She is also a great real estate agent.
I am a Chief Scientist, recently retired, from a Palo-Alto based company that is the world’s leader in building high tech commercial communications satellites. I worked for almost 50 years as a rocket scientist, lead technologist, space satellite architect and project manager where I often had to lead teams and evaluate personnel.
But I never had to prepare my home for sale before.
I’ve known Carmen as a neighbor and casual friend for most of the 22 years I’ve lived in Redwood Shores. I included her on my interview list. I knew she was a competent real estate agent, as indicated by her achievement of Diamond Certified status. My experiences with other Diamond Certified professionals had been excellent, so I decided to go with Carmen Miranda, at Alain Pinel Realtors.
I made that decision in 2014. Carmen then exercised her team of contractors to develop a remodeling and repair plan that included suggested cost-effective upgrades to my home prior to the sale. But after starting the sales process, I changed my mind about selling. I realized I didn’t want to leave my lovely home. I was embarrassed to tell Carmen after all the work she had put in, but she didn’t seem to mind…. as long as I was “safe and happy,” she said.
A few months later I changed my mind again… back to selling. Then back again to not selling. For more than three years I dithered, back and forth, while I explored many different options: places to live; what to do with my life; and assessed my finances, health status, personal relationships and so on. I often found myself running my ideas by Carmen. She would listen, intently, and then help me to organize my thoughts so as to better understand what it was that I wanted, for myself and my family.
It was only early this year that I finally decided it was time to sell my home. The first task was to put it in the best shape possible. I worked with Carmen, and her team of experienced, professional, contractors to develop a plan of what to upgrade, what to leave alone and what to repair. Carmen was practiced in listening to the “Voice of the Customer.” She knew what was important to a perspective Buyer of my property and kept us focused on providing value in those areas.
Carmen choreographed the teams of inside and outside workers: demolition and construction, electrical, paint, lighting, plumbing, cleaning, patio and walkway paving, landscapers, fencing, etc. I had control over all expenditures and design decisions though I found I could leave many of the aesthetic details to these professionals. When appropriate Carmen suggested different contractors, and multiple bids, or less expensive alternatives.
Carmen was also committed to full disclosure, in writing, of any and all items that might concern potential buyers. Her experience taught her the value of learning the true condition of a home and sharing that information with the potential Buyers. She had experienced, professional, independent inspectors examine the house and write a detailed report of their findings. Carmen disclosed, and discussed, those findings with each serious bidder because she didn’t want the new owner to be surprised by any detail of the house condition.
When the house was ready for sale Carmen was at her finest. Her choice of Stager (Nancy at Habitat Enhancements), led to a startling presentation of my home that I was proud to show to all the people who stopped by to see the Open Houses. But Carmen went all out in her marketing. In addition to the listings, beautiful brochures, delicious ice cream and advertisements, she produced a spectacular 5-minute long video of my home site (inside and out) and surrounding neighborhood. The video included aerial views from drones that showed the wonderful setting of Shorebird Island (the private island and gated community where my waterfront home sits) and Redwood Shores. The inside of my home showed to perfection. My family and friends back East, who viewed the video, were amazed at the place where I lived. I have to admit…I was amazed too. In all the years’ I’ve lived at my home on Shorebird Island I had never tired of the view: the abundant bird life, greenery and sunlight just outside my windows. The new presentation reminded me why it was so difficult for me to decide to leave. Though I sold my lovely home for significantly more than my asking price, I feel the new owner got a bargain.
Thank you, Carmen Miranda. I highly recommend you for anyone desiring excellence and good friendship in a real estate agent.
Please feel free to contact me by email if you want more information.
Walter Gelon, PhD
Chief Scientist (retired)