Michael and Jill did an excellent job representing us in the sale of our home. They priced it right, marketed it well, and sold it in two days with the help of their great office support team. One note, if you have any work to do on your home before you sell, go with your own  handyperson(s) and cleaners. Overall, we would highly recommend the Cole and Riese Team!

Susan S | MAY 2021

When we decided to sell a home in Almaden in January 2021, we interviewed three real estate agencies. We chose Cole and Riese because it felt like they understood exactly what was happening in our area at the time, and would help us price it properly and sell it quickly.

During the sales process, they made four significant recommendations, all of which turned out to be correct. One was to give the tenants money to move out three months before their lease expired, which put the home on the market in mid-February. Most importantly, they recommended the perfect price that encouraged lots of buyers to make appointments and visit starting within hours of the house appearing on MLS and Zillow. Within five days we accepted an offer significantly over the asking price, with no contingencies. 

Jill and Michael have an experienced team that made the whole process easy. We plan to use them again to sell our residence later this year.

Maribath B | MAY 2021

We've known Jill and Michael from the local mountain monthly news for years.  We also did a lot of research and interviewed with a few companies before we called Jill.  We then met Michael and Jill in person and decided to hire them.

We had our house sold in less than four days with the best price that we had targeted it.  Jill's and Michael's expertise and their negotiation skills are what make them a very special team.  They have good connections with contractors who touch up and clean your house to a good standard so that it can be marketed and sold for the best possible price.

Alongside with Jill and Michael are their assistants to help with the administrative paperworks.  Everyone is professional, courteous, and very communicative.  We really have no complaints about anything or anyone in the team.  

We're truly happy that we chose this team over many others.  Moving out and selling a house is certainly stressful but having a professional team handles it well and handles it professionally can make a big difference.  We highly recommend Jill and Michael and won't hesitate to hire them again if we need to purchase or sell a property in the future.

Sabrina P | MAY 2021

Michael and Jill helped us to sell our mountain home.  Perhaps the most important thing to know if you're reading this review is that we had multiple showings before the property hit the market, an offer above asking price on the first day on market, and multiple other interested parties in waiting.  And this was 1) a unique home with a specific type of buyer, and 2) a challenging market, mid-COVID and in the late summer/early Fall-- READ: not the easiest time to sell.  At the end of the day, this is what counts, and Michael and Jill delivered. This was our second time having the home on the market this year, and we had interviewed several agents this time, looking for someone with the chops to sell a unique property.  (not a "sit and wait" approach)  The things that set Michael and Jill apart were: * They do their research, but they also know the market well and understand buyer segmentation and psychology.  When I asked them about pricing and approach, there was no fluff or pontificating about the broader state of things.  They had specific input and recommendations, examples, and scenarios.  They were honest and candid about the value and what work needed to be done, and they didn't try to artificially under-price for a faster sale, or over-price to "test the market." (they nailed the pricing)  It was a very objective discussion about trade-offs, goals, and specific actions they would take to attract the right buyers and give them a delightful experience when they visited the home. * They were super responsive to us and to potential buyers/agents, and they got things done on time and under budget.  It sounds obvious, but not all agents are on top of the details, and Michael and Jill nailed it. * They were easy to work with.  They worked with us before we moved, and once we left the home, we handed them the keys, and they managed the rest.  Staging, pictures, and they even helped us manage the execution of some of the work we needed done.  (we used Realvitalize, btw, which was AWESOME) * They understand marketing in this day and age.  They get that it's not "put it on MLS and they will come."  (at least not for a unique home like ours during an odd market)  You have to find the buyers where they are, make the most of the online tools, and roll up your sleeves on your own marketing.  Michael and Jill were all over this. * They have a unique appreciation for special homes with special buyers.  They know mountain properties well, and they also just have a good eye for the features that attract buyers to unique homes in general.  They are able to emphasize those features in the photos, marketing, staging, and they do a great job "pitching" potential buyers on the home's features without coming across as salesy.  They genuinely appreciate and love these homes (just as we do), and that comes across to the buyers. * They have a strong network of buyers, both within the Bay Area and outside, and they leverage their tools to reach beyond.   I could go on, but the bottom line is that Michael and Jill are great.  They are smart, clueful, and they work hard.  They're not afraid to roll up their sleeves, and they deliver.  These are characteristics I always value, but they're particularly important in a more challenging market.   I highly recommend you reach out to Michael and Jill if you're considering a buy or sell! 

Kim S | OCTOBER 2020


Mike and Jill were amazing in helping our family to navigate a very complicated and expedited home purchase as well as home sale simultaneously. Their knowledge, responsiveness, and customer base was great, as was their network/contacts to help facilitate closing and funding quickly. Would definitely recommend them to anyone.

Peter M | APRIL 2020

Jill and Michael sold our home in the Santa Cruz Mountains about 7 miles south of Los Gatos. They were very professional from the beginning and throughout the process. The online pictures were stunning. They brought in a stager to set-up the house to look it’s best. They were available early in the morning and into the evening for any questions that came up and brought in high quality people to do the inspections. The property was somewhat unique being a custom house in the mountains and we started selling at the end of summer in a market that was declining in price. However, despite these handicaps we had 3 offers at the end of 5 months and closed in 45 days. They have a very pleasant support team and have an extensive network of high-quality professionals, if you need help prepping your house for a sale. I’ve bought and sold 10 properties working with many realtors and can confidently say that Jill and Michael are certainly among the best you will find.

Marty M | MARCH 2020

Excellent team,solid local knowledge...team were strong and Allyson was just incredibly responsive and helpful....our sale was a little tricky as we were out of the country and the house needed a couple of repairs but the team took care of it all which was fantastic....the photos and staging were just fantastic.

Margaret K | MARCH 2020

Absolutely loved to work with Jill and Michael since the process for me was from remote location. I have entrusted everything to them. The customer base they have is very important, and skill team supporting them critical to a smooth process. Thank you.

Beata B | MARCH 2020

These guys know what they're doing. I had dealt with another realtor before I made the change to Cole and Riese hence I could appreciate the differences between realtors. The experience was night and day. I wasn't sure I wanted to move out anymore after they completed their staging. Drone  shots, great photos, using Internet advertise to drive traffic. Super fast responses whenever I had inquiries. They even helped post sale with a bunch of items to prepare the house for final buyer transfer. I'd easily recommend them to others.

Ben F | MAY 2019


Jill and Mike were a pleasure to work with. They are highly responsive and work diligently to meet your home search needs. We really appreciated their communicative and strategized approach. We ended up with our dream home and have them to thank!

Paige & Bobby S | SEPTEMBER 26, 2019

Jill and Michael are the best real estate agents we have ever worked with. They took care of everything for us, from inspections, repairing, cleaning, moving, staging to listing and closing, all done perfectly and went smoothly. We enjoyed working with them a lot!

Yifeng G | SEPTEMBER 25, 2019

Jill and Michael helped me buy and sell a home. They have extensive knowledge and experience of the area and that was crucial. We couldn't have done this without them!!

Kate E | AUGUST 4, 2019

Jill and Mike made the sale of our home of 42 years as easy as possible, holding our hands all the way. They were attentive and very professional while making us feel comfortable with the whole process. Thanks guys!

Sandy S | JULY 1, 2019

These guys know what they're doing. I had dealt with another realtor before I made the change to Cole and Riese hence I could appreciate the differences between realtors. The experience was night and day. I wasn't sure I wanted to move out anymore after they completed their staging. Drone
  shots, great photos, using Internet advertise to drive traffic. Super fast responses whenever I had inquiries. They even helped post sale with a bunch of items to prepare the house for final buyer transfer. I'd easily recommend them to others.

Ben F | MAY 6, 2019

As a San Francisco broker I contacted Michael Riese, a local South Bay broker to help my Washington State cousin sell her inherited Campbell home. Having not seen the property for many years I was hopeful it was not beneath the standards of property normally handled by Michael.  He did a splendid job in both staging, pricing and marketing the home and taking my cousin by the hand and bravely guiding her through the trials and tribulations of California real estate. He merits consideration of anyone, principal or referring broker, wanting personal and professional South Bay real estate expertise.

Jerry S | JULY 6, 2017

We have both bought and sold with Jill Cole.  To say that she is “the best” is, in all honesty, an understatement.  Both moves were complicated circumstances, one to an out of state location, and both with lots of little children involved.  Jill was patient, focused on our needs and always available.  When we purchased our mountain home, it was during a difficult buyer’s market and she looked at probably 50 homes with us.  I would despair and want to make bids on homes that were not quite “right” for us, she would gently, but clearly, explain why we shouldn’t purchase the home, clearly laying out the pros and cons of each property, doing extensive research on the area and the commute for my husband.

Jill is not simply trying to sell a home, she is looking out for the best interests of her customers.  She truly cares about each family’s unique circumstances and wants the best for them.  She is always professional, even in trying circumstances where the other agent might be difficult.  She wants you to find your “home”, not just a ”house.” 

It is with a grateful heart that we wholeheartedly recommend Jill Cole.  You could not be in more capable and professional hands.

Bridget F & Aaron L - JULY 2017

Michael worked with us for two years and helped us navigate bidding on a total of three homes in a competitive neighborhood. We ended up in our dream home without over bidding! Michael was patient with us, aggressively pursued the selling agent to get as much information as we could, while cautioning us about over bidding or getting desperate. Thanks so much Michael!!!

Jay W | JUNE 26, 2017

It is our immense pleasure to recommend Jill Cole as a real estate agent for any individual or family searching for the ideal home for their unique situation or selling their current home. Jill had an initial meeting with us and took diligent notes regarding our specific needs as well as our budgetary limitations. She is highly talented technologically and made excellent use of the relevant search engines and real estate databases to sell our home as quickly as possible. She did not waste our time with buyers that were out of their price range or not in line with our needs.

A master with the contract negotiations, Jill came up with a deal that was great for us and made both parties happy as well. We found Jill to be a highly attentive agent, almost as if we were her only customers, although we know that was not the case. She returned all phone calls and emails the same day. We never felt neglected or unimportant. She is also highly personable with an engaging personality. Jill was honest about some minor changes that we needed to make to attract buyers quickly, and her advice worked like a charm.

We are pleased to recommend Jill Cole to anyone looking to buy or sell a home. She is hands down the best in the business in our area."

Greg & Tanya V, 2016

Buying and selling a home can be a stressful experience, but Michael made it relatively easy. He is professional, courteous, and responsive. We first met Michael when we were looking at homes a few years ago. At the time we were trying to find a home we both liked and which fit our budget - we  were “kicking the tires”. Michael provided professional and insightful advice on the neighborhoods we liked, and the homes in those neighborhoods. He was very patient while we narrowed our search. When we found the house we liked he helped us through the process of buying. We also sold our existing home through Michael. He provided a great market analysis. We were able to sell our home in about a week, for the terms we wanted, above our asking price and exceeding our expectations. Timing is everything and Michael’s knowledge of the market and current market trends, was a financial benefit both buying and selling.

Jeremy W. | AUGUST 15, 2015

Kelsey worked with our daughter & son-in-law as they navigated the CA housing market after having relocated across country from OH less than a year ago.  Since we were partners in the purchase all info had to be processed through us, although we live in Ohio.  This made things quite a bit more hectic for Kelsey since she had to deal with our daughter & her husband, as well as "the out-of-state parents".  Dealing with the 3-hour time difference was never a problem for Kelsey and when she made an appointment to call us at a certain time, she was always extremely prompt.  She took care of absolutely everything for our daughter and definitely negotiated them through all the in's & out's of multiple offers, CA home purchasing, many inspections, and numerous details as the process progressed into a final sale.  When the sale was complete I counted over 100 emails back and forth and each time Kelsey had taken the time and energy to communicate every aspect of the process with professionalism.  Her expertise was greatly appreciated by our entire family!

Joy H. | NOVEMBER 14, 2015

Michael did an excellent job helping my family find a home.  Throughout our long house search, he was patient, honest, and was always looking out for our best interests.  We finally found a home that we love and couldn't be happier.  We would most certainly work with him again and recommend him to anyone looking for their next home!

Nanthan M. | MAY 8, 2014

The professional realtor with a process & plan...that works.

Could not recommend Michael highly enough if you are looking for a professional real estate agent (not may I would consider professional) who has a process and plan that works. Our neighbors tried for over a year unscuccessfully to sell there property. After a sign went up with Michael, it sold before it hit the market. Obviously our neighbors refered Michael to us.   We tried other agents that lacked ability to "sell a property" simply listing our property for a price which they constantly tried to bring down. Michael had another approach, attention to detail, and a individual plan on how to market our property. Within a short amount of time we had multiple offers, while prior agents could not generate a single offer after 6 months.

Simply put, a Realtor with a plan that get results.

Greg M. | FEBRUARY 5, 2014 

Kelsey assisted my daughter buy a home in San Jose and provided outstanding service.  She did a terrific job helping us to negotiate a deal during the early 2013 timeframe, when it was a seller's market and buyers were trying to outbid each other for scarce inventory.  Although we tended to be picky and were looking for a starter home for my daughter in a price range that was very competitive, she was extremely patient and willing to meet our requirements.  During the offer process, she often went the extra mile and would initiate communication with the seller's realtor to strengthen our bid.  She worked tirelessly and would often answer our emails on weekends and late at night.  Kelsey is a charming and hardworking realtor, a go getter that I would highly recommend to anyone looking for an outstanding experience in buying a home.

Stephen C. | JANUARY 1, 2014

Michael has this amazing ability to cut through the details and zoom in to the core issues. During the walkthrough he noticed something that turned out to be a symptom of a serious structural issue. One year later, while remodeling, I realized how important this was!

As my husband kept pointing out, Michael is a guy who will give you RESULTS, not smooth talk.

Elizabeth K. | AUGUST 7, 2013

In this current crazy Bay Area real estate market, there are many real estate brokers who don't bother with client service and care because often they don't have to. Michael Riese is not that type of broker. Simply put, working with Michael was an outstanding experience. We searched to purchase a home for over three years (poor guy!), and within that time, our search parameters changed more than once, yet his commitment to us never wavered. We admired his creativity and readiness to try unconventional offer ideas, and appreciated that he would always establish an early dialogue with the selling agent in an effort to glean any information to help our offer stand out. He was professional and personable, extremely knowledgeable about current market conditions and pricing, always available to answer any questions that arose, and an all-around good guy.

Chris G. | AUGUST 12, 2015 

I have used Mike several times as a realtor. He has done both commercial and residential sales for me. I was incredibly pleased with his services. He was very good about keeping me informed of any progress made on the deal and was professional throughout. I would not hesitate to use him again  or recommend him to a friend.

I have worked with other agents in other markets, and he makes them look bad, because they don't have their act together nearly as much as Mike.


My husband decided to work with Michael because he was impressed by his knowledge of the market, he had figures and trends on his fingertips!

We used the internet extensively in our house search. But working with Michael made us realize how much value a top caliber realtor can add.  Properties can look terrific online, but there are things you just cannot assess through the internet. For example : a) Knowledge of a neighborhood, the social fabric, the future potential. b) Off market opportunities. c) Knowledge of seller motivation. d) Knowledge of properties which are good deals.

What made Michael a cut above the rest? a) Ability to assess a property. Smooth talking realtors tend to gloss over defects, just to get a deal. But Michael helped us to realize that some properties require too much fixing. In one case we decided not to make an offer, in another we didn't get into a bidding war. He was also able to point out the upside and future potential of houses that DIDN’T look good. b) Thinks outside the box, comes up with creative solutions to work around difficult problems. c) Adapts to buyers' needs, did not try to push us to his way of thinking. d) Superb negotiating skills. e) Quick and responsive - moves with lightning speed. f) Excellent network and support team. g) Goes the extra mile.

We finally bought a house which has more than we were looking for - and my husband says his instincts were right!


Michael is the most responsive realtor I have ever worked with, and I would highly recommend him to anyone looking to buy or sell a house.

I met Michael at an open house for one of his listings. Although that one was not the property for me, Michael's professionalism and attention to what  I was looking for in particular, led me to give him my number. 

The item that impresses me the most about Michael is his outstanding responsiveness. I routinely sent him all sorts of crazy questions or requests and without fail; Michael would get back to me almost immediately. 

I ultimately purchased a very usual property with his help and it closed while I was out of town. Michael handled everything for me, and even after the sale has continued to be there for follow up and assistance. He has great connections and referrals to all sorts of areas for fix up and has continued to help me on this property. He didn't just make the sale and then disappear. 

I almost never write referrals, and am know to be quite demanding of what I expect in a service provider. Michael is far exceeded my high expectations and I sets a new bar on what people can expect from service.

Jess P. | AUGUST 27, 2012

Michael Riese is radically professional, strategic, and sophisticated in identifying creative options and finding optimal solutions. Michael made what could have been a chaotic, even traumatic, time for us as smooth and even an enjoyable experience. I appreciate having met and worked with Michael. He completely altered my previously not so wonderful perspective on the profession!

Tom M. | DECEMBER 18, 2012

Michael is an agent that I am proud tell you about.  Very few times you meet someone as exceptional at a craft, his being real estate, as Michael Riese. He is immaculate with his paperwork, responsive, communicative, very knowledgeable about trends in the real estate industry, and all business. At the same time, he is very approachable, friendly and genuine. We are proud to be his chosen closing team.

Carmel D. | APRIL 8, 2011

Our dream home had been found. The only catch, sell our current home first. We enlisted the help of Michael Riese, and within 5 days he had listed, toured, and sold our home in Los Gatos for above the asking price! He then helped us with the purchase of our new home. Michael consistently showed his skill and expertise in the real estate field, as well as being a great golfer and really nice guy. I would recommend Michael to anyone looking to buy or sell a home and would not hesitate to use him in any further real estate ventures.

Shelly S. | APRIL 14, 2011

Working with Michael was a great choice for my home search.  He helped with sorting through a wide range of possibilities and trade-offs, and was patient enough to listen to sometimes conflicting requirements and preferences.  I'm happy with the place I purchased, but even happier when I drive by the ones I didn't purchase.  It took some time, but the pace of the search allowed me to learn what was most important.

Even after the close, Michael has been great at periodically "checking in" and even helping to sort out some of the minor issues that invariably come up with moving to a new home and a new neighborhood.  His knowledge of the area and his ongoing advice have been really helpful.

David B. | JULY 16, 2011

Michael is an outstanding realtor and I would highly recommend him to anyone looking to buy a house.  

I met Michael at an openhouse for one of his listings.  Although that was not the property for me, Michael's resonsiveness and attention to what I was looking in particular was led me to give him my number. 

What impresses me the most about Michael is his outstanding responsiveness.  I routinely sent him all sorts of crazy questions or requests and without fail, Michael would get back to me almost immediately.  

I ultimately purchased a very usual property with his help and it closed while I was out of town.  Michael handled everything for me, and even after the sale  has continue to be there for follow up and assistance.  He has great resources  and referals to all sorts of areas for fix up and has continued to help me on this property.  He didn't just make the sale and then disappear.  

The most responsive realtor I have ever met.

Natalie J. | AUGUST 3, 2011

You cannot afford to use any Real Estate Broker other than Michael.  Unlike many Realtors, Michael's professional background is real estate and he uses his experience in Land Development, Residential Real Estate, and Law to negotiate the best deals for his clients. Michael knows the market and inventory and excels in contract negotiation.  In addition to buying and selling properties, Michael has been a resource to clients for small land development/income properties and home remodeling.  I have and continue to refer Michael to friends and colleagues.

Jenn V. | DECEMBER 8, 2010

I recently used Mike to sell a house in San Jose.  I was incredibly pleased with his services.  He was very good about keeping me informed of any progress made on the deal and was professional throughout.  I would not hesitate to use him again or recommend him to a friend.

Christina D. | DECEMBER 8, 2010