556 Stone Dr., Novato

556 Stone Dr., Novato


Site Conditions

  • Years as a rental left the property in such sad shape it surprised the owners
  • 1990s kitchen décor
  • Massive tree stumps dotted the back yard

Results of Our Work

  • 7 offers
  • Listed at $999,000
  • Sold for $1.2M
  • 500% ROI on resurfacing investment of $40,750 increased sales price expectation from $980,000 to $1,200,000


The out-of-the-area owners had rented out this home for many years. They were surprised at how tattered the property was once the tenants moved out. 

Other agents told the sellers, “Leave the home as-is, and let’s put it on the market right away.”  

Not our approach. The owners agreed the property would show poorly and that resurfacing it would pay off handsomely. But most homes in this Novato neighborhood, even those renovated and upgraded, sold for $980,00 or lower. We were aiming higher.

Yet, this property had good raw material—a pool and large yard. So we had to neutralize the downsides—enormous tree stumps littered the yard, walls were deteriorating and maintenance was obviously needed.

A neighbor saw we were cleaning up the yard and stopped with her written complaints. Things got complicated. We’ve seen this before when we start a home transformation. Craig spoke with the neighbor to help calm the tension, encouraged our seller to consult a trusted attorney and related everything in the disclosure package.

Our clients were happy with the outcome—7 offers, a record sale price in the neighborhood and a quick turnaround.

Exterior (before)​​​​​​​ The appearance of brick can look dated and drag down the perceived value of a home.

Exterior (after)​​​​​​​ Our designer embraced and unified the brick colors with a new, subtle color palette. We call this synergistic resurfacing where 1 + 1 = 3

Kitchen (before)​​​​​​​ So many 1990s warm hues (beige/pink cabinetry, enamel appliances, yellowing red oak flooring).

Kitchen (after) ​​​​​​​Our designer chose two-tone cabinets which lessened the need for stainless steel appliances. Craig’s signature gray floor stain helped bring the room up to date.

Bathroom (before)​​​​​​​ The existing plastic molded counters, dated flooring, damaged mirror and older components would not fetch an impressive sales price. 

Bathroom (after)​​​​​​​ Families want move-in ready and are willing to pay for it. Crisp, new surfaces let buyers envision making this clean, modern home with dual sinks and skylight their own. modern, fresh appearance with a minimal investment. 

Living Room (before)

​​​​​​​Frankly, drab and unmemorable.

Living Room (after)

Our after look included more light, fresh paint and new carpet. Our stager worked her magic to give the home an upbeat feel that attracted many families.

Rear Yard (before)​​​​​​​ The graveyard of large tree trunks spoiled an otherwise pleasant, private rear yard.

Rear Yard (after)​​​​​​​ Our team used a large hydraulic stump eater to devour the carcasses in no time. Then the landscape’s natural beauty and vibrant colors took center stage.

Pool Area​​​​​​​ A drone shot captures perspective we couldn’t show any other way.

Pool Area​​​​​​​ This is the money shot we emphasized in our marketing.


Site Plan
A site map highlighted the pleasant, peaceful environment. We projected that the highest paying buyer would covet this home for family gatherings and entertaining.


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