I’ve been through three real estate transactions with Michael, each of them unique and difficult in their own way. He guided us through the probate sale of my mom’s house in Santa Cruz, the sale of our house in Ben Lomond, and finally the purchase of our new house in Hollister; all during a down real estate market. We were happy with the results in all cases, and we found Michael to be a highly knowledgeable and professional real estate agent who knows the Santa Cruz area real estate market extremely well.
Repeatedly, Michael performed above expectations. He always communicated with us in an articulate and timely manner, and if a problem arose and he didn’t have an immediate solution, he researched it until he either had a solution or was able to present us with options. On numerous occasions, he eagerly and cheerfully drove us to Hollister to look at houses, and in the process, learned about the Hollister real estate market that resulted in the very satisfying purchase of our new house in Hollister.
None of this would have been possible without the TRUST we learned to place in Michael, not only on a professional level, but as a caring, thoughtful and empathetic human being who had our best interest at heart.
--Steve and Jan Ellis
Michael McDonald is a closer. He took our house into a soft real estate market and marketed it brilliantly. We ended up with an auction, with several bidders vying with each other. The outcome was very favorable to us, netting us a price that many would have thought to be unrealistic. Beyond that, he knows the ins and outs of the very complex California real estate law and procedures, staying on top of intricate offers and counteroffers. Throughout he maintained great patience, explaining with clarity all the steps we needed to take and the business implications. The sale of our house was handled very professionally. I recommend Michael unreservedly.
I am enormously impressed with Michael McDonald and recommend him VERY highly. He is an exceptionally gifted real estate agent who deeply understands all the technical, emotional, social and intangible details that go into buying, selling and preparing one’s home for sale. He is incredibly professional, knowledgeable, kind, patient and very generous. Michael has terrific and long-standing relationships both with his real estate peers (really important!) and with a wide range of necessary contacts/service providers to ensure your home is at its best when he puts it on the market or to help you determine which house is best for you. I’ve worked with at least four agents in Santa Cruz county over the years and interviewed twice that many when buying and selling. Michael McDonald is by far the best!
-- Tricia Rose
I've bought and sold several houses, but have not been represented by anyone better than Michael. He was extremely attentive to all our needs, and made a complicated transaction come to fruition. we are happy in our new house thanks to Michael!
-- Mark Lippert
Michael worked with me – patiently and diligently – for over 3 years. As my quest to find the perfect house faced challenge after challenge, Michael remained consistent and positive. I grew to trust his insight and knowledge while making important decisions for my future. He is professional, resourceful, honest and very kind. I recommend Michael to all my friends and know that his experience and love of the work speaks for itself.
-- Kelly Stoll
I am writing to offer my unqualified support for Michael McDonald as your next realtor. My wife and I worked with Michael for months of indecision, sticker shock, and apathy through the selection, negotiation, and purchase of our home in Pasatiempo. Michael’s knowledge of the real estate market- its trends, peculiarities, neighborhood profiles, and hot pockets – is matched only by his perseverance, warmth, assiduity, and patience. Throughout our time working together, Michael made several astute recommendations about different homes, neighborhoods, and communities, but never pressured us to consider something that made us uncomfortable.
Having purchased a number of homes before this one, I know how unusual it is for a realtor to dedicate so much of his/her time and energy and resources to working with clients and not rush their decision making. Michael realizes and values how important this decision is in his clients’ lives and futures, and respects them enough to allow them to make this decision in a prudent, timely, and thoughtful manner. For this, we will be forever grateful.
We are so pleased to have selected Michael to represent us in the purchase of the home where we will raise our two children. He is kind, generous, funny, and exceedingly knowledgeable. Considering we recently moved to Santa Cruz and did not know anyone in the area, we consider ourselves fortunate to have found a realtor with such character, integrity, and generosity. I don’t think we could have gone through this experience without him.
Thank you, Michael!!!
-- Nina Maisterra & Percy Abram
Michael helped me to sell my father's house that had been my second home during 36 years. I was impressed by his awareness of the emotional and physical challenges I experienced during the process.The entire time Michael was able to actively pursue the sale while keeping me and my two siblings informed and involved in the negotiations. He responded to our various moods with his good nature and genuine empathy. He is professional, goal oriented and at the same time a very calm, friendly, understanding business partner. If I ever need a reliable real estate agent again it will be Michael McDonald because he respects and honors my personal feelings while producing a successful business deal to everybody's satisfaction.
-- Ingrid Ringel
I was anxious about selecting a realtor to represent my home of 35 years; I had absolutely no experience in selling real estate, and at the same time, a lot of family members to satisfy. It turned out that the decision was much like finding a soul mate, when it happened, I KNEW.
Michael was the fourth realtor I invited to appraise my home, and we bonded immediately over my new bathroom light fixtures. That may seem trivial to some, but to me it was an indication of the attention to detail Michael would bring to the sale. And it just got better from there.
He agreed with me that my listing price could be exciting at $50,000 MORE than the other agents suggested. He filed the paperwork that night, and I had an offer immediately. I wasn’t prepared to make a decision before the listing hit the market, but Michael guided me through a negotiation that brought me an ADDITIONAL $41,000—$91,000 MORE than the other three agents suggested to me!
The physical move was excruciating—my family lived and stashed in the house for its entire 35-year history. When I faltered at the end, my angel Michael was there for me with vacuum cleaner, kitchen scrubber, muscle, general problem solving, tissues and heart. He’s not only my real estate agent; he’s also my agent of comfort and support.
Could you ask for anything more?
-- Merry Bilgere
My admiration for Michael is unbounded. I had lived in my home for nearly thirty-eight years when I asked Michael to sell it. He immediately realized that the house had become such a reflection of my personality and tastes that its sale was going to be a profoundly emotional experience for me. At every step of the way Michael was reassuring and made the process smooth and painless. His enthusiasm and tact in dealing with everyone was absolutely remarkable. Michael recommended talented craftspeople to prepare the place for sale and arranged for staging it in a stunning manner. As a result, we received several full-price offers almost as soon as we put the house on the market.
Michael has become a lifelong friend, and I shall always be grateful for his sensitive approach to selling my house, every aspect of which he handled with true excellence. I recommend him with great enthusiasm!
-- W. Sherwood Dudley
We met Michael when we were interviewing agents to list our West Cliff Drive home in Santa Cruz. It took only two seconds to know that he could handle Sheila's direct manner and laugh at it. As a former broker, she wanted an agent who would be as good as she used to be. We wanted someone who was precise, conscientious, creative, optimistic and loyal.
We got much more with Michael. He is a neighbor, and now he's a good friend. It was easy for us to trust a person of integrity and high standards like Michael with a multi-million dollar investment.
--Sheila and Vern Schmidt
I could not recommend Michael McDonald more highly. My husband and I have used Michael as both our buyers' and sellers' agent. When we were looking for a new home, Michael listened to our hopes and dreams very carefully. He screened newly listed properties for us and found us our dream home! He then worked very hard to ensure that everything went smoothly-- from our initial offer negotiations to inspections and escrow. He was always prompt, supportive, available, and a pleasure to work with.
On the selling side, he had great suggestions for improving the marketability of our home, but was never pushy or overbearing. It was always evident that his biggest concern was us. He not only did an excellent job of showing our house and getting us a great price, he also was ready with a shoulder or a paint brush or whatever else was needed. It was a huge relief to know that he was right there every step of the way insuring that there were no major glitches or unnecessary stressors. His attention to detail and genuine compassion made the whole process much less stressful and ultimately a huge success. We love our new home and have Michael to thank for it.
Michael is wonderful! The best! Go with Michael!
He listened carefully to our requirements and dreams and quickly zoomed in on our fabulous new home, a house we might otherwise have easily overlooked. He was very helpful with all aspects of the buying process.
While that purchase was in escrow, he was incredibly helpful as the selling agent for our previous house. We had considered selling it ourselves, and now look back and laugh at the sheer folly of the idea!
Michael is not just a "house peddler", he is a match maker to help you find the right home for your lifestyle. I met Michael at his own open house (a rarity!) and he actually tried talking me out of my impulse purchase. It turned out to be my best impulse in awhile! Michael is now also a great friend and neighbor.
Michael was the seller's realtor of a fabulous ocean front house I bought. I did not have a realtor and so Michael worked the whole deal for me. He was extremely trustworthy and fair in this situation representing the parties in perfect balance. Michael also was very wired in his tools, with a terrific web site for the home all set up, things like home inspections available as a download, and very on top of email. A perfect match for me! I'd use Michael to either represent a property for me or (if I could afford it) buy another home from him! Thanks Michael!
-- David Bernstein