In March 2019, while trimming a tree in my backyard, I fell from an 8-foot ladder onto the concrete. As a result of the high--impact fall, I fractured my heel bone and shattered other bones in my foot. After my surgery and over 60 physical therapy appointments to learn how to walk and drive, it became clear that I could no longer live in a two-story house in Cupertino, Calif., and needed to move closer to my children, who lived about 45 minutes away. I was able to sell my house easily, when I was ready to put it on the market. The tougher challenge was finding a new home for my next chapter.
The Home Search
My agent, Mary Molinari, with Coldwell Banker, grew up in Redwood City, where I sought to live. Her knowledge of the area, where she has worked for 31 years, and the compassion she showed me made a huge difference in my search. She recommended streets that were relatively flat and avoided those that had excess commuter traffic. She understood that it was important for me feel a part of the neighborhood. She focused on single-story homes with windows facing the street.
Mary helped me maneuver with my walker in each house we toured. When we found a home that might be a fit, she leveraged her many resources to get background information on the property. Her efforts included multiple visits to various city offices to check permits and historical data.
The inventory of single-story houses was extremely limited, but in February 2020, after months of looking, we finally found “the one.”
Navigating the Purchase
Once again, Mary went above and beyond, scheduling professionals she trusted to do our inspections. Because I couldn’t be there for some of these appointments, Mary met with the inspectors alone, which took hours of her time.
And of course, she helped me develop the winning offer, which included writing a letter to the sellers explaining why their house was ideal for me. The owners received six offers, but chose mine, they said, in part because of the letter. And Mary’s support didn’t stop there. She helped measure rooms for furniture, rushed to pay an outstanding fee on an old permit, and offered tips on where to eat, shop, and find medical services.
When I told Mary how amazing she was, her response was unassuming as usual: “The transaction is only a small part of my service.” I’m forever grateful to Mary, who I now count as a friend as well as a fabulous real estate professional.—Barbara O’Connor, Redwood City, Calif.