What Sellers are Saying
Mark also has the knack for knowing exactly what needs to be done and how the house needs to look. We received well over the asking price. I know that was in a large part because of his eye for color and decor.
Mark also holds a law degree. Although he does not practice law (that I know of), he is well-informed when it comes to the legalities of trust paperwork, proper filings with government agencies, and those kinds of things.
Last but not least, Mark is personable and easy to work with. He went above and beyond what we would have ever expected a real estate agent to do. It is obvious he enjoys his work and takes pride in getting good results. He even went so far as to meet the fire department out at the house in the middle of the night when the fire alarm was malfunctioning. Now that is dedication!
I highly recommend Mark for anyone looking for a top-notch real estate agent."
Aside from being a good guy, I was continuously impressed with the effort and thoroughness of the work he put into preparing the home and getting it on the market. The house needed some work before it was to be sold. We all sat down and agreed to what should be done. It was a collaborative process with thoughtful and welcome advice from Mark. Once we decided what needed to be done, Mark provided an estimate for the work to be done, arranged for the labor to do the work and coordinated the entire process. When you are dealing with the difficult situation of a parent passing away, it is an understatement to say how helpful this was. And Mark really handled the whole thing. If you have ever done a remodel, this is no small feat. Not only was the work done on-time, it was done within the planned budget, and the quality of the work done was top-notch. There is no doubt that we recouped the cost of the work done twofold.
"We had to sell two houses within the Family Trust and Mark did everything possible to make it easy. We had what I thought were barriers; however, Mark took them down and sold both houses for far more than asking price. He does all of the heavy lifting and does the little things as well. Mark also took the time to find a rental unit for a family member. He looked up and down the peninsula and found what was needed. MARK is the BEST at what he does!
I now consider him a friend, as he has done so much for me and family. THANKS MARK!"
"I just wanted to share a story regarding my experience with Varbrato Real Estate Services, actually Mark Martino. If you have ever sold a home, you know that it can be a very burdesum process. After experiencing other relators, and their wants and needs, both my wife and I were pleased to find one that focused on the task at hand, selling our home, and not their wants and needs. His ability to understand the objective and assist us with the process is far beyond what we had experienced wth other relators.
For that Mr. Martino, thank you for meeting the expectations. We wish you great fortune and success."
Mark is a total professional. He's sincere, honest, and very good at understanding the market. He took care of all the details, even minute ones like selling things on Craigslist and doing garage sales. He was great with communication from beginning to end. He set up all the painting, fix ups, and clearing out of tons of left over junk from the house - all done efficiently and economically. The end result was a house that was transformed and ready for sale. The house sold at top price and very fast. I would recommend Mark to anyone looking for the best of the best in an agent."
The house needed some work to prepare it for sale, and we had a living situation that needed to be resolved. Mark made suggestions on what (and what not) to do, quoted a budget, coordinated the work, kept us informed of the costs with records (and reciepts), and came in at (actually slightly under) budget. In addition, Mark was instrumental in helping us resolve the living situation. Through Mark's efforts the house was beautiful when it went up for sale.
At the beginning of the selling process, Mark reviewed his plan for marketing the house (open houses, web site, postings, advertising etc.) and recommended an asking price. Shortly after the open houses were completed we recieved offers on the house, and it sold for over asking price.
Throughout this transaction Mark showed honesty, professionalism, hard work, problem solving ability, candor, and an ability to mediate. In addition, he had the ability to mix in a little humor.
I would recommend to others, and use Mark again for real estate transactions."
What Buyers are Saying
Whether the deal is complicated or straight forward, I cannot imagine working with a better agent."
"Mark was awesome! We were selling and buying a home which most know, is a taxing time constraint. However Mark's expertise of the market and personable touch made our experience a stress-free one. He took the time to listen to our laundry list of must haves and wants to zone into what we were looking for making the transition process seamless. We really lucked out in working with him and highly recommended him to all of our family and friends. We love our dream home, thank you Mark!"
Mark will give it to you straight, and fight for you. I mean, he won't physically assault the smarmy agents at the open house, but I swear I've seen him make quite of few of them sweat by asking the hard questions about the houses we were looking at. He stuck with us through our indecision, and never pressured us to settle for a house that was merely "adequate;" he really was in our corner.
We must of driven up and down the peninsula looking at all sorts of houses, but he was always accommodating and available for all our questions. He's the guy you want when buying or selling a house."
"We don't even know where to start on everything that Mark has done for us in our recent home search. We are first time home buyers and were naturally a bit nervous about the whole process. We met Mark at an open house and instantly liked his honest and data-driven approach.
He spent a lot of time understanding our requirements and came well prepared with market research on the neighborhoods we were interested in. Not only that, he also recommended us specific streets in those neighborhoods that once again reflected his knowledge of the area. We saw a few homes with him and he made note of the things we liked in a house like open concept, storage space, etc. Over the next few weeks, he gave us feedback on every home that was available in the market based on our requirements. But most importantly he gave us broad estimates on how much the house might end up selling for or how much repairs would cost (if any), so we could be efficient with our time. He saw a lot of homes himself and often times shot a video of the house on his phone to supplement his feedback (those were super helpful and saved us a lot of time to narrow down options). When Mark looked at houses, he truly looked out for us and imagined our day to day living in that house when giving us his genuine feedback.
When it came time to put our first offer, Mark patiently walked us through every single document and answered all our questions. Mark also worked closely with our mortgage broker and Escrow officers at every step in the closing process. When we got the keys, my husband moved in the same day with very little (our stuff was still in storage), and Mark stopped by to give him essential items so his first few days can be comfortable. We were truly touched by his thoughtfulness. Mark continues to help us with immediate fixes around the house and we're brainstorming several remodeling projects with him as well.
His background in law, engineering, finance and the SF bay area market was super helpful as we navigated this home purchase. But most of all, he is such a pleasure to work with! This was a stressful time for us but working with Mark eased us a lot. I would recommend Mark to anyone looking to buy/sell a home! He truly goes above and beyond."
"Mark went (and continues to go) above and beyond for us in our search for our forever home. The real estate market in the Bay Area is absolutely crazy, and he navigated it for us in a way that kept us sane. At the start of our relationship, he did a great job at listening to what we wanted and, through the process, helped us prioritize that wish list to hone in on the best properties to look at. He would go into properties ahead of showing them to us and make 1-2 minute video vignettes of the houses. These were very helpful to refine our list down for what we would actually see the upcoming weekend. In the offer process (which we got some experience with... 5 offers total!), he was realistic about what he thought the home was worth vs. what it would sell for, and would tell us if he thought someone would throw "stupid money" at the house. That definitely happened, with two of the houses we bid on selling for over half a million above asking.
As we started to become downtrodden about our lack of success, he put together a mailer on our behalf and sent it out in the neighborhoods we were interested in. At the same time, he reached out to his large network of local agents with a plea - if they have any sellers who might be willing to sell off market, to keep us in mind. In the end, the latter is what worked. We recently closed on an a house through an off-market offer. This comes with its own logistics, including organizing the inspections and negotiating based on the results of those inspections. Not once did Mark steer us wrong. In the end, he was able to negotiate on our behalf that the seller to pay for 50% of unexpected termite damage. Now that we have closed on the house, he is orchestrating all of the work that needs to be done and guiding us through the renovation process, including sending us a list with everything that we need to do! With his years of experience in this area, he knows "the guys" to go to for repairs, flooring, electrical, etc. The relationship with Mark does not end at the close of escrow. Poor guy is going to be stuck with us and our naivety for months to come! And he does it all with a dry sense of humor and a smile on his face."
My daughter and son-in-law needed help finding an affordable condo within driving distance of Stanford University. They were coming from Denver and this turned out to be a challenge. Sticker shock! The condo market had started to explode in January 2013 where the limited condo supply was resulting in multiple cash offers above asking price for listed properties. My daughter had emailed Mark Martinho, owner of Vabrato, a few months before actively searching to ask about areas and prices on the Peninsula. Mark responded promptly and provided a thorough, realistic and very helpful picture of the market and offered sound advice.
When my daughter located a property in San Carlos they were highly interested in, she asked me to call Mark. What a lucky thing we did! Mark met me on a holiday given two hours notice to show me the condo. He is impressive as a person - intelligent, knowledgeable and calm. Mark brought graphic data of the market history and price points for comparable units in the immediate area. We discussed options and Mark guided our strategy for an offer. Mark is conservative and smart. His approach and advice reflected the wisdom that comes from years of real estate and financial experience.
Mark put together an offer in a matter of hours and presented it in a competitive bidding situation. He nailed it. The purchase closed in record time and Mark had our back through the whole process. Since then, Mark has continued to help us in many ways, including going to the unit to handle little chores. With all parties living outside of the area, this has been super.
I highly recommend Mark Martinho. He is exceptional."
I would highly recommend Mark to anyone looking for homes in the Bay Area."
You will be happy if you choose to work with Mark."