Diamond Certified Company Report

Van Heusen Real Estate Group

Diamond Certified Company Report

Van Heusen Real Estate Group

Diamond certified ratings dashboard
CUSTOMER SATISFACTION i
Customer LOYALTY i
Diamond Certified Qualification

Based on customer surveys, we declare this company has passed all rating steps and has earned The Diamond Certified Award

David Pak
Director of Ratings Research
Company Credentials i
  • Workers Compensation
  • Liability Insurance
  • License Verification
  • Business Practices
  • Current Complaint File
Phone SURVEY RESPONSES FROM 56 VERIFIED CUSTOMERS i

Marvin P.

VERIFIED Van Heusen Real Estate Group CUSTOMER

1 of 56

Quality 10
10 10
Loyalty Yes
CRITIQUE

They were very helpful, and they did a great job explaining how buying a home works. They explained details about the mortgage and other items that were really helpful as first time homebuyers. It was great having them on our side.

They responded very quickly to my calls and emails.

Eswar M.

VERIFIED Van Heusen Real Estate Group CUSTOMER

2 of 56

Quality 10
10 10
Loyalty Yes
CRITIQUE

Bryan was great. He stayed on the whole process with us through closing. He also helped us finance a great deal.

Bryan was on top of things. He knew what he was doing, and he gave me exactly the right information for whatever I needed. He did more than I expected. He was great.

James H.

VERIFIED Van Heusen Real Estate Group CUSTOMER

3 of 56

Quality 10
10 10
Loyalty Yes
CRITIQUE

Bryan's an honest guy, and he's easy to work with.

I liked that Bryan didn't beat around the bush. He told me exactly what was going on and kept me well informed throughout the process. At that particular time in my life, it was really nice to have someone like him helping me.

Read All 56 Survey Responses at Ratings View
Diamond certified VIDEO PROFILE
Diamond certified company PROFILE

Bryan Van Heusen, Realtor

Van Heusen Real Estate Group is the top selling team at Legacy Real Estate & Associates. The team helps clients buy and sell all types of residential properties in Contra Costa and Alameda Counties, from $400,000 condos to $3 million estates, and they’re also credentialed to handle purchases and sales of foreclosures, distressed homes, and short sales.

Realtor Bryan Van Heusen says Van Heusen Real Estate Group’s dynamic approach to real estate has been a crucial aspect of its success. “Average real estate agents passively wait for business to come to their listing, but that’s not us–we go out on a daily basis and actively find buyers for our sellers by turning over every possible rock in the marketplace.”

Van Heusen Real Estate Group stays in constant communication with its clients, from providing weekly progress reports to keeping them updated on relevant market activity and holding their hands through the entire escrow process. “Communication is key in this industry, so we make sure we’re always available to our clients to answer any questions or concerns they may have,” affirms Mr. Van Heusen.

Read moreShow less
COMPANY REPORT NAVIGATION

Diamond Certified Companies are Rated Highest in Quality and Helpful Expertise.

  • Why this rating is the most accurate.
  • Our editors gather deep company info.
  • Performance is Guaranteed.

DIAMOND CERTIFIED RESEARCHED CAPABILITIES ON Van Heusen Real Estate Group

COMPANY CONTACT
Service AREA

Alameda County
Contra Costa County

Get Directions
SERVICES PERFORMED

Home Sales & Purchases
Luxury Properties
Distressed Homes
Foreclosures
Short Sales

DIAMOND CERTIFIED RESEARCHED ARTICLES ON Van Heusen Real Estate Group

Company Profile

Van Heusen Real Estate Group is the top selling team at Legacy Real Estate & Associates. The team helps clients buy and sell all types of residential properties in Contra Costa and Alameda Counties, from $400,000 condos to $3 million estates, and they’re also credentialed to handle purchases and sales of foreclosures, distressed homes, and short sales.

Realtor Bryan Van Heusen says Van Heusen Real Estate Group’s dynamic approach to real estate has been a crucial aspect of its success. “Average real estate agents passively wait for business to come to their listing, but that’s not us–we go out on a daily basis and actively find buyers for our sellers by turning over every possible rock in the marketplace.”

Van Heusen Real Estate Group stays in constant communication with its clients, from providing weekly progress reports to keeping them updated on relevant market activity and holding their hands through the entire escrow process. “Communication is key in this industry, so we make sure we’re always available to our clients to answer any questions or concerns they may have,” affirms Mr. Van Heusen.

Read moreRead Less
Company Philosophy

"We believe in grassroots real estate sales; honesty and integrity are the cornerstones of our business. We set the standard for the proven activities that result in getting our clients' homes sold, and we employ a combination of an aggressive marketing plan, hard work, and out-of-the-box thinking."

Read moreRead Less
Comparative Summary

Maintaining customer satisfaction is a crucial aspect of any business, but it’s even more important for real estate companies that have earned the prestigious Diamond Certified award. For Van Heusen Real Estate Group, the key to achieving and maintaining high levels of customer satisfaction is simple: help its clients complete their real estate transactions as quickly and efficiently as possible. “We’re active agents, which means we’re always looking for prospects for our sellers by reaching out, making calls and knocking on doors,” explains Realtor Bryan Van Heusen. “That’s how we distinguish ourselves from average agents who wait for business to come to them. We know how to go out there and get the best results for our clients.”

Van Heusen Real Estate Group has been helping clients buy and sell all types of residential properties in Alameda and Contra Costa Counties since 2004. In addition to finding buyers and sellers for everything from $400,000 condos to $3 million estates, the team is credentialed to handle purchases and sales of foreclosures, distressed homes, and short sales.

Unlike less experienced real estate companies that let buyers take the lead by searching MLS listings and visiting homes that are on the market, Van Heusen Real Estate Group utilizes its association with Legacy Real Estate & Associates to actively help buyers find the perfect homes for their needs. “We work with more than 300 agents, so whenever there’s a ‘coming soon’ list, we know about it before the general public,” explains Mr. Van Heusen. “Our buyers enjoy a sneak preview of what’s coming, which gives them a real advantage in the market.”

To further differentiate itself from its competition, Van Heusen Real Estate Group invests heavily in marketing its clients’ homes, which Mr. Van Heusen says has resulted in a very high success rate. “The average real estate agent in this area sells about five homes a year, but we sold 25 last year and we’re aiming for 40 this year. Everything we do is geared toward bringing more traffic to our clients’ properties, from hiring photographers to providing 3-D virtual tours on our website. This leads to faster sales that are often above list price, which our clients really appreciate.”

Read moreRead Less
Industry Info

The Internet has changed the way people shop for homes. Now, instead of relying on agents and in-person visits, most people start searching for new homes online. While that can be good news in terms of providing more access for buyers and sellers, it can be bad news for sellers who don’t know how to properly harness the power of the Internet. Consider the following tips:

Better images sell homes faster. Gone are the days when homeowners or real estate agents could snap a few low-quality photos for a flier and expect them to be good enough. Today’s home shoppers have come to expect quality photographs that give them virtual tours of homes. Those without good photos often can’t compete with well-photographed houses.

“We recommend professional photography for every listing,” affirms Bryan Van Heusen, a realtor with Van Heusen Real Estate Group in Pleasanton. “Now, photographers are even doing HDR photography along with standard wide-angle photography to give homes a special look. Some photographers even offer 3-D home tours.”

Don’t use online information alone when listing your home for sale. The digital revolution has also changed how individuals get information about selling their own homes. Websites like Zillow and Trulia offer home estimates, pricing indexes, market statistics, and charts and graphs that describe home values.

Unfortunately, this information is only estimated and can’t be considered reliable enough to bank on. “The number of people who are using agents for the entire process of buying or selling is actually trending up rather than down, even though there’s so much information available online,” says Jesse Willoughby, an agent with Van Heusen Real Estate Group. “Homeowners and homebuyers can find that information themselves, but they still need someone to help them make sense of it all, and that’s where a professional comes in.”

Read moreRead Less
Frequently Asked Questions

Q: Can you help me find a new home?

A: Yes. We work with Legacy Real Estate & Associates, which is the largest real estate company in the East Bay, so whenever there’s a ‘coming soon’ list, we know about it before the general public. We’ll give you a sneak preview of what’s available on the market so you can find a home that meets your needs.

Q: My house didn’t sell with my previous agent. Can you help me?

A: Yes. Before we list your home, we’ll give you a prelisting package that looks at how your property was marketed in the past. That way, we can show you side-by-side comparisons of marketing tactics and help you understand what you can expect from the process. We’ll also give you documentation of all the things we’ll be doing to sell your home.

Q: Is it a bad idea to list my home with a high price so I can bargain down?

A: That works with car negotiations, but it’s not a smart strategy with home sales. People love their homes, so they want to price them high, but that’s not how it works in real estate. In fact, you can actually alienate buyers by listing too high—if a home is priced just 5 or 10 percent over market value, you can eliminate 90 percent of the buying audience. It’s actually smarter to price your home slightly below market value. You’ll get so much traffic that buyers will want to compete because it’s such a great value, which means they’ll end up bidding each other up and creating an even better price.

Q: Will you hire a photographer to make my home stand out online?

A: Yes. We have several different photographers we can use depending on what needs to be done, and we even work with photographers who do HDR photography and 3-D virtual tours. We take on these added expenses as part of our listing package because we know great photos get better results.

Q: Can I trust online home pricing sites?

A: We’ve found that online home pricing sites and appraisers are usually 3 to 8 percent off on home prices. You need somebody who can help you decipher what’s going on in the market and provide a context for your home’s price.

Read moreRead Less

SELECTED PHOTOS FROM Van Heusen Real Estate Group

View Comments
Shares

DIAMOND CERTIFIED EXPERT CONTRIBUTOR ADVICE & TIPS FROM Bryan Van Heusen

Expert CONTRIBUTOR PROFILE
  • Bryan Van Heusen is a 15-year veteran of the real estate industry and realtor at Van Heusen Real Estate Group, a Diamond Certified company. He can be reached at (925) 203-9289 or by email.

Bryan Van Heusen: Headfirst

By James Florence, Diamond Certified Program Reporter

PLEASANTON — Fifteen years ago, Bryan Van Heusen was comfortably immersed in a respectable trade, but following an unexpected setback, he found himself diving headfirst into uncharted waters. “Right out of high school, I started a career as a licensed electrician,” he remembers. “When the dot com bust occurred in 2001, I was laid off. Fortunately, I had a friend who did mortgage lending for a local bank, and he helped me get a job. After about three years of doing mortgage lending, I wanted to get into something that would allow me to interact face-to-face with people instead of sitting in a cubicle all day. So, I decided to make the switch to residential real estate sales.”

Citing the competitive character of the industry, Bryan says it took considerable effort just to stay afloat during his first years as a realtor. “I wasn’t brought in under anyone’s wing; rather, I had to jump in and work my way up from the bottom. I took the big hitters in my office to lunch and applied the things I learned from them to help get my business off the ground.” Today, more than a decade later, Bryan says his favorite part of his job is the satisfaction he gets from concluding a positive transaction. “Whether it’s handing keys to a new homeowner or delivering a check to the seller, I love seeing the expressions on my clients’ faces at the end of their transactions. It’s hard to beat that feeling.”

A lifetime resident of the Bay Area (where he lives with his wife, Siena), Bryan enjoys taking advantage of all the region has to offer. “As someone who loves food and being outdoors, I feel right at home in the Bay Area. Not only is there a wide variety of restaurants to choose from, there’s an abundance of open spaces to explore, including the beach and the mountains. I’m also a big Bay Area sports guy, so I follow all the local teams.”

In regard to his career as a realtor, Bryan cites a notable quotation that he says has served as a guiding professional principle. “One of my favorite quotes is from Zig Ziglar: ‘You can have everything in life you want, if you will just help enough other people get what they want.’ This is something I apply in my work by always keeping my clients’ best interests at the forefront. I know that if I perform at the level my clients expect and achieve positive outcomes for them, they’ll refer business to me and I’ll be taken care of.”

When asked the first thing he’d do if he were to retire tomorrow, Bryan says he’d take off for a long-deferred excursion. “When you work in real estate, you don’t get to travel as much as you’d like because you always have a deal in the pipeline and need to be available for your clients. So, I think the first thing I’d do is go someplace that doesn’t have cellphone reception, which is something I haven’t had the luxury of enjoying for some time.”

Ask Me Anything!

Q: If you could travel anywhere in the world, where would you go?
A: I’ve never been to Europe, so I’d probably start with one of the typical tourist destinations like Paris or London.

Q: What’s your favorite local restaurant?
A: Pamir Restaurant in Dublin.

Q: What were you most known for in high school?
A: Probably sports—I played baseball and wrestled.

Q: Music or talk radio?
A: Music, just because it helps me unwind after a long workday.

Q: What’s your favorite snack?
A: Mixed nuts. I always have a supply of Planters Mixed Nuts in my office.

Read moreRead less
Expert articles
  • Debunking Real Estate Appraisal Myths

    PLEASANTON — If you’re planning to sell your home, one of the first things you’ll need to determine is how much it’s worth. Unfortunately, when it comes to calculating a home’s value, there are a lot of misconceptions that can lead to poor decisions and lost profits. Here are three of the most common myths regarding real estate appraisal:

    Myth #1: I can calculate my home’s value using average price per square foot.
    In reality, average price per square foot has very little weight in determining the value of a home. Why? Even though it takes square footage into account, it leaves out a great deal of other pertinent factors, such as location, lot size, and bedroom and bathroom count.

    Say you have two homes that are roughly the same size, one of which is on a one-acre lot with a swimming pool, the other of which has neither of these features. If you compared these two using only price per square foot, you’d be greatly diminishing the value of the first home. This is a good example of why price per square foot won’t tell you much about your home’s actual market value.

    Myth #2: Any money I invest in home improvements will translate dollar-for-dollar into a higher appraisal.
    Home improvements may add to your home’s value, but if you aren’t careful, you may end up recouping less than what you put into them. In reality, the value of home upgrades is determined by what the market is willing to pay for them. So, while they may bring significant value in a seller’s market, they may not be as lucrative as you’d hoped in a buyer’s market.

    Myth #3: The real estate appraiser’s opinion isn’t that important.
    If you’re not satisfied with your appraiser’s estimation of your home’s value, you may choose to simply discount his or her perspective. However, you need to realize that an appraiser’s assessment isn’t merely based on his or her personal judgment; rather, it’s based on specific industry guidelines. Fannie Mae makes the guidelines for lenders and real estate appraisers to follow, and considering the financial stakes in real estate sales, careful adherence to these guidelines is a must.

    One of the main criteria an appraiser bases his or her appraisal on is looking at three homes sold in the last 90 days, similar in size and condition, in a similar neighborhood, and within a 10 percent variance of square footage. With this in mind, you as a seller should do your due diligence and be familiar with the recent sale activity in your neighborhood. You’ll also want to learn what home upgrades are actually worth in the current market and which will bring the most value for your investment. Finally, remember that your appraisal can be a powerful negotiating tool since it’s based on industry-established guidelines.

    Read moreRead less
Expert video tip

Video: Debunking Real Estate Appraisal Myths

Complete Video Transcription:

PLEASANTON — Host, Sarah Rutan: When having your home’s value appraised, you’ll want to avoid common pitfalls and misconceptions. To learn more, we’re in Pleasanton with Jesse Willoughby of Van Heusen Real Estate Group, speaking on behalf of Diamond Certified Expert Contributor Bryan Van Heusen.

Jesse Willoughby: So, let’s dive right into the three most common real estate appraisal myths. Appraisal myth number one: the price per square foot will help me calculate the value of my home. What is the truth about that? Well, the truth is, the average price per square foot actually has no weight on the value of your home. The only thing that the average price per square foot is taking into consideration is the square footage.

There’s many other factors that you’re not considering, like the location or the lot size or the bedroom and bathroom count, many other things which you want to consider. For example, if one home has a one-acre lot and a swimming pool and has the latest upgrades and another home does not, you’re only comparing the square footage, and you’re really grossly losing out on what the real value of your home is.

Myth number two: the money that you put into your home improvements will translate dollar-for-dollar into a higher appraisal. The truth about that matter is that the cost of home improvements may add value, but the value of those improvements really is determined by what the market is willing to pay for those improvements.

And the third myth for real estate appraisals is that the appraiser’s opinion isn’t that important. You don’t really care what they think. The truth about that is, is that Fannie Mae Makes the guidelines for lenders and real estate appraisers to follow. And most homes have a loan, and so those guidelines must be followed. The tips that they use is, three sold homes in the last 90 days similar in size and condition in a similar neighborhood and no bigger than 10 percent, plus or minus, on the square footage.

So, what this means if you’re a buyer is that A) you should always be using the appraisal as a negotiating tool, and B) you want to do your own due diligence and be very familiar with what the recent sale activity is in the neighborhood you’re looking for, and C) you want to make sure that you learn what upgrades are actually going for, what the cost is, what are they worth, and are those must-have features for you?

Host, Sarah Rutan: To learn more from local top rated companies, visit our Diamond Certified Expert Reports at experts.diamondcertified.org.

Read moreRead less
Van Heusen Real Estate Group WEBSITE AND EXTERNAL FEED
Diamond Certified RATINGS ON Van Heusen Real Estate Group
Diamond certified ratings dashboard
CUSTOMER SATISFACTION i
Customer LOYALTY i
Diamond Certified Qualification

Based on customer surveys, we declare this company has passed all rating steps and has earned The Diamond Certified Award

David Pak
Director of Ratings Research
Company Credentials i
  • Workers Compensation
  • Liability Insurance
  • License Verification
  • Business Practices
  • Current Complaint File
Phone SURVEY RESPONSES FROM 56 VERIFIED CUSTOMERS i
Van Heusen Real Estate Group : Average 9.7 out of 10 based on 56 unique customer surveys of customer satisfaction.

Marvin P.

VERIFIED Van Heusen Real Estate Group CUSTOMER

1 of 56

Quality 10
10 10
Loyalty Yes
CRITIQUE

They were very helpful, and they did a great job explaining how buying a home works. They explained details about the mortgage and other items that were really helpful as first time homebuyers. It was great having them on our side.

They responded very quickly to my calls and emails.

Eswar M.

VERIFIED Van Heusen Real Estate Group CUSTOMER

2 of 56

Quality 10
10 10
Loyalty Yes
CRITIQUE

Bryan was great. He stayed on the whole process with us through closing. He also helped us finance a great deal.

Bryan was on top of things. He knew what he was doing, and he gave me exactly the right information for whatever I needed. He did more than I expected. He was great.

James H.

VERIFIED Van Heusen Real Estate Group CUSTOMER

3 of 56

Quality 10
10 10
Loyalty Yes
CRITIQUE

Bryan's an honest guy, and he's easy to work with.

I liked that Bryan didn't beat around the bush. He told me exactly what was going on and kept me well informed throughout the process. At that particular time in my life, it was really nice to have someone like him helping me.

Amadeu O.

VERIFIED Van Heusen Real Estate Group CUSTOMER

4 of 56

Quality 10
10 10
Loyalty Yes
CRITIQUE

They were reliable, approachable, and they were there when we needed them. If we had any questions, they always took care of us, and they were always available.

They were very professional and reliable.

Pam P.

VERIFIED Van Heusen Real Estate Group CUSTOMER

5 of 56

Quality 10
10 10
Loyalty Yes
CRITIQUE

They were phenomenal. Bryan was professional, and he was good to work with. He was knowledgeable, he had good negotiation skills, and overall, he was a good guy.

Bryan's professionalism, he was very easy to work with. There was nothing about my transaction that needed improvement.

Aaron A.

VERIFIED Van Heusen Real Estate Group CUSTOMER

6 of 56

Quality 10
10 10
Loyalty Yes
CRITIQUE

They're honest, and you are definitely taken care of during the process. Having someone always be there for you is great.

I liked their honesty, and they helped us with the whole experience.

Annette S.

VERIFIED Van Heusen Real Estate Group CUSTOMER

7 of 56

Quality 10
10 10
Loyalty Yes
CRITIQUE

I would tell them about the personalized attention we received and Brian's attention to all the important details

I liked Bryan. He came up with a plan and it succeeded.

Corazon P.

VERIFIED Van Heusen Real Estate Group CUSTOMER

8 of 56

Quality 10
10 10
Loyalty Yes
CRITIQUE

Bryan is very patient.

Bryan really took care of me as his client. Whatever I needed, he made sure it happened.

Daniel G.

VERIFIED Van Heusen Real Estate Group CUSTOMER

9 of 56

Quality 10
10 10
Loyalty Yes
CRITIQUE

They're honest, trustworthy, and they provide excellent service.

The integrity and honesty, I would absolutely use them again.

Dashan B.

VERIFIED Van Heusen Real Estate Group CUSTOMER

10 of 56

Quality 10
10 10
Loyalty Yes
CRITIQUE

They are very thorough, they know what they are doing, and they do a good job.

Our overall experience, they were really helpful when we were looking for a home.

Denise N.

VERIFIED Van Heusen Real Estate Group CUSTOMER

11 of 56

Quality 10
10 10
Loyalty Yes
CRITIQUE

Bryan is really honest, and he's not pushy when it comes to looking at houses.

Bryan is really honest. If we saw a house that we didn't like, he didn't push us to buy it.

Eva G.

VERIFIED Van Heusen Real Estate Group CUSTOMER

12 of 56

Quality 10
10 10
Loyalty Yes
CRITIQUE

Bryan is great. He was very nice, very honest, and trustworthy.

Bryan's honesty and that he took the time to explain everything to us

Elva R.

VERIFIED Van Heusen Real Estate Group CUSTOMER

13 of 56

Quality 10
10 10
Loyalty Yes
CRITIQUE

Bryan is honest and cares about his clients.

Bryan's attentiveness, I was very satisfied.

Jeff T.

VERIFIED Van Heusen Real Estate Group CUSTOMER

14 of 56

Quality 10
10 10
Loyalty Yes
CRITIQUE

They're very trustworthy, and they get the job done.

I really liked how they kept me abreast of things throughout the process. They were really good.

Rhonda

VERIFIED Van Heusen Real Estate Group CUSTOMER

15 of 56

Quality 10
10 10
Loyalty Yes
CRITIQUE

Bryan was very patient, and he showed us a lot of different properties. He was a great Realtor. I like the way that even though we've been in our home now for five years, he still checks in with us and sends us a Christmas card.

Bryan has a wonderful personality, very suited to the type of work he does.

Jessi K.

VERIFIED Van Heusen Real Estate Group CUSTOMER

16 of 56

Quality 10
10 10
Loyalty Yes
CRITIQUE

They're very personable, caring, and they treat you like an individual.

The way they personalize their attention to your needs

Jessica A.

VERIFIED Van Heusen Real Estate Group CUSTOMER

17 of 56

Quality 10
10 10
Loyalty Yes
CRITIQUE

Bryan was very helpful whenever I had a question. I bothered Bryan so frequently, but he always found time for me.

I liked that Bryan made himself so accessible. He returned all my phone calls and answered all of my questions. I was a first time home buyer, and I was really satisfied with the whole experience of working with him.

Joel V.

VERIFIED Van Heusen Real Estate Group CUSTOMER

18 of 56

Quality 10
10 10
Loyalty Yes
CRITIQUE

Very knowledgeable and honest

Bryan really goes out of his way to make sure his clients get the best out of any transaction. He fights for every penny and advantage for his clients.

Joel W.

VERIFIED Van Heusen Real Estate Group CUSTOMER

19 of 56

Quality 10
10 10
Loyalty Yes
CRITIQUE

Bryan is very professional and very up to date about the real estate market.

He was just very attentive to my needs, and anytime I made phone call to him, he responded really quickly.

John L.

VERIFIED Van Heusen Real Estate Group CUSTOMER

20 of 56

Quality 10
10 10
Loyalty Yes
CRITIQUE

I think that they're fair, professional, and very knowledgeable. They want you to know everything that you need to know about what is going on with your real estate transaction.

I like their friendliness, courtesy, professionalism, and fairness.

Read All 56 Survey Responses at Ratings View