Successfully bringing a house to market takes, knowledge, experience, teamwork, timing, orchestration, creativity, vision . . . and capital. Compass Concierge fronts the costs of home improvement services with minimal fees.
2 wyngaard avenue
A mid-century Warnecke, this spacious home had been thoughtfully remodeled by its current owners which involved a state-of-the-art professionally designed kitchen. What hadn't been tackled was the ensuite bathroom, exterior paint and a more cohesive interior design approach. Big and bright, this house offered a lot of living space, including an oversized living room, dining room, large family room, 5 bedrooms, 3.5 bathrooms, an inviting front courtyard and a private back patio with an outdoor kitchen. Presenting a home with a narrative that provides Buyers with a clear understanding of how a house can live is the goal of good staging, but it doesn't happen without hardwork, the proper investment in preparing a home and a willingness to let our team go to work. Can it be a tricky road to navigate? Definitely, but not without a sincere intention to present the house in its absolute best light and a desire to garner the most successful result.
before & after
43 FARRAGUT AVENUE
This sophisticated home with intimate courtyards, mostly all-level living and fabulous indoor-outdoor flow was accurately described as a "unicorn." Few houses exist in Piedmont with this kind of grand scale, open floor plan, three en-suite bedrooms and stunning kitchen/family room space. Our Sellers understood the value of modernizing their lovely home and investing in the right choices; fresh white paint, warm wool carpet, contemporary light fixtures, refinished natural wood floors, Calcutta quartz countertops, and jaw-dropping staging. Did such a significant home need a drastic makeover? Definitely. Loved and lived in, 43 Farragut needed serious updating, and the results were nothing short of "Wowza!"
before & After
5773 COUNTRY CLUB LANE
This Mid-Century Modern had all the right elements, but needed a little more swagger, fresh paint and thoughtful furniture placement. Our clients were the dream; handing us the keys, moving out and allowing our teams to go to work. Ultimately, this home was able to really shine and the home was in contract within two weeks of bringing it to market. It isn't always easy to let go, but when you put your faith in the process and trust that you are in good hands (you are!), it can certainly ease the journey and lighten your load.
BEFORE & AFTER
315 CRESTMONT AVENUE
Loved and lived in, this "bachelor pad" had served its owner, but it needed a serious face lift to meet the current market challenges. Despite the lack of inventory in the Bay Area, Buyers had grown cautiously conservative as a result of rising interest rates and growing inflation. A frank discussion around the dining room table regarding expectations concluded in a clear strategy to update the house which involved an entirely new kitchen and two new bathrooms, a new deck, new paint, inside and out, new lighting, new carpeting and refinished floors. Our client was "all in" and handed us the keys with a clear understanding of a realistic budget and a manageable timeline. Eight weeks later, the house was delivered, ready for an early spring debut. The house was enthusiastically received, with mulitiple showings and eight offers, resulting in a sale well above the list price. Did this outcome surprise us? Not entirely. True to form: good planning, good work and good intentions can add up to a very rewarding experience.
BEFORE & AFTER
2 SARONI COURT
This sweet house in the Montclair hills offered privacy, intimacy and community. Nestled in a cul-de-sac, 2 Saroni Court was a little haven in the woods, surrounded by friendly neighbors. Comfortable and a bit weathered, this house needed a refresh, but more importantly, it needed a private ensuite bathroom, and a more usable family room that offered both purpose and flexibility. A small hall bathroom was converted to a much larger private, primary bath by utilizing a linen closet and a second bedroom closet. By accessing these storage areas, the ensuite bath could be enlarged to include a luxurious shower and a double vanity. Downstairs, the challange was to maximize the family room by adding a coffee bar and beverage refrigerator to create an entertaining space that didn't require a trip upstairs. This big, beautiful room had so much potential . . . and opportunity.
BEFORE & AFTER
6 DOROTHY PLACE
This lovely oasis, tucked away in the Berkeley Hills offered privacy and serenity, but had been overlooked when it was originally brought to the market without the benefit of fresh paint and staging with a well-intentioned, out-of-area Realtor. With only one lackluster offer in hand, our Sellers decided to reboot with the realization that some changes were in order, and that working with a local team would hopefully garner a stronger result. Did we roll up our sleeves, bring in our teams of painters, handymen, cleaners, stagers and gardeners to give this stunning Contemporary the attention it deserves? Did we visit this house on a daily basis, change out the flowers, sweep the front porch and vacuum the new carpets? Yes, yes and yes, which was absolutely necessary given the overwhelming response this house received, with more than 100 showings in two weeks: that's a tremendous amount of foot traffic and a lot of wear and tear. We pride ourselves on our care and attention to detail, while we are preparing the house . . . and throughout the entire marketing period: plants are watered, floors are swept, yards are kept neat, mail is collected and garbage cans are put away. Our listings are NEVER neglected, and consequently, they frequently benefit from highly competitive offers.
BEFORE & AFTER
33 CORTEZ COURT
This much-loved Montclair retreat presented with a fair amount of deferred maintenance, and was hidden by overgrown foliage and a dilapidated carport. What started out as a simple update evolved into a major overhaul which included bathroom and kitchen updates, new front doors, construction of new fencing, fresh paint throughout, new lighting, new deck, new carpet, and extensive landscaping involving sprinkler repair, planting new beds, and the removal of loads of vines, a dead tree and built-up debris. Fantastic staging elevated the home to new heights, providing the vision for what this house could be for new homeowners. Thankfully, everything fell into place and an offer was presented less than one week into marketing!
391 MORAGA AVENUE
This trusting Seller handed me the keys, loaded up the moving truck and headed to Dallas. Three weeks later, she came back to a completely different home and guest cottage. . . Our work included taming an overgrown garden, applying fresh paint, updating nearly every light fixture, replacing old carpet, attending to overdue repairs, and arranging for inspections, power/window washing and house cleaning. Once transformed, we coordinated the staging, the photography and the marketing to optimize this property’s exposure both in print and on the internet, including social media!
That’s a big list, but not at all unusual.
That’s a big list, but not at all unusual.
2 LITTLEWOOD DRIVE
2 Littlewood required a sensitivity specific to its unique mid-century architecture and protective Sellers who took great pride in their home. Is it tough to convince a client to let go? You bet it is, especially when their home is a reflection of their personal tastes. Preparing a home for sale requires objectivity and that isn’t always easily achieved. The goal is to tell a story that allows the Buyer to see themselves living in the home. New lighting, fresh painting, modern staging and lots of planting elevated this mid-century and resulted in a tremendous result, amounting to 50% above list price.
50 SOTELO AVENUE
Even stately homes come with their challenges; the larger the square footage, the more projects there are to tackle. This much-loved Georgian Colonial greatly benefitted from an exterior paint job, modern lighting and extensive landscaping involving pruning, weeding and planting. Many years of raising kids (and pets – including a roaming turtle!) required fresh paint throughout, along with new carpet and flooring in the heavily-used areas on the lower floor. Fortunately, our Sellers understood the benefits of investing in the sale of their home, even when it required painting over some elaborate stenciling in the entry hall and thoughtful quotes in the kitchen, and allowed us to roll up our sleeves on their behalf and bring in our team of painters, electricians, handymen, gardeners and stagers and to simultaneously restore and update. The grateful Buyers purchased “their forever house” and will spend the next 20 years raising their own children (and pets), hosting family functions and making memories that truly encapsulate the “American Dream.”
4444 STEELE STREET
Having purchased this home more than 30 years ago as a first-time Buyer and eventually turning it into a rental, this 2bdrm/1ba needed some serious TLC and updating. When confronted with the option of selling it as a "fixer" or putting the time and money into transforming the property, my savvy client chose to bring this sweet house to the market reinvented: new kitchen, bathroom, lighting, paint, and yard! Was he attached? Yes, he was! Was he tested? Most definitely. What started out as a simple remodel quickly snowballed into "more than he bargained for," as is often the case once walls are opened and electrical and plumbing are addressed. Fortunately, every roadblock was met with patience, willingness, support and grace. Did this little house prove to be a big undertaking? Did I put my own project manager, contractor and gardener to the test? Were we all thrilled with the ultimate outcome? Decidedly so!
why staging matters
Bringing a home to market can often require a fair amount of capital: hauling, painting, gardening, repairing, lighting, refinishing floors, installing carpeting, cleaning and, yes . . . staging! It isn't at all unusual to have a candid conversation around the value of staging and why I believe it is the single most important investment necessary to garner the best result. Do my Sellers find this concept difficult? Practically always. My carefully cultivated team and I are creating a narrative for the house that frankly, almost entirely negates the lives that have lived there before. While your memories remain intact, our goal is to help the Buyers envision themselves in the house under the very best conditions. Staged homes are about the fantasy; the possibilities and the Insta-worthy photos that populate on the internet. BTW, a watered front lawn makes a huge difference!
39 Wildwood Avenue
before & after
1855 trestle glen road
Truth be told, every house is "lived in." People have real lives, real requirements and real "stuff!" Do most houses suffer from typical wear and tear? Yes they do, which is why its often necessary to suggest a fresh coat of paint, repair work, replacing stained carpet, updating lighting, replanting gardens and you guessed it. . . fabulous staging!
BEFORE & AFTER
73 OAKMONT AVENUE
Quaint and lovely, this sweet cottage in Piedmont was almost lost among larger homes on its block. Sandwiched among a sea of beige and gray neighbors, this formerly cream house needed to be noticed. Saturated blue body paint, crisp white trim and a colorful coral front door took this home from wallflower status to starring role. Light, bright paint on the inside, updated light fixtures and thoughtful staging throughout created the picture-perfect storybook fantasy, selling in less than 28 hours with an aggressive preemptive offer. Do all of our listings have such a happy ending? Not necessarily, but we shoot for this goal each time because our aim is to reach high and see every listing reach its full potential.
before & after
45 LANE COURT
This Stunning Contemporary checked all the right boxes: Downtown SF views ✔, indoor/outdoor living ✔, updated kitchen and baths ✔, and a fully-functional attached 2-bedroom in-law with private entrance ✔✔✔. So, what was missing? While this meticulous Homeowner attended to all things inside this lovely home, the backyard had been sadly neglected for more than a decade and the sloping driveway was an eyesore. Do we think first impressions are important? Is curb appeal worth the investment? Most definitely! While not everyone is a born gardener, or possibly even considers the yard a high priority on their wish list, more often than not, beautiful outdoor spaces and welcoming curb appeal pull at the Buyers' heartstrings and result in numerous offers at higher numbers. Fortunately, landscaping is a chore we relish; creating a plan of attack, working with our gardening crew, hand-selecting plants from our favorite wholesale nursery, planting pots, watering, raking, sweeping and caring for the yard throughout the marketing period. In a nutshell, have I planted a lot of trees? Happily, yes!
778 KINGSTON AVENUE
A level lot with ample space comes at a premium in Piedmont. Who doesn't wish for indoor/outdoor living in California? While a large yard is often desired, the ability to care for it can be overwhelming, so it isn't unusual to find ourselves addressing the yard with the same commitment and thought process we give to the interior of the home. The first priority was to take down the inhospitable and deteriorating front fence, create a beautiful and inviting front garden, and tackle the overgrown and long-neglected backyard. Was this a formidable project? Did the City of Piedmont require a permit? Was it ultimately worth the time, expense, blisters and hard-earned sweat? Yes, yes, yes!
359 eL cERRITO aVENUE
This charming house was hidden behind overgrown foliage and neglected landscaping. While the open floor plan on the inside leant itself to a warm and easy approach to living, the outside did little to convey a welcoming salutation. Lots of pruning, weeding, raking, power washing and bright, light paint proved to be the winning recipe for a storybook ending to a very successful sale.
before & after
675 FAIRMOUNT AVE.
This income-producing duplex required a face-lift which included fresh exterior paint, front yard plantings, a bright front door, and a little stencil magic! It can be a challenge selling an occupied listing with limited opportunities to show, but an eye-catching photograph and inviting curb appeal can provide the required impetus.
1630 60th street
fences & neighbors
This hip and chic home in the NOBE, offered central location, modern amenities and urban living. However, the sweet neighbors were in a holding pattern about their dilapidated garage. They had plans to eventually address what clearly needed addressing, but we needed a solution pronto! These steel-cut screens were discovered on Etsy, arrived within a week and were installed by our talented handyman who built the frame to securely anchor the screens to the fence. The courtyard was completely transformed with a little investment, effort and ingenuity, and the neighbors loved it too!