We put our hopes and fears around buying a house all out for Val – she answered all our questions, provided perspective and resources to help us get comfortable around location and priorities. Then, we found a house that met our needs and negotiated a price that we were satisfied with. We would ask Val to help us buy our next house. Excellent follow-through and great advice that you can trust.
– Phu T.
Summary: Val is awesome. Go ahead and call her immediately. You won't be sorry. Thank me later. Details: My wife and I recently relocated to the Bay Area. We met Val on a random open house tour last fall when we were just looking around and not seriously thinking about buying. Val was the only agent all day that stopped to a) greet us; and b) ask us what we were looking for. From the start she showed a personal interest in us and really cared about helping us. From there she set up automated searches for properties based on our criteria, encouraged us to follow her on Twitter for her broker open house updates, and sent us a lot of information and details on the real estate market. She knew we weren't actively looking and still took the time to do all of this for us. When we got more serious about looking it was a no-brainer to call Val. She responded immediately and took us out on neighborhood driving tours and really educated us on what was happening in the market, the school systems, the municipalities, etc. She effortlessly, patiently, and flawlessly helped us take on what seemed like a daunting task and distill it down to our core needs and really set us at ease. After dozens of open houses we finally found THE ONE. We had to have it and Val instinctively knew that. Words cannot even begin to describe the effort Val put into the process of writing, delivering, and negotiating the offer for us. I am convinced that with any other agent we would have missed out on the opportunity to own our dream home. She dedicated hours and hours to the effort, kept us informed all along the way, and remained nimble and tactful during the presentation of offers and the resulting negotiations. Yet she remained extremely modest throughout and her personal commitment to us really shone through. We got the house, and we're euphoric and so was she. That tells you something. The only downside is we don't get to hang out with her as much anymore, but that's the nature of the business. At least, we can now call her our friend! Oh, and everyone else we worked with (inspectors, lenders, insurers, and so on) have all told us how lucky we were to be working with Val. So, yeah, Val rules. If you're still reading this and haven't picked up the phone to call her please stop reading and do so now.
– Jon P.
Val found us the home of our dreams! My husband and I met Val at one of the first open houses we went to, about 4 months before we decided it was time to interview buyer's agents. We immediately liked her no-nonsense, no-pressure style, and her willingness to answer our (many) questions as first-time homebuyers. Over those 4 months before we decided on an agent, we went to about 75 open houses, and we kept finding ourselves comparing each agent to Val. After she gave us a comprehensive and informative neighborhood tour of the areas we were interested in, we knew Val was the agent for us. Over the next two months, Val worked tirelessly to find us the perfect home. She was in constant contact with us, whether it was to set up a time as soon as possible to see houses that met our criteria, to update us on the status of our offers, or to walk us through the hurdles of inspections and negotiations. She has all qualities that you would want in your ally as you maneuver through the real estate process: -She is knowledgeable (she is always up-to-date with the current status of the market, which houses just went on the market, for how much, and many times, some of the back story of the situation, etc.) -She is patient (she would stay up late just to reassure us when a seller's agent would repeatedly ignore our offer deadlines) -She is flexible (she worked in her car in the driveway of her friend's house during a party to ensure that our final offer would be accepted) -She has the highest ethical and professional standards (she would answer our questions honestly when we asked her for her opinion, but she would never try to influence our decisions) We would recommend Val to anyone looking for a real estate agent on the Peninsula – she is truly exceptional!
– Denise C.
My husband are I are so impressed with Val Vandervort. She personifies professionalism and gets the job done right. Here are a few reasons why: 1. She takes the time to get to know the client and what the client wants. She knows how to listen and hear what you are saying. 2. She is a problem-solver and a client advocate: she thinks outside the box to find solutions that work, and then executes on the solutions. All in the best interest of the client. 3. She is well-connected: she knows the people that matter in all aspects of the real estate business, and this is what you want. You don't want a newbie that doesn't know anyone or how the business works. 4. She is patient and willing to spend the time necessary with you to meet your needs. She always responds to emails and voicemails. 5. She is meticulous, smart and reads documents carefully. You need this attention to detail when it comes to buying a house! 6. She is glad to help in related matters, such as finding the right contractor for a certain job. It is so helpful hat she has these contacts and will take the time to connect you to the right people. 7. She is a pleasure to work with. When you spend so much time with a real estate agent, you want to really like them and enjoy their company! You will miss her after the deal is done! 8. She is honest and trustworthy. You know you are in good hands.
– Camelot L.
Val has been nothing short of amazing through the entire process. We are new to the Bay Area and had no idea about the abnormal home-buying market on the Peninsula. She has tons of energy, is always willing to help and very flexible with her schedule. When our last home purchase did not work out (through no fault of our own), Val was still able to place us in a rental. We will definitely call upon Val when we are ready to buy again. In the end, Val wants to see you happy in a home – regardless of what that means for her commission.
– Tammi S.
We are looking to purchase our first place and we are new to the Bay Area. We met Val on a random open house tour couple of months ago. Val is the superwoman of real estate. She listened to all of our needs and wants from the very beginning. My husband and I are looking for a specific type of home in specific neighborhoods and she doesn't waste our time trying to show us houses in areas that we don't like. She is very knowledgeable at what she does and at the areas she works. She is fast in returning emails, phone calls and updating us. Val doesn't pressure us to buy. That's one of the important things we like about Val. No pressure. If the home you see isn't what you want, look at some more. She does take time and effort to see what her customers want. Explains every step so you know what you are getting into when you are buying a home. As first-time home buyers she is very patient with us and provides us a great education on home buying. Val walked through a lot of junk houses with us in our quest to buy and she always approaches her job with a good mixture of professionalism and humor. She's down-to-earth, friendly and straightforward with you and works hard for her clients. If you're looking for a home on the Peninsula, Val is a great Realtor to work with.
– Tamara M.
My husband and I met Val when she helped our son and his wife find their first home to buy. We often accompanied them during their search. We, ourselves, had been planning to sell our house to find another home that would best fit our needs for retirement. We were putting a lot of time into updating our home before selling, but progress was slow. Our son convinced us to seek advice from Val as to how we could better achieve our goal. Her experience and observations were invaluable to help us move forward with a much more realistic and foreseeable plan of action. Val was able to recommend affordable changes to the house that would make it more saleable. She knew contractors with differing skills who helped us achieve our goal of creating "house beautiful." We were thrilled with the outcome. The house sold very quickly, after several offers, and well over the asking price. We are now looking for our new home, and Val is patiently and conscientiously by our side in the search. She has taught us a lot about what to look for and what to expect with differing scenarios, letting us know that her first priority is our best interest. Selling and buying a home becomes personal, emotional, and life-changing. We feel very lucky to have found Val, who seems to share our similar values. She is not just a real estate agent. She is a special person. She makes a connection beyond selling and buying. She gives back to her community in differing ways, keeping her many connections viable and meaningful. We hope to find our home in that community.
– Vicky J.
Val came to us through a glowing recommendation of a well-respected professional in the local real estate business. My husband and I had been casually looking at purchasing a home in San Carlos and decided to bite the bullet by lining up a Realtor. We had a fantastic experience with Val; she carefully listened to our needs and helped us narrow our search down. Once we found "the one," Val jumped into high gear, negotiated an excellent deal for us, and has helped the daunting home-buying process become relatively seamless. Val is a class act!
– Krista C.
Val is flawless as a real estate professional. I know that's a lot to live up to, but she is all that and more. Val is patient, knowledgeable, and has great intuition about what her clients need. She helped me find my dream house in Menlo Park and I have recommended her to my friends. Val should be anyone's first choice when looking for a real estate professional.
– Heather B.
I would like to take this opportunity to give Val Vandervort Five Stars – she is a superior agent. We were considering selling our home in San Carlos and decided to look at an Open House in our area to see what it was selling for and how it was “staged." We met Val at the Open House – she was friendly and professional. We then noticed that the house had a “Sold” sign on it a few days after it had been put on the market! When we were ready to list our home, we called Val as one of a few agents we were planning to interview. We decided at the first meeting that she would be the one to list our home and did not interview other agents. She did her “homework” prior to our meeting and brought background information about our home which enabled us to discuss different aspects of our home sale at the first meeting. When we showed her our home, she was very positive and even mentioned some possible marketing ideas! Val worked with us every step of the way – navigated us through all the paperwork, set up inspections and got us over the hurdles of preparing our home to sell. Her marketing was phenomenal – she had our home photographed by a superb photographer and produced very professional marketing brochures and a website; she sent out cards announcing our Open House. She put up signs in our home to point out important features that would not otherwise be noticed – she took care of every detail. Within about a week of listing our home, we had three offers! We met with Val for the offer presentations and she advised us of the “pros and cons” of each offer. We accepted an offer that was $100,000.00 over our asking price! She helped us through the escrow process, which included a helpful calendar of the various dates that we needed to be aware of until the close of escrow. Besides being a very professional Realtor, Val is a warm, positive and caring person. We would definitely contact Val again if we were selling a home on the Peninsula and would strongly recommend her to our friends.
– Mark & Julie Grant
Great agent for first time house buyers! My fiancée and I just bought a house with the help of Val and we gave her double thumbs up. She is very responsive, very knowledgeable and super kind. We feel like she works exclusively with us, although we are sure she obviously has other clients. Val basically takes care of literally ANYTHING for us and gave very helpful suggestions. We would highly recommend her to any home buyers!
– Mingfei C.
There is only one thing to say about Val, and that is "fabulous!" Val recently represented us on our first home purchase. This is a daunting task for any market, but it is even more so in the Bay Area. Val met with us first to understand what type of home we wanted, where we wanted it, and what our budget would be. After assessing our needs and timeline, she quickly went to work to find us a property that would work for us. Val's vast real estate expertise was invaluable, especially as we worked through a tough Peninsula market. She knew how to position an offer to "win," and she had an excellent read on where the market was going. Additionally, her relationships and ability to work well with the listing agents on the property proved to be the deciding factor in a tough and competitive market. In addition to her knowledge of the actual properties, Val pointed us in the direction of wonderful vendors who really came through for us. She educated us immediately on the importance of having a local mortgage broker who can act quickly when the deal is close. She also provided a tremendous reference on the property inspector, securing quick and thorough inspections that allowed us to decide quickly on the right property. Val has continued to provide support for us even after closing on the purchase, providing us with a vast array of professionals who can help us with the final touch ups to our new home. Her desire to see her clients in a home that is truly right for them has shown through in every stage of the process I cannot say enough about what a pleasure it was to work with Val and have her represent us on our first purchase. We truly could not have done it without her!
– Pam & Mickey V.
Val helped us navigate an extreme seller's market and into a beautiful home that met all of our needs while staying within our budget. She was a good negotiator that always had our best interests in mind. She is friendly, caring, a go-getter, responsive and efficient; everything you want in a Realtor! We will definitely recommend and use Val again for all our real estate needs.
– Peter C.
SHORT VERSION: Val is the perfect Realtor! My wife and I feel there wasn't a single thing that Val could have done better on our transaction, and we both highly recommend Val to anyone needing a Realtor! LONG VERSION: My wife and I have worked with more than a dozen Realtors over the years, and Val is the best by far! During our Saturday morning introduction meeting, Val spent a couple hours reviewing how she would market our home and the technology and resources she would use on our behalf. She also brought comparable transactions and samples of the marketing materials she had developed for other homes she has sold. We let Val know that we were on a very short timeline to sell our current home as we had just purchased a new home. After the initial Realtor interviews, we quickly decided to work with Val. She came back to our home at 7:30 p.m. on the same Saturday night to start the process. By the next morning (Sunday) she already had a staging person over to our house to give us a quote. By Monday, Val had already scheduled the staging, movers, home inspection, pest inspection, photographer, etc. Val held open houses on both Saturday and Sunday for two weekends, plus a Tuesday broker's tour, plus a Thursday twilight open house. She developed beautiful brochures and had our property listed on various internet sites. Val came by our house a couple of times each day to keep the project on track and to maintain the momentum. She was very organized and very responsive by telephone, email and text. So what was our outcome? We received seven offers and sold our house for about 20% over the asking price, and well within our very short timeline! My wife and I agree that Val is the best Realtor we have ever worked with by far, and we hope we get the chance to work with her again. If you choose to work with Val, we are confident you will agree that it was the best decision you could have made.
– Rick L. & Julie T.
We cannot say enough good things about Val! All these great Yelp reviews are totally true. She is thoughtful and thorough. She navigated our purchase of a beautiful home in a tough market for buyers. We're one of the few buyers on the Peninsula right now who can boast that we paid under asking. Val gets 100% of the credit for that. Her eye for detail is refreshing and deeply appreciated. Without hesitation or caveat, we highly recommend Val to anyone buying or selling a home. This purchase was our third buying experience, but far and away our easiest purchase. Seriously, you will regret going with another agent.
– Diana H.
We successfully bought the very first house we offered on – our bid was accepted with no counter-offering (over 6 other bids, one of which was all-cash) and our deal was closed in 3 weeks flat. That is the most important thing to know about Val – she knows how to get deals done. She knows her areas, she knows the schools, the neighborhoods, the values (she frequently correctly predicted the price a house would sell for while we were looking). She responded immediately when I needed her to, and she's fun to spend time with. She is ethical and low-pressure and just exceedingly competent. Val represents both buyers and sellers and if you look at her closed listings, you'll see how quickly they sell for great prices. When we were putting together our offer, she gave great advice and sent a very detailed list of items we needed to close quickly. I hope we never move but if we do, she will be our listing agent. We are so grateful we found her.
– Joann G.
My husband and I have been looking since 2011 for our first home and we almost were going to give up until Val came along. She helped us put down an offer with no counter-offering and held our hands throughout the entire loan process. She was very knowledgeable, poised in her presentation, great at breaking down complicated information, and best of all, Val maintained a great positive energy even when she was under time pressure. Val was extremely patient at explaining every detail to us, and had an excellent team who is extremely responsive! We were able to close escrow before Christmas and enjoy a relaxing winter holiday. Year 2014 is looking good because of Val. THANK YOU!
– Alice K.
As first-time home buyers, my husband and I were initially a little nervous about the entire process. However, from the first moment we met Val Vandervort, we knew we had nothing to worry about. Val is consummate professional – extremely knowledgeable, dedicated to her clients, and very personable. Not only were she and her assistant, Karen Eller Ha, incredibly attentive when it came to listening to our wants and needs, but they demonstrated such initiative and enthusiasm in helping us find the right home. I can't say enough good things about their excellent communication and clear, supportive natures. Both stuck with us every step of the way – not just in the search and purchase, but in finding the right people to help us make improvements to our new house. My husband and I know that our partnership with Val is ongoing. As our lives continue to grow and change, and our housing needs along with it, we have 100% faith that we will work with this awesome team again.
– Erin H.
I don't typically write recommendations because I rarely feel strongly enough about anything to be bothered to do so. But Val is amazing and here are the reasons why. My original version of this review was turning into a novel because I just can't say enough about how much my husband and I have enjoyed working with Val. To make this easy to digest, here are the bullet points. 1. Val was our advocate every step of the way! 2. Val took the time to learn what types of properties would be of interest to us. 3. Val helped us understand the pros and cons of every property we were interested in. 4. Val knows the schools and the neighborhoods. 5. Val gave us hope that we would one day be able to find the right house for us despite the housing craze. 6. Val understands the Bay Area housing market and often accurately predicted the price a house would sell for. The day our offer got accepted, the first thing my husband said was, "This would not have happened if it wasn't for Val!" The day we signed our loan documents, the last thing my husband said as we were walking out the door was, "This would not have happened if it wasn't for Val!" I can't say enough about Val. If you are looking for a house, work with Val! Working with Val was the best decision we ever made. We enthusiastically recommend her!
– Christina C.
After making the decision to sell my Redwood Shores condo, I looked on Yelp to find an agent that had received positive reviews. After looking through all the readers comments about Val, I decided to give her a call. It's one of the best decisions I have EVER made! She is very professional and yet extremely personable – a win-win combination. The entire transaction from beginning to end was extremely smooth. Nothing "fell through the cracks." Her network of individuals from carpet cleaners to movers made the whole process painless. I have sung Val's praises to almost everyone I know! If you are in the market to either purchase or sell a home on the Peninsula, Val is your go-to real estate agent. I guarantee you won't regret it!
– Gary W.
My husband and I recently bought a home in Belmont, and there is no way we could have done it without Val's hard work (including while she was on vacation!). Our ideal house seemed like an impossible dream given our budget and the areas where we were looking, but I am now typing this review from our perfect home! Not only is Val hardworking and diligent, but she has amazing instincts for the real estate market in our area and is an easy/fun person to interact with during the stressful process of buying a house. We had complete confidence in how Val conducted our search, bids, and closing. She kept us involved throughout out the entire process and clearly articulated what to expect and how to proceed at each step. Everything went incredibly smoothly, and we cannot thank Val enough. We also cannot recommend her enough. If you're buying a house in the area, you should definitely call Val!
– Rachel J.
We started our home search last August and were visiting open houses to get an idea of what was on the market. We were lucky to run into Val in one of the first open houses we visited. Val walked up to us, asked what we were looking for and immediately, we could see that we had found the person who would answer all our questions about the home buying process, guide us, and better yet, someone who was willing to be honest with us. Val guided us through the entire process and within a few months we closed on a house that we loved! Val and her team are amazing! She was able to work with our crazy schedules and was always available to chat with us during the various stages of the process. Val even visited us two months after we moved in to make sure that we had settled in and were happy in our new home. Val also understands that newbies in an area are always looking for recommendations, and she provided us with an extensive list of her recommended vendors for various services in the area before we even moved in!
We could not have asked for a more thoughtful, knowledgeable, and responsive real estate agent!! We had a tight timeline and some very specific requests, and Val was able to find the perfect property for us! She found us a good number of houses to see, didn't push us into anything that we didn't feel good about, took the time to show us the variety of what was on the market, walked us through the 'making an offer' process and went above and beyond to find us a phenomenal house that was about to go on market, which we ended up buying! For the places that she saw before us, she knew which we should actually visit (either because she knew we'd like it, or because she knew that we needed to see what was on the market). For the places she walked into for the first time with us, she knew exactly the questions to ask, and had an incredible instinct on whether it was the right place for us. She knows the market and community, and we are overjoyed to now be a part of the San Carlos Community in our dream home!! In not enough words, Val was incredible, and we would, will, and have highly recommended her to friends and neighbors alike. Thanks So Much, Val!!
– Mallory B.
Val is an amazing person to have on your side. As we went through the process of preparing and selling our home, she attended to every detail, providing us facts and analysis so that we could proceed with confidence. There are innumerable things that can go wrong in a real estate transaction. Thanks to Val, we never worried about a single one of them.
– Emily K.
A long overdue review. Val helped us buy our first house in Belmont in 2009; we are still happily living in it. Val paid attention to our needs, was always available and responsive, and made it easy to trust her through the entire long process at a time when the market was full of flippers, banks were super strict, and houses were scarce.
– Tommy L.
Val and Karen were fantastic agents. My wife and I had been looking for our first house for over 6 months, and at no point did we ever feel pressured into anything we were uncomfortable with. They had a detailed knowledge of all the Peninsula neighborhoods, were able to work within our schedule, and they even showed us some off-market houses. When we put in bids, Val and Karen had great ideas on how to put together strong offers. I would definitely recommend working with them if you're looking for a house on the Peninsula.
– Jonathan N.
Val is the best real estate agent I could imagine. She is great to be around, knows the area inside and out, and found us our perfect home. I could not imagine buying or selling a house through anyone else and we have told all of our friends to use her. We were new to the area and she has recommended many great vendors – a gardener, a painter, even a dentist!
– Jessica E.
I highly recommend Val and her team, Karen Eller Ha and Liz Min. A couple of friends recommended Val since I had been looking for a house for two years with no luck. A few months later, I closed on my new home! I was very impressed with Val's knowledge of the local market and it's current trend. She is very personable, warm and extremely competent. In a tight market, Val's expertise was invaluable. She guided me through a couple of offers without pressure , simply her vast experience. Most of the process for my purchase took place when I was overseas. With a 9 hrs time difference and quite a bit of jet lag, Val's team was present and receptive from start to finish. Every phone call was returned and every email was addressed. Should I ever need an agent again, Val will be my top choice.
– M M.
My meeting with Val was accidental as I had just sold my house in Burlingame and was working with the agent that had sold that house. Unfortunately that agent was used to dealing in multi-million dollar properties and didn’t like dealing with my “small potato” under $1 million dollar purchase. I told Val what I was looking for and she immediately cited several properties that fit my criteria. I gave Val my contact information and Val got to work right away. Val signed me up for her email notification program and every property that met my parameters was immediately emailed to me. Together, Val and I looked at several homes. Val and I discussed the pros, cons, and the pricing of each house. Val was always available to talk, text, or to show any property that caught my eye. Val didn’t hesitate to write an offer and advised me where she thought the pricing should be or what we should offer. This occurred at the beginning of the recent housing market boom and prices were completely unpredictable. Finally after looking at numerous houses and making several offers we scored a goal and an accepted offer. But Val didn’t stop there. Val scheduled the inspections, arranged for fumigation, helped pick paint colors, and still remains in contact with me just to see how I am doing. All this... and at the close of escrow, Val donated a percentage of her commission to a charity that was very personal and close to my heart. I have bought and sold many homes over the years and have honestly worked with dozens of agents, but none of the dedication, quality, knowledge, experience, and patience, that Val showed to me. Val will be my agent for life and probably a great friend for as long.
– Stephen P. M.
I cannot imagine a better agent to work with than Val Vandervort whether you are buying or selling. A couple years ago she helped me sell a house with some challenging features and was extremely helpful in guiding me through what work needed to be done and what did not before the house went on the market. It helped me focus my energy on what was most important. She also has wonderful contacts from contractors to handymen to stagers to help in the process. This year she helped me buy a condo, a process I was new to. She assisted me every step of the way and I could not have done it without her invaluable advice on many issues. She is always very professional but one of the things I valued most was her ability to resolve any issue that came our way while remaining cool and collected. Val is a pleasure to work with and she is definitely someone you want to have in your corner during the buying or selling process.
– Paige A.
I highly recommend Val and her team, Karen Eller Ha and Liz Min. A couple of friends recommended Val since I had been looking for a house for two years with no luck. A few months later, I closed on my new home! I was very impressed with Val's knowledge of the local market and its current trend. She is very personable, warm and extremely competent. In a tight market, Val's expertise was invaluable. She guided me through a couple of offers without pressure, simply her vast experience. Most of the process for my purchase took place when I was overseas. With a 9 hrs time difference and quite a bit of jet lag, Val's team was present and receptive from start to finish. Every phone call was returned and every email was addressed. Should I ever need an agent again, Val will be my top choice.
– Monica M.
Val was just fantastic for us. We are first-time home buyers and like many other first-time buyers had a lot of questions about the process and anxiety about what we were getting in to. We found about Val through Yelp and reached out to her. She was prompt in her response and we met face-to-face that weekend. We knew immediately that we wanted to work with her. She was easy to talk to, was willing to answer all our questions, was very transparent about her approach to dealing with conflicts (unlike some of the other brokers that we had met during some of the open houses who you couldn't tell if they were looking out for us, for themselves or for the seller's interest) and overall made us feel very comfortable and we felt she would genuinely look out for our interests and she absolutely delivered on that. Before we got started, Val made sure we had bank pre-approval in place. She introduced us to Holly at Wells Fargo who was thorough, super quick and terrific with the whole pre-approval and later the loan. The close working relationship that Val and Holly had made our life easier when getting updated pre-approval letters for each offer and keeping the pre-approvals current. With pre-approval in hand, we went to open houses every weekend and for the ones we liked we went again with Val. She showed us around a lot of houses and was very flexible and accommodating with her time and would meet around our schedules and in the evenings. She is very knowledgeable about San Carlos area which is where we were focused on but she seemed to know the general area very well. While walking through the house, she gave us valuable insights about the condition of the house (beyond what was already in the disclosures), provided estimates on repairs needed on the houses, pointed out what was important and expensive to fix vs. what could easily be fixed with a small sum of money. She also gave ideas on how we could remodel the house a few years down the line to suit our specific tastes. Overall she was super patient with all our questions and provided the right information to make an offer. In preparation of the offer, Val made sure to talk us through the different combinations price and contingencies that would make a strong offer. She however isn't pushy with the price to close the deal. She made sure we were comfortable with the offer that we are putting forward. During the offer process, she was in frequent touch with the selling agent to gauge the competition and provided us constant feedback so we could adjust our offer accordingly. Val presents the offer in person, which gives her additional opportunity to make a case for our offer. She also made sure our offers had short closing periods which is attractive to the sellers. On the house we bought, we had committed to a 2 1/2 week close and were able to pull it off smoothly in large part due to Val and the team of people she works with. The other great thing about working with Val is that you are never left to fend for yourself. While she was on vacation (which everybody deserves to take ? ), she made sure we were in great hands with another agent at her agency. During that period she kept in touch and replied to emails. Overall she is thorough, patient, honest and looks out for your interests. If you are looking to buy a house, call Val and make it easy on yourself.
– Uday A.
My wife and I chose Val to be our Realtor in our search for a new home after meeting her at an open house, and being very impressed with her obvious intelligence. Val worked hard to find us a home that met our needs, which were very specific, and was able to get a lot of info from the other Realtors that helped us make our decisions. She managed to get us inside a number of homes before they went on the official MLS, and in fact we were successful in buying one of these. This is a very big deal given the current market conditions. Val has provided superior post-deal follow-up, helping us to coordinate with a number of contractors that we are working with, and recommending a number of really qualified contractors where we didn't have one. She also put us in touch with a great insurance agent. She spends a lot of time on the disclosures and will give her views on what is important and what is not, and why. Last, she uses modern tools to help with the paperwork. With my schedule, it is not clear that I would have been able to physically sign many of the documents I needed to. I have no hesitation in recommending Val as a Realtor, and I would work with her again.
– Thomas R.
When we were looking to purchase our first place, we had a hard time knowing which Realtor to choose. However, when we met Val at an open house, we knew that she would be the right person to help us. Initially we thought that we could only manage to purchase a condo, but with Val's guidance we are now in a cute little house. Val helped my husband deal with the massive amounts of paperwork that are associated with purchasing a home. I was lucky enough to be out of town at the time of signing, but I never doubted that everything would turn out just fine, which of course it did. I admire Val for keeping in touch over the years – she truly cares!
– Anne Marie N.
We met Val at an open house she was hosting, and we immediately hit it off. Val was very good at guiding us through the process of buying a house (we were first-time buyers) and was also extremely helpful in helping us narrow down the type of house/neighborhood we were looking for. She specializes in Redwood City, San Carlos, Belmont and San Mateo, which is exactly where we were looking, though she was always open to expanding our search to other neighborhoods when something fit our other criteria. We are very happy with the house we ended up buying and we are proud to consider Val a friend and advisor.
– Barbara N.
Val helped us buy our first house two years ago when we moved to San Carlos. Her excellent instincts helped us negotiate a complex and daunting process with confidence. We ended up bidding on three houses before finding our present home. Our first offer was accepted, but Val had insisted that we put a pest inspection contingency in our offer, even though that wasn't common at the time, because she worried about some of the details in the pest inspection provided by the sellers. She saved us from a costly mistake when the pest inspector she hired for the contingency discovered many tens of thousands of dollars in foundation damage! For the house we now live in, she called us on the morning offers were due to try to get us to raise our offer. We trusted her instincts and it was only as a result of that extra boost that our offer won. Despite buying our house at the peak of the market (not Val's fault!), we love where we live and we feel fortunate to have found such a great house in such a great community. We highly recommend Val because she makes you feel like her full attention is devoted to you even when you know she must have other clients. She works very hard and she's willing to go the extra mile for you. When we're ready for a bigger house, we'll definitely call on Val again.
– Ellis V.
We couldn't have asked for a better advocate than Val when we were trying to sell our house and downsize to a condo just as the housing market dropped. Her advice regarding selling our house was always "right-on", and she often went the extra mile for us, even going out and buying light fixtures for a mini-renovation that made a huge difference in our home's appearance. We initially resisted the idea of staging and renovating, but these changes made all the difference, and we are glad we put our trust in Val. She was there every step of the way, always willing to meet at our convenience, and always looking out for our best interest, whether as a seller or as a buyer.
– Susan M.
Val guided us through buying our first home. In our initial meeting she really dug into not just what we were looking for but why. She appropriately questioned some of our requirements and asked poignant questions on others we hadnt yet thought of. In our search, we began to stray outside of our initial requirements. Instead of letting us run wild Val sat us down, brought this to our attention, validated our changing requirements and continued our search. It was a thorough, structured process that resulted in us purchasing the perfect home. Looking forward to working with Val again on our next transaction
– Marc N.
Val is an outstanding agent to work with. She is professional, caring, and patient. She always paid close attention to every little detail to make sure my family got exactly what we wanted. She is also a pleasure to work with – friendly, fun, and honest. I would highly recommend her to anyone – family and friends. She is the best.
– Christa W.
Val sold our town home in Belmont this summer 2014 in less than10 days. She is a master of using all of the computing tools but is blessed with the people skills and attention to detail that ultimately make the difference as an effective realtor. -Val gently educated us on the benefits of staging, pricing, and took care of all the details. -She is a wonderful listener and all of the exclusives that we cited, she incorporated into the sales brochure utilizing a professional writer! -Val contacted us when needed but many of the to-do's and follow-ups were managed transparently by her and her team. Only upon the sale did we learn of many of the details and issues that she resolved. As a business person, but layperson in real estate, I came to appreciate the value of a professional realtor. -Very good responsiveness: Follow-ups, availability by phone or email. -She listened well and provided us with pros and cons on pricing. It was clear that she had our interest in mind. -Honesty and integrity perhaps are the key benefit of having Val as our real estate agent. What is normally a fairly stressful period, no matter how many homes one has owned, was truly minimal because my wife and I knew we never had to second guess her.
– Eric L.
Val helped us purchase a home in Belmont last fall and we had such a great experience working with her. In our initial meeting, Val was very interested in what was most important to us in our first house and gave us guidance in terms of whether or not our expectations were realistic for the current market. We also had some unique challenges with financing and Val seeked out and found alternative paths for us. When we started attending open houses, Val and her team would pre-screen the houses so that we could focus our time on houses with the greatest potential. Val was always very focused on finding us the right house, not just making a sale. Despite a competitive market, we were able to find the perfect house for our family in 6 weeks! Many months after the sale, she continues to offer help to us in our new neighborhood and we feel fortunate to have worked with an agent truly focused on providing a wonderful customer experience.
– Kathy V.
We came to Val & Marylene asking for advice in our house hunt in the Peninsula and we did not only find the best professionals in the market, but also great friends! From the very first moment when they walked us through the technicalities of the process till the close of escrow (and even beyond that, during the renovation of our new home!) we always had them on our side, with their extreme competence, courtesy and honesty. My husband and I are first-time home buyers, and navigating this crazy Bay Area real estate market would have been a true nightmare without their help. Putting down a significant monetary offer for a house can be super stressful, but we felt we always had the right advice from Val and Marylene. Here is why you can't go wrong with Val & Marylene: - They are good listeners: they understand the needs of their clients and tailor the house search accordingly - They know the market really well and can effectively strategize on how to make a competitive offer: this is not trivial in a crazy market where you might deal with 20+ bidders for a property! - They know the real estate agents on the other side very well and are superb negotiators - They know good contractors in case you need to do some work on the property - They make good use of your time, you never feel you are wasting a minute when you are with them - They are super responsive and are always one phone call away to answer any question on the process - Their personal touch made us feel we always had the right support in this stressful process Still not sure? Let me tell you this then: we got an amazing house in 1.5 months and our bid was not even the highest! Val and Marylene did an amazing job positioning us to win. We highly recommend them!
– Federica B.
My wife and I just sold our first home which we purchased 12-years ago. We used Val Vandervort as our real estate agent and could not be more pleased with the entire process. I can be a bit high strung and Val was the perfect realtor to balance me out and always keep me calm and well informed. It's also not just Val though. She has an awesome team that works with her who handled much of the process; from home inspections and scheduling and showings, the whole 9 yards. They also have a wonderful network of folks from handymen, inspectors, gardeners, stagers, you name it. There were a number of times when we asked Val for her opinion on various things and we listened! She is a professional and knows what she is doing. Bottom line is we had a ton of traffic through our house and 29 offers with a final finish of 39% over asking price. Our only complaint was that we didn't have a half dozen more properties for Val to sell!!!!!
– Jim L.
If you are looking for a knowledgeable, responsive, outgoing, caring, friendly realtor please contact Val & Liz! You will be very satisfied with her help in regards to purchasing a home!!! I was 100% satisfied and am extremely happy with her and her team services! Here's why: Val is the best realtor I've ever had dealings with. When we found the perfect home for my family on this Sunday, and we called her team to check the property for us. After call, they went to the property, talked to the listing agent right away and closed the deal within three days.(They'd been working on my case overnight to counter offers back and forth whole thru the night- extremely hard workers... ) It was great that I could count on Val and Liz expertise of the area as first time buying a single family house. Val And Liz guided me through the whole buying process and was very helpful and professional. Especially Liz had so much patience with my numerous questions and provided detailed, timely answers. I must say that her expertise & knowledge as well as attention to detail exceeds other realtors in the area. I would definitely recommend Val & Liz to any home buyer or seller in the Peninsula area. I have owned my home now within THREE days (In this competitive market, I never thought that I can get a home in short period time at all, this is unreal! ) I would do it all over again with Val's Team as my realtor, if it ever came to that again in the future! Thanks, Val & Liz!!!
– Sunny K.
Loved my experience buying my house with Val and Karen. I felt the whole process was as stress free as possible. They were very nice and helpful. We spent a couple of months looking at properties trying to find the one we wanted and throughout that search we did not feel pressured at any point. They were both very patient, looking to provide as much info as possible, and very friendly and courteous.
– Andres V.
I cant say enough about the wonderful experience we had with Val and team Karen. In short, the road to securing real estate for my family was a rough ride in this climate and with this level of competition we were definitely the underdogs. Val and team cut through the battlefield like butter. Karen and Val worked tight and navigated every hurdle making the experience easy to manage and cope with. They were open to our suggestions and as we were open to theirs as a team we were successful. Karen managed our fluctuating emotional states no problem, was capable at playing the hard game or using tact for a more subtle approach when required. Both knew their areas very well and could read the layout of the land and adjust to the rapidly changing climate. Post closing it was quite clear that the due diligence, team ethic, tact and attention to detail exhibited by Val and Karen was the reason we were able to avoid a serious bidding war, close on the house and even see demands of our own to fruition in what is still clearly a sellers market. As i have worked with other agents in the past and brought to Val Vandervort Estates through a friends referral it's quite clear this team is miles in front of the rest. They are all easy to work with, detail oriented and even donated some of their income to charity and our closing to insure all our best interests were accounted for and not only as a personal gesture to us but also at a level in the community that generally speaking, others don't seem to care about. I would highly recommend this company and team and have done so multiple times already. I'm not a yelper but felt Val and team deserved my attention in this forum. They are my first Yelp. If you want a team to represent your best interests successfully id get in line quick b/c in this market quality this outstanding is what brings the edge you'll need to realize your dreams. I'd use them again without batting an eye. Don't waste time with other choices out there, sign with them before others occupy their time first. Every second counts in this market. Be willing to contribute and work as a team.
– Anthony F.
If yelp allows 10 stars, we will rate Val 10 stars! We are so happy to have Val as our buyer agent. She is amazingly professional and friendly as well! When we started working with Val, we were quite impressed by seeing all 5-star reviews on her yelp reviews. Now we truly believe that all the reviewers must greatly appreciate Val's help with their buys or sells as we do. If you are looking for a buyer agent in this area, no hesitation, go work with Val! Val is so professional, responsible, well organized and patient! She has great professional knowledge on the housing market, which will guide you to the right location, the right house and the right price! She has great connections with other real estate agents, loan agents, lenders, property inspectors, property manager, all kinds of contractors and so on. Whatever questions we asked (we are immigrants, having tons of questions, of course), she tried her best to provide precise and helpful information for answering them and solving our problems. She never pushed us to make any decisions on the houses. She wanted us to consider thoroughly and go for the house because we really like it. She never complained or showed any impatience when we changed our mind at the last minute. Val is very gentle, honest, nice and friendly. We trust her and relied on her a lot during the whole house purchase process. We had no worries about mistakes we might make at all, since we know she is well taking care of everything. Although purchasing a new home has never been an easy task, her professional guidance, high work efficiency and terrific patience made the whole journey enjoyable. We just realize that it is so hard to express all our great experience with her and all our appreciation of her strong work and wonderful personalities. We have been looking for a new home for half a year, finally got the lovely one. We were used to get Val's emails about updates and receive phone calls starting with her sweet voice "How are you?". And we started to miss all these ?
– Ji L.
My wife and I sold our San Carlos home of 10 years in January 2016, with Val as our real estate agent. This was our first time selling a house, so before meeting with Val we were pretty wishy-washy on lots of issues -- when to list the house, what we should fix before listing, whether or not to stage the house, and on and on. Val patiently guided us through these decisions, and with such confidence that any uncertainties we had were quickly put to rest. From day one we knew we'd made a great choice in Val -- her knowledge of real estate in general and the Bay Area market in particular really impressed us. Val and her team were Efficient with a capital E -- they very quickly lined up inspections, staging and photography, and were there to oversee these activities while we were at work. They also put us in touch with some great contractors to get the house in top shape for sale. Just a few weeks after our first meeting, we were looking at these stunning photos and couldn't believe they were of our house! The marketing materials they created were all top notch, including flyers, brochures, regular website, mobile website, video, and signs around the house pointing out various features. After a single open house weekend and a realtor's open house day, we ended up with multiple offers. Val reviewed the offers with us and helped decide which was the best, taking into account not just contingencies and financing, but also insights that she was able to provide based on her relationships with local realtors and lenders. This really helped with picking the offer in which we could have the most confidence. The end result -- our house sold for 21% over asking! Closing went very smoothly and Val and her team were on top of it every step of the way. We couldn't be happier with having chosen Val as our realtor -- she is professional, diligent, responsive, patient, honest and extremely knowledgeable. And on top of all of that she is a pleasure to work with. Val is a truly exceptional realtor and we'd choose her again in a heartbeat.
– Fred E.
Val and Liz helped us through a complicated set of real estate transactions involving the simultaneous buying and selling of properties. They are extremely professional and efficient. Nothing slipped through the cracks and they were very diligent in following up. What we really appreciate was the human touch that went hand-in-hand with their professionalism. They fully realize that they are helping a customer through a transaction that will have a profound long term impact on the customer's life and finances. When we unexpectedly stumbled upon our dream home, they did what it took to get us into that home.
– Stephan V.
I truly cannot recommend Val and Liz highly enough. The dynamic of working with both of them made for such a seamless experience when buying our first home. We were VERY new to the real estate world and needed a lot of hand holding throughout the process and Liz couldn't have been a better fit for our needs. She was so patient and thorough and made us feel like we were extremely important clients (even with our low budget!) We had full faith in her and Val and this made the process so much less stressful. We worked most closely with Liz and really came to adore her! She is smart, dedicated, and just an all around enjoyable person to interact with. Thanks to their team, we ended up getting the first place we made an offer on and are now happy homeowners.
– Shelley A.
Dear Potential New Home Owners in the Peninsula, Look no further, Val and her associate Karen Ha are a dynamic duo who will work tirelessly to get you the home you want. Val's name was given to us by friends who raved about their experience about buying them home in Belmont with her team. We met with two other agents but after our meeting with Val, we felt very comfortable putting ourselves in her hands and we never looked back. We were first time home buyers and didn't know anything about buying a home in Bay Area. Karen and Val were extremely patient in educating us about the process, the market, the neighborhoods, how to prioritize our needs/desires, and working within our budget. We never once felt pressured to bid on something more expensive or something that we weren't 100% happy with. Karen especially was very hands on, available by phone or email usually within hours, including on weekends, and was always available to show us properties when we asked. She was proactive about thinking of our needs when she saw homes and telling us about them if she thought they might be a good fit. She was very upfront and direct when guiding us and volunteered a lot of relevant information about a property's potential concerns as well as its positive attributes. We looked at single family homes, townhouses, and condos from San Bruno down to Redwood City, and every step of the way Karen was there to answer our numerous questions with patience, candor, and warmth. We always felt that our best interests were being taken care of. We only bid on places that we really liked and we won our second bid thanks to Karen and Val's hustle and flexibility in putting together a last minute bid and presenting it in person. Our home search lasted 8 months and in the end we are very happy with our new home. Val donates 3% of her commission to a charity of her client's choice and we are excited that our home purchase will benefit an organization that is important to us. During our home buying process, we recommended Val's team to friends who were also looking to buy in the Peninsula and they too had a very positive experience working with them. Last but not least, Val and Karen were both really fun to work with and we are looking forward to having them over in our new place to celebrate! We cannot recommend them highly enough. When the time comes for us to sell/buy again in the Bay Area, we will be calling Val Vandervort and Karen Ha without hesitation!
– Erica M.
My family's road to home ownership was a long one. We moved to San Carlos in 2010, with the expectation that we would rent for a year or two and then buy if we liked the town enough to commit to it long-term. We loved the town immediately...but not the crazy seller's market that would soon follow. In 2013, I reached out to Val, whom I knew from our children's preschool, and very tentatively began to explore the market through her website's online search portal. The next year, we met with Val and Karen, but ultimately decided the time still wasn't right. Over the next two years, Val checked in with us occasionally. By this time, I knew (and liked) many realtors in San Carlos, but I stuck with Val because of some great advice she gave us during one of these check-ins: she told us to sit tight in our rental and wait it out, because the market couldn't keep going up like it was. I greatly appreciated her honesty, and knew for sure that I'd go with her and her team when the time finally came to buy. In the spring of 2016, we were finally ready. The market was showing signs of softening, and we were finally in a position to get in. During the search process, we worked primarily with Val's teammate Karen Ha, who was a total rockstar. She was tireless. She responded quickly to every email, text, and phone call question I threw at her...and there were many of those. She was also fabulous at pointing out the pluses and pitfalls of every home we saw. The bidding process is extremely stressful; but with Val and Karen we felt supported, and we never felt pressured to go higher than we were comfortable spending. In the end, we ended up with a house that met all of our needs and exceeded our expectations. It was worth the wait, and Val and Karen were truly with us every step of the way.
– Jessika W.