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The Renter No Longer

Regina Durr

 

Buyer: Regina Durr
Bought: 1-bed, 1-bath condo in Lower Pacific Heights
Asking: $775K
Final: $800K
Realtors: Kenny Gong and Connie Chung, Vanguard

Every home that is put on the market goes on an MLS, or multiple listing service—a massive online database of current, pending, and past home sales that realtors pay a monthly fee to access. Every home on the market is for sale, but is every home that’s for sale on the MLS? Nope. This isn’t an SAT question; it’s a practice known as off-market listing, and it happens in the Bay Area all the time. That’s how Regina Durr scored her condo in Lower Pacific Heights. “I never thought I would be able to buy in this neighborhood,” she says. “Never ever.”

But Durr, 31, comes from a real estate family—her parents were landlords—so she knew about off-market listings. And about the importance of finding a good realtor. She interviewed 12 different people before deciding to work with Kenny Gong and Connie Chung. Chung was part of an exclusive group known as the Top Agent Network (open only to realtors in the top 10 percent of their markets), which circulates offmarket properties via an email chain. Durr’s future home never even made it to an MLS.

The condo went out in an email on a Wednesday, and Durr went to see it that weekend. But just because the property never officially went on the market didn’t mean she didn’t have any competition. “I knew offers were coming in the following Friday around 1 p.m. at the earliest,” she says, “so I made my offer on Thursday morning with an expiration of Thursday evening.” Meaning the seller wouldn’t have the chance to consider any of the others if she went with Durr, who offered the asking price of $775,000. The seller countered with $800,000 and an equally tight deadline of 8 a.m. Friday. Durr, who had just finished law school and is currently awaiting her bar results, didn’t need that much time. “We had it all wrapped up by midnight on Thursday.”

Thanks to the down payment from her parents, her mortgage payment is less than the rent she was previously paying at her Pacific Heights apartment half a block away. In addition to her parents, she’s grateful to her realtors and herself: “It was the accumulation of a lot of attention to detail and understanding the industry and the market and what I was getting myself into.”

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To the Locals Go the Spoils
Tell a Story, and Make It Good
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Riding Out the Recession
The Soul (and House) Mates
Three Boys and a Dream
Not in Texas Anymore
A Reward for the Faithful
A Gift from Grandma
The Grateful Educators
Chasing the Dream
The Renter No Longer
The Data Optimizers
An Accidental Homeowner
The “Oh-S**t” Moment
All Aboard in the Marina

 

Originally published in the November issue of San Francisco

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