"Earl not only gets the big picture, he also takes care of all the little things. This was my first time buying a home and I was very nervous. Earl truly was my sherpa. His knowledge of the market was unlike any other agent we met. He always pointed out the little things about each building that would be very important to us. These were the things that weren't on the ads or informational sheets but would really matter to us. I would use Earl for my next purchase and I have already recommended him to friends.”
– Andrew L. One Mission Bay
"We worked with Earl and the Urbane team to purchase our first home, and can't say enough great things about our experience! Earl's knowledge of San Francisco real estate was a huge help...and the year of free HOA was an extra added bonus! Highly recommend Urbane for anyone in the market!!"
- Lauren M. & Jake F. The Harrison
"It was truly a pleasure working with Earl and Urbane SF - Earl helped to streamline the complete buying experience with his professional guidance (one example, Earl went above and beyond, and helped by making critical 3rd-party conference calls to various lenders in order to resolve key issues that we as first-time buyers were not familiar with) Upon moving in, it was an added delight to receive our 12 months HOA dues covered by Urbane SF."
- Anran H. & Rui H. The Rockwell
"Earl and Urbane SF offers the kind of service that is disruptive in the real estate industry. As a first-time home owner in San Francisco market, I could not have came away feeling more confident in my purchasing decision without Earl’s help as my trusted advisor. With every hard hat tour of the building layouts and questions about homeownership, Earl learned more about what we were looking for in a home. His ability to advise decisively speaks volumes of his experience, as well as his dedication to treat every decision as if it was his own. On top of that, Earl also covered our 12-month HOA, which was a great welcoming bonus as well. I would highly recommend working with Earl if you value the following:
- - deep domain knowledge
- - highly personalized advisory service
- - treating every decision as if it was his own
- - working with someone who gives you the time you need to make a decision but also decisively getting things done when needed"
- Jason L. The Rockwell
"Please allow me the opportunity to share my sentiments for the OUTSTANDING, EXCEPTIONAL service I received from Urbane SF for a recent condo purchase. In the midst of an insane market where prices continued to rise, with multiple cash offerson choice properties, in some cases over 20% asking price, trying to buy a condo in the SF Bay Area was more than a challenging task, not to mention that I needed a hands-on consulting realtor to bounce ideas, while making a long-term real estate decision to address work location proximity, retirement and investment goals. Having Urbane-SF: Earl Chan &Norm Fung by my side made all the difference. Earl & Norm’s “can-do” attitude with the client’s interest at the forefront was key to our success in securing my purchase. They turned a daunting experience into a REWARDING one. The service I received was unheard of and unlike any I nor anyone I knew had received (I happen to also work professionally in a real estate environment). Urbane-SF hand-held me through the entire process. They are patient, caring, and understanding. They are passionate about doing their best for the client, for me!
Earl was there for me every step of the way; you would think that you might be his only client. Urbane-SF took the time to first understand my real estate, financial and personal objectives, affordability, budget targets. All of this information was evaluated against the market inventory, and we began my search. With a non-aggressive, helpful manner, Urbane-SF attended open houses with me, walked me through the offer process, mapped out potential scenarios and strategies to ensure I was comfortable with the offer and acceptance decisions along the way. Urbane-SF shared its knowledge of current as well as past market experiences.Urbane-SF provided property pricing comparisons; they took me through the pros and cons of every aspect of the transaction. They shared their honest opinions as if the decisions were their very own.They tried to place themselves in my shoes. I really felt that they were always looking out for my best interests. When possible, Earl even transported me from my work office and back to visit the property a 2nd, 3rd time, and spent hours at my home inspection, while we thoroughly examined the property. When I had questions for the seller, Earl or Norm corresponded through email or phone with the selling agent immediately, and provided expedient responses with clarity for the layman. Urbane-SF has resources, such as real estate attorneys at their finger-tips to help answer questions on rent legislation, hints on interior decorating ideas, and furniture and moving company referrals. During my search when Earl went overseas on vacation, he assured me that he would be reachable and close-by, and indeed he was. He provided in-presence local support through his associate (Norm Fung) who was just asknowledgeable and compassionate. But Earl, himself, was sleepless for 2 nights in London while writing multiple offers on my behalf. Understanding the stress of a major move, Earl also initiated the hire of a packing service, and continued to ask if there was anything else he could do to help. He even offered his truck to help move.
I should mention that I am extremely analytical, and will ask a million questions, maybe more than once using different words. I would send an email late in the evening, and what do you know, when I awoke in the morning, there would be a response for me from Earl or Norm from even later that evening, or early morning. Do these men ever sleep? There has never been a question I hesitated to ask, and Urbane-SF always graciously responded. You can ask Urbane-SF anything! Hence, I must confess that I’m not exactly the easiest client to satisfy, not to mention that I have very high expectations of any service provider. Urbane SF never stopped to amaze me. I was pleasantly surprised that Urbane-SF consistently continued the extraordinary service and support even though the sales transaction was essentially complete, and any other buyer would and could have handled the remaining buyer to-dos on their own.This realtor marches alongside the entire time. I plan to engage Urbane-SF now to prepare my home for rental, to secure a lease, as well as to provide future ongoing property management services. This firm is a top, client-focused and dedicated, trustworthy, full-scope realty organization. Urbane-SF represents customized service at its finest! If you need a superb realtor, I highly recommend Urbane-SF!I guarantee that they will “WOW” you as they have me."
- Regina L. 1645 Pacific
"Norm was very helpful during my purchase of my first condo. He patiently explained everything, took time to meet with me, and checked-in regularly with me. The purchase took 1 year from start to finish since this was a new development, and Norm helped me every step of the way, from meeting me at the sales office, to helping make sure all the items during the walkthrough were completed prior to my move-in date. I would definitely go with Norm again for another purchase, and highly recommend him!"
- Jeremy L. Lumina
"Norm was very responsive throughout the whole process, in following up with the sellers and communicating details clearly to us. He was very thorough in reviewing all paperwork and we felt that he had our best interests in his mind always."
- Sumanth K. and Anita K. Lumina
"There is no doubt in my mind that Norm was the best agent to work with. My search for a condo purchase in SF was quite stringent and thus prolonged, but Norm was incredibly positive and helpful every step of the way. His knowledge of the market and the processes was invaluable and his willingness to help find creative solutions to any hurdles faced earns him the best review possible. As a first time home buyer, I am very pleased to have retained Norm's agent services for this purchase. Great attitude, always available for all kinds of inquiries, hugely proactive and a fantastic knowledge resource. I highly recommend talking to Norm regarding your next Bay Area housing purchase."
- Chris C. 400 Grove
"We recently bought a condo in San Francisco with Norm Fung’s invaluable help. Most of our transaction had to be negotiated across a distance of 3,000 miles, so it was especially important to have someone with Norm’s combination of skills to see us through the entire process. From the beginning with the scanning of what was available in the San Francisco market that might meet our needs, through the complexity of documents and procedures (where the brokerage function needs to work to prune excessive document processing), to all the people and details that needed to be brought together to close on a property, Norm was always there. We benefitted from his knowledge, advice, accessibility, professionalism and sensitivity to our needs throughout. And, while it seemed a lot longer at the time, the whole process was concluded in about two months. Thanks, Norm!"
- Scott and Gail F. Vida
"Norm was a pleasure to work with. He was knowledgeable in the market and provided us with all the information we needed to make our decision. As a first time home buyer, he was patient with explaining the processes and terms. I strongly recommend him, especially to any first time home buyer."
- Grace W. AnzaVista Condo
"I found Norm by chance as I was randomly looking for open houses. My home search was half-hearted at best, but Norm still agreed to work with me. I found him to be as advertised in the glowing reviews I read--he was thorough, well-prepared, and eminently available. More important from my perspective, he was aggressive, without being pushy. For example, while I was content to wait for open houses for listings I liked, Norm immediately contacted the seller agent and arranged for a showing ahead of time. And he stayed in regular contact with my loan agent, pushing for any possible edge for the offer. He also stayed on top of things, making sure that the morass of paperwork involved was appropriately handled, and minimized the stress to me by ensuring things went smoothly.
Additionally, Norm was sensitive to my concerns. When I was hesitant about any step of the process, he took the time to listen to my concerns rather than push through. And he was available as a reassuring voice throughout the process. As a first time homebuyer, I had a lot of questions. Norm handled them professionally, and he made me feel that my concerns were being addressed. In short, he made me feel that his priority was finding a place that fit my needs, rather than simply a means to his commission."
- Jose Z. Opera Plaza
"Real estate transactions are incredibly daunting, but working with Norm to both sell and purchase a property has been a completely manageable and smooth experience. As someone who is busy and needs a bit of hand-holding, I really appreciated the level of service Norm provided, as I barely had to lift a finger. From start to finish, Norm took care of all the little details, keeping me apprised along the way while at the same time not overburdening me with too much information.
Beginning with the sale of my condo, Norm organized the cleaning, minor maintenance and staging, and had it ready to show in less than a week after my tenant vacated the property. When a regular clean-up wasn’t sufficient to remove smoke odors left over from the tenant, Norm helped me research potential solutions and went so far as to set up the machine I rented to address the problem. Not once did I have to step foot into my condo, which is just the way I wanted it. As the buyer had some difficulty securing financing, the sale took longer than I liked and I started getting nervous, but Norm ran through some options with me so I would feel comfortable that my interests would be protected.
When I started the search for a property to purchase, Norm attended multiple open houses with me, and on the rare occasion he wasn’t able to accompany me, he made sure to pay a visit to the properties I was interested in. Norm always offered his solicited opinion, framing it with the knowledge of what I was looking for. Once I found the property that would ultimately become my home, Norm managed to get the inside scoop from the listing agent, which enabled us to craft a preemptive offer that the seller couldn’t refuse. Norm was able to get an inspector in less than 24 hours’ notice, and within 2 days after my first viewing of the property, I was in contract! The whole purchase process was smooth and seamless, and thanks to Norm’s help, I was able to close escrow well ahead of schedule. Norm’s support didn’t end there, however -- he helped me hire as well as manage a contractor to do some minor work on my home, stopping by to check on the progress and giving me status updates along the way.
I wouldn’t hesitate to work with Norm again in the future, and would highly recommend him to anyone looking to buy or sell a property."
- Bonnie L. Resale Condo
"As a first time home buyer and not knowing much about the process, Norm was fast and efficient while patient enough to explain & answer all my questions. He made sure I was taken care of from start to finish. Norm's insight and experience got me into the home with a price I was comfortable. Norm had great referrals and knew what to do for every situation. I can't thank Norm enough for shepherding me through my purchase.”
- Eric N. Resale Condo
"When we sat and spoke with Earl, we knew right away he was the one for us. The sale of our home could not have gone smoother. He was professional, organized, and a pleasure to work with. He helped guide us in the direction we were headed. He created a plan and implemented it. I would definitely recommend Earl and Urbane SF to those seeking help with real estate."
- Erik Y. & Van N.
"We interviewed several top-rated agents to represent us in the sale of our Marina condo and selected Norm Fung. We chose Norm as we knew he would personally focus on the transaction as opposed to a junior member at a larger firm. Norm did not disappoint! He was professional and diligent throughout the process from pre-marketing to closing details. We were impressed with depth of Norm's market analysis and his market knowledge contributed directly to a closing sales price that we were very happy with. He was very responsive to our needs & requests from start to finish and was a pleasure to work with. I recommend him highly and would choose to work with him again."
- Jeet & Shelley M.
"I met Norm, by chance, at an open house when I was shopping for a condo in SF for investment. Our conversation made me feel so comfortable that I signed him up as my agent. Norm is a great agent: professional, resourceful and very focused. He prides himself as a project manager- the project being the purchase of the condo. He listens carefully, offers his advice with thoughtful consideration. When we were on vacation overseas during the closing process, Norm went above and beyond the call of duty to keep the process going almost single-handedly. From time to time, when I got off track by some properties we visited, Norm acted as my checks and balances and kept me focused on the job at hand- the purchase of the condo in the South Beach Area of San Francisco. I found his service very professional and his advice invaluable. His process is also extremely efficient, with almost most of steps completed online. In conclusion, I would recommend Norm to anyone. In fact I have referred Norm to two of my friends, and I am confident they will share my enthusiastic recommendation for Norm in the near future.
Thanks again, Norm!"
- Eva X. Investment Condo
I just recently completed my first purchase of a U.S. property from 8000 miles away, and Norm helped me from end to end with absolute professionalism, integrity, and a bit of tender loving care. I only had to travel once to San Francisco to look at prospects, and once we decided on the unit, we flew back to Asia, and Norm took it over from there. He took full ownership from bidding/negotiations with the seller, to searching/coordinating with the lender, to working out the details with the escrow agent/insurance company/property management. Norm made the process seem relatively easy, and he even took the time to take my 80+ year old parents to see the place afterwards. He is now working with leasing agents to help me lease the unit. All in all, Norm far exceeded my expectations, and I fully appreciate his integrity and sense of responsibility throughout the whole process. We certainly had some bumps along the way, but our trust became the foundation to work through difficulties.
In conclusion, I just wanted to say that working with Norm was a total pleasure, and I know he will do great. I will not only strongly recommend Norm to others, but I will certainly work again with him in the future.
- Dennis K. Investment Condo
"I am an out-of-town buyer and was relatively unfamiliar with how to buy my first condo in San Francisco. I was referred to Norm and that proved to be key to getting my purchase completed successfully. Norm was there at every step of the way: from providing a market overview, advising on the offer and counter-offer process, liaising with the escrow company, to helping secure the first tenant for the condo once my purchase was completed. I found him to be an exemplary professional, providing prompt response and helpful advice. I appreciated the fact that he was detailed and provided a complete service. He made the process a pleasure and go smoothly. I am a highly satisfied client and would highly recommend Norm to anyone."
- Pao P. Investment Condo
"We recently purchased property in the city. It was our good fortune to have Norm Fung as our realtor. Since we do not live in California, our transaction was more complex and difficult. My husband and I have purchased numerous properties over the last 30 years so we are very familiar with real estate transactions. Norm went “above and beyond” our expectations emailing pictures, videos, documents and making certain we were completely informed throughout the process. Even after the purchase was completed, Norm has been extremely helpful in checking on the premises and tying up any loose ends that might need attention. We would highly recommend Norm to anyone buying or selling property in San Francisco. Growing up in the city, Norm is knowledgeable of all aspects of the market and his expertise and educational background in engineering is an unexpected bonus. He is extremely professional and his attention to detail was so critical in helping us find the perfect place that fit our criteria. Norm made certain we were treated fairly, informed of all relevant circumstances, and ultimately helped in finding the right property for us. In the future, we will absolutely use Norm for any other real estate transactions in the city."
- Jim & Kathy G. Pied a Terre Condo
"My wife and I started looking to buy our first home in early 2012, and we knew almost nothing about the home-buying process. Our first few months of looking for homes were unsuccessful for a number of reasons and, while my wife and I were frustrated by our lack of success, Norm kept positive and never showed the impatience that I know we were all feeling. Norm continued to work hard for us despite all of our ups and downs, kept us informed throughout the process, and
was always there when we needed to talk to him. This being our first house hunt, we didn't know where to draw the line with what we could ask our agent to do, but Norm was always ready, willing, and able to take care of any requests we had. If he didn't know the answer to a question, he would find it. Norm made the process much easier for us, and we are now living happily in our new home. We would highly recommend Norm to anyone looking to buy a home, especially first-time buyers like us."
- Pilan & Lindsay
"We need more agents like Norm in every agency. Norm is professional and competent. Norm helped sell my Oakland investment property on September 2012. Before hiring Norm to represent me, I had interviewed several other local agents; I finally selected Norm. Why? Norm is analytical, results-driven, customer-oriented, and he knows his stuff. When I interviewed Norm, he put me at ease by showing me detailed analysis of comparable properties and he thoroughly walked me through scenarios that I would expect to encounter throughout the process. He was upfront about everything, and he didn't sugarcoat things to earn my business. I really appreciated his straightforward approach.
Throughout the process, I joked with Norm that I spoke with him more than my wife. Norm provided me with constant updates and contacted me immediately with concerns looming on the horizon. To me, I think it is important to receive frequent updates at every stage of the sales process, even if it is just a brief email or a quick call to touch base. And you would expect that every agent would exercise this basic sales etiquette. Norm exceeded this expectation throughout the sales process.
Norm consistently went above and beyond his role as an agent. He went to the City of Oakland and reviewed the records on file for my property. The records showed that I had several outstanding liens on the property. Furthermore, the property listed as a three bedrooms instead of four. He worked with the city to clear out the liens and clarified the finding with the buying agent.
Overall, I was thoroughly satisfied with Norm's service. Moreover, the property was sold above asking. I highly recommend giving Norm a call if you are thinking about buying or selling your property."
- Jimmy D. Condo
"Norm is extremely professional. He's very knowledgeable with commercial and residential. I had to do a 1031 exchange sale and purchase two more properties. He advised me, gave me all the potential pitfalls, and helped me through the entire process."
- Mike H. Mixed-Use Multi-Unit Building
"Norm was incredibly easy to work with, and got us situated and up to speed in the SF housing market very quickly. His background as a project manager really showed itself as he was able to hear our vision for what we wanted, keep all our interests in play, and ultimately guide us to a property that was perfect."
- Michael F.
"It was an excellent experience working with Norm on the sale of our home. He walked us through all the steps from inspections and other requirements to prepare the home for sale through the transaction process. The whole process seems like such a maze, but Norm laid out the different requirements and timeframe which made everything crystal clear!"
- Ray O. Berkeley Resale Split Level Home
"I just closed on a beautiful San Francisco home at a great price, and I never could have done it without Norm Fung. As a first time home buyer, I needed lots of help from a knowledgeable, experienced, patient, and responsive realtor and Norm proved to have all these qualities and then some. Norm never left me waiting for answers to my questions and did a great job of staying on top of every part of the purchase process to ensure that things were always in motion. And when some problems came up with my loan that left me confused and uncertain, Norm leapt into action to get the facts, smooth things out, and drive the whole process towards a satisfactory conclusion. Norm is the man to hire if you want someone that you can trust to manage your real estate transaction while you get on with the rest of your life. I am going to recommend Norm Fung to all of my friends and won't hesitate to bring all my future real estate business to him."
- Tim G. First Time Home Buyer
"During the long, difficult and challenging process of buying a home in San Francisco, Norm Fung was extremely helpful, professional, and prompt. My wife and I had previously worked with 2 other agents but Norm was by far the most proactive. He's definitely the type of agent who can see pitfalls before they appear and guide clients in the right direction for success. I would recommend him in a heart beat!"
- Marlon and Kyoko M.
“We were only a bit more than two years in the States after living over 20 years in Europe, was renting in St Francis Wood paying a lot towards rents and we knew it was time to invest in a home of our own but had zero experience regarding how to do so or where to start in a country we didn’t know at all.
We met Earl by chance at an open house and knew based on intuition and witnessing his interaction with others, that we wanted him to be our agent. We spoke briefly at the open house and invited Earl to our home that evening to discuss our desire to explore the possibility to purchase a home. We spoke for hours with Earl asking important questions and providing needed insight on the process and what to expect and he was extremely precise on painting the picture to us. We knew then that he was the absolutely best person to help us on making it happen.
The task at hand for Earl was super challenging. San Francisco’s market was incredibly hot and what we wanted was in very limited supply. Both my wife and I love mid century architecture and design. We had lived in a mid century inspired home while in Finland and wanted something similar. Views were very important and the floor plan had to suit our family and living style.
Because of our foreign status and unique employment arrangement, Earl immediately began investigating lending options to see which would best suit our situation. He quickly got us set up with several lenders, helped to explain the many confusing lender requests and processes and remained closely involved through out the process.
After visiting many open homes and writing one failed offer, we finally came upon the house that was meant for us. This home had the potential to be perfect but needed a lot of work. Additionally, because of our rental situation it was important for us that the purchase line up with our obligation to provide adequate notice to our landlord. We knew it was a tough deal to structure in such a competitive market. Earl did not hesitate; he respectfully explained the pros and cons, provided us with the information necessary to understand how certain terms might impact the success of our offer and proceeded to engage the listing agent.
Incredibly, Earl was able to negotiate a fantastic price, provide the perfect timing so that we did not double pay rent and a mortgage, had the sellers agree to perform extensive renovations and repairs effectively integrating the would be renovation costs into the purchase price and coordinated the work with a variety of contractors in order to have the home close and completed by the time we moved out of our rental.
During the course of escrow, there were many negotiations that ensued and Earl was always successful in his ability to negotiate our terms while keeping everyone on the same side of the table. The selling agents were always complimenting us on how good our agent was. We already knew this.
Something absolutely amazing from him was that at all times, he made us feel as we were always in control of the situation and there was never something to worry about. I need to emphasize that the peace of mind through the whole process that he transmitted to us was priceless.
We just had Earl and his family over for an authentic Argentinean Asado (bbq) in the perfect backyard of our perfect new home."
- A. Meyer
"Yes, five stars all the way. And this, his first review here, is authentic (I was an ordinary client). This is the guy you want, and probably his sales staff is excellent too. We were struggling with a mortgage and two credit lines, and finally decided to sell the family house to avoid a Notice of Default. Earl helped us review options other than selling, and eventually orchestrated a very successful open house, review of interested buyers and final selection. All very gently and with complete respect. There was no pressure or drama which of course would have added to our problems. And then he even helped us with the inevitable move-out and relocation. Amazing! He is quiet and friendly, but do not be suspicious that he is somehow "too slick". Of course his way is smart -- after all he is a professional -- but I can tell you that it is also genuine. Through escrow we never had even a hint of disappointment."
- Roland P.
"A truly genuine and patient real estate agent! As first time homebuyers, Norm made us feel at ease and comfortable with the home buying process. Norm is very accommodating to our schedules, knowledgeable about the housing market, and resourceful. Definitely an agent anyone would love working with!"
- Terrence G. & Ivy E.
"I recently completed the purchase my first home with Norm Fung as my agent. Being a first time buyer and a business person who pays attention to detail, I had many questions and concerns to be addressed throughout the process. Norm provided unparalleled service above and beyond what I expected and was able to successfully complete a not so straightforward transaction. Not only did he demonstrate his acumen for the business, his commitment and work ethic were unquestionable, but entirely rendered with a personal touch. I am happy to strongly recommend Norm for your business and look forward to doing business with him again."
- Rakesh M. First Time Home Buyer