Client Testimonials

Over the years, we have helped hundreds of families and individuals buy or sell property in Marin County.  We are proud to share some of the letters we have received from these clients after completion of our transaction.

Dear Fran & Bob Donlan:

On an extremely rainy day in February, Cindy and I began looking around for potential housing in northern California. At the time, we did not know for sure whether we would be relocating or not as it depended on several subsequent job interviews. While searching in Terra Linda, we had the good fortune to tour an open house hosted by Fran Donlan. We were new to the area and had not yet found a realtor with which to work. We explained our situation to Fran who took us in and served as a guide on what can only be described as a wonderful adventure.

By signing us up for a web-based home search database, “CleanOffer”, Fran kept us informed of what was “on the market” over the next few weeks. Fran arranged her time around our subsequent job interview visits to take us on a tour of what was available. We had the misfortune to enter the market during a hot market period and homes were flying off the shelves quicker than the hottest toy at Christmas. However, during one of our visits we had the opportunity to tour nearly 12 homes. Fran was patient as we toured each one. It was a tough decision and her knowledge of the homes, the areas, the schools, the traffic, and the region proved highly beneficial. Ultimately, we narrowed it down to three choices. Fran walked us through potential offers on each home. Because of the type of real estate market we had to act quickly. We settled on our number one choice and Fran made sure we got it.

As our representative with the seller, Fran took steps to make sure that all preliminary inspections were completed, that all required work was completed, and that the home was ultimately ready for our occupancy. I firmly believe that if the seller left the house in shambles, Fran and Bob would have been in there making sure that it was in tip-top shape before we got there. From the termites, to the yard, to the painting, to the driveway, to the keys in our hands, Fran and Bob made the difference.

Our home on the market in southern California was a hot item and sold within days. But that was only the beginning. The buyer had financing issues and ultimately we had to write a letter attempting to cancel the escrow. This put a monkey-wrench in the anticipated close of the home in Marin County. Bob and Fran stepped up and worked hand in hand with our financing company (who also is well deserving of praise) and the seller of the Marin home to make sure we did not lose the property. Because the buyer’s potential default was a surprise to us, we had already scheduled movers and delivery dates to the northern California home. At the time, our furniture was literally on the road up to the new home. Ultimately, we had to delay the close on the Marin home for 7 days and rent back. Bob took charge of this for us and worked out all of the particulars. Because we were buying from afar, Bob took the extra time to make us feel comfortable that all was going well.

Finally, the day of close came and the home was ours. It wouldn’t have been our home without the hard work and dedication of Fran and Bob Donlan. It is my extreme pleasure to recommend the services of Fran and Bob Donlan to anyone in the market to buy or sell their property. Fran and Bob are more than qualified to turn “housing” into homes. It truly makes a difference when someone recognizes that you are not just searching for a house, you are searching for a home. Fran and Bob recognize that difference.

George and Cindy Rodericks

Dear Fran and Bob:

John and I simply want to say, “Thank You” for all you did to help us find our beautiful new home! We needed to relocate to Marin from the East Bay, and had to do it within a specific timeline, and you were there. We really appreciated how you got a feeling for our new home needs by talking with us and walking us through a few homes. By steering us in the direction of “just right” properties, you made our quest for a new house a positive experience that never wasted our time (and we hope we didn’t waste yours!). And, incredibly, at the same time you helped us get our home in the East Bay sold within one month.

Taking care of all of the extra appointments, forms, contracts, etc., all with extreme efficiency, with minimum time required on our part, was one of the best parts of the whole experience. Because John and I had full time workloads and many evening meetings, we so appreciated all of the services you completed for us. With your help, we were able to leave on vacation in the middle of all of this, knowing our transactions were in the best of hands. And best of all, you continue to help us with related real estate needs, and have been more than generous in your time and personal attention. We thank you so much for your expert service. You can count on seeing us again when it comes time to buy again!

Stephany and John La Londe

Dear Fran:

This letter is to express our gratitude for your excellent representation of my father in selling his home in San Rafael. From the very beginning we appreciated your candor and can do attitude. When we interviewed you when we were considering brokers, you answered our questions directly and without hesitation. Your expert advice to my father about the pest control report, related repairs and other aspects of the transaction was excellent.

Perhaps the most significant part of your advice was to assure us that my father’s occupancy requirement through November would be met, even though we anticipated a September or October closing. You told us that would be no problem in a reassuring manner. Although we were skeptical, you came through! The broker’s open house was held on Thursday and just two days later you presented an offer that met all of our requirements, including occupancy.

You made the transaction extremely easy for my father, my sister and me. This has been a difficult year for us. Your professional yet friendly and caring attitude really guided us through this transaction in a very smooth manner.

Please feel free to contact us in the future should you need a reference. I would not hesitate to list my own house with you or refer my friends to you.

Thank you for everything, Fran.

Very sincerely,
Jayne Hulbert

Dear Fran,

Here’s one more “fan letter” to add to your fabled collection.

We already knew, thanks to over 20 years of watching your successful work throughout our neighborhood and hearing about your excellent reputation, that when we decided to sell our beloved Terra Linda home you would be the real estate agent to contact.

Because we are both experienced agents in our own right, with decades of knowledge in both real estate and human resource staffing, we not only understand what it takes to represent people in a sensitive, complicated and vitally important transaction like a home sale or purchase – we are also very demanding and very difficult to please.

Fran, you succeeded admirably!

Every person or family a real estate agent works with is unique. Happily, one of the greatest talents you have is the ability to adjust to your clients’ personalities, needs and requirements while maintaining your professional integrity. In our case, we wanted as little discussion, effort and delay as possible because, in addition to our normally hectic schedules, we had a narrow timeframe for moving into our new home. We mapped out what we felt we needed and how we wanted the sale to be conducted, including a rather complicated rent-back. You gave us the exact information and advice we had to have to get the sale completed at the right price, on time, without hassles. Then (thanks to your superior network among Marin’s real estate pros) you and your team brought us qualified buyers and negotiated mutually beneficial terms. We even got that all-important rent-back. Done deal. Time to spare. What a relief!

No wonder we recommend you to everyone we know.

Roz Katz & Carol Russell

To all prospective clients of the Donlans,

Fran & Bob did a tremendous job of representing my stepfather’s estate in the sale of our Terra Linda home.

The beneficiaries of the Estate queried me about hiring a broker to handle the transaction since I have been a licensed CA investment real estate broker myself for the past 25 years. As executor of the estate, I wanted to make sure that all the “I’s were dotted & T’s crossed” in this residential transaction. The documentation involved in selling a home these days is voluminous and requires true professional oversight and guidance from listing through closing.

Fran & Bob’s marketing plan was concise and effective resulting in a seamless closing.

Thanks again Fran & Bob, I look forward to working with you again in the future.

Chuck Howe

To Whom It May Concern:

We would like to express our million appreciation to our real estate agents, Fran & Bob Donlan. They helped us buy our dream house and also sell our previous home. They worked extremely hard on our behalf.

Fran and Bob have done a wonderful job helping us in this, the biggest transition in our life. They helped us solve millions of problems efficiently, practically and professionally, making the transition for us much easier and smoother. Also, we have been very impressed with their in-depth knowledge in real estate. They have given us a lot of sound advice during (and even after) the purchase and sale.

We simply think they are just the very best in the industry. Thanks again, Fran & Bob.

The Wang Family

To Whom It May Concern:

This letter is to recommend Fran Donlan at Coldwell Banker for selling or buying your home.

During most of the thirty seven years that I lived in the Terra Linda area of San Rafael, I consistently received interesting real estate marketing information specific to the San Rafael area from Fran as well as lists of many, many properties for which she had acted as agent for either the buyer or seller. As a former corporate purchasing manager who evaluated and managed vendors, it was this real estate marketing experience that led me to select Fran as my number one choice.

My home sold ten days after the brokers’ open house at a price that was 99.92% of the asking price. I believe Fran contributed to this in several ways:

Fran recommended the right asking price, which pleasantly was a little more than I expected. Any agent can run “comps”. It is the insightful analysis of the data and the correct final recommendation, using her real estate training, her MBA and her successful experience that set Fran apart.

Fran “listens” to her customer. The few ideas and suggestions that I had were given serious consideration. We worked as a team under her capable leadership.

In the actual sale process, Fran is the “leader-in-charge” and I felt a great confidence that she was protecting my interest in dealing with the other party’s agent and among all the forms and signatures.

So whether you are considering buying or selling, either now or in the near future, I gladly recommend that you request Fran Donlan to help you with this important change in your life.

Very truly yours,
Jack R. France

Dear Fran,

I wanted to let you know how much I appreciated your recent work for our friend Sue Burt and my mother.

In the case of Sue it was a purchase of a home. The feedback I got from Sue confirmed again what I’d learned about using Fran Donlan as a real estate agent:
1. Always has the client’s interest as the top priority.
2. Always willing to go the extra mile to make the client feel supported.
3. Willing to fight for the client’s rights, even when the client wants to throw in the towel.
4. There with the little touches which make the process personal. A tough thing to do when one is buried in endless, mind-boggling forms to sign. But you do it.

When my father passed away in October my mother decided that she wanted to sell their home as quickly as possible. Perhaps too quickly for someone who was so vulnerable after her loss. If it were not for you I feel that complying with her wishes would not have been possible. But, I knew that you would see that she set the right price, only make those concessions that were absolutely necessary, survive the inspections and myriad of paperwork. You were a real source of strength for her at a time when she needed all she could get.

My mother continues to brag about her friend Fran. Not her agent, but her friend.

With these latest transactions you have helped us with part of seven home sales and purchases. That’s why I know that you’re there for my family and our friends. A friend and an Agent that I can recommend with complete confidence.

Dan Joaquin

Dear Fran,

I wanted to let you know how pleased Leonard and I were in our recent association with you for the sale of our townhouse and the purchase of our new home.

You are the consummate professional. In addition to keeping us well informed of current real estate trends and activities over our one and a half year “hunt”, you were organized, efficient and “never missed a beat”. You were terrific to work with, knew how to keep us calm during a stressful escrow period and worked hard not to let anything slip through the cracks.

We would be happy to serve as a reference for you and have already recommended you to two family members and a former neighbor. Coldwell Banker is very fortunate to have Fran as a part of its team.

Claudia Fromm

Just a note to let you know what a superb job Fran Donlan did in handling the sale of our home.

She was, above all, knowledgeable. In addition she was tactful, prompt and resourceful.

In our lifetime, my wife and I have bought and sold 12 other homes. Because of the expertise displayed by Fran Donlan, this has been the smoothest. Her thorough handling of the detailed and voluminous paperwork, together with her understanding of our needs, created an atmosphere of friendship, which we will cherish for years to come.

Our vote goes to Fran Donlan for Realtor of the Year.

Allison M. Church

Dear Fran,

You have been an amazing woman during this crazy, crazy home-buying experience. I can only imagine how much I must have tested your patience.

Thank you so much for helping me through this first (and I hope last) buying process. However, should the fates decide that I am destined to an even better home, then I shall certainly call you immediately.

Life is good.

Marcy Dubova

Dear Fran,

Thanks very much for your assistance in selling my condo in Sausalito. As you recall, we met a number of times at homes you were holding open and, based on those experiences, I was impressed by your knowledge of the real estate market(s), your professionalism, and your diligence.

Those impressions were enhanced by the terrific job you did in advising me on sales strategies, the way you kept me in touch with the process as it unfolded, and the mopping up of the final details.

You were GREAT. Thanks again for your help.

Best wishes,
Richard Rystrom

To Whom It May Concern:

Recently we had occasion to list our home for sale and to consummate a sale. We selected Fran Donlan as our real estate agent after careful consideration. In selecting Fran we were impressed with her professionalism, knowledge of the area, as well as her very realistic and candid approach to guide us in selecting a listing price that would lead to the sale of our home given the market conditions at the time. She also presented her marketing plan and we were pleased with her detailed analysis that it contained.

Not only did Fran come through in terms of an offer that was more than acceptable to us, she followed through on all details. In our dealings with the other realtors representing buyers, I was totally unimpressed with their knowledge of the details necessary to consummate the sale of real estate. Fran, on the other hand, not only was aware of the problems, but because of her competency, we avoided any hang-ups, the property was sold, and escrow closed on the day it was due to close. Under the circumstances, I wholeheartedly recommend Fran for your real estate needs.

Sincerely yours,
J. Mark Montobbio

To Whom It May Concern:

Our recommendation letter for Fran will cut right to the chase – Fran is the consummate real estate professional. From our initial meeting to the final closing, her confident posture dominated the total sales process. No words were wasted. She got the right selling price immediately; gave rational responses to our anxieties, her predictions of what might occur were uncannily accurate and her negotiating skills in representing us, to say the least – extraordinary! She made us winners!!

So, don’t hesitate, hire Fran for the job and get your name on her “Record Sales Chart”.

Shirley and Hal Abercrombie

Dear Fran,

We have lived in Terra Linda for 29 ½ years. When we decided to sell the house and relocate to Auburn, CA there was never a question about who the real estate broker to sell the house was going to be. Your reputation for professional real estate services is outstanding for this area.

When you made the initial visit you had already prepared an excellent market analysis for our consideration. The skill and knowledge you have of the Terra Linda area made the initial advertisement process almost painless. Our requirement to continue to live in this house until our new house was completed in Auburn brought out your skill and expertise in dealing with other brokers and their agents. You were successful in establishing an escrow date that worked for us and an extremely good daily rent back rate for the first 45 days after close of escrow and then the exact buyer cost for the next 21 days.

You represented our requirements in a professional and timely basis even while on your vacation. In the end we were able to deal only with qualified buyers and ultimately sell the house at the asking price.

We would recommend you to any seller or buyer because of your professional expertise and the fact that you respect the clients’ time and desires.

Sincerely yours,
Jack and Janice Farless

To Whom It May Concern:

On June 18, 1998, my wife and I closed on the purchase of our first home and I cannot begin to tell you how easy Fran Donlan made it seem. For a little background, let me digress.

Fran was our third Realtor to employ in the past 6 months. Our first two realtors had us thinking we could never get what we really wanted. They lacked Fran’s expertise, discipline and above all people skills that are needed in today’s crazy Bay Area (and especially Marin) market. Fran listened to us, answered all of our many questions (and there were plenty!) and allayed our fears of being first time homeowners.

Fran came to us by way of a recommendation and we would not hesitate to recommend her to any of our friends who are considering buying in Marin. She is a true professional and a credit to your industry. We thank her for her help.

Best regards,
Victor and Jackie Garcia

To Whom It May Concern,

Thanks to Fran Donlan and her son, Bob Donlan. The job Fran and Bob did was beyond the call of duty. My mother was dying and almost every day Fran would check in on us. My mom loved Fran.

Fran, I believe you are the best real estate agent there is. You and Bob got us a very good price for my mom’s house and handled everything. You made the process as easy as possible and handled everything with such care and concern. God bless Fran and Bob. In our time of need you were there for us. You are trustworthy, loving and truly the best.

Gail Regan

To Whom It May Concern:

It is always a pleasure to work with a professional in any field, and Fran Donlan is a professional extraordinaire.

When we decided to put our house on the market, our intent was to interview agents from 3 prominent Marin County agencies. We phoned to set up appointments and Fran was the only one who was prompt in responding and scheduling an appointment at our earliest convenience. It wasn’t long after meeting her that we both decided she was absolutely the realtor we wanted to handle our sale.

Her approach was honest and direct. She was very knowledgeable regarding the area and the present market conditions and was able to give us expert advice on all aspects that we were going to encounter during our selling process.

Fran always responded promptly to our calls and was always available to “hold our hands” and reassure us in this our first and only sale in thirty-six years.

Fran is a pro!

Her knowledge, support and efforts on our behalf made the entire process pleasant and profitable.

We both would certainly recommend her to anyone in the area!

Hank & Caroline Malter

“We once jokingly called you a “miracle worker”. Though that may sound like an exaggeration, it’s only a slight one.

We thank you for your diligence.”

Jacques Charton


Bradley Real EstateThe Donlan Real Estate Team Serves Marin County, CA
Bradley Real Estate
851 Irwin Street    San Rafael, CA 94901
Fran's Voicemail: 415-721-1194    Bob's Phone: 415-717-1096

Fran Donlan DRE# 00696408      Bob Donlan DRE# 01381665      Colleen Donlan DRE# 01728662

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©2005 Fran Donlan and Robert Donlan