HOME SELLER REVIEWS
Bold emphasis by Catherine Gortner Properties
I interviewed several real estate agents before selling my home, and Catherine was by far the best. Other agents looked at my home and said it'd be easy to sell for 1.5M. They didn't do much research and didn't know the neighborhood very well.
When Catherine saw our home, she immediately saw the potential. Would it sell as-is? Sure. However, with a little attention to detail, we could easily get much more! She went over every square inch of the home and pointed out everything that needed to be addressed. From the obvious task of repainting the interior, to the finer details of replacing every single doorknob and installing dimmable LEDs in the chandelier, she made the house pop!
Catherine offers a concierge service that provides a team of expert contractors and handymen to handle all the details at very reasonable prices. Being a remote seller, it was comforting to know that she was on top of all the work being done, and she provided pictures of each step of the process.
After prepping and staging the house in record time, Catherine held the open house. This is where her real value comes through. She properly assessed each potential buyer and laid out the options to attract the highest bid. Catherine is a very skilled negotiator, and she was able to get top dollar for our home and greatly exceeded what the other agents would have gotten.
I have bought and sold many homes in multiple states, and I have always thought to myself, "these agents don't add any value; any idiot can put a home on the market and sell it". Now that I've seen how Catherine works, I know what to look for in future agents. This is a level of service that is truly world class, and it is backed by DATA that she presents in her track record.
I would highly recommend Catherine as a seller's agent. She earned me $100k+. My only regret is that I cannot use her to sell my other homes across the nation!
Catherine helped me to sell my house in February/March of 2019. She was very committed to getting the best results given the condition of my house and the real estate market at the time. I didn't have the budget to fully upgrade my house. She brainstormed the ideas to maximize my profit when I interviewed her, which is why I hired her over others.
Even though my house didn't stack up with similar houses for sale around the same time in my area because of limited upgrades, Catherine didn't list it below the market for its condition to score an easy win. It turned out we didn't receive any offer by our deadline for accepting offers. Slower market at the end of the winter season was another reason for it.
Then Catherine got into the full gear. She made many many phone calls to people visited the property. She negotiated and negotiated. Eventually she got 4 or 5 buyers to make at least tentative offers!
In the end, a buyer made an offer over the listing price which was amazing! That's the results of Catherine's hard negations, during which many things were going on that I could barely keep track of.
Through out the process, she kept a spreadsheet of my costs of repairs and upgrades and sent it to me from time to time. Because my savings was running low and I needed to find housing out of the Bay Area, the spreadsheet helped me make plans.
Eventually I bought a condo contingent on selling my house. Catherine proactively coordinated with my buyer's agent. She spent a lot of time to schedule the closing of 2 escrows so I didn't have to spend too much money on moving and temporary lodging in the time gap. That's above and beyond!
Catherine is a shining star in the University Square neighborhood! We chose Catherine because of her stellar reputation and deep knowledge of our unique neighborhood. Every interaction we had with her exceeded our expectations. What distinguishes her among other agents is her unique understanding of the buying and selling culture of the bay area, she taps into that rhythm and expertly generates the buzz and excitement for your property. She is the consummate professional; always 10 steps ahead of all the logistics, extremely prepared and responsive, and has a reputable network of resources to complete the preparations for your home.
Her expert ability to market and articulate the value of our home coupled with strong negotiation skills led to yet another of her record sale prices in our neighborhood.
We highly, without any hesitation, recommend Catherine to be your realtor!
Brian & Loida B.
We bought and sold a few houses in our life time. Catherine is the best realtor we ever had. She is dedicated and detail oriented. She takes ownership right from the beginning and it is hard to find an agent who works as if they own the property. She is good at negotiations and takes great pride in her skills. Setting proper price at the time of selling is very important and you would do well to heed her advice. We sold the house in a difficult market environment with just one open house. Her attention to detail, ownership of the process, awareness of the market environment, and negotiation skills set her apart from other agents. We are very glad to have her as our agent and appreciate her hard work.
Ramani & Surya D.
If you are selling or buying, Hire Catherine. She is not only wonderful to work with, but brings in the best photographer, best staging advice, best advertising and thus best results. She got us Top Dollar to this point in our building @$730/sq. ft. for our loft. She Is the Realtor to hire. Professional and delightful in every way, understood our needs, incredible negotiator, she was as amazing as we could have wished for. 5 Stars from us for sure. Sending up a sincere Thank You that we were so lucky to have found her!
First time selling a home, we needed someone who is trustworthy, able to take charge and can guide us through the process. We found a few agents who has impressive Yelp reviews and scheduled interviews. Catherine was the first person we interviewed, we liked her right away because she is so easy to talk to. She is straight forward, honest and courteous. She meticulously explained the entire process of selling a home to us, along the way answering all our questions and addressing our concerns with patience and fineness. I like Catherine so much that I wanted to cancel the interviews with the rest of the candidates, but since this was our first time hiring selling agent, we thought we should at least talk to a few more people before making a decision. Catherine set the bar so high, we called her back as soon as the last candidate left our front door.
Catherine knew we needed to sell the house soon because we were in escrow with another house. She went to work right away, assembling a team of professionals to get the house ready for listing. She sent us email with a very organized schedule of what needs to happen on what day and at what time. She kept us informed when things change. I love how organize and transparent she is!
Catherine took charge during the entire process and we just followed her lead. Although she was making most of the calls, she welcomed our input and respected our choices. She is sensitive to our needs and limitations, and genuinely cared about my family's well being. She always returns our calls and responds to our emails swiftly. And she made time to meet with us whenever we need her.
Our house was ready to be listed within 3 weeks and sold well above asking price. Thanks to Catherine, the entire process was stress free, and we learnt so much from her through this journey.
Our relationship with Catherine did not just end when the house was sold. She is still looking out for us, making sure we transition to our new home smoothly. She knew we were looking for contractors to remodel the new home, so she referred contractors to us.
It was such a pleasure to work with Catherine. Thank you Catherine for all that you've done for us.
Lap & Wansha
Had a great experience working with Catherine. She worked as our agent to sell our place in San Jose. Our overall experience was wonderful and she beat our expectations with her "Catherine's Concierge" service and negotiating a record price for our house at that time. I had interviewed several agents and only 2 agents including Catherine signed up to meet my minimum sale price expectation. We decided to go with Catherine as we could gauge her experience and confidence in meeting our expectation. "Catherine's Concierge" home preparation budget was lower than other agents' recommended budgets. Her strategy was also wonderful as we observed amazing foot traffic during the open house. We obtain multiple offers and Catherine negotiated greater than 1M (no contingencies) offer which we readily accepted. She also has great taste with regard to interiors including paint color choice. She managed the entire home preparation (painting inside and out with a contemporary warm gray palette inside; replace the bathroom vanities, lights and fixtures; trim and clean up the landscaping; clean the windows) making sure it stays within budget. Catherine will be representing us for purchase of our next property.
Catherine sold the house next door to mine a year ago at a record high. Though I hadn't spoken to her, I'd watched her work so diligently and with such attention to detail that I'd decided that when the time came to sell my house, that she'd be the one I'd choose. And so it was, I found the flyer with her name and number on it a year later and arranged to meet her. I had a lot going on at the time and she helped me in as many ways as I needed to make selling as smooth a process as possible She has an amazing team of painters, contractors, haulers, gardeners, and a wonderfully talented stager. All charge reasonable prices and perform quality work. In the end, Catherine set a new record high in the sale of my house. I couldn't have asked for a better, more caring, and motivated person for the job. I highly recommend and regard her as one of the best in the field of real estate. And as a bonus, she turned out to be a great friend as well! As of current, we are now working together as realtor and buyer :-)
My siblings and I were planning to sell our recently deceased mother's home, so we were on the lookout for someone who could help us with a process that was financial, but also deeply emotional. I was in charge of the process on behalf of my siblings, and with my business/engineering background, led all of the realtor candidates through a VERY thorough selection process.
We started with an A-list of candidates, all of which had either very high ratings on Yelp or Zillow or a personal history with our family. Through a process of two in-depth questionnaires, we narrowed the list to three realtors, each with impeccable credentials. A couple of realtors commented that the questionnaires were so on-point that they thought it was an insider hoax seeking to learn their secrets. We met the three remaining realtors and conducted a property tour.
We ultimately chose Catherine Gortner to represent us because of her creative ideas, her enthusiasm and evident commitment to the project, and because of her sensitivity to the sense of loss we were still experiencing.
When all was said and done, Catherine was every bit as good as we had hoped she would be. Here are the highlights from my perspective:
* Catherine was meticulous in her communication. We always knew what was happening.
* We formed a true partnership in the process. Catherine didn't keep us at arm's length but welcomed our input and involvement.
* Catherine assembled a top-notch team of professionals to help us with the clean up of the property. They were excellent, and they all had kind things to say about Catherine.
* Catherine answered all our questions (and there were many) with speed and professionalism.
* She went the extra mile over and over again, involving herself personally in the process.
* She was honest to a fault. She was always direct and forthcoming, whether good news or bad.
* We got the sense that Catherine understood that the memories of our parents were important to us. She was respectful to their memories and elevated this to more than simply a financial transaction.
To be fair, Catherine didn't walk on water. She can be a bit quirky and cerebral (perhaps it was the Stanford education coming through). However, she was PERFECT for us. We were delighted to have worked with her and are grateful for the outcome of our working together. Thank you, Catherine!
~ Rick Heggem
My sister and I sold our parent's home, and listed it with Catherine. The estate was cash poor so we weren't able to make needed repairs and chose to sell 'as is' Catherine provided professional home staging with furniture as part of her fee, leaving us with only the task of emptying the home of its contents and minor upkeep. It looked like it was interior decorated by a professional designer. And the virtual tour was gorgeous. We almost didn't recognize our home. Apparently there were over 50 groups each day at the open houses Catherine held. She also had the disclosure package and inspection reports prepared ahead of time. She listed it for about 10 days, and advertised a date for my sister and I to review offers. We got 16 offers total, 11 which had no contingencies. Almost all were well over asking. But Catherine didn't stop there for us. She got the top half of dozen offers to increase their offer prices even further. So she negotiated a sale price of 3.3% higher for us which more than paid for her commission and then some. The home didn't even appraise for the sale price but all the top buyers had enough cash to make up the difference, including the buyer that bought our home.
Catherine could have stopped with staging and marketing our home and the 16 offers, and we would have been happy with the top offer out of the 16. But instead, she took that extra step and negotiated even more for us to get our sale price 3.3% higher. Catherine cares and seems to really enjoy negotiating for her clients. She also worked diligently with the buyer's agent to make sure we were able to close the sale very quickly, which was very important to us. From the time the house was listed to the time escrow closed was only 30 days, due in no small part to Catherine's hard work.
It's a pleasure to write this review for Catherine. She did an amazing job and made the sale process so much easier for us. At first my husband and I were a little nervous about selling our home but after meeting Catherine we felt so much better. It turned out to be a beautiful experience for several reasons.
Catherine was a professional from beginning to end. She always responded to my calls and emails right away. And always provided me with intelligent, ethical and caring responses.
My home sold very fast (less than 1 week!) and it was because of Catherine's hard work. She hired the most amazing stager and also helped me make small home improvements. She made this process so much fun too!
Catherine showcased our home so beautifully online that it quickly created a high interest from potential buyers. It was so high that Catherine decided to have our open house earlier then originally planned. So Catherine decided to postponed her family vacation to attend the open house because she wanted to do what was right for us! We knew Catherine was extremely dedicated but this act was so kind. Turned out that there were about 60 people at our open house and Catherine worked very hard to make everything run smoothly.
After only 4 days from the open house we already had several offers on the table. All were well over the original asking price. Catherine has amazing negotiation skills and we couldn't be more thrilled with the end result. Catherine's biggest joy is to make her clients happy. And she sure made us happy! I will forever be grateful and feel so blessed that our paths crossed.
Catherine is an excellent realtor and now good friend. She displayed expertise and was very patient in hearing our concerns. Over the past years my husband and I attended many of Catherine's open houses in our University Square neighborhood. We were struck by her enthusiasm and professionalism. We chose her to sell our home for these reasons and she exceeded our expectations. We contacted Catherine in February and told her we wanted to sell our house in the summer. Catherine laid out a time line for the various inspections and needed repairs. She contacted painters and flooring contractors to update our 18 year old house. We chose to follow her advice for the needed work and improvements. Everything went according to Catherine's timeline and we were able to list our house in June. We received three offers, over asking price, before the official Open House. The sale went through without any problems because Catherine had vetted the offers. We highly recommend Catherine to everyone who wants to sell their home.
Rick & Marilee M.
First and foremost, we wanted to thank Catherine for helping us sell our house so quickly and successfully. Thanks to Catherine's marketing program, the pain and hassle of preparing the house for sale and then selling it was practically effortless on our part. The sales price and the time on the market (again, due to Catherine's strategy) was far and beyond our expectations. It sold in one week for over 40K asking price!!! Catherine was an excellent source of information not only in regard to the current real estate market, but also every pre-sales decision that had to be made. I was very impressed with her approach and suggestions - she really striked a perfect balance between getting the house in the best selling condition AS WELL as saving money for us. That is unheard of in the real estate agent's market!
So the net-net: Buying or selling, I would trust Catherine's every suggestion and decision - her knowledge, expertise, good will, and a sense of ethics far surpass any other agent we have worked with in the past. We trust her completely!
Catherine is the most professional realtor we have ever worked with and both my wife and I would highly recommend her if you are planning on selling your home. Her knowledge of the area and selling skill was most impressive. Additionally she was very attentive to our personal needs and was keen to follow up on all issues related to the sale. Catherine implemented the use of a professional stager, creating strong appeal to buyers eventually maximizing the sell price of our home. Catherine was also very capable in negotiating on our behalf as she was able to get multiple offers on our home which led to a significantly higher sell price than what we had listed for exceeding our expectations.
Thank you Catherine for making this experience so very positive! You are the best!
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 timeframe 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.
Leigh and Michael Cordes
Catherine did a marvelous job of selling my home. Starting with the expert advice on staging (which comes as part of the package, not an additional charge!) my home, the company that she hired to do a wonderful video tour of the home capturing all the unique features and fantastic daytime and evening views of the city, to the professional brochure on high quality stock that was present in the home and at the curb. Everything that presented my home was top drawer! This attention to detail, I felt brought in top quality buyers and ultimately the offer that sold my home. Though my home was set up as an equestrian property, she concentrated on the larger executive market, in order to "cast a wider net" of prospective buyers. This singled her out from the other 4 agents I interviewed before selling and brought a better selling price for my home.
The most important part of Catherine's skills however were in the negotiations with the buyer and their agent and with me. There were sticking points and Catherine was able to negotiate between them and myself so that in the end we all felt like the deal went well for both parties. I am happy with my sale and the new owner is happy with the home he always wanted in the country.
I referred my neighbor to Catherine and she sold his home only 2 months after mine closed. He was counseled by friends to do a FSBO, and after discussing the pros and cons of using an agent, he listed with Catherine. He is very happy with the outcome.
I have bought and sold over 11 homes in my life. Catherine ranks as one of the top agents I have dealt with in this process. I have seen the good, the bad and yes, the ugly of agents over my time and she is one of the best.
I strongly recommend Catherine Gortner as your prospective realtor; Catherine represented our property for sale. I first met Catherine when my wife/I were looking for a home to purchase; and she represented another seller. I was at her property when the video was to be made that day; and Catherine was surveying the property for last minute fixes -- for example, she noticed that one of the lights was out; and asked for it to be fixed asap. While I was there, the seller was also there and thanked Catherine for her efforts and mentioned how they appreciated her staging results. I was impressed with her attention-to-detail, as well as how she coordinated the different moving parts of a sale (e.g. the stagers, the video person).
When the time came for us to sell our home; we asked Catherine to represent us. She knew the right resources/personnel (e.g. painter, carpet installers, gardener, stagers) to get our home quickly ready for our sale (~ 2 weeks of prep time). Throughout the process, Catherine was responsive using multiple methods of communications (e.g. email, text). Our home ended up selling with multiple offers and an at-the-time record home price by square footage, with which we were very pleased.
When we looked for a realtor, we were looking for someone we could trust and properly represent us, as well as our property. We believe we found the right person in Catherine.
Wow! What a quick, professional, successful job Catherine did for us! For years, due to lousy previous experiences with Realtors, I had been dreading having to work with a Realtor when the time came to sell our home. But working with Catherine was truly a pleasure. Two of our neighbors recently sold their homes with Catherine and they both highly recommended her. As soon as we decided to sell, Catherine came to our home to help us prioritize the preparation (decluttering, repairs, painting, etc.). When we requested recommendations for assistance (repairs and painting), she offered contact info for excellent contractors. When we had questions about the disclosure process, she provided excellent advice. She took care of the staging, competently guided us on pricing, and provided excellent marketing materials (brochure and virtual tour). Showing the home and the negotiations proceeded very quickly and went off without a hitch. We highly recommend Catherine as your Realtor!
I would like to thank you for your help in selling our property recently. We had been nervous about selling in the current unfavorable market but it ended up being the quickest, and easiest, sale we have ever experienced. Your full service approach to real estate marketing makes the process quite painless. I appreciate the way you provided solid and well thought through advice, while leaving the decisions to us. In the end those decisions were easy to make, based on the information you provided.
In particular I would like to commend you on the creative way you suggested that we should structure the deal. By working with us and the buyer to explore alternatives you came up with a solution that was a win for us, and a win for the buyer. Afterwards I discovered, to my amazement, that you actually reduced your own commission slightly in the process! In my experience few realtors favor such solutions.
This was the third time we worked together on a transaction. You can be assured that we will return the next time we need a realtor!
Just wanted to tell you how much we appreciated your hard work on the sale of our home at University Square. Of all of your clients, I would regard myself as having the highest of expectations and toughest of standards for realtors in that both of my parents as well as my younger sister are all real estate brokers in Southern California. I expected you to be as dedicated to the sale of our home as my parents would have been toward the sale of their own daughter’s home. To my pleasant surprise, you went above my expectations. In fact you worked on the sale of our home as if it were your own home. I could not have asked for more from you.
I am so glad that we made the decision to have you sell our home. It ended up being a wise decision on many levels. You took it upon yourself to make it a personal mission to sell our house for the highest price in the shortest time with the least amount of stress for us. We asked much of you with many hurdles to overcome, but you overcame them all with ease and unforeseeable benefits. Because we had bought our new home already, we needed to sell our old home as soon as possible. We could not have asked for more from you when you were ready to put our house on the market only hours after we initially talked on the phone. And you could not have been more prepared for putting our home on the market--I feel strongly that there is no other realtor who knows the University Square market better than you. I also feel that our house sold as fast as it did (accepted the offer that came in on the second business day that our house was on the market) because of your hard work. For example you worked on the sale of our home almost around the clock; I still remember getting updates from you at 12:15 a.m. I heard about other people having to continuously bother their realtor to return their calls, but I, on the other hand, was always being updated by you, up to the minute, on the progress of the sale. Your hard work paid off in selling our home long before other homes on the market in University Square.
I feel that in knowing you I have a personal friend who happens to be a top professional in the real estate industry. I am grateful that you guided us in the choice to stage our house, set up a virtual tour, and use the professional grade marketing pamphlets, as they all contributed in the quick sale of our home. Thanks again for taking such a personal stake in selling our home. We believe it was because of your effort that we got the successful sale that we did.
When I decided to sell my home, a condominium in Villagio I spoke with a few realtors who specialize in my neighborhood. Their presentations were similar; "A condominium is a commodity and to sell it, you should price it in the same range with the other recent sales in your development." Not satisfied with their sales pitches, I kept looking for the right person to represent me.
I then stumbled on a Web site highlighting Catherine's home marketing philosophy. Intrigued by what I saw, I called Catherine. From our initial conversation, Catherine clearly stood out from the crowd. She showed up on-time with the typical market activity statistics. But that was the only thing typical about her presentation.
Catherine also presented her "Marketing Advantage" which includes premium Internet advertising, virtual tours, photos, staging consultations, and open houses. But initially, it was the color brochure examples and her commitment to stage my kitchen and baths that caught my eye. After all, those services are sometimes offered in Palo Alto or Saratoga, but not in my neighborhood. More importantly, by offering those services, she demonstrated a time and financial commitment to market MY home.
We then walked the property and she noted the qualities that make my home unique. She shared her references. She respectfully advised me of the things I should do to market my home for top dollar. She and I mutually agreed on an asking price and marketing strategy. By the end of our initial meeting, I felt comfortable that I would be well represented and signed on with Catherine.
Immediately, I started seeing the results of Catherine's pre-marketing efforts. She facilitated home preparations and staging, home and termite inspections, disclosures, and pre-marketing repairs. Catherine's efforts were especially appreciated as I had already relocated out of the Bay Area. She then sent me a draft of the marketing brochure for my property. I was pleasantly surprised by her attention to detail. My home was not presented as a "commodity." It was truly a special one-of-a-kind property.
The day my home went on the market, I logged into www.mlslistings.com and www.realtor.com and immediately saw that my home stood out. Rather than seeing a placeholder that said, "Hot New Listing," the exquisite virtual tour and photos were already prominently posted. Those coupled with her description of my property, made me second guess why I want to sell.
Catherine's efforts achieved results. We quickly got an offer above any prior sale price for a comparable property in my complex.
Catherine did not stop there. Catherine followed through by ensuring that the offer was solid. She clarified ambiguities in the offer and proactively drafted the addendum to ensure equitable language. She set up the escrow with the title company so she had better control over the process. She assertively verified the buyer's financial worthiness. She successfully encouraged the buyer to quickly release contingencies (partly because she proactively already had all inspections and disclosures complete). Finally, Catherine followed through on a very uneventful, clean, and early close.
If you want to use a realtor who invests in sending out postcards stating, "I sold your neighbors property. Call me if you want me to sell yours," Catherine is not the realtor for you. But if you want a realtor who will personally invest in marketing your home and follow through to the close of the transaction, without hesitation, call Catherine.
When we were looking for an real estate agent to sell our Villagio condominium, we used commission rate and services to narrow down the number of qualified agents, and then we used integrity to help us differentiate the one to whom we would give our business to. Our definition of integrity is doing the right things to achieve a win win outcome between the seller and the buyer. In order to get listings, some seller’s agent will low ball their commission rate to attract the seller and then make up the difference by picking purchase contracts that are represented by agents who are open to negotiation of buyer’s agent’s commission so the seller’s agent gets a kick back. It is true that many bay area homes represented by these crooked seller’s agents still get sold many thousands over the asking price, however this practice conflicts with the best interest of the seller. It is possible that a more favorable purchase offer will be over looked because the buyer’s agent follows the rules. Sounds illegal and unfair? It is. If both agents keep it hush hush and the kick backs are given in cash who will know?
We met Catherine during one of the open houses that she was doing for one of her clients. She was forth coming to admit that this particular property was on the market for 3 weeks and the property had not received any purchase contract even though to us the property appeared to be well presented and priced right. One easy way out of her dilemma could have been to convince the seller to drop the selling price of the home to get a quick sell. Catherine instead chose to work with other realtor to postpone the listing of other similar properties in the same complex to avoid direct competition. Her actions told us that she is not the kind who would take the easy way out right away, instead she is willing to pick an approach that serves her client’s best interest.
After signing a listing contract with Catherine, we got an offer on our home only a couple of days after she had it professionally staged. However, during the home inspection, the inspector found a major support beam in the attic was notched by the HVAC installer. This type of problem is normally a deal breaker. Catherine worked with the seller and the seller’s agent and managed to keep our condominium in contract. She then referred a structural engineer to us and helped to present our case to the home owner association. To our relief, the home owner association agreed to address the problem and even issued a written statement to demonstrate their commitment to fix the problem in a timely fashion. Without Catherine’s work, we believe the outcome would likely have been very different.
It was a great experience working with Catherine. We look forward to working with her for our future real estate transactions and we will definitely recommend her to all our friends.
Catherine was instrumental in finding us just the right buyer for our very unique home in the East Foothills. She was there every step of the way; great staging, fabulous photo brochure and videography, productive open houses, all very thorough and efficiently. Catherine handled the sale of our so masterly I was able to stay out of state in our new home without worry.
I have worked with Catherine on both Commercial Out of State real estate deals and California Residential deals for 20 years. She really knows every aspect of the industry. I trust her judgement. I would not negotiate a deal, neither buy nor sell, without her.
On a personal note, she always puts her customer's interest first. She is also a valuable contributor to the Sierra Road Mutual Water Co. We make not business decisions without her input.
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!
Michael & Deanna
We wanted to write a few lines to tell you how delighted we are with the sale of our home. We could not have done it without you. You are not only a thoroughly professional real estate agent, you are also a caring and conscientious person.
When we met you a few years ago at an open house on Sierra Road, we knew we wanted you to represent us when we were ready to sell our home. Your recommendations and guidance in getting our home in "sell" shape were very valuable. The professionals you referred us to (by way of your concierge) did an excellent job. Your help in prioritizing the needed repairs in the house and the emphasis you gave to the plumbing issues were right on the mark. The classy interior staging and the exterior flower arrangement were the icing on the cake.
We were struck most by your poise and tact when our original buyers could not secure their financing. It was a trying time for us. It was at this stage that you shone. We really appreciated that you took this ordeal as hard as we did. Without missing a beat you put the home on the market again, set up the open house, and protected our interest by making sure our original contract was voided.
We were all rewarded by God's grace with an even better and stronger offer within a matter of days. It was smooth seas from that point on and the escrow closed in record time. To sum up we are very pleased with the sale of our home thanks to your professionalism. Now that we have moved out of state we will miss your friendship too.
We wish you success and happiness.
Hasna and Amer Syed
We had an awesome experience working withCatherine. She did an outstanding job of marketing our home in a way that really helped to showcase all the work we had done and maximize it's potential. The staging, flyer and showing of our home was all done with a degree of professionalism beyond our expectations. She skillfully navigated us through multiple incoming offers and we were very pleased with the results.
Her extensive knowledge of the area and understanding of our dreams made the house hunting experience a pleasure. She used her remarkable savvy to negotiate us into an off-market home that turned out to be amazing opportunity. She was great to work with, not only for her professionalism and knowledge of the real estate industry, but more importantly for the personal interest she took in making our experience as smooth and stress free as possible. Whenever we started freaking out, Catherine was patient, understanding and sensitive to our needs. She was also responsive, hard-working and paid attention to every detail of our transaction. We highly recommend Catherine and we would definitely work with her again.
Rhonda and Lance K.
Catherine did an outstanding job selling our home. She had a multi-step marketing plan that really worked well. She didn’t rush our home onto the real estate listing, but instead she worked with us to prepare our home for sale. Catherine made great suggestions that focused our efforts on areas the buyers would notice the most and took the lead in getting the work done. She kept us informed through emails, phone calls, and a calendar of events. The calendar was really kept up to date. One day she emailed us three updates to keep up with the changing activities. This was very helpful to us since we currently live 140 miles from the home we were selling and we felt very comfortable leaving the details in Catherine’s capable hands.
The preparation for sale included new tile and carpet, decorating the kitchen and bathrooms, cleaning, taking photos to accentuate some of the nice features of the house, and creating a very professional brochure. I felt the house was presented to public in an excellent way and all Catherine’s hard work paid off when we received a bid at our asking price about four weeks after our home was listed for sale. She found buyers that like the kitchen remodel, koi pond, and other improvements we made to house over the years. She kept things flowing smoothly through escrow, even handling special needs like finding a temporary home for our koi while the house was being fumigated.
The sale of our home went very smoothly and comfortably due to Catherine’s hard work and frequent communications with us to let us know what to expect so there were no surprises.
Thank you, Catherine,
Paul and Beth Dodd
I was referred to Catherine by a mutual friend and was extremely pleased with the job she did selling my home. I was immediately impressed by her professionalism, as well as the personal interest she took in me throughout the process. Catherine’s marketing strategies were top quality. The virtual tour and the brochure were impressive. As a result of the time that she spent with me evaluating my home and the woman that she brought in to stage it, my house looked like a show home. She recommended upgrades that would add extra profit and appeal. My home sold the second day on the market at well over the asking price. I know that her marketing expertise, her hard work, and her integrity were responsible for the fast and successful results. I was very pleased with the inspectors and the contractors that she recommended to me as well. Catherine always kept me informed of the progress of the sale, and the negotiations and closing went flawlessly. I want to thank you Catherine for such a successful and pleasant transaction.
I had interviewed a few real estate agents with the purpose of selecting the person that would represent me for the sale of my townhouse. During her first visit, Catherine directly stuck out of the bunch for her behavior, professionalism, enthusiasm and skills. Even though most agents tend to emphasize the same set of skills and marketing features, I thought that Catherine was really on top of her game. She was also the only one who believed that my house could and would sell for top dollar. It did above all expectations. It also proved all the other agents wrong.
Catherine delivered on all her promises of marketing, from an impeccable brochure to the web advertisement. Her help was also invaluable in the setting of the house. Even though she ended up not being able to attend the open house event during the first weekend (which we had agreed on), she took care of setting all the signs and preparing the paperwork for the prospective buyers. No further open house was needed since the property sold in less than a week.
Catherine was really good at negotiating the closing price of the townhouse with the buyers’ agents, making sure that all contingencies where taken care of and that all the paperwork was done appropriately. Even though this is something that one would expect from any agent, it was done in a timely and almost enjoyable way.
Catherine lives in a world full of details, making sure that each last little thing is taken care of. There is no doubt that she controls it all and that she makes sure that the message gets through. She is also very available, responds in a timely manner and makes sure that her client does not have any doubt left.
It was a pleasure working with Catherine.
What I can say about Catherine that has already been said about her, but I have to say my piece it it's only fair. Catherine is a Professional in every sense of the word, She knows and enjoys her job, our experience selling our home that is not easy task, but with the knowledgeable guide of Catherine became bearable, her recommendations for the necessary upgrades to obtain top dollar were right on the money, she provides professional staging, virtual tour and works hard until the last minute of the transaction, always keeping informed from the smallest details.
Knowing and working with Catherine was a wonderful experience.
I have been meaning to let you know how much I enjoyed working with you during the selling of my home. I was very impressed with the marketing materials, especially the brochure and the virtual tour. My neighbor said it really represented my home as a show place!
While being exceptionally professional and competent, you also exuded a sense that you really cared about my individual needs and concerns. Together, we were able to successfully resolve any issues that came up during the process leading up to that happy day when the final offer came in.
Thank you for your hard work and for helping me to make that difficult transition leaving a house where my late husband and I had lived many happy years.
I have now moved on and am really enjoying being with my daughter and little grandson. I wish you the best in your future endeavors and hope we will continue to be in touch with each other.
I wanted to say how much I appreciated your professionalism and your being detail-oriented on the sale of my home. Although I wasn't convinced in the beginning of the value of staging my home, you didn't want to leave anything undone in the marketing my home. I also had some questions regarding what should and should not be done to prepare my home. You suggested I replace the carpet which had some stains and not go with expensive tiling in the bathroom, which I had been considering. You also suggested a few minor repairs that were not costly but remove any issue the buyers might have had about my home's consistent quality. The staging by your professional stagers was very well done and did make my home look like a model home. I agree now that staging does work. And I was impressed by the quality of the internet virtual tour and your professional glossy brochures.
It was your careful attention to all the marketing, negotiation and transaction details that helped me sell for the price I wanted despite the much slower market. The whole process and transaction was very smooth.
Catherine, you are professional to whom I can confidently refer my friends. I look forward to working with you, again, in the future.
First of all, I would like to thank you for helping me sell my house and your hard work. I had interviewed a few real estate agents to select the person that would represent me in selling my house. On the day that I met her and told her that I want to put my house in the market in the next 3 months. As time went by she just kept in touch with me until it was time for me to put the house in the market. She is very professional and she did not rush me to sign a contract that made me feel so comfortable to hire her as my agent. As time went by, she just kept in touch with me until it was time for me to put the house in the market.
Catherine did an excellent job of marketing of my home. She had my home professionally staged so my young daughter said “Wow!”, did a good looking virtual tour and web advertising and made beautiful brochures. On the first hour when the sign was put up I had a buyer who wanted to make an offer already. She was really on top of her tactic. She believed that my house will sell for top dollar. She did really help me received the top amount for my property.
She is on top of every last detail. She makes herself available, responds in a timely manner and makes sure that her client does not have any doubt left.
It's great pleasure to work with you.... I know I can always count on you when needed.
Again, thank you very much.
ON THE LEFT: An unexpected bouquet from sellers who lived out of the area and simply gave Catherine the keys. Acting like an interior designer, Catherine managed all the remodeling and preparation of their home which had been a rental. The sellers received multiple offers before the remodeling was finished!
ON THE RIGHT: An unexpected gift basket from sellers traveling in Italy who described themselves as MIA during the sale of their Los Altos home. They did not have internet access for 2 weeks in a remote area of Italy while Catherine was coordinating the preparation and sale of their home.