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Buyer's Guide

If you are looking to buy a home, find useful tips from our experts.

Seller's Guide

If you are planning to sell your home, keep some things in mind.


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Lots of helpful tips & information.


We first worked with Michael Hocking to buy our house in Rockridge. When we relocated out of state, we used him again to sell our house.

Before we worked with Michael, we worked with two different agents. Unfortunately, they didn’t seem to know the area, nor did they seem to know the market as well as Michael did. We felt as though they didn’t have our best interest at heart. Michael was different from day one. He was a true partner in the process, like a family member who wanted the best for us. He was honest, took the time to understand what was important to us, pointed out details we did not see but were important to us on so many houses, and had enormous patience with us and our specific needs. His construction management experience was extremely valuable since he could point out structural issues, even before reading an inspection report. For each house we viewed, he inspected the whole basement, including the crawl space and foundation, and then gave us his experienced opinion. He was also on point estimating how much a different house would sell for. To us – it was crucial to have an agent like Michael, especially since buying a house in a competitive market like the Bay Area can be like bidding in a blind auction. Having a good agent can really make the difference between getting a house or not.

Since Michael had gained our full trust while we were buying the house, we could not think of a better agent to help us sell the same house as well. Since we had already moved out of town, Michael took care of so many things that had to be done in our absence. His advice to prepare the house for sale was just right. It was his recommendation to paint the house trim on our wood shingle house, add a walk-in closet for the bedroom in the cottage, add a piece of a side fencing that was never installed, and stage the house professionally. All of this prep work generated a tremendous interest in our house. We sold the house 83% over the asking price. It ended up selling for over a million dollars over asking price! We could not have been happier with the outcome.

Finally, when we moved out of state, Michael continued to help us find an agent. He called three agents, interviewed them, and recommended one to work with. The agent Michael recommended was by far the best of all agents we interviewed on our own. Once again Michael was looking after our best interest.

In our opinion, people like Michael are hard to find and we sincerely and strongly recommend him to home buyers or sellers in the East Bay. Just speak with Michael once and you will see why he is so good at what he does.

Vladimir and Martina

We have worked with Michael twice — once to purchase our home in Oakland in 2015, and once to sell the same home in 2021. He is easygoing and personable, and he cares about making the buying and selling process a good experience for his clients. He understands that this is not just business for his clients — he’s helping us find (or sell) our homes, so it can be a very emotional process. His approach is very much personalized to the individual clients and property. He coordinated a lot of things for us during our sale since we were remote, including helping us hire and manage a number of contractors to get the place ready for sale. He was always easy to reach to answer questions, and always kept us up-to-date on new developments. After offers came in on our house, he helped us negotiate an even better price. We would definitely recommend working with him, whether you are planning to buy or sell!

Erin and Matt

Michael helped us purchase our first home in Oakland, CA in 2021. Over the period of our search the housing market heated up dramatically and inventory slipped away. This prolonged our search but Michael was able to adapt and give sound advice throughout. During this time we put in nearly 20 offers with Michael before finally landing a property that we are very happy with. As we reflect on our journey, a few aspects of Michael’s experience and support throughout this process stand out.

First, Michael was very supportive in helping us find the right property to fit our needs, rather than letting us settle for or trying to shoehorn us into what was available each week. We typically saw approximately four houses per week with Michael, in Oakland, San Leandro, Castro Valley, or Hayward. At each property, Michael offered pros and cons and tried to help us work through the implications of each of the different neighborhoods and municipalities, as well as providing guidance on pricing and levels of competition from other buyers. He is especially knowledgeable about and connected in the Oakland area but was able to provide very helpful information at all the sites we visited.

Second, Michael brings a wealth of knowledge of common property issues and defects. This experience is particularly valuable in a fast-paced market where inspectors are fully booked and in cases where the seller’s disclosures seem less than forthcoming. On a number of occasions, we found ourselves interested in properties that had foundation or other significant issues that we would not have come to our attention without Michael’s insights and forthcoming nature. As we reflect on the many properties we viewed and were interested in, we are very glad to have had Michael’s insight on issues that can or cannot be remediated so that we did not get stuck in a property that would have caused grief in the long-term.

Finally, when it came to drawing-up and submitting offers, Michael was always well-prepared and very responsive to our questions, despite a fast-paced market that often left us finalizing details at the last minute, particularly for properties that required pre-emptive offers to be competitive. Michael never let us down.

Overall, we were very pleased by our experience with Michael, and look forward to working with him again when the time comes to sell our home. We highly recommend Michael.

David and Sarah

We used Michael Hocking to sell our home in Montclair, Oakland recently and he was outstanding.

Prior to choose a real estate agent, my wife and I conducted a lot of research and met several agents. The Michael Hocking Real Estate Team stood out. We spoke with Michael at Grubb company’s office and at our house. He spent hours answering our questions, providing objective data regarding East bay market, and discussing what we should prepare prior to open house. Of course, it was lots of work and tons of effort throughout the process. Michael made the process incredibly supportive and effective.

When we saw our listing we were blown away. His hard work and knowledge of what it takes to sell a home really paid off – our listing looked amazing and knocked out the competition. It is worth mention that he helped staging the house with outstanding talent. He took a great care of the house while the property was in public. He is also nice photographer.

Our house went under contract immediately after accepting offers. We got 5 offers, when we accepted an offer. Michael handled buyers agents well and coordinate with us well throughout. It couldn’t have been a more pleasant Experience.

I’ve recommended the Michael’s Real Estate team to everyone I know. He is true professional and a genuinely nice person. I realize it won’t always be this easy to sell your home, but I think you’d be hard to find a better Realtor.

Thank you Michael and his team

Yuji Nishioka