negotiable. He talked to us at length about the hundreds of pages of confusing disclosures, and patiently answered all of our questions. He also talked us down from the ledge multiple times during the process, when we were sure it wouldn’t work out or an issue couldn’t be managed. In addition, a lot of our negotiations happened very close to the holidays and, while I’m sure Stefano had his own family to attend to, he never once made us feel like we were putting him out as we scheduled yet another inspection or called him late at night to rehash the same questions.
I know many people do not understand why it’s so important to have a realtor manage their home purchase or sale, but we were reminded of just how crucial it is dozens of times during the process of working with Stefano. I totally recommend Stefano without reservations to anyone trying to negotiate the tricky housing market in the Bay Area.–Caroline G.
Here’s what to look for in a real estate agent:
1) someone you like, because you may end up spending a lot of time together,
2) someone you trust, because a) this is a really big decision and b) you end up sharing a lot of personal financial information with your agent,
3) someone who gets you, and
4) someone who is well-connected in your real estate market.
For me, Stefano was the right choice. He is responsive, flexible and really cute with my kid. My situation was complicated, and, some of it, a new challenge for Stefano (but not anymore!) — he totally handled it like the star he is.
He is very knowledgeable about San Francisco, and if there’s anything he doesn’t know, he has a great team he can resource for guidance and information.
Stefano is a high-quality individual, and I highly recommend him.
As a first-time home buyer in SF, I highly recommend Stefano as a real estate agent. As everyone says, buying a property is usually one of the biggest decisions you will ever make, and certainly a big financial move. Stefano is a great teacher; patient, level-headed, kind and open. He took the time to teach us all the details of the SF market so we could make a good decision. He got to know us personally and went to many open houses with us in order to understand exactly what we were looking for. All along the way, he was sensitive to our pace, not rushing us, yet available when we were ready to make a move. He met with us at all hours and on any day of the week. When we needed to take a break for a few months, he was extremely considerate and asked us how many contacts from him would be useful for us. He’s a great listener and knows how to be supportive and understanding when the anxieties about such a decision arise. In the end, Stefano was very clever about getting our bid in, and we got the first place we wanted: a beautiful condo in a hot area of the Mission. All the contractors that Stefano recommended have been reliable. He has a great network of service providers that made moving in so much less stressful.