Buy or Rent in Los Angeles
http://graphics.latimes.com/rent-or-buy-los-angeles/ This is a fairly comprehensive tool to gauge local property values and rents in neighborhoods throughout Los Angeles.
Character is like a tree and reputation like its shadow. The shadow is what we think of it; the tree is the real thing. – Abraham Lincoln
2005 – I had the privilege of first meeting Chris when he was my son’s 4th grade teacher. A few years later when I wanted to sell my condo in Santa Monica, I thought of him and what a patient and ambitious guy he was. Having Chris as my agent was wonderful. He made the process feel smooth, and his expertise in negotiating the deal ended in a profit of $36,000 over asking price! I can’t say enough about his professionalism and his ability to make you feel like a member of the family.
2011 – I met Chris as my son’s 4th grade teacher 9 years ago, and have been lucky to remain both a client and a friend. Chris has represented me in multiple transactions throughout the years, both in fabulous and not-so-great markets. Six years ago Chris was able to sell my condo for $36,000 over listing. The sale of my house this year was more difficult. Of course this disparity allowed me to witness Chris’ reactions when I was at my best, and when I had some anxiety. He was able to guide me through the process of simultaneously buying and selling, and was always readily available for ‘hoorays’ and honest advice. And in the current market, due to his research and diligence, we sold my home in 3 weeks while others in the neighborhood languished for months.
Karla Barrow, attorney
I am so happy that I met Chris Clark at an open house when I first moved to LA. He is exactly the type of person that I wanted to help find my home. He is a family man who owns multiple properties on the Westside and knows the area inside and out. He gave me time to get my bearings in the area and figure out which neighborhood was best for me, yet was always accessible for questions or advice. His experience as both a realtor and property owner was invaluable to me, as I moved from the East Coast and did not have any knowledge of the market. He is refreshingly honest and candid, two qualities I had not yet encountered in a realtor. I highly recommend Chris to all who are house hunting.
Colleen Smith, attorney
As a first time homebuyer I was referred to Chris by a family member. Chris’ patience, responsiveness, and availability to address questions clearly distinguished him and his ability to understand his clientele’s needs. Prior to meeting Chris I had zero knowledge of the real estate industry, however, Chris’ willingness to take the extra time to walk me through each step of the way built trust and confidence in him and eased my concerns on this substantial investment.
Chris also did an excellent job of providing objective and honest assessments of potential proposals and outcomes during negotiation periods. Based on his advice, I was able to realize savings of $25k off of my initial offer and ensured that we closed the deal in a timely manner.
Chris’ down-to-earth and laid back personality made the potentially grueling days spent at open houses manageable and often enjoyable. His willingness to debrief the day’s events over a few drinks or coffee demonstrated his dedication to achieving our shared goal of purchasing a home. It went a long way in not only developing my trust, but also ensured that each day spent searching open houses was properly debriefed and further action was taken as necessary.
Overall I am very happy with Chris’ performance as my real estate agent. I have already referred him to multiple co-workers and would recommend the same to anyone reading this. I know for a fact that I would not have found as great of a place as I did without him.
Todd Sakauye, accountant
Selling your home can be scary. Selling your 1st home is actually frightening. Selling your 1st home and then moving in three weeks to another state can be the beginning of a horror movie. Not for me. I was lucky enough to have my childhood friend, Chris Clark, selling my house; we grew up on the same block, just two houses apart in Green Bay, Wisconsin. I was, at first, a bit nervous. I was nervous that he would treat me too much as his friend and try to protect me from reality. I was right that he tried to protect me, but that was only from myself. I wanted to sell my house FAST; I was willing to “leave money on the table.” He made sure that I didn’t.
Chris was always professional and ensured that every move made was what was best for me. The first thing he did was to take me to open houses in my neighborhood. This was so smart! I saw what my house was worth and then put the sale completely in his hands. The next step was that he told me, honestly, what improvements would make a difference in the sale. I had an offer the SAME DAY! Within 5 days we had a bidding war. Chris handled it all, keeping it away from me (I had enough other stressors to keep me occupied). Within a few weeks, before I moved, my house was sold… for A LOT more than I initially thought it could get. Chris was there every step of the way. I never felt that I was making a bad choice – he would tell me if I did. Although I’ve known Chris for a long time (41 years?), I was treated as a client. The same way he treats all his clients. Respect, compassion, integrity, and that Midwestern charm, all in one fabulous person. Thanks, Chris!
Andrea Norton, hotel management
We began the real estate search in 2003 and met Chris in the fall or winter of that year. In a relatively short time and after a few bidding wars, we bought our first home. Since then he has not only guided us through the purchase of our next house and the sale of the first, but he has become a good friend. In fact, Mike and Chris have a standing tennis match every Saturday morning. We invited Chris and his wife to our wedding and our daughter´s naming ceremony, he´s met our parents on several occasions, and we´ve been to one another´s homes a number of times. While I´m sure that he doesn´t become friends with every client, we are very, very happy not only with our home, but with Chris and his concerted efforts to make this possible for us.
Mike and Meredith Schensul, attorneys
I felt extremely fortunate to have Chris representing me, especially when he got so involved on the mortgage end of things. The loan became more complicated than expected, and his mortgage brokers essentially saved the day, giving me the help I needed without asking for anything in return. I only wish that I would have taken Chris’ advice and worked with Brian and Jason from the start.
I also received roughly $12,000 in repair work when he negotiated some lopsided terms in my favor. Even though the escrow process was arduous, the advice and experience Chris offered made the outcome a very positive one.
Chris was very knowledgeable about the area and honest and open about pitfalls and assets, both immediate and long-term: proximity to the Santa Monica Airport, school information, sales data and history, and the nuances of many Westside neighborhoods. Super patient! I never felt rushed over the course of roughly a year and a half of working together.
Lastly, after knowing one another since 2002, it was so nice that we kept in touch. Eight years later I became a home owner in Santa Monica, and I couldn’t be happier about it.
Kelley McIntosh, business owner
I ended up on Chris´ mailing list at some point, and over a three-year period of receiving his newsletters I could see the effort and hard work he put into his job. I enjoyed the stats and updates he takes the time to present and simply knew he would be a great realtor for our family.
Chris spent a lot of time explaining to me, a very questioning person, what was going on and why. I am sure there were many times that he was asking himself, “Am I training this guy?”, but he NEVER made me feel that way. And answers to my questions continued to come at all times during the three-month period, including two separate trips that he had: one to San Francisco on business and one trip home that his family took to the land of the soon-to-be-second-place Brewers. I´m a Cubs fan…
I am a very demanding person with a lot of calls, emails, text messages, and questions – some potentially pushing the limits of being reasonable. However, Chris´ work ethic is fantastic, and he continued to make me feel like I was his only customer, which I can guarantee was not the case – not as good as he is.
What can I say here to articulate the “full service” I received: from taking our dogs to his house during open houses, to helping my wife with the two kids when I was out of town, to explaining to me his selling methodology and getting me top/fair dollar for the property, Chris is one of the more thorough guys I have had the pleasure to work with.
Even though 25K would not mean that much to Chris or Keller Williams in commission, Chris understood it meant 25K to us. And he would work the extra effort to get that money in the door. There were several occasions that Chris could have taken a 100K to 25K lower bid for the house and simply gotten the deal done, but instead he/we invested the extra effort and time to get the best and fair price for the property. I had complete trust in him in all areas: with my dogs, my children, my wife, and my property.
To a very professional degree, you will know what Chris is thinking and he tells you the straight story. Direct, honest, and open communication is the best, and that is what you will get from Chris.
Without hesitation I would recommend him and hire him again for a sale or purchase. We would love to have him on our team when buying as well and are glad he was on our side when selling.
My family could not be more pleased with the service that we received from Chris. In the sale of a million dollar plus home these days you are paying a lot in commission to the buyer´s and sellers´ agents. So, you expect a lot in return. I fully believe Chris covered both his commission and the commission that I had to pay to the buying side. He is truly a full service broker who takes your interests as his number one priority. Some of the items I can not articulate well at length are as follows (and by no means all-inclusive):
1) Taking care of my dogs for each and every open house by lodging them in his back yard
2) Taking care of my two children (including a newborn) and wife when I was out of town during open houses
3) Practically giving me a full course in real-estate brokerage over the 90 days we worked together
4) Making me feel as if I was his most important client, if not only
5) Brought multiple buyers to the sale in a market that is no longer equal to where it was three years ago
6) Taking the better offer, even if it meant twice the work for him since the buyers were “representing themselves”
7) Getting the top/fair dollar for the property
8) Keeping my nerves in check, which I can promise you is not an easy thing to do
9) Giving me constant recommendations on needs and contacts for any help needed during the sale
10) Getting the job done – I got the price that I had mentally set in my mind, and that was the best price possible in my opinion and according to the statistical data presented.
Paul and Cassandra Ashton, finance and stay-at-home mother of two
Chris, I just want to thank you for helping me sell my apartment building, and hopefully we are successful in getting me into this new building. Also for the wonderful gifts – Every time I drink coffee, which is every morning, I will know that you are the guy who has been very good in his work and also a very nice human being. I want to thank you for one more thing, which is kind of strange I am sure. It’s silly, but my x’s name is the same as yours, and that name never passed my lips since he left. I only muttered you-know-what everytime I have to deal with him. So, thank you for giving back that name to the general population and to me.
Eva Lau, Software engineer
2005 – I met Chris Clark on his website when I was researching condos for sale in the Santa Monica area. When I met Chris in person, I was impressed with his down-to-earth personality and knowledge of the Westside area. He was always available by phone or e-mail to answer any questions I had. As a matter of fact, one weekend when he had to be out-of-town, he arranged to have his mother-in-law (also a real estate agent) write up an offer in his absence. Even though I am sure Chris had other clients making bigger purchases, he was always completely attentive to my requests, and I always felt that he was looking out for my best interests. Chris is an efficient, reliable, and caring real estate agent and I would definitely recommend him to others.
2008 – This is the second time in three years that Chris served as my real estate agent. The first time, he represented me as the buyer and, most recently, he represented me as the seller. You can assume correctly that I have been pleased with Chris’ work!
Juanita Baltierra, college counselor
Chris is a top-notch real estate agent. He is extremely knowledgeable of the Westside real estate market and provides his clients with honest, timely information. Because Chris is an experienced agent, he has the background, skills and knowledge required to assist his clients in making sound, realistic decisions so crucial in the current, weak real estate market. More importantly, Chris is trustworthy. On the two occasions I have worked with him, I always felt I was in good hands and that he was always looking out for my interests.
He has gone “over and above” what I consider a real estate agents responsibilities to be. Chris assisted me in getting my condo ready for sale by referring me to several of his own service workers including his cleaning lady, a great handyman, and his gardener who picked up furniture I no longer wanted. I know if I had needed another “favor,” Chris would have helped me out. Chris’ hands on, proactive style was extremely valuable to me as I live out of the Santa Monica area, and I needed his follow-up and support to make sure that everything was handled efficiently. I know I will call on Chris again whenever I consider any future real estate purchases. And, I look forward to reading his newsletters so I can catch up on what his son Alex is doing!
Earle and Betsy Roddy, retired professor and accountant
I am so very happy to have found Chris. Throughout the process he continuously exceeds expectations. He inspired confidence for both my husband and me from the first time we met him, which is why we switched realtors and began working with him. This will not be our first real estate transaction and we look forward to continuing to work with Chris and his team in the future.
We met Chris at an open house in Santa Monica. I´ve met many realtors, having attended many open houses over the past year. None of them impressed me like Chris. He was sincere, open and not pushy. He really seemed to get what we were looking to do as both real estate investors and home buyers. I especially liked that he is an investor himself. I was looking for someone with his level of integrity as well as his level of involvement in all aspects of the real estate transaction. He really got us through a very constrained escrow period with a great line-up of inspectors, follow-up contractors, etc. He arranged everything and inspired confidence every step of the way. I couldn´t be happier.
Jennifer and Adam Ragland, attorney and medical sales
Choosing a realtor is a scary proposition. Are they up to speed with current market conditions? Do they know the neighborhoods you’re interested in? Do they offer new ideas that you haven’t thought of? Are they a good listener? Are they trying to “turn a deal” or really looking out for your interests?
My wife and I just went through this process and were fortunate to encounter Chris Clark. Having common Midwest ties didn’t hurt, but our bottom line in choosing Chris was that he has the attributes we needed. He’s a good listener and took the time necessary to learn about our goals and motivations.
With Chris’ help we were able to quickly and accurately determine our housing needs and fulfill them. In fact, we decided to continue to rent our apartment, as that seemed to be the best solution for the time being. Chris was not only supportive of the idea, but it was his idea right from the start!
He is highly recommended! Chris will continue to be our realtor when we are ready to purchase our next home.
Lee and Roxanne Gross, agriculture and advertising
We chose Chris as our realtor because Sarah´s mom stumbled upon his website. We liked what we read as far as his candor and knowledge of the area. Then upon meeting him we felt that he was a straight-shooter and genuine person. We wanted to work with someone who was serious about earning our business and helping us as first-time buyers. Chris is fantastic at educating clients on the real estate landscape in L.A. and sincerely wants to help you find the right fit for your family. Chris worked with us for over a year and never made us feel like he was tired of showing us properties and educating us on the lay of the land in spite of the fact that we weren´t quite ready to make a purchase. When it finally came time to buy we were happy to give him our business as he truly had earned it!
Joe and Sarah Halbardier, attorney and magazine marketing
We’d been looking for a home for about 8 months. I drove by an interesting property that had Chris Clark’s name on it. I called. Well… he had me at HELLO:) Personable, calming, ‘Wisconsin boy’ polite. He asked me about my husband, our needs, our family. I never felt pushed or pressured. For us, feeling calm and having trust was the most important. Because when you have been looking for a home for several months in an overpriced market, you can get discouraged and overwhelmed. Chris knew what he was talking about and answered all our questions and concerns. His integrity, knowledge and compassion are what make him one of the best. He truly wanted to find us a HOME. And he did!! Thank you Chris!
Matthew and Julie Flanders, Santa Monica High School teacher and business owner
When we started to think about buying a new house we knew absolutely nothing about the market or the process of buying and selling real estate. Not only did Chris hold our hand and explain every facet of the process, making sure we were absolutely confident in our decisions, but he was able to negotiate great prices for both the sale of our old house, as well as the purchase of our new one. Now we have an outstanding new home, and made a substantial sum of money from our old house. Without his knowledge, expertise, and honesty we would not have come out so far ahead. We recommend him to anyone looking to get a great deal.
Devon and Donna Clark (no relation), producer and commerical actor
It was our good luck that I found Chris Clark’s website when we started house-hunting in West LA. I was immediately struck by his personality and sense of integrity. His website told me a bit about who he was and I knew we wanted to work with him. My first impression was realized once we started working together. We appreciated his down-to-earth values and hard work as well as clarity of purpose. In short he’s a high-quality person. Once we were ready to preview properties he knew just what we were looking for. Chris responds to every request promptly and with great professionalism – and we shared some laughs along the way. His referrals for mortgage financing, a painter, and handyman were excellent – the same high quality work. It’s a pleasure to give our business to a person with such exceptional standards, knowledge of the market, and great follow-through as Chris.
John and Karen Overmyer, media sales executive and healthcare software company manager
We cannot say enough good things about Chris Clark. I met him at an open house one July and was so impressed that when we were finally serious about buying 9 months later, he was the only person we called. He is this great mixture of patience and understanding while still being a tough negotiator and advocate. We would never have found the house we bought without his help. Then he walked us through the whole process – no matter what we needed from him, he was always there for us. We were complete novices, but with his help everything went very very smoothly. (I can also vouch for Jason Vanderpoort, the mortgage broker we met through Chris, for the same reason.) We were told all of these terrible stories from friends about how hard escrow is, but for us it was a breeze.
Scott and Sabrina Tobis, writer and television producer
When I was first putting my condo on the market I was dreading a long, drawn-out process. However thanks to Chris and his strategy for pricing and staging the apartment, we received 13 offers in the first week, and escrow closed less than a month later. Thank you, Chris.
Lissette Lira, film industry
Dear Chris, this has been long in coming due to my multiple travels, but I would like to acknowledge your very efficient help in the purchase of our townhouse in Santa Monica. Thanks to your help, we believe we got a good deal in terms of value. Once again many thanks and all the best.
Brian and Mily Ngo, economist at the World Bank (Paris, France) and retired teacher
Job well done! Chris came through for us by selling our house with aggressive marketing, combined with a gracious demeanor. He was steadfast and receptive to our family´s concerns and reacted to our needs in a creative and helpful way. We recommend Chris to anyone looking for a trustworthy and hard-working realtor.
John and Barbara Metzger, artists
Our story – We had one battle after another, writing offers on about 4 properties in the spring, the busiest time of the real estate calendar. With as many as 12 offers being submitted on these properties, the competition was obviously very tough. After losing the last time by just $1,000, my husband and I were on the verge of giving up our search and continuing to rent. However, Chris found a fantastic property just blocks from the ocean and persuaded us to throw in our hat one last time. It was the best place we’d seen in our exhaustive search, and we won! Not only did we (of course) invite Chris and his lovely wife to our house-warming party in the weeks to follow, but over a year later they attended our wedding reception. Great people and an outstanding realtor!
Chris and Sarina Stogel, attorneys
I would like to take this opportunity to express my gratitude to Chris Clark for his help in finding my wife and me a new home. He has demonstrated all the skills you look for in an agent: a knowledge of the market and its trends, a willingness to listen to and learn from his clients, enormous patience, and, perhaps the most important, trustworthiness. You know he will never mislead you, and – because of this – he becomes not just your agent, but, after all is said and done, a friend.
Tom and Fay Stone, author and insurance rep
Thank you, thank you, and thank you so much for the wonderful experience my husband and I had in regards to purchasing our first home! We have heard so many horror stories about buying the first home, but this could not have been less painful. It happened so quickly and effortlessly, with your guidance from beginning to close. Thanks for being patient with us, as I know we were a little picky about what we wanted to buy. You made that magical call, and one day we had that gorgeous property in Redondo Beach, we so proudly call home. One thing that really impressed us was how we were able to build trust with you, as we knew you were looking out for our best interests and made us feel like family. We are just novices, but are so excited with how smoothly everything went, and can’t wait to buy more properties! When that time comes, be ready for our call!!
April Poag, sales
Thank you! The process was painless and efficient, thanks in large part to Jason Vanderpoort (mortgage broker) and everyone else behind the scenes.
Josh Lane, sales
Real Estate Students:
Chris has been a great educator and instructor to everyone in the Keller Williams office. He has enforced again and again how important statistics and knowing your numbers is and how without knowledge in this market you lack credibility as a real estate professional. I am thankful to have had him as an instructor and I’m glad that he is part of the Keller Williams team bringing education to the table every week.
Kristina Paces, new realtor with Keller Williams Santa Monica
Chris, you are one of the best instructors we have. You are very passionate about the subject matter, and your knowledge and experience come through effortlessly. Your instruction has helped my business path. I will attend any class you are teaching. I truly enjoy your classes and get it the first time. Thanks for asking me my opinion because I truly enjoy and learn in your classes. Keep up the good work, and I hope to see you soon.
Tobi Lyons, new realtor with Keller Williams Santa Monica and (years later) selling client with her husband
Chris, first of all, I would always take any class you teach. I think you have a special gift that not that many people do: you are incredibly sincere and warm, and it is a pleasure to listen to you because everything you say comes from the heart. You are a very special person. Everything you say in class helps me in my business because of the way you present it; I can’t learn it from the books. It is relevant, and you give life-based examples which help to illustrate the subject matter. I think you are articulate and clear. You do not use the industry jargon; you speak from the heart and believe me, your audience gets it. It is an emotional business, and I think the way you present is very appealing – you draw people to yourself. You are very friendly and warm. I believe that people (at least those I want to do business with) respond very well to your kind of personality. You are believable, you are simply an authentic human being, and I can only hope you can teach people to be more like you.
Ava Domanovski, new realtor with Keller Williams Santa Monica