HOME BUYER REVIEWS

Hi Catherine,

I just wanted to thank you again for all your hard work in both selling and purchasing our house in Los Altos. When we embarked on the home buying process, purchasing a 100+ yr old house was something we never expected but when we saw the house, we fell in love with it. With your expertise and contacts, we were able to get some of the best qualified inspectors around to inspect our home so we could be fully informed on the condition of the property whether it be electrical or foundation work. Your recommendation about checking with the city for permits also proved to be quite insightful as some of the permits were never finalized and we were able to negotiate the closure of the open permits as a condition of our purchase agreement. Your negotiation skills and professionalism really showed during the purchase process especially when the agent on the other side was so unresponsive. You ultimately took matters into your own hand to make sure our purchase went as smooth as possible. To top it all off, you were such a great negotiator that when it came time to appraise our property, the appraisal actually came in higher than our purchase price! Thank you again for all your hard work and dedication and making yourself available at all times including when you were on vacation. We absolutely love our new home and can thank you for it. If are ever in need of references, we’d be happy to attest to your skills.

Roger & Wendy C.


Dear Catherine,

This being our first home purchase, we started this adventure with many questions and apprehension but you were there with us, every step of the way, patiently answering all of our questions and guided us through each step of the process, often pointing things out to us that we would never have thought to consider.  After tirelessly touring countless homes with us, you always left us encouraged that we'll find the perfect house and, sure enough, we finally did.

When we finally decided on a home, you diligently researched the offer price and found out exactly what it would take to get the home for us.  Even with another offer on the table higher than what we were offering, you still managed to get us the house!  To top it all off, our house actually appraised for almost 5% more than the sale price. We also really appreciated you negotiating some money back for us for the “missing” refrigerator and cleaning expenses.

And you were right when you recommended a second home inspection which gave us a peace of mind which was nice.

Thank you for making our first home buying experience such a smooth and enjoyable one!

Henry Tsui and Anne-Marie Chee


Dear Catherine,

We are writing this letter to thank you for all your hard work and effort on our behalf, both in selling our property and in purchasing our new home in Mountain View. Your knowledge of the market and your assurances throughout the selling process really helped us to feel confident. In fact, our home sold right in the estimated time frame you had projected.

Since we had purchased our first home directly from a builder we were unfamiliar with buying a home on the open market. You patiently walked us through each step of the process, made yourself available for viewings, and offered us valuable insights into how to best present an offer. You also went above and beyond in researching zoning regulations, and ultimately tracking down all the construction permits on our new home in order to assure that all additions were up to code. You insured that we had all comparable sales information in our new neighborhood and that the appraisal process was a smooth one. There were multiple bids on the home we purchased, and we believe that it was your due diligence that encouraged the sellers to accept our offer.

Catherine, we love our new home, but if we do move again in the future we would most certainly rely on your expertise to help us find another house. Please use this email as a letter of recommendation to potential new clients. There are a lot of real estate brokers out there, but very few excellent ones. You are one of the excellent ones.

Best regards, Leigh and Michael Cordes


We would like to strongly recommend Catherine as a realtor. Our buying experience with her was enjoyable, and most importantly, successful!

She made it possible for us to buy our first home in Mountain View only after two months of searching! She was very patient with us, answering all of our questions and looking for so many properties with us, laying all the pros and cons for each one of them. Catherine tracked down an agent who said he would be having a new listing on the market and encouraged us to make a “preemptive” offer before he put the home on the market. She managed to get our offer accepted, we avoided the competition of multiple offers, and the home even appraised higher than our offer price. After we signed the contract, the rest of the transaction went really smoothly. Catherine recommended us a loan officer who was excellent, and the whole process was very pleasant. Catherine was very diligent in recommending us the proper inspections, as well as discussing the results with us, and also analyzing the property values and the market.

We are very thankful to Catherine and are happy to recommend her as a realtor with excellent sets of skills and care for the ones she is representing.

Sincerely,

Gergana and Nikola Borisov


I just got the key this morning to a gorgeous home on the hills of East Foothills, all thanks to a wonderful and caring real estate professional who treated my purchase as if it was a home she was purchasing for herself.  In a hot sizzling market where newly listed homes get multiple bids upwards, she somehow managed to get a lower bid accepted by the seller, and she then proceeded to negotiate for me an additional amount of seller's credit at the time of closing.  Let me tell you, Catherine is worth her weight in gold.  She is, hands down, top of the line, highest quality real estate professional I have ever met.   

Since my knowledge of the buying process was severely limited, I was very appreciative of the constant and empathetic hand-holding and guidance she provided which allowed me to weave my way past all the pitfalls and thorny issues that a home purchase could potentially spring on an unsuspecting buyer.  She was very responsive and stayed in communication with us throughout the process, usually via emails, but also through multiple phone calls.  We scheduled viewings all over the hills with her, and she was always there to take us through the homes, never flaking on us, and never making us feel as if she had more important clients to take care of than us, even though I know she had other properties she was listing at the time we were looking for a home. 

When it came time to put in an offer on the house, we had to go out of town on business, but she was able to work around that by allowing us to sign the offer documents via our cell phones, at 11 pm on a Saturday night, while she talked us through the process via phone calls.  We live and work in Silicon Valley, and still, I was impressed that she was able to take advantage of high tech to make the process as smooth as possible for us.   

I was also wary about purchasing a home on a hillside because of the potential for serious issues with regards to the foundation and shifting soils, but she got us a good foundation expert to take care of our biggest worry, and after that, I got her Concierge List, which is a short-list goldmine of all the best services providers that a new home-owner should have.  I am not kidding when I say that every single person I have interviewed who has been on this list is top notch and I have shared it with my friends who own homes because I have found it to be so useful.

Her knowledge of her profession is impressive, but more than that, she is a warm and caring, conscientious, and honest person, and I would highly recommend her if you need a real estate professional.  I will most definitely contact her again for our next purchase, which will be some time in 2015.

Mai F.


I honestly feel that a lesser experienced Realtor would not have gotten me in to my first choice of homes as a first time home buyer!

To start from the very beginning, I interviewed two Realtors who both told me basically the same thing; that what I was looking for, in my price range, was going to be very difficult (if not impossible) to get and that they really weren't interested in helping me as it wasn't a good return for them. When I explained this to Catherine, she said well yes, it may be a challenge, but I'm willing to give it a go if you are!

And so was the beginning of a fantastic experience with Catherine!  The home I ultimately purchased had over 32 offers and despite my not having the preferred 10-20% down, she was able to negotiate with the sellers and demonstrate that I was a well qualified buyer purchasing well within my means.  She also went above and beyond creating comparable sales analysis for the appraiser to ensure my townhouse was valued most favorably.  Catherine explained every step of the process and really held my hand through the entire purchase, for which I was most grateful.

Upon closing, Catherine provided great resources for some improvements I wanted to make prior to moving in, such as flooring contractors and painters.  And, knowing I was Catherine's client, they took very good care of me!  A huge load off for someone not at familiar with home improvement and dealing with contractors.

Aside from her considerable professional attributes, Catherine is a caring person who I felt really gave her all in helping me through a very stressful process.  She was genuinely thrilled when we realized that I was in fact going to get the home that I really wanted!  Should I have need in the future, or should anyone ask for a reference, I would for certain contact/refer Catherine immediately, no doubt about it!

Cristine C.


To whom it may concern:

I have known Catherine Gortner professionally for the past 4 months. I found Catherine through her very polished website on the Internet (http://www.cgprop.us/). In this time I have dealt with Catherine very closely through the process of purchasing my new condominium.

Catherine is an outstanding broker who she sincerely cares about her clients and does her utmost to ensure they are satisfied with their purchase. As a first-time home buyer I needed additional support and guidance through the purchase process.   Catherine made it very easy for me by providing more than enough information that allowed me to understand the intricacies of the home buying and financing. Catherine has a keen sense of people’s interest and knew after one outing the type of condo’s I was interested in. From this sense, she modified my search criteria to ensure we were not looking at irrelevant properties.   This saved valuable time and allowed me to make my purchase within two months of starting the search. Catherine is extremely organized and made it easy for me to compare and contrast the different properties I visited. Once I had decided on property, Catherine’s sales and marketing background helped negotiate a competitive price without excessive haggling. On top of all this, Catherine was accessible 24 hours a day irrespective of external factors.

I strongly recommend Catherine for anyone looking for a great property in the SouthBay. Not only is she a great broker, but she is also a great person and I definitely hope to use her services at the time of my sale and next purchase.

Sandeep Ashok


Dear Catherine,

Thank you so much for the care and support you gave us with our latest home purchase in Danville.  This being the second transaction you have represented us on, we can always depend on you to give the utmost attention to detail.  With you, nothing ever slips through the cracks.

We really only realized later how much you had been looking out for our interests throughout our purchase transaction.  While we fretted about our offer price, you thought to ask the seller to pay for the identified pest control work.  That saved us $9,000, and a lot of trouble.

You were somehow able to represent us well, and at the same time push back when your experience told you we needed to change.  That's how a good agent helps her clients!

We appreciate your help in carefully negotiating a great purchase price for our new home, and we have been happy with it -- and the price we paid for it -- from day one.

Thank You.

Our Sincerest Regards,

Tom and Anne Harding


Dear Catherine,

I wanted to take the time to thank you for the great service in my purchase of a new townhouse.  There’s no doubt in my mind I made the right selection in you.  Feel free to have any prospective clients on the fence give me a call, I’m sure I can tip them to your side!

When I started looking for assistance in purchasing a new home, I wanted to find someone who was knowledgeable, responsive and trustworthy.  After interviewing a few brokers, I selected Catherine after our first meeting.  Immediately I was very impressed with her professionalism, knowledge of the industry and very well thought out answers to my numerous questions.  As a first time homebuyer, the factors and variables to consider were absolutely mind boggling, but Catherine made sure things were done very logically and at the exact pace that I felt most comfortable with.  She went well above and beyond the call of duty and I could not be happier with the relationship!

After looking at a few homes, Catherine would lay out all the pros and cons of each place, and again, I was very impressed with her ‘cover all the bases’ approach.  When I did finally settle on a home, Catherine helped me navigate through the seemingly endless paperwork, which made life so much easier.

This short note certainly does not articulate all the valuable tasks, opinions and advice Catherine provided to me, but she is absolutely outstanding across the board and I am happy to recommend her to anyone looking to buy or sell a home.  Thank you Catherine!

Sincerely,

Clayton W.


Hi Catherine,

We finally found the time to send you a well-deserved "THANK YOU!"

Thank you for your help, proving us with your wisdom.

Thank you for the mortgage broker getting us financing.

Thank you for the warranty, giving us security.

Thank you for our home, filled with love.

It is such a wonderful feeling to come home each night or after a long tour on the road.  We couldn't have done it without you nor would we have chosen to.

Take care and know that you are not far from our thoughts whenever we look around at our place.

Wisa & Franco


To whom it may concern:

I strongly recommend Catherine Gortner as a realtor. She suggested writing an offer even though I thought the home would sell quickly, stating in this market "early bird sometimes gets the worm." She built a good relationship with the other agent to secure her confidence and trust even though she initially didn't want her client to accept a contingent offer. Because my offer was the first one and a strong offer, we were able to purchase my new home under market value, and it even appraised for more. Also, Catherine had her electrician come out for a quote to address some issues on the property inspection as well a good handyman. She and the listing agent also got the roofing company and termite company coordinated to get much of the wood repairs on the Section 1 done for me even though this wasn't required in the As Is contract. Catherine is always available and is extremely responsive. She always communicates other appointments or meetings. Catherine also worked with the agent on the sale of my house to make sure the proceeds and the solidness of that transaction all went smoothly as well. She is very patient with all my questions and explains everything to me in detail so that I completely understand. I would definitely use Catherine if I were to purchase another house!

Very truly yours,

Christie Quinton


We wanted to write this letter of reference for Catherine Gortner, because she did such a phenomenal job of representing us in both the purchase of our new home in San Jose, and the sale of our prior home in Burlingame.

Having discovered the home of our dreams in San Jose, we had occasion to meet Catherine at an open house. She helped us get through a difficult negotiation with the sellers, working on our behalf to get a nearly 15% discount off the asking price of the home. She worked closely with the selling agent and the sellers to get them to become agreeable to our offer, despite the significant price discount. Then she worked relentlessly through the closing process to manage the banks, mortgage broker, and inspectors to ensure a timely close of escrow, which definitely would have slipped had Catherine not intervened.

Catherine then turned around and did an excellent job of showcasing our Burlingame home. She assisted us in preparing the home through staging tips and suggestions on repairs and touch-up work to create the best first impression. She prepared a beautiful, glossy brochure for the home, the quality of which we had rarely seen except for luxury homes. She also advertised our home with a photo virtual tour on popular real estate websites, thus increasing the visibility of the listing. Once listed, Catherine was relentless in holding open houses until we had a great offer in hand.

When it came to the pricing and negotiating, Catherine really helped us receive the maximum amount for our property. Despite an increasingly tough housing market, she encouraged us to go for a slightly higher than expected asking price given our property location and condition, and then succeeded in closing the transaction at the asking price. This was in a market where we were not expecting to be in a multi-bid situation, yet she was successful in encouraging the buyers to act quickly and decisively. She truly managed to get us the full value of the property.

Catherine is simply a wonderful agent to work with. She has always been very responsive, savvy, friendly, and enjoyable. Simply put, we highly recommend her!

Regards,

Michael & Deanna


Dear Catherine,

We want to thank you for all the hard work you did helping us buy our first home, a short sale.  We know you negotiated a great, below market price despite competition for the home.  We are also convinced we couldn’t have closed on this home with any other Realtor because the owner, tenants and even bank were difficult.  You informed us of all the difficulties and how you were moving the transaction forward every step of the way.  You even got your hauler to haul out of the house almost two truckloads out of junk the tenants left and clean it!  Now we have our new home that was worth all that effort!  No other realtor could have gotten us this house, thank you.

Greg P. and Julie B.


Thanks for being the most awesome person ever (let alone realtor) - your patience and outstanding knowledge is such a breath of fresh air and you always take care of what is the best interest of my needs (or whims).

Thanks,

Ginger


Dear Catherine,

I wanted to commend you for your assistance with the sale of our home and the purchase of our new home.  Your expertise, honesty and hard work, made these major transactions flow easily and on schedule.  Also, I wanted to thank you for going above and beyond the call of duty to address all inquires and concerns.

Sincerely,

Sylvia E. Villarreal

Stanford University Medical Center


When you need help, to whom to you reach out and ask for that special rendering?

It is my privilege to encourage you to meet a very trustworthy person to give you all her available resources to meet your home needs. She is a woman of excellence.

First, she is a broker whose due-diligence exemplifies a very high work ethic on behalf a client or a friend. For example, she recently gave such an immediate response to one my long time friends who needed a home on short notice in the bay area. She invested substantial time and effort to help them. She was even key in unlocking an employment opportunity for my friend's wife.

When you contact this woman of excellence, you will be more than rewarded; you will be delighted.

When I get ready to sell my home, she will take care of this process better than anyone I know and I know quite a few people.

Best Wishes,

Gordon Ashe


When you need help, to whom to you reach out and ask for that special rendering?

It is my privilege to encourage you to meet a very trustworthy person to give you all her available resources to meet your home needs. She is a woman of excellence.

First, she is a broker whose due-diligence exemplifies a very high work ethic on behalf a client or a friend. For example, she recently gave such an immediate response to one my long time friends who needed a home on short notice in the bay area. She invested substantial time and effort to help them. She was even key in unlocking an employment opportunity for my friend's wife.

When you contact this woman of excellence, you will be more than rewarded; you will be delighted.

When I get ready to sell my home, she will take care of this process better than anyone I know and I know quite a few people.

Best Wis

Gordon Ashe


Congratulations Catherine!

As you know, I was a little concerned about the purchase for this property at [6%] over the asking price. Well, the appraisal is on my desk at [1.8% over purchase  price]!  That tells me you have done a great job.  It is not usual for an appraisal to appraise over the contract price.

So congratulations are in order.  I have informed [the buyer] already, since he was concerned, and I told him that he had good advice on the sale from you, and this was the proof.

Denny, Mortgage Broker