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Proof Real Estate - Beyond Conventional Exceptional Service & Results for SF Bay Area Professionals

Site Conditions

  • Trustees had battled for years over the property
  • Patio needed a complete overhaul and there was an active leak
  • Many design plusses, but obscured by neglect and decay

Results of Our Work

  • 5 offers received
  • Sold for $1.37M, $371,000 over asking
  • 350% ROI on resurfacing budget ($17,463 resurfacing produced a $61,000 higher sale price)

Warring Trustees, Abandoned Home, Hoarded Contents

A drawn-out dispute between owners left the home abandoned, decayed and packed with three container-loads of papers, valuables and keepsakes.

One party hired a lawyer, the other was assigned a professional fiduciary. Any plan we recommended would be intensely scrutinized, but Craig loves a challenge.

During meetings at the lawyer’s office, both parties to the trust were heard and understood. In the end, practical solutions and profits drove the action.

Even in its ragged state, Craig sensed the home’s underlying magnificence—from its Mediterranean stucco silhouette and open-beam ceiling to oversized front windows and skylights.

The Proof team estimated $40,000 for resurfacing to achieve the maximum sale price. But the sellers allocated less than half, just $18,000 to spend on the damaged property.

The biggest challenge? The elderly seller’s health was failing and she needed lots of consultation from us. Craig’s assistant hit it off with her and helped her feel comfortable with the process.

An abandoned car, another common sticking point, sat in the middle of the garage blocking our path for removing tons of personal property and hoarded material. Luckily our proven formula for tackling it did the trick.

No budget for repainting the exterior, but it looked dirty and old.

We settled for scrubbing dirt and carbon deposits off the front façade and washing the staircase and windows. It was presentable and the savings went to interior work.

Advantages included the 14-foot open-beam, vaulted ceiling, wood-burning fireplace, built-in cabinetry, and parquet floors.

Painting, cleaning and staging brought these treasured features back to life.

Normally we’d advise replacing flooring, appliances, countertops, sink and faucet, but the budget said no.

We simply cleaned, revealing the vintage tile around the backsplash and countertop.

The formal dining room was an odd combination of ornate and lifeless.

Once we restored the fluorescent lights illuminating the recessed ceiling and freshened with crisp, white paint, the room woke up.

The entire house was dark and dreary.

The bedrooms benefitted most when we removed window coverings and opened them to natural light. Our stager brought in colorful textiles to add interest.

The library downstairs required three men and an entire day to remove a 40-foot container-full of personal property.

With no budget for flooring, we showed the vintage checkerboard vinyl tile peeking around the edges of a rug.

Under three feet of overgrown grass and weeds, we found building materials, mangled furniture and other surprises.

A bit bleak but a cleaner, blank canvas to provide buyers with a vision of potential.

We believed in the dramatic architecture’s allure even as we debated whether buyers would see the potential. As our work continued, we became more confident.

See How We Presented the Home

Site Conditions

  • Small 2-bedroom, 1-bath home narrowed the pool of buyers
  • Sellers needed to achieve a firm sale price target
  • Dated home needed resurfacing, but budget was very tight

Results of Our Work

  • 8 offers received
  • Sold for $1.228M, $329,000 over asking
  • Met sellers’ target price, they’re living comfortably in their destination city

Hitting a Price Target So the Family Could Relocate

The sellers told Craig flat out they had to hit a specific sale price. It was a must, so they could relocate to Southern California with their two small children.

Craig met several times with the husband-husband team and their kids. He felt the weight of their expectations and their need to rely on analyzing data.

At their request, our team refined the initial plan, trimming the budget to just $14,600 for complete resurfacing inside and out. This was not gonna be easy.

The clients knew the asking price was a marketing mechanism to attract more buyers, not an indication of the final price. So they left it to Craig’s strategic discretion.

Challenges were the home’s size—2-bedroom, 1-bath, just 1,180 sq. ft., attached homes on both sides and in pretty difficult shape. We prioritized only the most critical areas for resurfacing.

Every seller has different circumstances, sensitivities, goals. This time, they voiced everything up front. Other times we consult and engage to help clients articulate their true intentions. Clarity helped us meet this family’s goals.

We wanted to put more effort into updating the kitchen, but the budget restricted us to tackling only the most critical elements.

We kept the mismatched appliances and created visual impact with a new classic marble-like stone countertop, undermount stainless steel sink and single-stem brushed nickel faucet.

The darkness of the picture railings, brick fireplace surround and built-ins evoked a feeling of age and disrepair.

After some debate, Craig showed enough photographs to the sellers that they agreed painting was in order. The fresh two-toned whites changed everything.

The dining room, while large, also suffered from lots of dark wood finishes, giving it a dated look.

The result of painting and staging was clean, uplifting and inviting.

The banister was like the other rooms’ trim—dark and heavy. Instead of triggering alarm by talking about “painting over,” Craig advises on giving these wonderful elements a new, fresh appearance.

It’s common for sellers to resist our resurfacing recommendations, but in the end, they’re positive and elated.

Perhaps no area of the home benefited more from our work than the rear yard. Before painting, we saw five different exterior element colors.

We created a partially enclosed living space at ground level behind the wall. And gave the yard a maintenance-free layer of wood chips to create a comfortable, inviting retreat.

Site Conditions

  • Many areas of the home needed modernizing to show well
  • Property inheritors were not interested in investing in home updates
  • Gorgeous Golden Gate Bridge view would make up for some deficiencies

Results of Our Work

  • 4 bids received
  • Sold for $1.86M, $161,000 over asking price
  • ROI ~300%, the $26,000 resurfacing budget produced additional $78,000 profit

Save the Resurfacing Budget or Invest It?

Bay Area-based sisters inherited the family home but didn’t have time to handle the home prepping and sale, so they turned to Proof. 

These sellers, like many others, were reluctant to spend any money on updating. I asked if they were more interested in saving the $26,000 budget or walking away with an additional $75,000? They reached their own conclusion and we proceeded. 

Multiple decision makers and those who bring their own vendors can complicate things, but we accommodate variations in our process. Their much-respected painter squeezed in their project and slept at the home with his crew while the property was vacant. 

I advised the sellers to paint over dark, drab built-ins in the living room—essential for portraying the home as cosmopolitan and contemporary.

The limited budget meant choosing between priorities. The sisters considered removing popcorn ceilings, but I explained the time, permitting, testing and expense. They recognized that refinishing the hardwood floors would produce a higher return.

We emphasized the positives to capture the highest price—gorgeous views of the Golden Gate Bridge through the large living room windows. 

Front of House (before)
The years of neglect were obvious.

Front of House (after)
New windows, new paint and minimal landscaping updates made a big difference.

Kitchen (before)
The kitchen’s dated wooden cabinets would have looked more modern with a coat of paint, but the budget wouldn’t allow it.

Kitchen (after)
Instead, we polished the wood cabinet doors, added LED lights and fresh caulking and gave the room a thorough cleaning. 

Living Room (before)
In every case, we evaluate the budget and prioritize where it will work the hardest for the seller. Here, floor refinishing beat out popcorn ceiling removal.

Living Room (after)
With just one common area in the house, we staged it with two seating areas, one facing the couch and another behind the couch for more casual gatherings.

Yard (before)
There was virtually no yard, just a steep embankment. So we had to make the most of the rear deck, convincing the sisters to make it an extension of the kitchen.

Yard (after)
We painted the deck so it was “barefoot ready,” and created a vignette with carefully placed furniture. Buyers can dream when they glimpse the lifestyle the home offers.

Bedroom (before)
Four large bedrooms on the top floor, ideal for families with children. Our stager dressed each bedroom distinctly, so online viewers could imagine a room for each child. 

Bedroom (After)
Four-bedroom homes are a huge advantage to families. So to make the weekend tour list, we paid extra attention to differentiating the rooms through coloration and textile choice. 

The grand view from the upper floor, a great selling point.

See How We Presented the Home

Site Conditions

  • Evidence of homeless people living in the garage
  • Gas lines were inoperable, PG&E had to replace them 
  • Two-bedroom home is less sought after

Results of Our Work

  • 2 bids received
  • Sold for $1,072,500, $151,000 over asking
  • ROI: purchased at $690,000. Invested $125,050 + carrying costs $42,000 = $858,000. Return of $214,000 total costs $168,000 = 127% ROI

Home Flippers, Go for Three Bedrooms Minimum 

This two-bedroom home in San Francisco’s Ingleside had been abandoned for eight years, inherited by an East Coast owner. Craig represented him and the developer client who bought the property to flip. 

The seller had missed PG&E notices on upcoming street gas line replacements, so no natural gas fed into the property. We needed a miracle to get PG&E to assess, price, calendar and confirm the gas re-install. It took six months, but first we were required to put in a new furnace, water heater and inside gas lines.

Homeless people had been living in the garage. With much effort, we fully restored possession to the owner. Other sale deterrents included litter and abandoned cars on the street and an adjacent 40-foot drop to Highway 280 with roaring commute traffic. 

The investor was unfamiliar with San Francisco building permits, guidelines and the enforcement code. So he opted not to build a third bedroom, which I projected would’ve bumped the ROI into the 250% zone. 

The new buyers were very patient. Closing was repeatedly delayed, requiring weeks of additional amendments, inspections, reinspections and final permit sign off.

Front of House (before)
The years of neglect were obvious.

Front of House (after)
New windows, new paint and minimal landscaping updates made a big difference.

Garage (before)
The two-car tandem garage needed cleanup but had lots of room for expansion. 

Garage (after)
We presented it clean and buttoned up, but the contractor decided not to expand because he was unfamiliar with San Francisco’s building code.  

Kitchen (before)
Nothing to salvage here, start with a clean slate.

Kitchen (after)
We centered the sink between the two view windows for maximum appeal. The cool-hued kitchen showed as spotless and modern.  

Kitchen (before)
We considered removing the wall between the kitchen and dining room, but limited kitchen cabinet space ended that exploration.  

Kitchen (after)
Rebuilt to accommodate new, larger appliances. Contemporary cabinets, handles and flooring made the room fresh and attractive.

Bathroom (before)
The bathroom was small, old and pink. We could do something about the old and pink part.

Bathroom (After)
We opted for a clean, classic marble look. The large mirror bounced sunlight around the room, thanks to the skylight above.

Bath (before)
The shower stall followed suit—small and pink.

Bath (after)
Carefully placed pebble stone in the shower created a visual waterfall, with a similar variegated color on the floor for a subtle elegance.

Living Room (before)
The fireplace had potential as a focal point. 

Living Room (after)
We took full advantage of the few windows, resurfaced the fireplace surround and refinished the beautiful floors. The staging enhanced the comfortable, up-to-date appeal.

In the end, the buyers were very patient. We had to push off the closing until all inspections were finalized, requiring weeks and weeks worth of additional amendments, inspections, reinspections and final permit sign off.

See How We Presented the Home

Site Conditions

  • Family needed quick turnaround on sale of middle unit of Edwardian duplex
  • Busy professional couple had already purchased their next home and had no time fuss over prepping their condo
  • Landscape architect-designed back yard, a potential major selling point, was rundown and sad

Results of Our Work

  • 5 bids received
  • Sold $1.35M; $151,000 over asking
  • $10,620 spent on prepping/resurfacing produces a 600% ROI

Busy Professional Couple Says, “Help!”

This husband-and-wife team had their hands full with a toddler, an already-purchased Oakland home and a baby on the way.

They needed their condo sale executed quickly and liked our plan enough to handed us their keys and say, “Go!”

Their handsome Edwardian flat was made less desirable by having a unit above and both bedrooms facing noisy Fulton Street. In other news … condo values were falling and Covid was upon us.

This middle unit shared what had been a spectacular yard. Custom designed by a landscape architect, it was filled with succulents, night lighting, an outdoor bar, fire pit and stone pathways.

But now the backyard was overgrown with no interest from the other unit owners in reviving it. Craig felt this space was vital to an attractive sales price, so the sellers got the neighbors’ okay then paid the entire landscaping bill.

We discovered seismic upgrades—a new foundation and soft-story retrofitting—had been done but left out of the marketing material when the couple purchased. You can bet we mentioned them!

The foyer was poorly lit and distracting with dark furniture and many area rugs.

We brightened the home’s first impression. Sellers were concerned about the condition of the floors so we made some site repairs rather than a full refinishing, saving them about $4,000.

The Kitchen was dark and lived-in.

We spruced it right up with fresh paint, cleaning, recaulking and modern lighting.

Craig got a lot of resistance to his impression that the room felt too heavy, traditional and ornate.

Our designer woke up the space with brighter paint, lighter-weight furniture and a more contemporary, clean-lined chandelier.

The large black screen of the TV and the packed shelves overpowered the built-in shelves in the family room.

We gave the shelves some breathing room, kept the existing chandelier fixture and scaled back the furniture to let the architecture take center stage. 

Mismatched doorhandles and hardware did not tell potential highest-paying buyers that this was a well-cared-for and meticulously appointed home.

Time consuming to source and install consistent hardware? Yes. But it portrayed a much more treasured home.

The bathrooms suffered from stained and missing caulk, tarnished and pockmarked finishes.

Our contractor meticulously recaulked, and refinished the hardware, replacing where needed to give bathrooms a finished, fresh almost-new appearance.

The bedrooms faced the noisy traffic on Fulton Street, and our budget for upgrades was minimal.

With a very limited budget, we made the existing light fixture work and replaced only the damaged floor planks (saving about $4,000). We imported serenity with the cool gray tones.  

The yard was equipped with a fire pit, bar and beautiful succulents, but it had been ignored for a while.

Our team scaled back the foliage, power washed and staged the space, making the yard very much our main selling point.

A twilight view of the beautiful shared yard, which we expected (and it bore out) buyers to covet as a great spot for entertaining.

Site Conditions

  • Pandemic obstacles, including excruciating wait for City of Oakland’s ADU approval
  • Gaudy stone on exterior detracted from period architecture, although not everyone agreed
  • Choppy, closed-off floor plan

Results of Our Work

  • 12 bids received
  • Sold at $1M, $301,000 over asking
  • 7-day closing, contingent free
  • No contingencies, quick closing 

Excruciating Permit Delay Frustrates Developer

The developer bought this 3-bedroom, 1-bath home in Maxwell Park, Oakland, as a distressed sale, intending to tear out the entire interior. We advised on the remodel and their contractors refashioned a spacious open kitchen, a new upstairs bathroom and a downstairs ADU.  

We stuck with this developer as the project dragged seven months longer than expected.

The Oakland building department held up the ADU build-out when their office closed due to COVID-19. With no approval, work on the house shut down too.

After approvals and basement excavation, Craig came upon a memorable scene. A worker struggled to back his overloaded Toyota pickup up the driveway, with tires slipping. The truck bed was sloshing (Craig couldn’t believe his eyes) with wet concrete. And the crew was in a hurry to pour it into the basement before it hardened into a block.

When to get Craig involved with a home flip? Before you purchase it—so he can share experience with architecture, size and bed/bath counts that contributes to the best ROI.

The home had some appealing elements but it was difficult to see past the overpowering stonework that went halfway up the wall.

We made some difficult decisions and ended up with a clean, approachable home where the stone wasn’t nearly as prominent or objectionable.

Ornate trim and complicated silhouettes dominated and would be a distraction to buyers.

Sometimes, it’s better to replace all the floors with modern, wide planks in cool hues. Sleek recessed lights accentuated design features.

The developers struggled with several kitchen floor plan directions.

They chose to maximize the kitchen’s openness and work within available space and existing windows.

At first, constrictive walls chopped up the dining area and made it feel claustrophobic.

By expanding the doorways, the room felt more spacious and cohesive and allowed extra light into the kitchen and common areas.

A view from the other side of the dining room shows the open design and the kitchen’s clean, modern look. This drew buyers’ attention and led them through the space naturally.

The original kitchen aisle was narrow and constricted. We simplified and shifted the new kitchen to the right for a more open, functional and welcoming environment.

The old bedroom design was lacking, especially a master bath.

The new configuration provided buyers with a sought-after master bath as well as a soothing color palette, such as gray-toned flooring. 

Turning the basement into a rental unit was a great selling point. But the Oakland building department took nearly 5 months to grant the permits to build it during COVID-19.

The finished ADU was fresh, modern and very desired by prospective buyers. The icing on the cake!

Before and after floor plans show how we turned a dated, lesser value home into a more spacious, livable and income-generating property.

Site Conditions

  • Home interior still reflected the 1970s
  • Popcorn ceilings throughout, but other priorities would have to come first
  •  Inspections indicated $25,000 in Section 1 remediation plus roof repairs and sewer lateral needed replacement

Results of Our Work

  • 14 bids received
  • Sold $1.06M, $211,000 over asking price
  • Closing was quick, with no contingencies

T’was the Night Before Christmas Eve …

Other agents say to sell during the “magical time” of spring or summer. And we say humbug. Profits are not seasonal. They’re based on careful planning and our best practices—prep the home to attract the most buyers, market like crazy and set the price to generate competitive bidding.

Here, great pride was wrapped up in the family home of 40 years, and the executor and his siblings were determined to honor their parents’ hard work as they sold the property.

Termite damage had to be repaired. Craig also advocated for roof and sewer lateral remediation along with resurfacing to make the home move-in ready for the targeted demographic—families with children.

The home launched Sat., Dec. 19 with offers due in four days. Despite the holidays, pandemic and short timeline, buyers scheduled 80 individual tours. The outcome—14 offers, the best from a young family.

Our clients rely on our solid advice and strong track record to justify their actions to parties in a trust, probate or family dispute. And they’re relieved and delighted when we deliver multiple offers.

Kitchen (before)
The kitchen suffered from the warm colors and mismatched patterns of the 1970s.

Kitchen (after)
Relief for the eyes—stainless steel, wide-plank flooring, classic quartz countertops, a single-stem brushed nickel faucet with undermount sink for the cool, restful palette buyers prefer. 

Living Room (before)
The living room was less than inspiring.

Living Room (after)
A new feel with wide-plank flooring, fresh paint, a new fireplace identity and select staging. The popcorn ceiling remained, saving the estate $9,000 and the hassle of permits and intrusive inspections.

Bathroom (before)
My favorite part of the bathroom, beyond the uniquely shaped plastic molten countertop, was the toilet seat sweater. 

Bathroom (after)
We pulled off a modern, fresh appearance with a minimal investment. 

Breakfast Nook (before)
The breakfast nook was consistent—dark and drab. 

Breakfast Nook (after)
What a difference with a brighter light, fresh paint, a splash of color and a more open space.

Master Bedroom (before)
The master bedroom and the other two bedrooms were primarily brown and lacking spark.

Master Bedroom (after)
Just a little brown, but with a lot more light and pep, created a pleasantly contemporary room.

En Suite Bath (before)
The en suite bath needed a good dose of updating and refreshing, including saying goodbye to the terrycloth toilet seat cover!

En Suite Bath (after)
Fresh paint, a view desk and a nice seating area convinced buyers this perch was worth the effort. Buyer response was overwhelmingly positive.

Living Room (before)
We started with a dark, dreary living room/dining room/family room.

Living Room (after)
The space became very inviting with crisp paint and furnishings, plus the flooring we used consistently in the home.

See How We Presented the Home

Exterior (before)
An otherwise wonderful appearance blotted by some dead, browning hedges. The elder was upset when we suggested they be removed. Instead, he wanted to paint or stain the landscaping! 

Exterior (after)
We got the fountain working to provide wonderful white noise and planted affordable replacements for the failing box hedge. 

Site Conditions

  • Home needed a refresh to be competitive, but the executor didn’t want to spend anything
  • Pandemic-era project with a family of relatives living in the property
  • Persuaded the executor to invest about $13,000 to improve marketability

Results of Our Work

  • On bid date, one offer, sold for $1.45 million ($175,000 over asking price)
  • 500% ROI on resurfacing budget of $13,400, work completed in four business days
  • Home was staged using tenant’s furniture

Making the Most of a Small Resurfacing Budget

The family needed to sell the property, which was rented by relatives and their two small children during Covid.

The budget for resurfacing was zero. But Craig’s comprehensive assessment of the home and 45 photos documenting the details was persuasive. He showed strong reasons to invest $13,000 in cosmetic fixes.

The pool was a plus for buyer appeal but was diminished by the neighbors’ view directly into the space. Also, the surface was lifting off the pool’s deck creating a magnet for stubbed toes and tripping. Any buyer would be uneasy, but especially families with little ones.

We had to tip the scale by inexpensively adjusting hazards and unsightly aspects of the home to give buyers a positive perception.  

Still, the elder executor was reluctant to put any money into the house. His family members who lived in the home understood Craig’s recommendation that a few fixes would bump up the estate’s ROI.

Kitchen (before)
The yellow wall color made the kitchen cabinetry look dated.

Kitchen (after)
By merely painting sections of the wall white, the kitchen had a fresh, acceptable appearance.

Outdoor Space (before)
A dry-rotted, crumbling pergola lurked outside the French doors, along the back of the house. It distracted from the otherwise beautiful yard and pool.

Outdoor Space (after)
We removed the pergola and painted the rear surface of the house, making for a much fresher, more inviting outdoor space.

Light Fixtures (before)
To meet budget restrictions, we replaced selected light fixtures like this chandelier that was a mismatch for the rest of the decor.

Light Fixtures (after)
A pretty, modern chandelier that sets the right tone for the rest of our modernizing.

Bathroom (before)
We recommended painting out the yellow walls and going for a fresh, modern look. 

Bathroom (after)
Brighter, cleaner and expected by current buyers.

Bedroom (before)
Not bad, but we prefer a more contemporary color instead of the yellow walls.

Bedroom (after)
We went with cool gray walls in the rear bedrooms and staged with multiple beds to suggest space for children. It says, “This is a modern home you can live in today.”

Backyard (before)
No trees offered privacy along the rear of the property.

Backyard (after)
Fresh paint, a view desk and a nice seating area convinced buyers this perch was worth the effort. Buyer response was overwhelmingly positive.

See How We Presented the Home

Exterior (Before)
The family’s motorhome parking area already had an independent electrical meter, sewer lateral and water hookup. Ideal for a future ADU and we planned to market it that way—without spending much.

Exterior (After)
The first of two renderings we created to show how a potential ADU would fit on the property. Buyers received the spec sheet, floor plan, approximate build-out cost and other architectural details.

Site Conditions

  • No comps in this property’s neighborhood near the $2M price point
  • Entire home was packed with crafts materials the trustee intended to keep
  • Project took place in the middle of the pandemic

Results of Our Work

  • 6 offers on bid date
  • Sold for $2.2M ($405,000 over asking price)
  • 7-day closing, contingent free
  • 350% ROI on $65,700 resurfacing budget, work done in 15 business days 

Busting Through the $2M Barrier

After her husband’s passing, the seller was in a hurry to downsize and move to a retirement community that supported her lifestyle, hobbies and athletic pursuits. 

Her 1950s home had begun small, then they expanded it to five bedrooms, last renovating 30 years ago. Now the large property needed work, but the trust account held limited funds for resurfacing. 

Also unfortunate, a now out-of-business appraiser had performed a cursory drive-by appraisal and overstated the property’s value at $1.925M. This unsubstantiated amount, with no nearby homes in that range, sat on the estate’s financials as a minimum expectation for its sale. Oh boy.

Craig contacted the architect-builder from the ‘90s remodel and learned of system and mechanical improvements they had made, which were featured in our marketing. 

To boost the perceived value of the home, we used every tool at our disposal. It sold it for $2.2M—well above its lazy appraisal and highest in the area. Six months later, the senior admitted to Craig she still hadn’t fully unpacked her boxes. She was too busy with her newfound friends. Nothing could make us happier.

Looking past the red cabinets and the ornate silhouettes Craig saw opportunity, scale, lifestyle.

Oak floors stained a cool matte gray gave the entire upper level a contemporary feel. Sometimes our most effective tactics are subliminal … buyers wanted this home but they’re not entirely sure why. 

The formal dining room required imagination to get beyond the ornate, dark and heavy.

A true showstopper. Buyers gravitated to this dining room after the resurfacing.

Only light modifications needed to project a clean, inviting appearance here.

We accomplished this new look for less than $2,000.

The elder’s cozy craft area was very important to her. We had to demonstrate that her future destination would allow her to pursue the hobbies that kept her young and happy.

Once the senior’s personal property was inventoried, packed and sorted, she was hopeful and satisfied that all would be well. She lined up a rental home before this property went on the market.

The old, dried-out wood was an unnecessary blemish on the lovely outdoor space.

 With a newly applied satin finish and the nails were reset, the deck was barefoot-ready.

The cabana had promise, but dry rot, mildew, non-operable lights and rusty finishes stood in the way.

Haven! Retreat! Another lifestyle vignette we photographed and promoted.

We’ve learned to speak of resurfacing rather than painting over—especially wood finishes. It causes less anxiety. Besides, brown makes the price go down.

Lovely, fresh sitting room with the fireplace and mantel in creamy white. Instant updating!

The old, cracked brown wood needed restoration. But would today’s buyers care? They aren’t looking for dated wood finishes.

Clean, white and modern. That’s how you project confidence in the marketplace.

Beautiful, vaulted ceilings and a fireplace focal point. A little work could make this space memorable.

White and more white brings a feel of spaciousness and ease.

The pool, the brick oven, the Marin hills in the background. Lovely, but not outstanding.

Refurbished and staged to present a sense of relaxed luxury.

Developer Resurfacing Plan

We created a birds-eye view of the property to give buyers context.
 This says so much about what to expect and the lifestyle promised by the property.

Master Bath (Before)
A small, unimpressive bath accompanied the main bedroom.

Master Bath (After)
Combined two rooms into luxurious master bath with new view window above soaking tub. Spa-like room now has muted tile with matching grout, expansive counters, dual under-mount sinks, recessed lighting, separate glass shower and private toilet closet.

Site Conditions

  • Large family home-turned-rental was dated, dark, and dingy
  • Current tenants had a long time remaining on their lease
  • Senior sellers skeptical and focused on ROI analysis, but with limited funds for resurfacing

Results of Our Work

  • 5 offers, winning bid was contingent free
  • Sold $2.33M ($331,000 over asking price)
  • 400% ROI on $40,750 resurfacing budget, done in 12 business days

Sometimes You Have to See for Yourself

The sellers had known Craig for years. Even so, they were uncomfortable hiring and trusting the professionals he recommended, and they insisted on being part of every decision and inspection. They also resisted advice at every turn.

The couple suggested hiring their friend who moonlights as a stager, so Craig checked out her website. Her furniture was dark, the pictures amateurish, and the couple finally accepted she was not the one.

Because the sellers were used to doing everything themselves, they deemed many of our solutions too expensive or inappropriate.

Then everything changed. Craig invited them to visit one of our neighborhood homes in the final resurfacing phase and they fell in love. Despite having seen a dozen videos explaining our process, it only clicked when they witnessed the transformation in person.

After that, convincing them to stick with one, not six different floor materials, was easier. They understood the value of our work and how a consistent design, including a single floor material throughout, elevated the home.

The street view was in fairly good shape and complemented by mature landscaping.

We changed rusty, faded light fixtures, added a new street number placard, lightly washed the cedar shakes and power washed the brick to brighten up the first impression.

Painting the brick, replacing the hardwood floor and removing window coverings were all part of the plan. Originally, the scale and symmetry of this room was lost among visually distressing elements.

A style compromise – wood beams and shelves contrasted against fresh creamy walls. A small horizontal painting over the couch highlights the dramatic ceiling height.

Ooh whee, a relic of an earlier era.

Crisp white paint, stone countertops and a single-stem brushed nickel faucet change the whole kitchen landscape. For consistency with the family room, we kept the wooden ceiling beams.

Dark wallpaper, tiled countertops, damaged mirror, old-style light fixtures and a vinyl floor were all on the update list.

Wood flooring carried throughout, including under the toilets, for a sleek and clean, designed look.Our challenge was to spend less than $3,000 and give an appearance of upgrades in the $10,000 range.

Why remove the built-in master bedroom furniture? “We love it so much. Won’t buyers love it?”

 Look how much space we revealed by removing the built-in headboard and cabinets. As the project progressed, the sellers grew more confident and agreed to let go of the steering wheel a bit.

Three bathrooms in all, each one with similarly aged surfaces.

See the importance of choosing one flooring to install throughout? Even in walk-in closets, under toilets—consistency pulls everything together and creates a higher-end look.

This corner of the kitchen was stale and stuffy. Just as food is energy, the kitchen should be energizing

 Brightened and taking full advantage of the view. And although hesitant, the sellers finally understood the parquet flooring, once thought an advantage, did not offer any value in their home.

Federal law requires a fence around the pool and with its previous use as a rental, the wire fence endured.

We could remove the unsightly fencing because the entire property was gated. We trimmed trees to create more entertainment space and a much better view of Mount Tamalpais.

Restored Hot Tub Highlights the Good Life

Patio at dusk (After)
Ahhh, who wouldn’t want to live here?

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