Magical Sonoma Property on desirable Sobre Vista Road

1960 Sobre Vista Road

Off Market

For those looking for a turn-key wine country get-away, this property features 4.9 acres of beautifully landscaped grounds, pool, spa, hillside views, a guest studio, Petanque and half court.

A rare combination of a private get-away, yet just 10 minutes to Sonoma Plaza.  Close to Sonoma Valley’s restaurants, wineries and events.  Not in the High Fire zone!  The best way to take in this property is through the video found at

What’s Up With This Crazy Market?

Even the most casual observers of the real estate market have noticed random, almost schizophrenic results for sellers in particular.   One home will sell in one week with multiple offers as if it’s April of 2022, and another will sit on the market, its value lowered with each month that ticks by.

Many times, stale listings are a result of over-pricing.  Today’s sellers should be careful they are not clinging to a price that impressed them during the pandemic-fueled spike in demand.  It’s important to understand that interest rates have affected some buyers’ purchase power, and other buyers are more cautious about over-paying in a cooling market.   Some of our listings are simply taking a week or two to bring in an offer.   It’s a healthier, more balanced market.

In my opinion, it’s OK to attempt a unicorn ‘reach’ price off market, but an honest agent will counsel a seller to lower their expectations, and price, when their property is introduced to the world on the multiple listing service (and every website imaginable).  You don’t want to blow your big ‘debut’ when you have buyers spotting it as a new listing.

Sellers who do not want to spend what it takes to pull in top dollar will often pay for it at closing.  Spending money on painting and staging almost always brings in many times the property preparation budget.   Many of us at a certain age feel like the turn of the century was just yesterday, and refuse to update our harvest colors applied with a sponge.  It’s not necessary to remodel completely.  Painting cabinetry and walls, updating lighting fixtures and refinishing or replacing flooring will provide the clean, contemporary ‘look’ that draws in dozens of buyers.   I have several recent listings that polished up like a gem and achieved a much higher price per square foot than similar properties weighed down with tired finishes, heavy curtains and grandma’s beautiful, but fussy-looking antiques.

A good agent will provide photography, a video and property website at a level that elevates, rather than diminishes all the work that has gone into making the home shine.  Creative marketing throughout the listing period will keep the property top of mind for agents and buyers looking through the listings.

Some of the homes sitting on the market cannot boast checking the ‘location, location, location’ box.  Is there road noise?  Some run-down neighbors?   The difficulty of attaining insurance and the higher prices for premiums can’t be overstated when viewing country properties in the hills in particular.  Buyers are paying high premiums for the state FAIR plan, and some are augmenting the limited coverage with an additional policy.  Premiums can reach well beyond $20,000 per year and that can be a deal-breaker for buyers who are also taking on unfamiliar septic systems, wells and a myriad of permit and building use regulations.

On the buy side, be guided by what your agent says the level of interest is in the home, how the reports compare to similar properties, and what the list agent says about the offer strategy.  For properties that fill your wish list, make sure you and your agent have viewed the property and the disclosures carefully.  Your agent should have an opinion (not a guarantee) on whether it is presented well and priced to be snapped up, or whether it’s smarter to wait for a price reduction.

It can go either way, these days.  In a shifting market with so many variables, touring with your agent and doing your market research is key to spotting a good value and moving fast…or taking advantage of a stale listing.

I’m happy to discuss your wine country real estate goals with you.  Contact me at

The Importance of Local Representation When Making an Offer

Touring new listings on broker open day, proactive buyers’ agents will collect a portfolio of properties that can be shown off market, or prior to appearing on MLS. This is an important leg up for their buyers, who will be able to spend more time at the property, carefully review the reports, and perhaps even book an inspector prior to submitting an offer.

A ‘clean’ offer from a client known to the listing agent as a serious buyer will be more likely to be chosen among multiple offers, or countered if their price is a little lower than another.

Buyers in today’s market are dealing with fewer multiple offer scenarios, but when it comes to securing the home of their dreams, it’s important to be viewed as an informed buyer with a local agent known to and respected by the listing agent.

A few of this week’s off market homes available to view.

High End Sonoma Neighborhood – Several acres. High-ceilings, 5-BR one-level with exquisite landscaping and pool in back. Separate studio cottage with bocce ball court. $5 million Contact me to view this gorgeous property any time prior to June 15.

Close to charming village of Glen Ellen, this knolltop home features high ceilings, view, privacy and country charm for $1,895,000. This is not my listing, but available to show on short notice.

Approximately 1 mile to Sonoma Plaza, this remodeled beauty’s great room opens to a covered patio with fans overlooking a lap pool and man cave in the distance. This is not my listing. Approx. $4 million

Carneros 54 Acres – Opportunity for Micro-Winery

41 acres are plantable in this prime Carneros area with vineyards farmed by iconic wineries. Just 10-15 minutes to both Sonoma Plaza and downtown Napa, this is a close-in and relatively fire-safe location! Create a micro-winery, cattle ranch, equestrian property or wine country compound.

In a premiere Napa Carneros AVA location, Twin Oaks Ranch enjoys the ideal combination of being easily accessible, yet private and quiet. On 54 acres of gently sloping land, the traditional home & pool are sited at the end of a long driveway and enjoy bucolic views. Nearby, an olive grove & 800 sq ft wine cave built in 2008. This property is surrounded by vineyards owned by iconic Napa Valley wineries and is not in the high fire zone. The property includes a 3,000 sq ft home with remodeled primary bath, historic 6,500 sq ft barn, wine cave and pond with water rights. Whether you are building your own Napa compound, or creating a micro-winery, cattle or equestrian ranch, the location can’t be beat. Stanly Ranch & Carneros Inn are minutes away. Just 10 minutes to restaurants and music venues of downtown Napa in one direction, and 20 minutes to historic Sonoma Plaza in the other. 41 acres are plantable accd to a viticulturalist, and water sources include a 9 acre-foot pond, 3 hand-dug wells, water district, & a 2500 gallon water storage tank. Hydrogeo report shows several promising well sites. 4 BR septic for main home and potential for an ADU, and/or pool house as well. Your view not only includes neighboring vineyards, but Mt Diablo and Mt. Tam can be seen in the distance.

View more listing information here.

Why Some Listings Sell with Multiples

Listing Agents Who Do All the Work Up Front
Position Their Sellers for Multiple Offers

Luxury properties should come with a well-presented informational packet and compelling ‘property story.’  There are many pieces that should be put into place, particularly on a country property, that will answer buyers’ questions up front and provide them with the confidence to submit an offer in the first week.  If two or more offers are presented, that can mean tens or hundreds of thousands more in my clients’ pocket.   My creative marketing, showings and open house plans generate the kind of activity and excitement that prompt buyers to put their best offer together.   When you are meeting with listing agents, remember that quality of service often provides better results than agents who have a portfolio of listings that have been sitting on the market.   As a member of the ‘Top Agent Network’ and in the top 10% of producers in the wine country, I have an excellent track record using my customized service approach.


SOLD!  After many tours, informed and decisive buyers knew this close-to-plaza home was ‘the one’ and acted fast.

SOLD!  After many tours, informed and decisive buyers knew this close-to-plaza home was ‘the one’ and acted fast.  Back-up too.  See it at

Spacious and beautiful single-level Wine Country retreat, located minutes to Sonoma Plaza, fine dining, shopping, and many wineries. Featuring 3 bedrooms, 3 full baths plus a separate Casita – a perfect office, art studio, or guest room. Huge Great Room w/ Chef’s kitchen & center island is wide open, making an excellent entertaining space. Kitchen has a 100-bottle wine fridge, high-end appliances & beautiful cabinetry. Primary bedroom suite has a roomy spa-like bath w/ jetted tub, separate shower & big walk-in closet. 2nd bedroom has an en-suite bath, and 3rd bedroom is currently an office/library. Plus elegant formal living & dining rooms, hardwood floors w/ stone inlays, open beam ceilings, laundry room & abundant storage. Lovely private outdoors offers gorgeous mature landscaping w/ citrus trees, Tuscan pavers, enclosed Pergola breezeway & more. Located on a good-sized corner lot w/ 2-car garage. Everything amounts to an easy & idyllic Sonoma lifestyle. A place to truly be enjoyed.

Opens are Back! Sunday June 13 1-4

Yes, this is a high-ceilinged, remodeled wine country home priced at under $1 million!

This beauty will be posted on MLS this week and is sure to appeal to both downsizers and families alike.

Bring your property tax base to Napa, and enjoy the good life.

For more information, and the property video, click here.

2nd Generation Sale!

My first sale to a St Pat’s Alum!  Congratulations to Kevin who scored a great deal on a 2-story townhome with view.   So happy we closed in time for him to move in and get set up before the holidays.

Client-Centered Representation – Not the Norm

A phone call came in from an agent in another area who had started a networking organization made up of one agent in each area who is known for what he called ‘client-centric representation.’   After a long conversation comparing notes on the market and discussing our approaches to real estate, I was invited to join the group.   It got me thinking about the differences between what some of us call ‘showboats’ and an agent who advocates for clients.  It’s amazing to me that agents, who may make the difference of tens or hundreds of thousands of dollars, are chosen without much research.  Here are a few thoughts.

On the listing side, when I am tasked to find an agent in another area for one of my clients, I look on line and make calls to ascertain the following data points:

  • Spending top dollar on the kind of photography that attracts on-line views and brings in a high number of in-person viewings
  • Realistic pricing advice that results in the best price and outcome for the sellers
  • If the listing is becoming stale, lingering on MLS for months, the agent is proactively freshening up the look of the listing on-line
  • Creative on-line ads (photo here is a video that played on the home page of SFGate Real Estate page), social media, and even print advertising that sets a high quality image
  • A reputation for responsiveness to agents booking viewing appointments, having disclosure packets that are complete enough to answer questions, rather than raise red flags
  • A low percentage of selling listings to their own buyers.   ‘Steering’ listings in order to double your own commission while making it difficult for other agents to show, unfortunately is something that really does take place.
  • Quantity of listings does not translate to quality of service.  ‘Top’ agents may be signing so many similar listings your beloved home is just a spoke in their wheel of not-so-fortunate listings

For buyers, here is what I consider a client-centric buyer’s agent:

  • Not too busy to preview listings that may be a good fit – even in the time of COVID
  • The ability to communicate pros and cons on new listings in terms of location, noise, traffic, schools, weather, fire danger, neighborhood style
  • Offering honest information on what investigations would normally be done given the property in question, i.e. well or septic, regulations that affect expansion or remodeling plans, vacation rental restrictions etc.
  • Has the time to put together a complete, well-crafted offer package that gives sellers and their agent confidence in a buyer’s familiarity with the market, interest in the home and ability to close.
  • Has a reputation as well-liked agent:   thorough, professional, organized, and not known for unnecessary drama.  Personality matters in getting your offer accepted!