(415) 730-3030 [email protected]

A Custom Guide for Selling

350 Mountain View Ave, San Rafael


Prepared for Alison and James Payne
By Craig Ackerman, Certified Residential Realtor®, MBA
Author, Selling Grandma’s House
Trust administration and international marketing specialist




Custom Plan to Sell Your Home

  • The home is in what appears to be very good condition, with a pleasant placement on the highly sought-after Mountain Avenue, which has seen many home sales in the past 2 years.
  • The genuine opportunity lies in stylizing the home with a more contemporary feel to capture the very highest paying buyer demographic.
  • The goal is to get as close to $700/SF in a sale, or, 2,010SF x $700 = $1.407,000. The lower end of our ideal target range, and entirely consistent with comparable sales date, is $675/SF = $1,356,750.  Our effort and time will be entirely focused on improving the likely perception of the home to benefit the sellers.
  • The rear yard will be staged as a comfortable living area, ideal for BBQ, family dinners, entertaining, yet, be perceived as an extension of the home’s interior to bring the “outside-in” – this is key because the LR, DR and Step-down bonus area feel separated – we are striving for a more open concept feeling. The rear yard is also the only play area for children so maximizing the space is key to drawing a larger buyer audience.

Dark, uninspiring interior, depressing, overall


Upgrade lights, remove plantation shutters and window coverings, add staged lamps, high-output everywhere.

Ornate, traditional style patterns on walls with dark color saturations Remove wallpaper.  Paint in cool gray colors chosen by designer.  Clean lines, remove ornate, traditional patterns for a clean, inviting look.
Deep, rich, jewel-toned colored walls Paint over deep reds/ greens, in contemporary cool colorations
Bonus Room – feel closed off from the DR Paint over the existing casework in same color as wall.  Paint all walls in cool grays.  Add hinged bench to existing brick planter (out of place)
Laundry area cluttered, unfinish, awkward Paint garage floor.  Add folding area.  Brighten lights in garage.  Haul away all clutter.
Deck off master feels deteriorating Replace boards, paint, add staging for in-home oasis – a retreat off master for mom and dad
Likely leaks and issues with skylights and master bathroom Pest inspection and roof review will determine next steps

Full support and services

My team and I bring you guidance and resources every step of the process. Ask about my proven vendors who, because of our longstanding relationships, offer you excellent service and rates for moving, painting, inspections, staging and more.


Syndication across the internet, plus strategic contact via email and my extensive personal network of individuals, professional and real estate agents

Estimated Proceeds

$1,300,000 to $1,400,000 – estimated sale price
$93,529 to $98,839 – estimated costs
$1,206,471 to $1,301,161 – estimated net before loan payoff

In the next section, let’s review your goals.

Your Stated Goals

(we’re listening)


Your Goals and Considerations

Seller’s assumptions

  • Absolutely seeking the highest sales price, balanced with marginal benefits analysis so investments are made intelligently, with prudence. Sellers are open to all suggestions and not emotional about recommendations (i.e.: willing to accept and evaluate resurfacing objectively).


  • Moving to a new home in Washington State. Home to be vacated by July 21st, or thereabouts.
  • Sellers are concerned about the timing of a sale, yet, expressed concern that the overall economy is not likely to improve (Can it get any better than this, realistically?).

Vital Considerations

  • Absolutely seeking the highest sales price, balanced with marginal benefits analysis so investments are made intelligently, with prudence. Sellers are open to all suggestions and not emotional about recommendations (i.e.: willing to accept and evaluate resurfacing objectively).
  • A 4 year old, an infant and Alison working from home M,W,F

Home preparation goals

  • James has indicated that the home must be sold in ‘mint’ condition with every nuance attended to, in order to capture the very highest sales price.
  • Roof is older, more than 15 years and may be showing signs of fault around skylights in Master bedroom and bathroom.

Before we move forward, we’re waiting for…

  • No specific budget has been established for selective resurfacing. Inspections must come first.

Sales Plan of Action


Custom Sales Plan of Action
for 350 Mountain View Ave, San Rafael

What to Expect

We provide you with an organized, effective plan for selling your home, with each step customized to your goals, timeline and preferred level of participation. You can do as little as you like and leave the rest to us.

You’ll get expert guidance, data to back up our recommendations and full communication so you always know how your sale is progressing. My customized plan for each client has resulted in 400+ successful closings.

Cost-effective home prep

Need a hand getting ready to sell your property? If you don’t have vendors you can rely on, ask us about our trusted on-site service teams for your project.

How we speed the sale and boost your sale price

  1. Deliver the Ackerman difference – from an as-is sale to a comprehensive cosmetic transformation, I’ll present you with best options for a successful sale. You’ll receive a timeline, costs and estimated profit on recommended repairs, resurfacing and upgrades. My custom program has proven to dramatically enhance marketability, draw more offers and boost value.
  2. Attract maximum number of qualified buyers – actively promote your property and conduct tours until your home is sold.
  3. Communicate regularly – report results of our activities to you.
  4. Negotiate – pursue the highest possible sale price on your behalf by promoting competition for your property.
Choose from our comprehensive services:
Clearing Out
Change locks
Waste removal
Carpet removal
Personal Property
Packing, labeling, shipping to individuals
Household property auction
Fine property auction
Box/deliver donations
Temporary storage
Final Prep
Specialized appraisal
Painting and upgrades
Professional cleaners
Window and power washing

Custom Guide to Increasing Your Sale Price

See below in the Optimal Resurfacing section, for the preliminary plan I’ve customized for you.

I advise you to consider these optional upgrades, cosmetic improvements to increase the marketability and value of your home.

Optional resurfacing, not remodeling

We’re looking at strategic resurfacing to enhance the look and perception of your property. Simple, quick projects that don’t require permits. And make a big difference in buyer interest and sale price.

Time-saving turnkey services

Our network of repair, resurfacing and inspection vendors is extensive. We’ve worked with these providers for years and trust their integrity and quality of work. And because of our longstanding relationships, they’ll serve you at wholesale rates.

Let us do the legwork—gather vendor quotes, provide them with access to the property. No need for you to be there, just hand us the keys. Simply sign the contracts* and we handle the rest.

Our property sale packages

We’ll help you choose the best option for your timeline, budget and sale price goal:

  1. As-is sale – do nothing to the property, knowing it won’t qualify for financing and must be a cash sale
  2. Minimum repairs – correct only deficiencies that prevent buyer loan approval
  3. Not-to-exceed budget – Tell me what you can spend and I’ll recommend the top priority resurfacing projects, within your budget, that yield the highest return. (Trustees and fiduciaries like this choice.)
  4. Comprehensive resurfacing – I’ll provide a proposal advising you of the cosmetic upgrades that will maximize your sale price.

*Contractors’ terms vary. Property owner is expected to make on-time payments directly to suppliers.

Before & After Resurfacing

Optimal resurfacing

Here are the best choices for your property. Completing these will create excitement, competition and urgency among buyers, as well as provide the highest expected return relative to your investment.

Color and finish decisions
Don’t worry about devoting time to decision making. Our stagers create a cohesive design, from paint colors and textures to related finishes, they guide us in producing the light, bright and uplifted look we know will attract today’s buyers.

Solid profits
In my 400+ transactions, my resurfacing project recommendations consistently produce a 300% to 500% return on investment. I’m so confident you’ll profit from these upgrades that if you don’t have cash readily available, Ackerman Realty may arrange for financing.

Next steps
The resurfacing phase starts once your property is vacant. We arrange for everything from vendor quotes to completion.

LocationDescriptionApprox. $
Interior PaintingRepaint walls in eggshell finish in a cool gray chosen by stager. Remove large, ornate, jewel-toned wallpaper, smooth walls and repaint. Paint all rooms, including bathrooms, in a neutral color to brighten, lighten and give a much more modern feel. There are some specific techniques that we will be leveraging to help make the home feel and appear more modern, contemporary (happy to discuss in person with you)$7,600
Hall BathRepair damaged walls, smooth, prepare and paint in Satin finish. Remove limiting glass panel and show without curtain so room feels a lot larger, less confining. Apply a fresh, clean bead of caulk around tub and toilet base for a fresh finished appearance. Clean grout.$1,750
Master BathAdd a large wall-mounted mirror to the interior wall so room appears much more modern, updated and larger. Apply a bead of caulk at horizontal/vertical stone joint on both counters in matching sanded grout. Shower and skylight to be addressed following pest inspection results.$800
Rear YardPaint existing wooden retaining wall in a contemporary gray tone. Replace damaged planks at rear deck. Deck off master – this area should feel finished and staged as an oasis for parents to sip a drink, relax and take in the natural beauty. The rest of the rear yard will be staged with elegant seating/ sofa set.$800
LightingUpgrade recess lighting to LED in all existing, remove light-limiting trim. Add new LED lights to garage, range hood. Note to stager: The home registers very dark – need lamps to brighten as frequency of recess cans is limited. Replace surface mounted lights and chandelier with LED, frosted lenses with brushed nickel finish for a clean, modern appearance.$1,300
Exterior FrontRemove all plants/ weeds at Japanese Maple.  Smooth and weed front yard – remove existing tree and open-up the space significantly to give the home much better street presence. Fill with attractive mulch around stepping stones, paint picket fence and perhaps stage with a bench.$1,100
Exterior RearStage elegantly as a casual seating area with soft and contemporary seating $1,200
Garage and Entry floorConsider painting in a satin finish with designer recommended color to enhance the appearance and attractiveness of the home.$900
3 rd BdrmAddition of wall-mounted closet $780
WindowsProfessional washing int/ext, bathroom glass, mirrors, etc. $450
Window CoveringsRemove all plantation shutters, curtains, screens, number, and stack in garage.$700
InspectionsPest, contractor, sewer lateral and roof$1,300
Estimated Resurfacing Budget$18,680

(initial estimates only, final quotes obtained upon signed listing agreement)

Proactive Marketing

I take the following steps to expose your property to the largest audience and ensure the greatest likelihood of receiving the highest sales price:

Launch your property on the San Francisco/San Mateo/Marin County Multiple Listing Service (MLS) with all disclosures, professional photography, aerial drone, electronic floor plans and showing instructions linked electronically. Design and deliver a custom email blast to over 9,000 licensed Realtors® in the Bay Area.

Price your property competitively and strategically to produce the greatest exposure in the shortest period and build buzz in the market.

Create marketing material that emphasizes the unique lifestyle benefits of your property.

Design and deliver a custom email blast to over 8,000 agents and brokers in surrounding San Francisco Bay Area counties with links to property information, website and open house times.

Contact my posse, top agents who produce over 80% of closed transactions. I’ve earned close working relationships with these power Realtors®, some dating back to 2003.

Enthusiastically prospect 2 to 3 hours per day, speaking with 100 to 150 targeted people a week, seeking buyers for your property.

Tap my Certified Residential Specialists network. Members of CRS Northern California are among the most prominent regional agents. As their elected treasurer, I have the pleasure of trusted relationships with this prestigious group, guaranteeing your property will get plenty of regional coverage and attention.

Reach out weekly to my 5,000+ database, including buyer prospects, influential professionals, past clients and your neighbors for their referrals and prospective buyers.

Leverage the power of the Internet by ensuring your home gets coverage on the following sites: Google Real Estate, Zillow, Realtor.com, Homes.com, RedFin.com, OpenHomesPhotography.com, Trulia.com, Craigslist.com, OpenListings.com, CleanOffer.com, Houses.com, RealEstate.com, Xohme.com, and dozens of other local and regional real estate sites.

Create additional exposure by posting professional signage and a secure lockbox. Establish an open house schedule advertising our array of broker tours, Sunday tours, twilight tours, private tours and other pre-arranged, onsite events.

Follow up with all sales agents and brokers who expressed interest in your property to gather their feedback. Gain maximum exposure by hosting open house events and engaging prospective buyers and their agents.

Perpetually update you on responses to open house events, market movements, and related conditions and perceptions. Prequalify all prospective buyers by speaking with their lenders to verify their qualifications and identify relative strength in comparison to other buyers.

Provide professional representation in all offer presentations and negotiations to ensure you the very highest sales price and favorable terms.

Handle all matters related to contingency removals, provide access for appraisal and property inspections, expedite removal of those contingencies, complete all missing signatures, coordinate addendum composition and signatures, etc.

Introduce you to our escrow officer to coordinate signing of closing documents, funding and recording steps. Submit closing terms to escrow officer.

Confirm your funds have been received after closing takes place.

I’ve performed these steps in over 400 successful closings. Please see “Where Buyers Come From” for more on why I use these marketing methods. They’ve proven to attract the most buyers and net you the most money on your property sale.

Where Buyers Come From

A common misconception by sellers is that someone they know—a neighbor or relative—is most likely to buy their home.

But statistics show that’s true only 1% of the time.

By far, more buyers find their homes via internet search or personal outreach by a real estate agent. That’s why my top priorities are syndicating your property listing online and connecting with my well-developed network of top agents. These colleagues represent qualified buyers and have worked with me many times.
55% Internet
34% Real estate agent
8% sign/open house sign
4% Friend, relative, neighbor
2% Home builder or their agent
1% Directly from seller or know seller
1% Print newspaper advertisement

Proposed Calendar

Here’s a typical timeline. For about the first two weeks, we prep your property so it’s in its most sellable state. Then we go on the market for two weeks, with open houses, massive outreach and a bid date to elicit competing offers.

How We Support You And The Estate


Trust and Probate Properties

Most of our real estate transactions are for properties in trust administration or probate. So we’re experts at guiding sellers like you, who act as trustee or the estate’s personal representative for probate.

Supporting you, maximizing your performance
We know you’re under pressure to perform. Sell it faster. Get a higher price. You may feel vulnerable and nervous because you:

  • must make decisions that affect the beneficiaries’ proceeds
  • have little experience in real estate, especially trust or probate
  • are acting as peacekeeper and managing family dynamics

Our team is here to support you and help you deliver the best possible results. We’ve developed best practices that make the process easier and more effective for you.

As trustee or personal rep, you likely have a long history with the homeowner and extensive knowledge of the property. We help you disclose that knowledge, on the right forms, to buyers.

Acknowledging liability risks

The leading litigators in San Francisco tell me that many real estate agents are unfamiliar with trust administration transactions. This leaves the trustee or estate’s personal rep exposed to risk (especially when it comes to property disclosures).

Our trust property best practices

We’ve developed a unique approach to guiding you through a trust property sale. Our program minimizes risks while providing direction, implementation and support. It includes the best practices we’ve discovered over hundreds of transactions:

  • Memory triggering
    Buyers don’t like surprises. So we walk you through a triggering exercise to help you recall details about the property. This process uncovers forgotten or hidden information, improving disclosures and dramatically reducing lawsuit threats.
  • A photo archive
    To thoroughly analyze the property, we take 70 to 80 photos of the site, often the only record of the home’s condition available to decision makers.
This saves all of us time and money, including the contractors and stager.
  • Personal effects removal (this is a big one)

    No need to use your property as an expensive warehouse, a common problem in a trust or probate sale.Through our proprietary system, personal items are quickly and securely removed, and you are released from this overwhelming duty. Once the home is empty, we can resurface, stage and market the property.

The personal property team categorizes, labels and distributes everything in the home:

  • items for beneficiaries
  • storage (for distribution, appraisal, auction etc.)
  • donations and trash

Pre-market inspections & disclosures
Lack of disclosure is the primary cause of real estate litigation. That’s why we make it our business to provide comprehensive documentation.

Our disclosure package for the home includes:

  • a handwritten disclosure from your memory trigger exercise
  • all receipts, work orders, bids and documentation
  • inspection results
Removing obstacles to buyer financing
Sellers and buyers are surprised to learn that certain deficiencies in the property will prevent the approval of financing. We address those particular flaws, including:

  • nonfunctional furnace
  • bars on windows
  • active water leaks
  • lack of hot water
  • missing fixtures
  • obvious noncompliant additions or repairs

If you’re selling a condominium, we’ll also assist you in handling any special requirements, such as resale inspections and HOA documents requested by the lender.

The resurfacing goldmine
As we review disclosures and inspections, we pinpoint top priorities for repair or resurfacing. The action list in Section 4 is a preview that’s personalized to you and your property. It gives you the best choices, based on your budget and what we know now, for generating the highest return. Our network of contractors and stagers make this step easy for you.

Keeping you in the loop

See our reviews to appreciate why we’ve been honored with repeated customer service awards, including Five Star Real Estate Agent, for five years running. It’s because we communicate regularly, foresee roadblocks and guide clients through every step of preparation. For instance, you get traffic details about how many buyers and brokers toured your property following each on-site hosted event.

Seller’s Estimated Net Proceeds


Ackerman Track Record



Million sold in real estate

Years in business

5-Star Yelp reviews

Years of experience in international sales & marketing

5-Star Zillow reviews

About Craig Ackerman, CRS, MBA

Serving property owners, trustees, legal and financial professionals
Established Ackerman Realty Group in 2003, with an entrepreneurial approach to delivering the highest price possible for each property.

Author – Selling Grandma’s House
Published in 2016, project stories and before/after photos of how to sell SF trust homes
Available on Amazon.com or ask me for a copy

Trust administration and probate specialty
Closed hundreds of trust, estate and probate sales in Bay Area counties
Teach continuing education trust and probate property courses to Bay Area attorneys
Attorneys regularly refer probate and trust administration cases to me

Developed a program for safely, promptly handling personal possessions
Was profoundly affected by helping empty both grandmother’s homes as a child. Developed a proprietary process, Trust Administration and Probate Sales System (TAPSS®), to streamline the tedious, emotional and time-consuming allocation of personal property

Education and credentials

  • Certified Probate Specialist
  • Certified Residential Specialist, equivalent of a graduate degree for agents
  • Licensed California Real Estate Broker (#01358899)
  • Led resurfacing of 100+ Bay Area homes, dramatically adding to their value
  • MBA, Rochester Institute of Technology, New York

Licensed contractor (CA State License #902071)
Extensive experience remodeling Bay Area homes
See your property’s full potential and can refer professional contacts to transform it

Grew up flipping homes
Flipped residential and rental/tenant projects in family business in New Jersey
Developed an eye and aptitude for simple upgrades that enhance a home’s sales price

Why choose Ackerman Realty Group, an independent brokerage

Go local! We’re the San Francisco-grown choice, specializing in this very unique market.

You’ll experience a respectful, straightforward, honest interaction when you work with us. We don’t sell you. Or hound you. Or push you. My staff and I treat you like family.

We don’t waste time advertising Ackerman Realty. Instead, we promote your home.

My loyalty is to you and not a series of different brokerages. The number of times I’ve switched brokerages? Never.

I grew up flipping investment properties with my father. Then I took on my own projects, becoming a licensed contractor and Realtor, and sharpened my ability to identify and perform high-return property upgrades.

An honest property assessment and action plan

I create a personalized plan based on the level of cosmetic upgrades you’re comfortable with, time- and budget-wise. Two weeks and $7,000? No problem. No permits required—this is resurfacing only.

At our transaction volume, we can bring you top service providers at reduced prices:

  • Home repair, painting, floor refinishing
  • Moving, hauling, clean-up
  • Power washing, landscaping

You don’t give up control, just allow us to advise you. We move ahead only with your approval and help you reach consensus when you have multiple decision makers.

See videos of our home transformations and sales results.

Comparative Market Analysis


Date of SaleStatusList PriceSell Price $Sell to List
Price %
Price per
Sq. Ft.
DOMAddress# of
# of
Sq. Ft
05/08/2019Sold$1,449,000$1,515,000105%$1,0441851 Camellia Cir221,415
02/10/2020Sold$1,450,000$1,499,00097%$98018265 Camellia Cir221,451
04/13/2020Sold$1,410,000$1,495,00094%$972330 Camellia Cir321,451
Comp Average$1,481,000$1,458,33399%$99913
Your Home287 Camellia Cir221,423

Sample Marketing Materials


Multiple unit buildings

Luxury Properties

Next Steps


Here’s how to keep the ball rolling:

  1. Let’s schedule time to go over this proposal together, by phone or in person. I’ll answer your questions and offer insights about your home. Call (415) 730-3030 or email me at [email protected] and give me a couple of options for when you’re free.
  2. Review the Ackerman Realty Group listing agreement
  3. See our website for case studies, newsletters and client reviews
  4. Ask me for a copy of my book, Selling Grandma’s House, a guide for selling trust properties in the San Francisco area
  5. Take a look at San Francisco housing trends

Thank you for your interest in working with a flexible, creative and proven local company.