Hi out there,
If you’re like me, reading a long, detailed recommendation is drudgery, so I’ll try to make this brief, relevant, and enjoyable. Please bear with me and read through this to get a true idea of what it was like to have Dino Virella as my realtor. And maybe it will help you if you are trying to decide who to use.
I met Dino many years ago when he was selling a unit in my condo building. As an owner, I wanted to see his unit for sale. I was happy with the agent that had sold me my place, and I had no intention of selling. I chatted with Dino and immediately recognized that he was a cut above most other realtors. He was gracious and charming and welcoming and served tasty snacks, and he got that I was just there to look at the unit for sale, as neighbors do. We exchanged contact information and well, became friends of sorts. Not that we hung out, but he would check in with me regularly from time to time, not asking if I was ready to sell, but just reaching out as a friend would. There were coffee dates, lunch get-togethers. I met his wife Sheila and his twin daughters, and basically just kept in touch because I was always on his radar, but not in a snarky, pushy-real-estate-guy way.
Then came the time about a year ago that I started thinking about selling, complicated by the fact that I now had tenants in my unit. On Dino’s recommendation, I saw a real estate attorney to learn the sad realities and downsides of being a landlord in San Francisco. He even offered to pay for half the attorney fee at the close of escrow. Yikes! Was it possible I would have to pay my tenants a considerable amount to vacate! Fortunately, that didn’t happen because they decided to move out on their own. Still, Dino was with me every step of the way to help me figure everything out when I finally decided to sell.
Selling a property is an emotional angst-filled process with many moving parts. I quickly nicknamed Dino, Vitamin V for Valium because whenever I started breathing heavily and becoming uncomfortable, he was right there to calm and soothe me. He explained everything in a way I could understand, and he always had my back on everything. Sadly, there are many expenses to the seller (me!) like inspections, condo docs — whatever the hell that is, staging, small repairs — the list goes on and on. Dino was acutely aware of the pain I felt in spending any money. He tried to soften every blow and expense by doing helping clean and vacuum the condo himself. Dino was always rigorously honest and explained every step. He kept in touch with me almost daily by phone and provided a weekly email update on everything. In the beginning, he put out a schedule of when everything would happen, even down to the exact date we could expect offers, go into escrow, and closing. And his predictions were nearly all right on, even ahead of schedule, down to his professional opinion on the selling price and what we could expect. He knew exactly how to price the unit, he held multiple open houses with expanded hours and broker tours. Also, he coordinated repairs, painting, carpeting, and everything else that had to be done to get the property ready for sale. Dino also served as a therapist of sorts when I asked his advice in a relationship that had gone sour with a neighbor, far outside the purview of his responsibilities as a realtor.
Mind you, all this was happening through the Coronovirus situation, which added to the drama of selling a property. As Dino said many times, “we caught lightning in a bottle,” with the sale of my place, and I believe we did. His support team of title reps, transaction coordinators, and office staff were also wonderful. It’s a reflection of the company Dino runs with!
At an early point in our working together, I said to Dino, “when this is all over, can we still be friends?” I consider him not only my valued and loyal realtor but also a dear friend, which of course, he will always be. To conclude, Dino is all about service, integrity, honesty, and kindness, and there is no better realtor out there.