If you're looking to buy a house in San Francisco, Tom is someone you really HAVE TO meet. I'm not even saying that you need to buy a house from him, but you should really meet him just so you can see what an expert in the field looks like.
Honestly, I can't imagine anyone who knows the SF market better, or can be a better advocate/mentor/therapist for you during your home buying process. Just meet with him once to pick his brain one afternoon like I did, and he'll break everything down for you and let you know- honestly, whether or not you should buy a house. Don't expect a hard sell here, Tom isn't a dime-a-dozen agent who cares just about the one-time sell. He was highly recommended to me by an older, established neighbor of mine, and most of his clients have been working with him for 10+ years.
Tom is really the kind of agent you establish a relationship with, the kind you hope will be working in the industry for years and years so you can always be an insider to the real estate market. Upon meeting him for the first time, the first thing that crossed my mind was that this guy really knows his sh*t, is sharp as a tack, and has no incentive to BS you. He is also one of the most caring and approachable people I've ever met in the business.
Despite having almost 20 years of experience, he treated me (a first-time homebuyer) with the utmost respect, and set aside hours to explain crazy lingo and real estate concepts to me while shielding me from some of the more annoying back and forth during the negotiations process. I felt comfortable asking him some of my more inane questions and trusted that he wanted what was best for me in the long-term.
In the age of Zillow, Redfin, and whatever else is out there, it's absolutely refreshing to meet a person who genuinely cares about developing a long-term relationship with you- not just make a quick buck. Tom personifies the old school values of being a generous, genuine, and honest advocate who cares more your goals than his- and it has worked beautifully for him. I can't tell you how many of my friends in SF I've referred him, and they all absolutely adore him.
I'm happy to report that it's been over a year at my new house and I still LOVE it. I still think buying this house through Tom was one of the best decisions I've ever made. Without getting to writing a novella, I'll end with this: When Tom found out that my fireplace didn't work 3 months AFTER my house closed and I got my keys, he tracked down the selling agent and took care of replacing it. There was absolutely no incentive for him to care at that point, but he did it anyway. This is one classy agent, folks. Do yourself a favor and meet with him.