My husband and I were first-time homebuyers and we were so incredibly fortunate to meet Sarah McMaster. She walked us through every step of the way. Sarah turned what could’ve been a highly stressful process, into a well-thought out and positive experience all-around. I always felt like she was guiding us, without trying to pressure us into making and decisions that were outside of our comfort zone. Her vast experience really helped us make the right decision — and we’re so thrilled with our new home. For anyone out there looking to buy or sell a home, I would recommend Sarah McMaster and her team — John Kostrey and Kostrey associates.
I do not hesitate for a second to recommend Sarah to anyone buying or selling in the residential market. She was key in landing my fiancee and I in our dream home.
She knows the ins and outs of the myriad LA neighborhoods, and always responds quickly with a helpful answer, referral, or follow-up to keep things moving along in the process. I’ve worked with Sarah multiple times and look forward to working with her again in the future
Sarah McMaster is wonderful! She was supremely knowledgeable, attentive and patient as we looked for our home and a fierce advocate for us as we negotiated our purchase. We would recommend her to everyone!
Sarah McMaster (and John Kostrey) are absolutely incredible.
We met Sarah through a referral of a friend that could not stop talking about Sarah long after she bought her second house (first was with Sarah too). She’s aces from the very first moment. After interviewing a few realtors, my husband and I both agreed (we’re first time homeowners) that for the immense process we were about to undertake, we’d feel most taken care of by Sarah who has been in the business forever and had such ease with every single step.
Sarah is a dream. Really. We saw so many listings (especially in the first month) and she always had creative ideas, listened, and bounced more off us. She even opened us up to some hot NELA neighborhoods we’d never been to! And great ones at that!
Flash forward to offer time: we couldn’t have had better advice the whole way. And it was really stressful. She checked in with the listing side like a hawk on every one, and sent us updates right away. Never once did we have to call her to say “Any updates?” We were always with the Pro.
Sarah attended every inspection, every walkthrough, and Escrow/closing. There was not a single house appointment she missed. We asked to use all of her favorite inspectors and inspection specialists, and could rely on everyone at every moment. In fact we ended up hiring a few for the contract work once we closed. She’s dedicated, detail oriented and extremely caring.
We hit a few little tensions with the seller towards the end and every day my husband and I, after a day of stress, looked at each other, laughed, and said “can you imagine if we didn’t have Sarah? Thank GOODNESS!” Everything worked out. She’s a dream.
Her team is really accessible and timely too. Now we understand why our pal was so emphatic about Sarah and The Kostrey Collection, we couldn’t be happier, and are referring her to anyone we hear say “I’m thinking about buying/selling a house…”
Sarah McMaster is essentially all that you would hope for in a realtor. Not only does she have the basics that every realtor should have in their arsenal – knowledge, passion for property, energy and enthusiasm – where she really shines is the way she makes her clients feel like she is fully and ferociously looking out for their interests, and finding the property that is perfect for them. She is so patient and is a great sounding board for any questions or concerns you have about the process, and will guide you through what some consider stressful but she will make it seamless. And fun. Can’t recommend this fantastic realtor enough!
Very laid-back, genuine, experienced and knowledgeable. I really appreciated that he always gave us a straight answer even when it wasn’t the one we were hoping for. And being first-time buyers, it really helped to have someone point out things we weren’t savvy enough to look for. Would absolutely go back to John!
I cannot imagine a better broker than John. Buying a home is a really intense process, and John was the perfect guide through it. From the initial phase of which neighborhoods to look at, through the phase of putting in offers, and even having to cancel a contract during inspections, John always had our best interests in mind and was extremely positive, supportive and never showed any sign of losing patience.
When we did eventually find a home that we loved, he was our best advocate and negotiator. When our offer was accepted, he knew all the right inspectors to call. He had many options for both general and specialized contractors for work we wanted to get done, and every single one of them got the job done on time and on budget so we could move in as quickly as possible. Even the contractors seemed to be particularly passionate about doing an extra good job because they said they know and love John.
After we closed on the home, John continued to be extremely helpful, giving us a range of people he trusted to do additional work on the house.
I will certainly be using John in the future for any real estate needs and would recommend him to anyone.
John went over and beyond while helping us find our new home. He was incredibly patient, knowledgable, and put in extra effort to make sure we were taken care of. I cannot recommend him enough!!!! Thank you so much, John!!
This is our 4th real estate purchase and sell with John Kostrey and his team. We couldn’t be happier and would highly recommend them. His knowledge, honesty, care and professionalism gave us confidence and comfort during the stressful buying and selling process. We very much look forward to working with John and any and all upcoming home purchases
We appreciated the looong process of finding a house that matched most of our criteria. I was discouraged when two escrows fell through, and we looked at so many houses but it did help in honing our search. Double pained windows, a separate garage (and a security gate) and three bedrooms all came in the package, as well as a house with character (and arched ceilings) … We appreciated you repair professional contacts, and the work has been completed … Thank you (and the team at Kostrey) for a final transaction successfully completed
For a first time home buying experience, Katharine made the process feel SO EASY. Quick to follow up and an incredible advocate for her clients, I hope we have the privilege of buying another home with her again SOON (but not TOO soon!)
The Kostrey Collection is fantastic! John Kostrey and his team are intelligent, thoughtful and responsive, not to mention experts in the LA real estate business. John Kostrey and John Podhor helped me find a new home within a few months, and I couldn’t be happier with the purchase. I can’t recommend The Kostrey Collection highly enough!
John instantly became like family in our search for a first home — he was always deeply respectful in explaining the million things we didn’t understand, and made us feel safe and excited about the process. We honestly couldn’t (and wouldn’t) have pulled this off without him, and are now lifelong devotees.
Top notch team – both for selling and buying. Takes time, listens, knowledgeable about the various neighborhoods, and went to bat for me both as a buyer and seller.
The Kostrey Collection helped us buy and sell a house this year. Buying and selling a home is a very stressful and emotional event so we felt very fortunate to have John and his team hold our hands through the process. They are very experienced and knowledgeable but also have that all important human factor which made us feel taken care of. They were patient with all my freak outs and they are strategic and ethical at the same time. All around great experience. Thank you
Extremely capable and utterly fantastic to work with! We sold quickly but there was a slight hiccup with the buyers lender. John and Sarah went above and beyond in order to resolve the issue the buyer was having with their lender. We give them the highest recommendation..
This is my second time in the last year working with John and The Kostrey Collection. He helped my wife and I purchase a home last year and then helped us sell a rental property this year. I would consider myself lucky with the amount of offers and the eventual sale price that John and his team were able to secure for us but obviously that isn’t it alone. John has a vast amount of knowledge and was nimble with each step of the process that mattered to us. He knew when to hurry and when to wait. He knew where to spend money and where to hold it. All of the efforts that both he and his team made yielded another 7-10% on our sale price. I highly recommend this agent and the people working with him.
John (and his team) did an incredible job. He is very professional, courteous and communicates well. Also, his background as a lawyer, he made sure that all was in order, which was very reassuring. He was very responsive and was able to get us our dream house! Thank you John and The Kostrey Collection
Working with Katharine was an absolute dream. She guided us with care every step of the way and was very responsive and attentive throughout the entire home buying process. She helped us navigate through what was a totally new territory for us and actually made the journey exciting. Her confidence and expertise put our minds at ease time and time again. I loved working with her and highly recommend her!!
Katharine is an excellent agent! She is very thorough, knowledgeble, she has great taste, and a wonderful attention to detail. We didn’t want to commit to buying until we found the perfect home, and Katharine was there for us every step of the way and never made us feel pressured or rushed into anything. She really helped us figure out how much we wanted or didn’t want certain homes, helped us navigate offers and counter offers, and in the end found us a beautiful home that we love so much! She has excellent inspector recommendations, and made the whole inspection and closing process very seamless and easy. Also, she’s kind and fun to tour properties with which is essential in this stressful market!
Sarah and her team at The Kostrey Collection were great! We needed tough and thorough negotiators for our offer, and we got just that. From setting the right offer price, to not backing down when the seller, an investment company, was making unresonable demands. We were up against multiple cash offers and renovation issues and they helped us every step of the way. We got a great price and felt they were on our side every step of the way. I highly reccomend Sarah and The Kostrey Collection. They helped our family, against all odds, purchase our very first home!
Sarah is an incredible real estate agent. When looking for a real estate agent we knew of several people to speak with, however, Sarah stood out from the crowd because of her relaxed and calm demeanor and her keen understanding of what we needed in a home. We never felt like Sarah was working for a commission but rather making sure we were making the right decision for our first home – a breath of fresh air in Los Angeles. She worked with us for over a year to find the absolute perfect home. Sarah always was able to accommodate our schedule for viewings and was there with a discerning eye to point out things that we would have overlooked. Sarah was extremely patient with us as we made 3 offers on other homes before landing in our dream home. Each time we went through the offering process Sarah was able to jump on the phone with us late at night to accommodate our work schedules to talk through or concerns and questions. Once our offer was accepting on our home I could not have imagined going through the closing process with anyone but Sarah, she was at every inspection, at every paper signing, and involved herself in our mortgage process when we were overwhelmed with the unknown. To this day after living in our home I still text Sarah for recommendations for handymen, painters, contractors, etc and within minutes she responds. Sarah is an A+ real estate agent. We highly, highly recommend Sarah!
Katharine was both patient and understanding of our relative ignorance of the market and guided us from our initial search through the purchase of our home. She was always accessible and if she was unable, her associates were always there to assist. We would recommend Katharine to anyone searching for their home.
John and Sarah from the Kostrey Collection couldn’t have been better. They were knowledgable, patient, and supportive as my wife and I went through the process of buying our first house. I truly felt like they were committed to finding the right house for us.
The Los Angeles real estate market is tough, competitive, and filled with people who will try and swindle you for a dollar. John Kostrey is the exception. He’s a diamond in the rough—an ethical, knowledgeable agent (who will fight for you).
A short story to persuade you. I’d been looking for a house for around 4 months. I bid on a house I really liked that I could afford. We did the usual inspections (general, sewer, chimney, foundation) and nobody found anything all that damning about the place. The appraisal came back at our bid price. It needed work, but it was going to be ok. However, because of the hillside location John suggested we also get a geological engineer to look at the property. I wasn’t sure I wanted to spend the extra money (engineers are expensive) but he insisted. As it turns out, the geo guy DID find problems. His report was bad enough for us to back out of the deal. A lesser agent would have stopped us after the normal inspections, but John’s experience and thoroughness kept us from making a grave mistake.
I continued to look for months and John never hesitated. He went out with me to almost every showing multiple times a week. If he couldn’t make it, one of his great assistants same along. I probably saw 60 properties with him over the course of six months, but who’s counting.
I am now a proud owner of a beautiful home in Eagle Rock and it’s thanks to John Kostrey. Even after the sale is complete he’s recommending me contractors, painters, movers, alarm companies. He knows his market and he knows it well.
If you’re looking for an agent—stop. Hire John.
John and Katharine are fantastic at finding and closing on a home. Their communication throughout the process is also first rate. I was a first time buyer and John was very patient with me, explaining what we had to do at every step, and taking the time to make sure I was comfortable during the entire process. Katharine went out of her way to help schedule multiple inspections, and both of them were always present to represent me when I was not available. Negotiations went smoothly and I was able to get more than my fair share of credits back from the seller. Excellent experience front to back. Would highly recommend this crew to anyone looking for a new place to live in Los Angeles.
John and his team at Kostrey collection are best in class. He has a deep knowledge of the market and strong relationship with people in the community. His technical expertise, attention to detail and strong communication skills lead to a successful outcome despite a very difficult process. His ethics and hard work are unmatchable.
I’ve heard that buying a home can be one of the most stressful events in a persons life. But I will just have to assume that’s true because there is no way I would know that from the experience I had with the Kostrey Collection realty team!
John Kostrey, Taariq Ismail, Katherine Deering, and ESPECIALLY Sarah McMaster were such a pleasure to work with from start to finish. They listened to me every step of the way in terms of what I was specifically looking for in a dream property, made that work within my budget, and got me a number of excellent options to choose from, and talked me through it all. If I changed my mind about something they took the feedback and changed course, and when we did find the absolute best property for me, they strategized a strong game plan as to go about putting in an offer, and the buyers accepted! They broke the inspection process down for a layperson and made it a smooth process, and of course some minor speed bumps here and there as is the case with homebuying, but they helped ameliorate any situation that came up and rolled with the punches. The result? I have an excellent property that I can’t wait to spend a good chunk of time in, if not the rest of my life!
Thank you so much John, Taariq, Sarah and Katherine!!!!!
My husband and I have two jobs, two kids, and one on the way. Our lives are hectic to say the least, and we expect professional service providers to be as organized, strategic, and communicative as we are in our jobs. John and his team have exceeded our every expectation. They did all the heavy lifting throughout the selling process. They brought us potential solutions to choose from rather than problems. They really listened to us and gave intelligent counsel. Best of all they sold our home for more than asking through a great marketing effort that included low-cost repairs to the home, beautiful staging, and polished marketing materials. I will recommend John and team to everyone.
John Kostrey and his team did a tremendous job for me. I was an out-of-town seller and they made it very easy and helped me get a great price for my property. John stayed in contact with me for the 6 months it took to get the property ready for sale, he gave great advice and knew his stuff. I’d use him again in a blink.
I was a first time buyer in an area I didn’t know that well and was so incredibly lucky to find Sarah to represent me in buying my home. She was tireless in checking all aspects of the house and I really trusted her throughout the whole inspection process and as a result, I knew EXACTLY what I was getting which was all due to her. The seller was very difficult, slow to respond, and unbending in any way. When we got to the final hour, it was apparent they would do nothing to negotiate around the issues in the house. Sarah was incredible. I never felt the pressure to buy even though she had worked so extensively on the deal. I decided to go for it and I am so happy I did. This investment has turned out to be one of the best moves of my life for sure. I would highly recommend her to anyone looking to purchase their dream home. She is thorough, available, great to talk to, trustworthy, and cool as a cucumber when the going gets rough.
John has been wonderful for us. He helped us buy and sell our first home, and then with the purchase of our second home. He’s always there for us when we need any information or assisting with the process. He’s professional, efficient, knowledgeable, communicative, honest and friendly. He’s somehow made the chaotic home-buying process smooth and enjoyable. Not sure we could have done it without him, and looking forward to working with him again and again. Thanks John!!
John and Katharine are truly the best. They are smart, savvy, and totally on top of things. Plus they are top-notch negotiators! I have my total dream house now thanks to them. HIGHLY recommend.
John worked with me and my husband to buy our first home. As first time home buyers, we had a lot of questions and John was patient and took time to walk us through each detail and step in the process. John is very knowledgeable about the LA market and was able to give us good advice. His approach to negotiations and home purchasing is ver logical and methodological, which was appreciated.
John was always available to us and very responsive to our emails, calls, and texts. The few times John was not available to meet with us or join us for appointments, he coordinated with someone on his team (also equally capable and wonderful to work with) who would join us instead. We were well taken care of and always felt like a priority to John.
I would highly recommend working with John to buy or sell your next home.
John and Samantha were fantastic to work with! Not only did they have great knowledge of real estate in the area, helped me negotiate, and answered all my questions, they also are fun people to work with, having great personalities. They answered emails promptly and ensured the entire process went smoothly. I highly recommend Samantha and John!
We love the Kostrey Collection! My husband and I bought two properties and sold one with John and Katharine. We had SO many questions throughout the process but they were always so knowledgable, patient, and attentive. We feel very fortunate to have found reliable and trustworthy realtors who truly care about their clients
Katharine was amazing from the first steps of finding our house to all the way through to final close. Her caring attitude, attention to detail and knowledge of the business truly made the whole process a pleasure! I don’t know what we would have done without her. If you need someone who is truly going to be your advocate and get you the best deal possible than you are looking for Katharine. I wish I could give her 6 stars. We wouldn’t have our dream house without her!
Katharine is an extraordinary real estate professional, with deep knowledge of the business but also a keen understanding of her clients and their individual preferences. Working with her made the purchase of our home easier than I could have imagined, and the professionals that she brought in to facilitate the process — from mortgage bankers to house inspectors — were all first-rate. Katharine and her team are the best.
4/13/2015 Read More
Katharine helped me sell and buy a home in tandem. She was amazing, everything from her industry knowledge to her eye for design, when assisting with upgrades prior to the sale of my home. She takes everything she touches and executes it to the fullest. I would only use Katharine as my real estate agent from here on out. Thank you K for making what could be seen as difficult, to one of the easiest experiences ever!
Mr. Kostrey is an exceptional agent who is highly knowledgeable and always responsive. We ran into some very sticky issues both with the sale of our home and especially the purchase of a new home. He was there at every turn and twist. Mr. Kostrey was fabulous with negotiations with some difficult issues and he always fully informed us of every legality and consequence. We felt especially taken care of because Mr. Kostrey is both an attorney and a real estate agent.
John just helped us close on a house that we thought we would NEVER get. Time and again we felt hopeless but John hung in there and persevered and we got our house for a price we felt really happy with. He was supportive, positive and professional. Not only our realtor, but now our friend. 🙂
John Kostrey is a fantastic realtor and made our first home buying experience in Los Angeles an extremely smooth process. John always had our best interests at heart, we never felt pressured into making an offering, or rushing to buy a place. If it did not meet our needs, or he felt it was too expensive for the neighborhood, he was the first to remind us what we were looking for. The real estate market in Northeast Los Angeles, where we were predominantly looking, has been heating up over the last couple years. We put in a number of offers that we were outbid on, but John always kept things in perspective and never let us get down. We love the Eagle Rock home we ended up in, and can’t imagine having undergone the process without John’s help.
John is reliable, knowledgeable and highly intelligent. He also has the “it” factor along with an intuitive nature which is perfect for this line of work.
The fact that John is also a member of the State Bar of California speaks volumes for his ability to negotiate and analyze an account/client.
When he first came to my home to assess the marketability, he was correct to assess what had to be done and appeased my anxieties. Specifically, I wanted to change my bathroom, which would have been costly. Instead, he suggested that just a few things had to be changed to make it “sellable” and it worked!
We used John first for the purchase and years later for the sale of our home. He was great for both stages; very personable, knowledgable, and on top of his game. It was our first home and John patiently helped us navigate through not only relevant listings to look at but also all the paperwork/procedure that come along with it. Buying your first house can get a bit intimedating but John helped us through the entire process. We couldn’t have been happier with the home and the price we paid for it. Highly recommended
John was great to work with, always accessible, pleasant, and patient. He worked very hard on our behalf and did everything possible to enhance our property. He has sold two properties for our family and would certainly like to work with him again.
Sarah and John were an awesome team to help us buy our first home! Sarah tirelessly met us at countless properties all over Los Angeles, from Westchester to Highland Park, until we found our perfect nest in the up and coming neighborhood of Glassell Park. Her inspection referrals and advice were top notch, which ended up helping us negotiate the price down before closing. John’s referrals to contractors for renovations were diverse and thorough. He even connected us to a previous client, with a similar backyard to ours, to view the work of a contractor we wanted to work with. We were so impressed, we hired that contractor based on his craftsmanship. Sarah has a ton of experience renovating her own home, and she has been a great resource every step of the way. I was also very impressed how John stayed on top of our lender in the 11th hour to make sure everything went through in a timely manner without any unnecessary hold ups. As first time home buyers, my husband and I could not be happier with the expertise and service we have received from The Kostrey Collection!
Katherine was awesome – she found me places to look at that were all suitable- which means none of my time was wasted on showings. When it came time to negotiate, she got me more than I expected by asking for things to be taken care of that I would not even had considered. Also…she’s fun and personable and that makes the whole process a LOT better! Would definitely recommend to anyone.
Katharine Deering found my husband and I a house to rent when we were expecting our first child in 2012. She was hands down the best agent we have ever worked with and my husband and I have both bought and sold property with other agents before her.
What’s great about Katharine is she 100% listens to and understands your needs and will do anything and everything in her power to make sure you get the perfect place for you. She’s thoughtful and precise in her negotiating, will always fight for you, but knows when to hold back so as not to put a deal in jeopardy. She is happy to show you one home or one hundred, and will never complain about getting too many calls or emails. She is a pleasure to go to showings with. She has a positive attitude about the homes she shows but never tries to put lipstick on a pig.
All in all Katharine is an A+ agent who is nothing but a pleasure to work with!
John is absolutely amazing to work with. He is patient and persistent and he really knows his stuff. He’s very thorough with everything decision. My husband and I had been looking over a year for a new home and John was always ready and able to visit homes almost every weekend till we found exactly what we wanted. It’s been a little over 2 years + 2 additions to the family since then but, we are still very happy with our home and feel it was the best investment we’ve made.
John was a wonderful agent. He was very responsive, understanding, and patient. Further, he always had our best interests at heart. My husband and I were so pleased that we plan to recommend him to all our friends and family members.
John helped us through our very first home purchase. We brought him on when we knew the area in which we wanted to live, and contacted him every time we went to make an offer. During the negotiation and escrow process, John was remarkably knowledgable and understanding. He also was a fantastic advocate. We’ve already recommended him to a couple of friends who are first-time home buyers. I can’t say enough nice things about him.