We are delighted with the recent sale of our Saratoga home. We were referred to Melanie from friends who've used her a number of times, and we've been very pleased! Her 30+ years in the business really shows. On top of guiding us through a complex maize of legal paperwork, her resources for inspections and contractors were invaluable and her marketing materials were very high end from colorful brochures, mailings and virtual tour to advertising. We got a huge bump from the staging and landscaping improvements she coordinated. And what a difference. Our home was nice before, but she added the finishing touches that helped us generate multiple offers and the highest sales price that's ever been recorded in our neighborhood. Most invaluable, however, was her understanding of the contract, all the disclosures (it's overwhelming!) and the delicately handled negotiations with our international buyers and their agent. When it was all said and done, she got well over list price, negotiated a free month of rent for us and even found an off market rental in Willow Glen for a few months while we look for our next home! There's a lot at stake here. I wouldn't want anyone else in my corner when it comes to buying or selling my home.
I was absolutely dreading the prospect of selling the family home in Los Altos and finding a decent place at the coast. A friend recommended Melanie Kemp and I tentatively scheduled a meeting. (I understand now why almost all of her clients are from referrals) Everything has been a whirlwind since then. Melanie not only brought in an astounding 44% over list price (which made it possible for me to retire), but powered through two really difficult buyer situations to find me an unbelievably beautiful beachfront home at Sunset Beach (only 14 hours later). I was totally skeptical of the process going into this. But Melanie layed out exactly what she was going to do, educated me on the process and documents, took the extra time to make sure I wasn't freaking out, then, time after time blew me away with all that was accomplished. I felt like I had won the lotto. Four abilities stand out that really made a difference for me... 1) she accomplished everything she promised (and then some), 2) she has this remarkable ability to match a personality to the right house, and 3) she has a cadre of appraisers, inspectors, contractors, accountants, trust attorneys all with lots of experience, integrity and professionalism, and 4) she has an eerie ability to read and make people feel realistically optimistic and comfortable.
Bottom line, Melanie has a genius for very effective multitasking so that no opportunity or detail even comes close to falling through the cracks. And, most importantly, she was absolutely relentless and brilliant at the Art of the Deal, taking out the worry and confusion of the process by constantly keeping me informed of progress daily (and sometimes hourly when things started moving fast), and leveraging every bit of her long experience. Like I keep telling friends who couldn't believe what happened with the resulting sale and the new beach house: "She's the Real Deal"
Melanie was the agent for the sale of my Saratoga home, and the purchase of my Los Gatos home. Results matter, and the sale yielded the highest $/sq ft of any home in the neighborhood and the purchase was 10's of thousands of dollars less than what the seller said was their lowest acceptable offer. Simply, Melanie knows her business and makes the right decisions that yield the best results. Equally important, through each transaction she kept the process flowing and on-time, often keeping the other agents "honest". I hardily recommend Melanie for your real estate transaction.
Saratoga and Los Gatos
Melanie just helped us find our dream home and we couldn't be more pleased! We were only in town for less than a week and she was able to organize dozens of showings so that we could make the most of our time and get a feel for the market. She was extremely efficient, thorough, and an absolute pleasure to be around. She made this process seem more like vacation than work. Once we found the home we knew we wanted she was AMAZING. Her can do attitude as well as binder full of contacts allowed us to close in record time. No one thought that we could possibly arrange all of the necessary inspections as quickly as she had promised. They ate their words. Melanie impressed us on all levels, but the way she handled the negotiating process and closing was spectacular. While Melanie is very sweet and kind, it was her pit-bull sized attack on the negotiations that blew us away. There's something extremely comforting about having someone that knows every trick in the book on your team. We went back to the East Coast completely confident that Melanie could handle anything thrown her way. We highly recommend Melanie as both an agent as well as a local tour guide! She's fantastic...and we feel very lucky to have met her.
Los Altos Hills, CA
Twenty-five years ago we needed a realtor to help us sell our home fast. A family member recommended Melanie to us. Melanie sold our house within three weeks. We were so impressed with Melanie's professionalism, energy and vast knowledge not only about real estate matters but also about home design and contractors referrals.
Luckily, she kept in contact with us so in 2012 we asked her to sell our Cupertino home. She sold it within two weeks with multiple offers. After that, she helped us look for our perfect home. We are so happy with our new home and we got it in no small part due to her wonderful negotiation skills.
Throughout all the transactions we always felt that Melanie's top priority was our best interest. She kept us informed of every detail; always trying to make things easier for us. She is personable (great smile), efficient and reliable.
We highly recommend Melanie to anybody looking for a great real estate professional.
Melanie recently represented us in the sale of our family home in Atherton, a home we had owned and loved for over half a century. Our mother had specifically requested that we keep this transaction as private as possible. In our first meeting Melanie reassured us that our concerns would be addressed, and she would be present in the home each and every time it was shown. She had done a thorough analysis of market comps and came prepared to discuss her findings in depth. Her level of professionalism was evident from that first meeting as was her understanding of the dynamics involved in handling an emotional sale for six heirs.
Melanie's Broker Tour was handled just as our family requested with a person at the gate to screen the onlookers. Non Realtors were graciously asked to call Melanie for an appointment to view the home. She and her assistants were stationed throughout the house where they were available to answer questions and keep an eye on things. Although more difficult for Melanie, our request for no Open House signs was honored. We could not have been more pleased.
During the marketing we were never pressured to sell for less than the appraised target price. Melanie was more than eager to do the work required to keep the listing active no matter how long the sale took. From the beginning she dedicated great, untiring effort to help us in every way imaginable. Though the house did not need to be staged, she offered great advice even bringing in some of her own design elements. With her discerning eye we made some landscaping changes. She even went out and bought cheerful flowers to replace tired geraniums on our front porch. Nothing seemed to be too much trouble for her.
Though I had heard many stories of high end Realtors listing properties and then turning all work over to assistants, this was never the case with Melanie. She answered every phone call, every email, attended every showing, participated in every conference call, and worked with every potential buyer's agent herself. Along the path of our journey there were many times when another Realtor might have delegated tasks or responsibilities, but this never happened. Never once did an assistant or associate impede access to Melanie. We hired Melanie and we got Melanie. This is in stark contrast to reports of several friends who have sold houses in town over the last years.
Melanie is an artful negotiator who represented our interests with keen insight and the highest level of integrity and professionalism. She guided us every step of the way through the many details that need tending when a house is under contract. She vigilantly shepherded the deal to keep it on track. Her many years of experience, breadth and depth of professional knowledge, and dedication made all the difference in bringing about a successful closure to our transaction.
I highly recommend Melanie to anyone buying or selling a home. You will have an advocate, representative and counselor of the highest caliber and, above all, will have someone who will put your best interests ahead of her own.
Someone once told me the two things that will change your life are the people you meet and the books you read. As I never seem to have enough time to read, I try to meet as many people as I can. My wife and I have been very fortunate to be blessed with many good friends, and so we asked one of them to recommend a Realtor to us as we decided to downsize and sell a 6,800 square foot home in Saratoga. And that is where this story begins. When I first called Melanie, her professionalism became apparent to me almost immediately during that initial phone call as I could tell she was very confident and sure of her ability to represent us. When I told her we were going to interview 3 agents, she calmly requested that she be last to present. I knew then that she had a plan without even meeting her. Pat and I met her one evening, and she listened to what we wanted to do. There was no hard sell on her part. She was very impressive, had some ideas, and had a marketing plan, but most of all convinced us that she would be the best person to represent us, that she (not her assistant) would be the one to call, that she would show the house, that she would read the contracts and advise us or let us know if we needed to get outside assistance, and that she would work hard on our behalf. My dad once told me save the best for last, and he was so right.
Melanie helped us with the purchase of our retirement home in Carmel Valley at Quail Lodge and sold our property at Bountiful Acres in Saratoga. She was outstanding to work with and represented our interests very well. I can say that she fully understands the process and gave us good advice throughout.
She advised us to get our own inspections which were very helpful. It allowed us to address any issues up front and assured us we would not be surprised later on by a buyer's inspections. She also recommended an appraisal be done before we listed. The other two agents came in and told us what they thought the property should be listed at. Even though we had an idea, having the independent appraisal done by someone who understood the high-end market helped us establish a price that was very reasonable and fair -- one that we knew we could stand behind without reservation. This was Melanie's idea and one that proved to be right as we sold our home at what we thought we would get.
Melanie recommended some stagers to help ready the house for sale. While we were not really keen on moving some personal belongings into storage, we did so and were amazed at how they arranged certain portions of the house. Melanie developed a relationship with the local Smith and Hawken store and convinced them it would be good marketing to display some of their outdoor furniture and accessories at our house! After she got the house looking so good, we were wondering that perhaps we shouldn't sell it!
Melanie made recommendations on inspectors, repairmen, and window cleaners among others. She showed our house as if it were her own, always glowing about it and talking about the little extras that were included. She did what she said she was going to do and that was to be our Realtor with no worries on our part. She did her homework, and we could not have asked for a better person to represent us and also did such a fabulous job in talking with other agents and buyers on our behalf.
Our home was on the market for a very short period of time -- approximately 45 days. Most high-end homes were on the market for a much longer time period, and we believe ours went fast because of Melanie's ideas. It took some time for the accepted offer to close as the buyers were trying to arrange for financing to meet their objectives. Melanie even worked with the buyer's agent to help with that financing. She even delivered the closing escrow check to me at my office as the wire from the escrow firm was returned.
Prior to selling this home, Melanie did buyer research for us in Carmel. We found a home on the 8th fairway at Quail Lodge overlooking the 9th tee box as well. It was absolutely beautiful, but after doing some research on comps in the the area, we knew the home was overpriced. She worked with the agent for the seller to see our perspective, wrote a letter on our behalf, and we were successful in getting the property at a fair price. The seller's family had owned this property since it was built, so there were some emotional moments on their side. Melanie had the patience to understand this as well as the professionalism to work with an agent who was not in her league to get this done for us. Melanie also went well beyond what we could have expected in her role as a lot of matters that should have been taken care of by the seller's agent were not handled very well or as efficiently as they could have been. Melanie helped us with inspections, making sure repairs were made. We are very happy with this purchase as we are in the process of updating and remodeling a fabulous property in a great location and community.
We have purchased 4 homes and sold 3 in twenty-five years of being in the Bay area. Melanie was the best we've ever worked with. She was fantastic, exceeding our expectations and more importantly is now a friend that we trust, admire and would welcome anyone to work with. She will exceed your expectations as she did ours. She is one of those people when you meet her that will change your life, and you'll be glad you met her."
Saratoga, Carmel Valley and Los Gatos
I'm a commercial real estate broker with Colliers International. I've been in the business for 25 years transacting commercial real estate and am currently a Senior Vice-President and Co-Chairman of my company. When I chose to work with Melanie, I chose someone who really understood the market and my needs. Without a doubt her advice and direction gave us the fastest results and the highest price.
Melanie is a true professional whom I consider one of the top brokers within her field. A true joy to work with!"
I first met Melanie about 8 years ago at one of her open houses. At the time, my husband and I were considering the possibility of selling our Saratoga home and purchasing a smaller property in Saratoga which would require less maintenance. Melanie took the time to prepare a projection on our current property appreciation and a tax benefit analysis. With her help and advice, we decided that it was not in our best interest to sell our home at that time. I was very impressed with her integrity and professionalism. It was clear that she had our best interests at heart although she knew her advice was costing her the opportunity to list our home and "double-end" the sale of her own listing. We are still happily living in our family home and are grateful that we received that sound advice years ago. Ever since, we have confidently and enthusiastically referred Melanie to our friends and co-workers.
There are several really good reasons why I've asked Melanie to represent me in my last 8 real estate transactions over the past 26 years. She quickly understands what I'm trying to accomplish, she has an in-depth awareness of the available properties in the Los Gatos/Saratoga/Monte Sereno area, she doesn't waste my time, and she aggressively represents my interests during the business negotiations. Furthermore, she is meticulous in her attention to the details of the whole transaction and goes above and beyond the call of duty to help me facilitate a quick, painless close. I highly recommend her, and I plan to use her for all of my future real estate transactions.
In the process of selling or buying a home comes a certain degree of stress, or so I'm told. Melanie has been our champion for four real estate transactions over the past twenty years and taken on the stress of that process for us. Stress free is perhaps not possible, but with Melanie, it's as close to stress free as it gets. Attention to detail and professionalism are what Melanie is all about."
Cupertino and Los Gatos