Anatomy of a transaction: 95 Eldridge Avenue, Mill Valley

Anatomy of a transaction; 95 Eldridge Avenue, Mill Valley

Sells $1,205,000 over asking: The moves behind Sharon's success..

A thoughtful remodel and upgrade, strategic timing and pricing, high end photography and video, an offer deadline and exceptionally strong agent skills and relationships helped Sharon to create this successful outcome.

When a home asking $4.995 million gets 3 offers — with the winning bid $1,200,000 above asking - while other homes in the same price range are sitting and not moving - it bears noticing.

Client relationship

To start, my clients trusted my advice on upgrades and timing and even when they realized that my recommendations were not aligned with their own personal style, they allowed me free reign to go ahead and do what I knew would return the best ROI for the property.

Thoughtful ROI

We walked through the home together and I organized a thorough analysis of current as-is market value pre-work, as well as my detailed list of recommendations for improvements, the approx. costs associated with recommendations and an after improvement value, clearly showing the ROI.

A remodel and upgrade

Sharon led a remodel and upgrade of the home including complete demo and remodel of bathroom on main floor, full painting including the kitchen cabinets, custom color choice, replacement of formica countertops, complete replacement of all door handles and hinges, replacement of failed glass panes, refinishing of floors, removal of fans, sourcing and installation of new light fixtures, new pulls and handles throughout. On the exterior, complete power washing, clear stain of decking, removal of overgrown pittosporum hedge, installation of new plantings throughout, repair of irrigation system, fence repair etc. These upgrades gave the home more of a modern, cleaner, brighter look and feel. And created the move in condition presentation that buyers are seeking.

Fortunately, I have a team of dedicated and exceptional workers who I could line up to complete the work on short notice.


I brought in a high end stager and we transformed the look and feel of the property completely.

Strategic pricing

When it came to pricing, I knew that I had to get it just right with factors like higher mortgage rates and market jitters already serving to dissuade consumers from jumping into the market.

As a 30 year veteran agent, I know the market and values extremely well, and also the importance of considering what has not sold and what is coming onto the market in the same timeframe.

A very nice home in the neighborhood had just sold a couple of months prior in the rainy and holiday season of December and largely due to timing, it sold under market value. Another similar size home had been sitting on the market with no activity for 2.5 months. 

Taking these items into consideration and understanding the specific differences between each home and strategy was essential to create the right attention to this home. In general comps support price, but they are never the entire picture.

Choice photos

Having high end sophisticated imagery including photos, drone photography and video are crucial. I worked carefully with my visual artists to capture the exact images and angles that I wanted, to showcase all of the best elements of the home and garden.

Given the exterior of the home and the land surrounding it are so appealing, I used a drone shot, showing the beautiful home exterior, luscious back garden and gated driveway as the first image to represent the property. I felt that it showed people a lot of critical details and much more than an image of the front of the home, or an interior image would have done.

I attribute the visual imagery as one of the reasons that I saw over 50 people come through the first open house, as well as over 8,000 views and saves of the property on Zillow.

Great photos, paired with pricing and design, also helped the property go viral when I shared it on social media and through my own networks..

An offer deadline

Once it became apparent that I had garnered a fair amount of genuine attention on Eldridge Avenue — it seemed appropriate to consider a deadline for best and final offers.

However, the slower pace of the market in recent months had heretofore largely eliminated offer deadlines from the equation.

Setting an off deadline takes serious consideration  as sometimes it can scare buyers because they can get flighty and not want to compete.  I felt confident after a few days on the market and I knew that was what I was going to have to do.

I ended up receiving a total of three offers, all of which were all cash, two additional buyers were spooked by the offer date.

Agent experience and relationships

At a time when the value of buyer agents is under question, I noticed a palpable difference between buyers who showed up with experienced agents and those who showed up with agents who either didn’t have the knowledge or were taking the job less seriously.

“Buyers that work with really sophisticated agents, those were the ones that showed up and were strong competitors,”. “Buyers who were working with weaker agents or a friend of a friend of a friend, or almost self-representing, they were wanting to bottom fish the list price.”

“I find it really interesting in light of the NAR settlement — there is a very clear difference in working with a strong buyer’s agent and a weak buyer’s agent. The people who were well-represented had a strong shot at actually getting the house that they want, and the people who weren’t were completely unprepared.”

There is always a noticeable correlation between offer quality, agent experience and interpersonal skills. The seasoned agents make a concerted effort to develop good rapport and in doing so, they are better informed about the sellers and what would make a compelling offer.

To see Before and After images just let me know and I will forward you a folder.

Work With Me

Every client is different, and I strongly believe in understanding your unique needs, and helping you achieve your goals. Because of this commitment, I have distinguished myself by generating 80% of my business from client referrals.