May 15, 2004
I must recommend my realtor most highly to anyone in Silicon Valley. Her name is Mary Marley, from Alain Pinel Los Altos, and she’s like a combination of a yenta from Brooklyn plus a hard-headed saleswoman of the year.
Her eye for the crucial detail that can make or break your happiness is amazing. For instance, Tim and I are probably a little strange because we prefer sharing an office; and we spend a LOT of time in there, so it’s important to us. Not every second bedroom is suitable for this because they have too little wall space, or the bare walls are directly across from each other. Mary carefully evaluated all bedrooms to make sure there was one in every house that would make for a comfortable office, not just one that we could cram ourselves into. She also evaluated the living spaces to make sure we could have room for a piano as well as a 6-seat dining table.
Mary is excellent at finding and screening the properties, but I think it’s in the negotiation phase that she truly shines. She puts together your offer with a keen understanding of the seller’s psychology that often is better than money. She even writes up a little story for each buyer, highlighting their good points (stable jobs, married a long time, can close quickly) and minimizing their bad points if any. When the market is hot, as it is now, Mary’s ability to sell you to the homeowner can be the difference between getting a house quickly and making a dozen fruitless offers before overpaying in desperation.
And even after the sale closes, she is on the case. She arranged for our house to be de-termited and de-ratted, found us the previous owner’s gardener, and recommended a good electrician. She even got the previous owner to leave all the paint he’d used to touch up his walls. She’s our realtor for life, and she can be yours too.