Earl & Norm


R. Lee

Group Controller, Corporate Properties Group, Wells Fargo 

Please allow me the opportunity to share my sentiments for the OUTSTANDING, EXCEPTIONAL service I received from Urbane SF from beginning (February 2014) to end (August 2014) for a recent condominium 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.

Roland P.

Seller, Single Family Home

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.

Eric N.

First time Home Buyer, 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.

Thanks Norm

Terrence G. & Ivy E.,

First time Home Buyers

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!

Rakesh M.

First time Home Buyer

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.

Jeet & Shelley M.

Condo Sellers

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.

Eva X.

Buyer, Investment Condo

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!

Dennis K.

Overseas Buyer, 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.

Pao P.

Overseas Buyer, 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.

Jim & Kathy G.

Buyers, Pied a Terre 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.

Pilan & Lindsay

First time Home Buyers, 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."

Jimmy D.

Investment Property Seller

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.