“My husband and I met Don Forrester by chance, and it was a meeting that changed our lives. We had decided to sell our house in North Concord and move closer to our children in San Francisco. It was a sellers’ market and we didn’t expect any problems. Our selling agent had a “good” referral and seemed to empathize with our needs and priorities. However, our problems with her sloppiness and laziness began with the first Open House.
Even though Don was not our realtor, (he was selling a neighbor’s house) he advised us on how to deal with the problems that had arisen. He then suggested that we rethink the area we had planned to move in, and took us to a much better (for us) community. We were both so impressed with his enthusiasm and expertise, that we asked if he would represent us as a buying agent. He hesitated, not wanting to violate any agreements with the selling agent.
Needless to say, our house sold very quickly. This was the ninth house we had sold, and by far the easiest transaction. We felt we could have easily sold it ourselves and were not very happy with our realtors’ attitude and lack of effort. She seemed more interested in throwing business to her friends and cared nothing about our three old rescue dogs. It was only then, when we complained about her lack of professionalism that Don agreed to represent us. The sad part of it all was that Don was referred to us to sell our home but we couldn’t find him, we actually located him after our home was listed.
It took four months but we found and moved into our dream house. If it had not been for Don’s tenacity, expertise, patience, and gentlemanliness, it would have never happened in last years’ cut throat market. As I mentioned, we have bought and sold houses all over the country, but this was by far the worst five month experience. I honestly, think we would have given up if it hadn’t been for Don negotiating for us. Also, the house we purchased, like all houses, had issues that Don was able to address, before we moved in, saving us thousands of dollars.
Even if someone is experienced with and informed about the California real estate market, each house, each seller, each buyer is unique. We’ve talked to, interviewed and hired several agents here in East Bay, but Don is the best and we simply can’t recommend him highly enough.”
Eva and Bill , Pleasant Hill
"Don Forrester is an expert in his job and is very detailed orientated. If you have questions he will provide you with the answers and if it needs to be explained again he will do so with even more details. This was the second time we worked with Don, although the first time 4 years ago we wanted a condominium simply because we felt as though we didn’t have the experience to take care of a home after Don explained to us over a period of time how to take care of a home by showing us properties that had problems, he explained how to avoid similar problems (On the Job Training) he explained that it takes him longer with clients to do this but he ends up with smarter buyers making better decisions. So with that said we ended up in a home one step further then we would have been by owning a condo thus allowing us to make our next move which was to sell the first home an upgrade into our present two story 5 bedroom 3 bath home in a better area!! Working with Don with the property we just sold he showed us how to make necessary changes outside from a landscape and hardscape prospective the best part of it was that he helped us in the heat to shovel yards of rock that he actually went down with us to order. He did the same with the plant material. This was nice because I did not have anybody to help me. He also went over the inside….one of the suggestions was to put new carpets in the bedrooms, he had someone come over and install them. After everything was done, our house was sold very quickly… he also got us a well qualified buyer which was needed because of our new home purchase was contingent on ours selling (last thing Don wanted under these circumstances was any problems with the buyer with our deposit monies at stake). He also negotiated 2 months of free rent in our old home so we could find our new home without having to find a place to rent. Besides the seriousness of the business side, we had a lot of fun with him. We are very happy to have a really good broker like Don. We highly recommend him to anybody who wants to buy or sell their property or both!!!
Farshid and Arian, Brentwood
"My husband and I thought it would be a great opportunity to buy a house for our family of 5. Having had a realtor already we just didn't feel like we were in the right hands. We shared our concerns and frustrations with a close friend of ours and decided to look up Don again after 6 or more years had gone by from the first time he had helped us. We were now in a better position financially this time to purchase a home and really thought we had a good shot at buying a house. I am so glad we returned to Don because it saved us a lot of time, frustration, and worry.
Our whole experience with Don was so different than with our previous Realtor. In our conversations with Don over the phone he had so much energy and interest in us and our needs, my husband and I really felt like we were going to accomplish something. He was very knowledgeable in FHA Loans and shared that knowledge with us. Don would go out and look at properties that he felt would interest us based on the needs of our family and then would call us to check them out if they looked like they would pass FHA. I really appreciated this the most because with our previous realtor we wasted so much of our time looking at properties only to find out they wouldn't pass FHA or they were already pending. Don did the homework before he called us and that was so very helpful.
Many offers were put in and Don spent many many hours of his time checking over the properties thoroughly and getting all the paper work together we needed to put in the offer before he called us up and was ready for us to sign it. The paper work itself must have been exhausting for him but he made sure we had it to sign. I Remember the first time he came to our house to sign papers, not only did he have his laptop with him but he also had a portable printer if things needed to be changed. You could say he was very well equipped and ready to go. Don took his time to go over the papers with us and answer our questions even if it was late after my husband got home from work. At one time I think we were up till one in the morning getting the papers signed to make sure it got out the next day and our bid was considered early.
I really appreciated that Don was always keeping us up to date as things were unfolding and never did I feel like I didn't know what was going on. We were so confident in him finding us a home that if we didn't hear from him for a little while we knew he was still looking. And sure enough he would give us a call with an update and a house to look at. I still remember the time when we first switched over to Don and my husband went out looking at a property that we were interested in and found Don there already checking it out for us. We had been so use to looking up houses ourselves and going to properties ( which was very tiring with three small children) that we never expected he would have been there. Both my husband and I were very impressed with Dons work ethic and never again did we feel the need to worry about missing out on a house. We knew Don was looking out for us and our confidence in him was very strong.
My husband and I cannot express enough how happy we have been with Don. It has truly been a pleasure having him as our realtor. My only regret is that we didn't use him sooner. Being able to have the level of confidence we had in Don is truly remarkable. He doesn't play around, He knows his Job and gets things going. He's up front with how things should go and he goes far and beyond what his Job requires of him. I truly felt that he was looking out for our best interests and didn't give up until he found us a house and that he did.
Thankfully we now have a place to call home and a beautiful place at that. I could have never imagined such a beautiful home for our family. Thankfully Don kept in contact with the realtor who was in charge of selling this home. The house was a short sale and we had put a bid on it back in May of last year and then lost it because the homeowner filed bankruptcy. Don continued to keep a good repore with the agent hoping to get another chance at it if the circumstances allowed. Sure enough 8 months later it was finally ready to get sold again. Don was immediately on it, vouching for us that we were still interested. He really made things happen and quick. He had us on step 4 and 5 when only step one was required. We were always one step ahead of the game because Don wasn't playing around. I still can't believe how much he went out of his way to get it up to code so it would pass FHA for us. That was truly amazing in itself. He would always tell us I'm gonna make this happen for you and he did his best to make sure of it.
When signing the final paper work he even shared with us how to care for our home which I had no clue of what was really needed. He told us what needed priority and how to take care of it so we wouldn't be spending tons of money down the road. Over all I am extremely satisfied as one of his clients and would Never go any where else if I were to buy a home again in the future. As Don would always say, "Were going to get this thing done. I'm not playing around here, I want this finished and you in a home." Getting it done and finished he did! Thank you so much for all your hard word, dedication, and time you spent helping my family Don. You are truly one of a kind and we couldn't have done it without you. You have made the experience of buying a home so enjoyable and we cant thank you enough. Thank you,thank you ,thank you from the bottom of our hearts. "
The E. Family, Pittsburg
"In simple terms, Don Forrester is great. He engaged quickly to help our family in a very intense home search. We needed to find the right home fast, and his knowledge about every phase of the transaction was invaluable. Don is very good at clearly explaining situations that could be unfamiliar for a homebuyer – there is a lot of information to know. Don does well to ask a lot of questions to get a clear idea about your wants and needs in a home, and is very realistic about what can be achieved. He keeps things on track as far as timing with each phase of the deal, and clues you in to know what to expect next.
He is very proactive about exploring properties and pointing out all of its qualities and faults to be found, and openly shares these details and knowledge with the buyer so you can also learn what to look for in a property. Don is very patient also. He helped our family look at homes in different areas to get a feel for the neighborhoods and quality of the homes for the age and price range. He would then discuss the property with us and gave very valid reminders about the qualities of each property at the price they were listed at. Another great quality Don has is his calming effect in what can turn into stressful situations. A few times during our home searches and negotiations he would pull me aside and talk again about the process and positives of the long term goal - owning a home for our family. No matter where we were or who we were dealing with, he always kept our best interests at the forefront of the discussion. He also stays in tune and communicates well with the other agents and lenders involved, and builds a trusting relationship with those he works with to give and get effective information quickly when needed. Don helped us find our first home in 2006 and I asked for his help again years later to find our second home, and Don did not hesitate for a second to help. I’m sure there are many good realtors out there, but I can’t imagine any being more helpful and more personable than Don. "
John Mazer, Pittsburg
"As a first-time homebuyer in my 20’s, I had no idea what the process of purchasing a house would be like. I am truly grateful that I had Don as my agent to get me through this complicated process.
I can attest that Don explained to me in detail every single aspect involved with buying a house - from the different types of loans I can use, to various structures on a house such as the kinds of roofs, gutters, foundations etc. When you’re new to all these kinds of things, this knowledge is extremely helpful.
I happened to use an FHA Loan on a short sale purchase. I was fortunate enough to have a realtor like Don who is informed and patient enough to accept both of these types of conditions on a house! He explained to me the numerous kinds of codes and regulations required in order to pass an FHA Loan inspection and qualify for a house for this Federal Program. I realize not all realtors are willing to take the time to deal with the hassles associated with an FHA or short sale but Don stuck with me on both issues for several months and I ended up getting the home I wanted because of his dedication.
I remember when I showed my parents the home I bought for the first time and Don was there. My parents had lots of questions for Don regarding selling their current home and he took the time to answer and clarify all their concerns. They later told me they were so impressed with Don’s patience and vast knowledge that they plan on using him in the future as their agent when they decide to sell their house.
What impressed me most about Don is his attention to detail. He showed me what I would need to do to “weather proof” my home for the different seasons. For example, rather than just let me buy a house and be done with me, Don explained how it would be wise to install French Drains around the house, especially for the winter months, in order to avoid water build-up and future foundational problems or how to keep up with the caulking inside the bathrooms to prevent wood rot or mold problems. I recall looking at various homes in which Don pointed out problems of what can go wrong and what can be avoided with simple preventative measures.
Don is a realtor that always looks out for the best interest of his clients. When my home was in contract we were having issues with the seller’s agent not giving us the C.L.U.E. report in a timely manner and not fully explaining disclosures. I remember Don staying late at night past 11 pm and meeting me at 6 am one day to make sure we had our documents ready and ensuring the sellers fully met their responsibilities by providing information I requested to my satisfaction. The end result, we closed on the house in under 28 days.
Lastly, prior to me signing my closing documents, Don happened to review the documents himself, again something he did not have to do… He coincidentally found a typo in the closing documents by the title company that several people had missed! This error that Don caught ended up saving me a significant amount of money which allowed me to remain with more cash in hand prior to closing.
It is extremely important to have trust and confidence in a realtor when you make the most important purchase of your life. You will get that with Don. Without hesitancy I absolutely recommend you choose Don Forrester as your next real estate agent. I’m glad I did."
Very truly yours
Tio Galindo, Antioch
"Just like a lot of people when I decided to try to purchase a house, I was inexperienced, scared, and excited at the same time. At first I thought it would be a piece of cake. I was pre-approved for a loan and I was working with a real estate agent my family recommended.
The first day we went to look for a house I realized it wasn’t going to be that easy.
Basically the agent would just open the doors to the homes and let me look around the house and tell him if I liked it or not. We saw some nice homes through the course of a month and decided to put an offer. It was accepted and I was thrilled. But at the same time I didn’t feel sure about everything in general. I didn’t know if it was a good deal I was getting, wasn’t sure if it was the right house, didn’t know much about the whole process and I just wasn’t sure of what I was getting myself into. It felt like the agent was rushing me and just trying to get his money and really didn’t care about what kind of home I ended up with. Twice in the course of four months our offers were accepted and twice something happened where I was unable to get the house.
After the second disappointment I decided to stop looking and save more money to put a bigger down payment. That is what my real estate agent advised me to do. He said it would be easier to get a house with 15-20% down. A couple of months later around August, that’s when Don contacted me. Since that first conversation we had, I felt that Don was the real deal and very trustworthy. I felt he was honest and experienced. For about 4 months we started going out and looking at homes. We must have looked at more than 200 homes and every time I learned something new. The patience that Don has to take the time to explain to you every detail of the whole process, from putting an offer, to
Inspections, to how FHA works and final documentation, really makes you feel sure about the house your getting and what your getting yourself into. My experience working with Don was something special. The knowledge he has about homes and the unselfish nature he has about teaching you, its priceless!
In December, Don called me up and met me at a restaurant. With a big smile he gave me the key to my new home. After a lot of work and a long wait, I was a homeowner. Don stuck by my side through the whole process and not only a business relationship developed, but also a lifelong friendship. Thank You Don."
Walter Martinez, Antioch
"My boyfriend and I had the extreme pleasure of successful house hunting with Don and Deb Forrester. Over thirty houses and six months later, we put an offer on our first home and just closed three days ago!
We met Don and Deb through friends of ours who also had the pleasure of house hunting with them. They came highly recommended, and after our experience, we certainly understand why.
Matt and I started our search with Don and Deb six months ago in September and laid out what we were looking for in our first home. Prior to meeting Don and Deb, we had been going to open houses and new home developments all over the East Bay and had an idea of what we had in mind as far as budget, location, and size. They listened to our preferences and showed us homes in Concord, Martinez, Pleasant Hill, and Walnut Creek which were all locations we could see ourselves living in. Don and Deb pointed out things we never thought of looking at before such as roofing, foundation, and any potential damages to the house. We learned so much and began developing an eye for these things.
The house we fell in love with was one that we had actually put an offer on back in October with Don and Deb. Unfortunately, at that time, the mortgage company selling the home decided to take it off the market and we were back to square one. Meanwhile, Don and Deb kept in touch with the realtor to ensure a great working relationship. Always staying positive, they continued exploring homes coming onto the market and took us out every weekend we were available to make sure we found a home that we both felt was right for us. Three months later, Don and Deb had received a call from the realtor of the house we had put an offer on and found out that it was coming back on the market! They immediately notified us and, literally, within a day we had decided to offer the full asking price. The house was a short sale and being first time homebuyers, the whole process was like a foreign language to us. They were incredibly thorough with everything from inspections to loans to closing and reiterated that if we had any questions to never hesitate to ask. The short sale process can be frustrating with each of the parties going back and forth with paperwork and approvals, but Don and Deb were there to explain each step and follow through. Two months later, we closed and are well on our way to moving in.
Whether you’re buying or selling, we highly recommend Don and Deb as your agents. You will not be disappointed!"
Milli and Matt
"Our experience with Don Forester and his team was very
positive. We needed to sell our property quickly during a stressful situation.
Our first priority was to list within 2 weeks of selecting an agent, Don helped
us navigate this process with courtesy and respect, keeping us informed of
every key decision point, managing each inspection, and making sure we were
always focused on our goal.
During this time, Don’s door to door efforts to apx. 1,200
neighbors, online presence, and assistance staging our property interior and
exterior were critical to meeting our deadline and reaching a wide audience.
Don’s optimistic attitude and tireless contributions ensured a successful open
house. We received multiple offers on our showing, even though our house had only
been listed for 1 full day. Don helped us understand the benefits of each offer
and guided us towards the best solution for us financially. Don handled all the
negotiations between offers ensuring a better final contract, including selling
our property “as is” and 2 additional weeks of free back rent. Don’s handling
of all paperwork during our entire escrow process allowed us to focus on
preparation for our move.
I highly recommend Don Forester for his personal attention
to detail, professionalism, and commitment to protecting his clients financial
and personal interests. Under challenging circumstances, Don listed and sold
our house for more than we anticipated and within our compressed timeline."
"To whom it may concern:
I recently sold my home in Concord with the assistance of
of Hosking Realty Associates. Don guided me through the process of
selling my home and easily explained all of the necessary
were required to complete in order to finalize the
sale. Don pays
attention to detail and answered all my questions in a
The team Don assembled to assist with staging both the
interior of the home did a fantastic job, from assisting with
(used on flyers) and video used on website to planting
annuals to add the little extra on curb appeal. His team
worked in the
back ground and their assistance is greatly appreciated.
Thanks to Don for all of his assistance, it made the whole
process go as
smooth as it could for a first time home seller. "
“Let me tell you about Don. I have known Don for many years, starting from when we worked together for several years. Of course I went to Don. Not just a good choice, but a great choice. Don is very hands on, from showing up on day 1 with all his “go to” people (thank you Debbie Forrester, John Marzo, Zac Keas, Juan and Norma Ramos, Tony Gonzales and Leading Edge) at which time we put together a game plan. Don went shopping with me for plants, blinds and flooring. Debbie put up the blinds and ran open houses and Don, among the many things he did help put in the plants. He even got up on the roof to blow off the pine needles! We sold the house to a very nice young couple.
Then it was time to find a house for me to buy. Don Listen to what I wanted and was looking for. He also educated me on what to look out for. I have been in my new home for 2 weeks now and I’m loving it! Thanks Don!”
"Thank you Don Forrester for all the help you've given me to sell my dad's house.
To anyone reading this, I have never found a finer or more honest realtor in my life. He will always give his best. He is very knowledgeable and thorough, never leaving any loose ends to worry about. He explains every step clearly and ensures that you are aware and protected the entire time.
Don Forrester will always work in your best interest in finding you the best value for your money. Don Forrester has also helped my son to purchase a new home. He even recommended a realtor closer to
my son's previous location to help sell his former home. My son and I are very pleased with the services that Don has provided and highly recommend Don Forrester to anyone looking to buy or sell a home."
"To Whom It May Concern:
Don Forrester is an expert in his job and is very detailed orientated. If you have questions he will provide you with the answers and if it needs to be explained again he will do so with even more details. This was the second time we worked with Don, although the first time 4 years ago we wanted a condominium simply because we felt as though we didn’t have the experience to take care of a home after Don explained to us over a period of time how to take care of a home by showing us properties that had problems, he explained how to avoid similar problems (On the Job Training) he explained that it takes him longer with clients to do this but he ends up with smarter buyers making better decisions. So with that said we ended up in a home one step further then we would have been by owning a condo thus allowing us to make our next move which was to sell the first home an upgrade into our present two story 5 bedroom 3 bath home in a better area!! Working with Don with the property we just sold he showed us how to make necessary changes outside from a landscape and hardscape prospective the best part of it was that he helped us in the heat to shovel yards of rock that he actually went down with us to order. He did the same with the plant material. This was nice because I did not have anybody to help me. He also went over the inside….one of the suggestions was to put new carpets in the bedrooms, he had someone come over and install them. After everything was done, our house was sold very quickly… he also got us a well qualified buyer which was needed because of our new home purchase was contingent on ours selling (last thing Don wanted under these circumstances was any problems with the buyer with our deposit monies at stake). He also negotiated 2 months of free rent in our old home so we could find our new home without having to find a place to rent. Besides the seriousness of the business side, we had a lot of fun with him. We are very happy to have a really good broker like Don. We highly recommend him to anybody who wants to buy or sell their property or both!!!"
Farshid and Arian
"To Whom It May Concern:
We just sold our home using Don and Deborah Forrester as our realtors. They went above and beyond our expectations as our realtors and as well as our friends.
They would always answer our phone calls and emails in a very timely manner and were happy to answer any questions we had. They provided us with all the information we needed as we progressed with our home sale.
They are an easy couple to work with and they make you feel comfortable with them. They worked around our busy schedule and always made time for us. They took the pressure off us when selling our home. We never felt worried about anything and knew things were taken care of. Any problems or questions we encountered, we simply let Don and Debbie know, and they took care of it, and they gave us good advice when it came to certain issues.
They made goals for us when getting our house ready for sale, and kept on top of us to make sure they were being met. It was just great to know they were there whenever we needed them!
They participated in every step of the sale. They always knew what was happening and never kept us wondering “what next”. Our house was sold and closed in 21 days and Don and Deborah had a great deal to do with that!
Thank You Don and Deborah!"
Jordan & Annette Jones