I picked Shirley out of a hat with no recommendations. I contacted her to show me a house I had seen and I asked if she could show it to me in 1/2 hour. She willingly obliged. Didn't like the house after all so Shirley found a new one for me that we are closing on next week. It was a house that 200 people had come to see during an open house. I thought we had no chance to purchase it without a terrible bidding war. But, Shirley painstakingly went through all the ways in which we should structure our offer so that we were the most attractive buyers. Then she researched the seller's agent to find out how she should approach him and what things in our offer he would respond positively to. She discussed at great length her views about our offer. Afterward, Shirley took great pains to check in with the seller often but not too often, and to sell us to him. He was impressed with her professional handling of the offer as were we. I credit Shirley's gracious demeanor, thorough research, and constant "hand holding" with the fact that we were chosen to purchase the house. I would recommend her enthusiastically to others.
I'd highly recommend Shirley to anyone selling a house in the Redwood City or San Carlos area.
Shirley represented us in the sale of a Redwood City property. We were first-time sellers. Throughout the process, she provided excellent communications and guidance on all aspects of the sale. Her recommendations on low-cost upgrades (painting and other minor interior work, some yard work) greatly improved the attractiveness of the house, and she was able to provide contractors on short notice to do the work at reasonable prices. Shirley's intuition on pricing was also good. Many potential buyers stopped by, and the house sold in less than ten days for well over the asking price with multiple offers. Finally, her successful late night negotiation with the winning bidder's agent resolved a potential concern with the offer in our favor.
Shirley is everything you would want a realtor to be. Her process is honest and direct, without a hint of the smarmy salesperson vibe that so many realtors have. When I started thinking about selling my home, Shirley came by and we walked through the property and talked about the things that needed to be done to make it ready for sale. Most realtors would have just said to call them when I was done, but Shirley helped me through every step of the process, including finding and scheduling contractors, getting me the best deal, helping with pickups, the works. It really made the process of selling my home so much less stressful than it would have been otherwise. I wouldn't hesitate to recommend Shirley to anyone thinking about buying or selling a home in San Mateo County.
My husband and I met Shirley very early in our house hunting journey. We had not narrowed down our search to specific neighborhoods and still had a lot to learn about the San Carlos, Menlo Park and Redwood City areas. Also, since we were first-time home buyers, we were new to all of the steps and details of the process. Shirley was so informed and so patient with us as we learned. She showed us various homes in several neighborhoods. She worked around our hectic work schedules and showed us houses in the mornings, evenings and on weekends. Shirley was very informed about neighborhoods and quickly focused-in on the type of home we were hoping to locate. Every minute we spent on the phone or in-person with Shirley was well spent; she's incredibly efficient and knowledgeable.
In addition to being of help on the house hunting side, Shirley was also incredibly helpful in interfacing with other players in the process. Shirley helped orchestrate the many players in our home buying project (our lender, the selling agent, the home insurance agent, the title company officer and more). Shirley is incredibly well connected and well-respected among professionals in the field, and she certainly was able to help us stay one step ahead of the game as she knew what to expect and who to connect with anytime we had questions.
Finally, and perhaps most impressively, Shirley helped us negotiate some challenges with our lender. When our close date had to be delayed twice due to a lack of planning on our lender's behalf, Shirley stuck with us and went out of her way to help us close the deal. Throughout two very difficult weeks, Shirley was consistently available for questions (deciphering real estate/mortgage terms and details for us) and moral support; she continually followed-up with our lender and was the piece of the puzzle that helped us close the deal. I know she went above and beyond the service she had to provide, and she did it so supportively and pro-actively. We couldn't be more thankful that we selected Shirley as our realtor. She will undoubtedly be the realtor we turn to when we out-grow our first home!
Kathryn & Ricardo Segovia
We recently bought a home in San Mateo and Shirley did a fantastic job representing us! This is our second home buying experience, and the whole process somehow seemed much smoother and easier than the first one - thanks to Shirley's expertise! She went out of her way to gather as much information as she could about every home she showed us, carefully picked out homes based on our requirements, and even adviced us on how to proceed when we were confused/unsure. Working with her gave us the confidence that we would eventually find a home that we would love - and we did! We would definitely recommend Shirley!
Ramya & Brijesh Krishnaswami
I am a first-time homeowner because of Shirley Kraus. I had zero knowledge of what to do, and she very patiently guided me through the whole process. I was worried that, since she's based in the pricey midpeninsula, she wouldn't really be able to help me. But she quickly helped me locate a great condo that was within my tight budget. Little did I know that finding the property was just the tip of the iceberg when purchasing a home...I was amazed at how hard Shirley worked to get me through all of the paperwork, including a horrible snafu with my credit union; the snafu wasn't Shirley's fault at all, but she quickly helped me get back on track with another lender. Furthermore, the property was an REO, and I had no idea how difficult it would be to work with a bank rather than an individual property owner. But Shirley was optimistic, diligent, and persistent with the selling agent/bank and we got the deal done. I'm thrilled! Before purchasing my home, I could not imagine going through this process alone. Now I can't imagine going through it with anyone but Shirley!
When we started looking for a home we were determined to tap into the wealth of information on the web. It never occurred to us to look for an agent; like most people our age, we simply look online for everything. A colleague introduced us to Shirley and she immediately impressed us with her wealth of knowledge: she is a walking lexicon of school ratings, neighborhoods, and vision. She took the time to understand and quickly figure out what we were looking for. Shirley’s warm and kind personality combined with her incredible dedication to her clients’ satisfaction made us trust her 100% with our search. Thanks to Shirley, we found and bought a home we love in less than a month! Her ability to find the perfect house, visualize what it could be transformed into, and then manage every aspect of the purchase process, puts Shirley into a class of her own above all others. Simply put, she is everything you could ever want in a super agent.
Dafina Toncheva & Doug Kennedy
Shirley came highly recommended from a colleague and she did not disappoint! My family and I were relocated across the country and had very limited knowledge of the area. Shirley took the time to teach us about the area and get a full understanding of our needs before showing us homes. While most Realtors are strictly focused on selling a home; Shirley helped us find a babysitter, informed us of activities in our new community, and reached out to us periodically to help with all aspects our relocation. We will definitely use Shirley again if the opportunity arises and highly recommend her to anyone purchasing or selling their home on the Peninsula.
Diane & Jeremy Schmalzle
We have been lucky enough to work with Shirley over the past 10 years. She helped us purchase our first home and ten years later helped us sell that home and buy the home that we hope to stay in forever. As home buyers, Shirley patiently listened to our wish list, sought out only properties that met our criteria for location, size and proximity to the right schools and steered us away from homes that she felt were not a good value or investment. As sellers, she walked us through the process, helped us get our house ready for selling, enthusiastically marketed our home and, during the negotiation period, ensured that our house sold with the best possible terms. Shirley's approach with us has always been extremely professional in a wonderfully relaxed and reassuring way. Despite the fact that she works with multiple clients at a time, the trait that has always delighted us the most is her ability to make us feel like we are her only clients by always responding to our questions quickly, always making herself available and going the extra mile to make us feel comfortable wtith the home buying/selling process.
Patty & David Bove
Thank you so much for your excellent services ranging from the house hunting stages to purchase and closure. Your knowledge of the area and ability to figure out (and help me figure out) what I really wanted was amazing. If only my husband could be such a good mind-reader (haha).
Through the offer stage I was nervous because of the delicate nature of any financial negotiation. You handled this with grace and professionalism so that, upon closure of this project, I had a good feeling about all the participants. Trust me, this has not always been the case in my previous real-estate ventures and you played a major role in this very positive outcome.
Finally in the last stages, handling the multitude and details of paperwork (which can be overwhelming!) you made sure to keep things rolling smoothly and painlessly and were always easily accessible for support. You're the best and I'd gladly recommend you to anyone who is looking for a new home!
When we purchased our first house we looked for many months at a hundred homes with another Realtor. Friends of ours suggested that we work with Shirley and within weeks she had found us our home. Shirley really listened to us and observed what we liked and didn't like when we saw homes together. She is on top of the market and has a good sense for what's worth looking at. Shirley is never pushy, but always insightful. After 10 years we are again looking for a new home and we wouldn't think to work with anyone other than Shirley.
Adrienne & John Crowther
We have had the pleasure of working with (and recommending!) Shirley since 1996. Her tireless enthusiasm and sixth sense for her client's needs has landed us in The Perfect House not just once but three times as our family has grown. She is THE go-to realtor for the mid-Peninsula and beyond.
Shannon & Craig Rosa
My husband and I bought our house with Shirley in 2009. She was fantastic! Professional, kind, understanding, with lots of experience and knowledge about houses and the area! We were on a very tight schedule at the time - we just had a baby and my husband was working. Sometime we had to bring our baby son with us which was a hassle, but Shirley was very understanding and supportive of us. She was very patient, she let us go at our own pace, I never felt rushed. Our idea of our 'dream' house kept changing and she was always accommodating. First, we thought that we wanted a brand-new house - sure, she would take us to see brand-new houses in the area. Then, we realize that the location was more important, she switched gears and started looking for older houses, but in a nice neighborhood. What really helped is that she was so knowledgeable about the homes in Bay Area (school districts, parks, shopping areas, you name it). She was able to find exactly what we wanted and help us with the negotiation. She kept in touch even after we closed on the house; we still call her today if we need an advice. I highly recommend her, she is a great Realtor and a wonderful human being!
Lana & Greg Steuck
I would recommend you in a heartbeat. You did a wonderful job selling our house, with a great deal of patience and attention to detail.
My husband and I met Shirley at an open house while we were looking around to buy our first home. Shortly thereafter we asked her to help us look at other potential properties. She exceeded our expectations. Shirley is genuinely a pleasure to work with. Buying your first home is a somewhat daunting task, and we relied on her extensive knowledge of the area (15+ years). She was able to help us evaluate the pros and cons of the different neighborhoods, the school districts, area desirability and pricing comparables. She navigated us through the process of bidding and subsequent paperwork. She was very good at communicating with us at every stage. She kept ahead of all our deadlines and was extremely organized about making sure the various tasks all got completed on time (inspections, follow through with financial institutions, repairs etc.) In fact, we continue to rely on her even after we closed, asking her for recommendations for painters, electricians and various contractors, all of whom we now recommend to others. On a scale of one to 10, we’d rate her a 12! We are thrilled with our home and would happily work with her again.
Linda & Chris Pouliot
Working with Shirley was a great experience. She helped us to sell our Woodside Plaza home in a difficult market. Her professionalism and attention to detail helped us to have a quick sale and a smooth transaction. Her personalized approach made us feel like long time friends. We would gladly recommend her for all of your real estate needs.
Kevin & Jette Kinsella
Los Gatos Mountains
Shirley guided us to the perfect neighborhood and made our purchase process very smooth. Naturally, we chose her to sell when the time came. She gave great advice, even including what improvements to make to speed the sale, hired and supervised the contractors and allowed us to move out when we needed to. She validated the purchasers and did everything necessary to close the deal. Her skills and experience bought us peace of mind. we would recommend her highly to anyone who wants personal attention, excellent advice and extraordinary follow-thru.
Esther & Gordon Siebert
Going to many open homes, my husband and I met many different agents and a wide range of ethics, knowledge and pushiness. Shirley stood out in that she genuinely cared and knew her territory inside and out. She found us our perfect home, and helped us through the process of bidding and closing in an extremely efficient manner. Her endless contacts were a huge bonus - from contractors to lenders. We still use her cleaning service today :) ! I can whole heartedly recommend Shirley to anyone who is interested in purchasing a home in this area. Fact is, my parents and my sister utilized her services following us, as well. That says it all, no?
Ayelet Steinetz & Opher Kahane
Shirley has represented us as both home buyers and sellers. While we were hopeful that things would go well, we had no idea how thoroughly Shirley would blow through those expectations. She is attentive to all details, timely, well-connected, skilled & knowledgeable -- a terrific advocate. Shirley took care of every aspect of our transactions and we were completely at ease in her hands. Making the decision to work with Shirley is the classic no-brainer.
Katherine & Jim Burtt
Shirley was our real estate agent when we purchased our current home. She was extremely patient and dogged in finding the right home for us. It was a pleasure spending hours with her looking at houses. She really wanted us to find the right place for our family and worked hard to make it happen. Shirley also has integrity and a great business sense. I'm confident that we found the right place at the right price. I would hire Shirley again and highly recommend her.
Amy & Barry Asin
Shirley was tremendously helpful as I wanted to sell my townhome in a tough, down market. She had all the resources to make sure my home showed well; she helped me set a good, but realistic, price; and she reassured me when I didn't want to take a low-ball offer that a better offer would come. We celebrated when the "good" offer finally arrived and I came out of the negotiation with exactly the amount that I told her I had to have.
Shirley helped us buy and sell our first house. We were deeply impressed with Shirley's experience, commitment, and service. We got a great deal in buying our first house in part due to her negotiation skills. We got even a greater deal when we sold the house in part due to the small but high ROI ideas she recommended. Furthermore, Shirely took care of us by ensuring the process was manageable and accommodating our crazy schedule. She is an experienced, patient, and knowledgeable real estate agent--we have recommended her to our friends and we would recommend her to you.
Brian Kim & Helen Hwang
I have worked with Shirley four times over the past decade - twice to sell a home and twice to buy a home. Each of my buying searches took almost a year and my second sale was complex. Through it all, Shirley was patient, well-informed, on top of every detail and highly professional. In addition to her real estate expertise, Shirley comes with a group of excellent resources from contractors to movers to designers. As a busy executive, I couldn't manage without her end-to-end service. I wouldn't hesitate to recommend her to anyone.
We feel fortunate to have met Shirley over 10 years ago, when she helped us relocate to California from the east coast. Shirley makes lasting connections with her clients and builds professional relationships built on the trust, knowledge and comfort she imparts that can only come from years of experience.
Jennifer & Scott Levine
Shirley took into consideration what our families needs were when it was time to buy our first home. She was patient during the process and helped educate us on the ins and outs of buying a home. On our first consultation she asked each of us what we wanted in a home. My 5 year old daughter told her she needed a room that could fit an enormous Teddy Bear. She had her work cut out for her. Two months later we found the house that excited all three of us! Shirley moved quickly and effectively on our desire for this home. She worked out a deal that the owners agreed upon only two days after we saw the home. Shirley delivered in more ways than one. On moving day a beautiful big Teddy Bear arrived for my daughter from Shirley. We are so thankful to Shirley. She's the best!
Scott & Tracey Green
I first met Shirley at an open house in Emerald Hills. Her warm smile and inviting personality convinced me that she would be an excellent Realtor for me. Shirley helped me to sell my condo and move up into a lovely home in San Carlos. She has an excellent vision of 'what can be' with houses and never pushed me to view homes that did not meet my wish list. She is patient, innovative and extremely knowledgeable. The home I eventually purchased had not yet even come on the market--giving me a jump start during the bidding-frenzy market period. I have referred Shirley to several friends--all are equally satisfied customers. She has continued to provide assistance many years after the purchase, with recommendations for handymen or plumbers, etc. Over the years I now call Shirley my friend first, my realtor second.
Shirley is a true real estate professional. Her knowledge, experience and personal touch are invaluable, especially in difficult market conditions. We can’t stress enough the value of having complete trust in your Realtor; we know she always has our best interests at heart. We have recommended Shirley to our friends, and will continue to do so with complete confidence knowing they will be working with the best.
What's great about Shirley is that her priority is helping her clients make the decision that is right for them, rather than coercing them into a transaction for the sake of collecting a commission. Shirley's sole objective is based on what will benefit her clients. Also Shirley maintains the balance between her family life as a mother and wife along with her professional life as a Realtor. Somehow she finds a way to juggle the demands of both of these roles, providing superb service to her real estate clientele.
Sheila & David Marx
My wife and I worked with Shirley on two occasions, once as a seller and once as a buyer. Shirley is more than just an agent. She puts herself in your shoes. My experience with other agents is they just want a sale, period. They point out what they think will get you to buy the home you are viewing regardless of the actually condition of the home and whether or not it's even close to being worth it's list price. Shirley will walk through a home with you and when you leave she might be just as disappointed in it as you are and on to the next one you go. From the standpoint of a seller, Shirley did a superb job explaining the current market and bouncing that off my intended time line to sell to help me pick the right list price. She did a stellar job helping me to get my condo ready for sale. She had a perfect understanding of my budget and how much time I had to get it ready and came up with the right plan to get the condo sold quickly. Recently, years after we did business Shirley was still available to us when we had questions about disclosures and she responded just as quick as she did when we were doing business with her. We give Shirley the highest recommendation one can.
We purchased our wonderful home in 2001. Shirley called one day to say she had found exactly what we were looking for and she was right. The home was perfect for us and in our price range. Our transaction was complicated and Shirley was a true professional from beginning to end. She got the job done with intelligence, grace and with a competence that only comes with long term experience. Shirley was a pleasure to work with and I am proud to call her a friend today.
Stacy & Andy Fradkin
We just bought our second house using Shirley, after thoroughly enjoying working with her when we bought our first house. She really understood what we were looking for and was very concientious of our time, only showing us houses within our price range and expectations. We never felt pressured by her into bidding on a house that wasn't right for us. Shirley has an excellent reputation among realtors in the area and that helped a great deal throughout the process. We recommend her to all of our friends!
Becky & Brendan Swanson
Buying a home is one of the most exciting things you will do in your lifetime. Selling a home can be one of the most stressful things you will do in your lifetime. And the success of either requires a real estate agent that is smart, compassionate, trustworthy and ethical. I found all of these characteristics in Shirley. We met at an open house over 10 years ago. She dedicated her time and effort for nearly a year (we were finicky buyers) and the patience and hard work payed off. She found a house that suited us perfectly and negotiated a price that enabled us to be first time home buyers. Ten years later we sold the house leveraging Shirley's creative and compassionate approach. If it wasn't for Shirley, I am not sure I would have made it through that experience. Using her strong network of real estate agents, partnership skills and negotiation tactics, Shirley helped me buy my current home. I continue to be her loyal client in return for her continued loyalty spanning more than a decade. I would highly recommend Shirley whether you are buying or selling. She can be trusted unlike any other.