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About Mary Pope-Handy

About Mary Pope-Handy: top Realtor in Silicon Valley, real estate expert in Los Gatos, Saratoga & San Jose

About Mary Pope-Handy, Silicon Valley Realtor with Sereno Group

Thank you for visiting my “About Mary Pope-Handy” profile page! Here you can read about my background, education, experience, professional designations and certifications, and areas of concentration in my real estate practice.

Quick summary of my bio – details are below it:

  • Selling homes full time since 1993
  • Los Gatos real estate agent – selling homes in many different neighborhoods and price ranges, working with home buyers and home sellers (please also see my Live in Los Gatos blog –
  • Selling real estate throughout San Jose, Saratoga, Campbell and all over Santa Clara County and occasionally beyond – a true Silicon Valley Realtor who knows the area only like a local could!
  • Top 5% since the early years, have won many awards for production but also for service, for my real estate writing, etc.
  • Education junkie – lots of extra classes, lots of designations, lots of negotiation courses
  • Co-author of a book on home selling
  • Prolific real estate blogger, nationally known in this field – my writing brings in a lot of business each year.  Most of my clients come to me either as repeat clients, referrals from past clients, or my blog readers.
  • Best compliment from a new client: “were you a statistics major?”  (See answer below.)  I do a lot with realty stats and trends in my blogs.
  •  My target audience are highly educated people who want good information so that they can make informed decisions, not a “sales job”. I often work with engineers (I married one!), lawyers (half my family is in law), medical doctors, professors, and others who like to dig deep with the data. That said, I work with anyone who is nice, honest, serious about buying or selling, and committed to working with me. You’ll see “helping nice folks to buy and sell homes in Silicon Valley” on most of my sites. It matters to me.
  • I enjoy sharing what I learn and am often asked to speak to real estate groups. Public speaking is a lot of fun and if I can help to “raise the bar”, so much the better.
  • I have a BA in Religious Studies and an MA in Systematic Theology. My first career was teaching religion in Catholic high schools, which I loved. I’ve also done youth ministry, grief work with children, hospital chaplaincy, and a wide assortment of other related volunteer work. Loved all of it. The ethics come in handy.
  • Happily married to my best friend, Jim Handy, since the summer of 1985. We have two adult children and some hearty fish (we had black labs for years and loved them, but currently have a dog-free home).

Details:  Mary Pope-Handy’s Real Estate Sales Experience in Silicon Valley and the San Jose, Los Gatos & Saratoga Areas

Mary Pope-Handy in Chicago Walnut Room I am a full-time, second generation REALTOR® since early 1993. I’m in the top 5% or better for many years.

I’m an area native and my local knowledge is extensive. I sell real estate in all of Santa Clara County and Silicon Valley with an emphasis on Los Gatos, Monte Sereno, Saratoga, Almaden Valley, Campbell, and several districts within the City of San Jose, especially Cambrian Park, Almaden Valley and Willow Glen. (The “west valley” is my primary focus.)

Additionally, I have assisted buyers and sellers all over San Jose and the Santa Clara Valley generally (the Vendome area, Japantown, the Rosegarden, Evergreen, Milpitas, Santa Clara, Santa Teresa, South San Jose, Sunnyvale, etc.). I am familiar with the individual cities and towns in Silicon Valley and the districts and neighborhoods in San Jose too. In many cases, I am familiar with the work of local builders as well. though  Once in awhile I do venture farther: I have sold in Scotts Valley, Redwood Shores, Fremont, Livermore, etc. as well

Types of residential real estate sold:

My experience is in selling all types of residential real estate: condos, townhomes, PUDs, zero lot line or patio homes, duplexes, single family homes, and estate properties or luxury homes. I have sold some new homes but mostly do resale transactions.  (I do not sell mobile homes, apartment buildings, or raw land.)

Videos and blogs:

Mary Pope-Handy YouTube ChannellIf you enjoy videos, please visit my YouTube channel and see some of my narrated video tours of neighborhoods in Los Gatos, Saratoga, San Jose etc., or hear me discuss real estate issues today:





If you’d like to browse my blogs to read up on my market commentary, area information and tips for buyers and sellers, I invite you to do so.  Here’s a link to a page describing all of my blogs, or just the short version, see below:

About Mary Pope-Handy’s Award winning blogs:   Live in Los Gatos Blog

Santa Clara County realty  Valley of Heart’s Delight blog

Silicon Valley Relocation:

This same site – Silicon Valley real estate:

Real estate education:

An education junkie, I have an ongoing and extensive real state education – including 8 college level courses: finance, appraisal, real estate law, real estate practice, real estate economics, real estate brokerage, real estate principals, and property management. I take non-required coursework to stay on the cutting edge, including courses on marketing, feng shui, negotiation, contracts, and much more. Recently I  completed a negotiation class within the Stanford Innovation and Entrepreneurship Certificate program.

I hold many designations and certifications, all of which required extra training and classes. Special training & membership includes the following:

Luxury real estate training (in house)

CRS Designation – Certified Residential Specialist– National Association of Realtors (NAR) designation

ABR Designation – Accredited Buyer’s Representative – National Association of Realtors (NAR) designation

E-Pro Certification – Internet Marketing Specialist – National Association of Realtors (NAR) certification

SRES Designation – Seniors Real Estate Specialist – National Association of Realtors (NAR) designation

ASP Designation – Accredited Staging® Professional – Non-NAR

CNHS Designation – Certified New Home Specialist – Non-NAR

ACRE Designation – Accredited Consultant in Real Estate – Non-NAR

CDPE – Certified Distressed Property Expert – Non-NAR.  Did this during the downturn, not something used much now.

CIPS – Certified International Property Specialist (2012)  – – National Association of Realtors (NAR) designation
Also –  served as a member of my board’s Global Business Council as part of my commitment to working with clients and Realtors from all over the world (2013-2015)

CNE – Certified Negotiation Expert – not a NAR designation (2013)

Negotiation: How to Get (More of) What You Want (XINE260) course – Stanford Innovation and Entrepreneurship Certificate program (2015)

Additionally, I co-authored a book, “How To Get The Best Deal When Selling Your Home In Silicon Valley” (Dec 2004). It has been very well received and is now available in libraries and some stores. It would be my pleasure to give you a copy when we meet for our first appointment.



About Mary Pope-Handy’s Awards:

I have received many awards for production and service in realty sales here in Santa Clara County, and have been acknowledged as a top Realtor many times. Sales and service awards include:

Mary Pope-Handy named Mercury News Best real estate agent in Silicon Valley 2011, runner up in 2021

Mary Pope-Handy named Mercury News Best real estate agent in Silicon Valley 2011 and runner up in 2021.

  • 1996 All Star Award
  • 1996 Senior Marketing Consultant Designation
  • 1999 “Master’s Circle” Award
  • 2000 “Silver Circle” Award (top 10%)
  • 2002 “Gold Circle” Award (top 5%)
  • 2003 “Executive Circle” Award (top 10%)
  • 2006 “Executive Circle” Award (top 10%)
  • Aug 1, 2007: Winner of the Project Blogger Contest, sponsored by Inman News and Active Rain (together with Frances Flynn Thorsen) – Live in Los Gatos blog.
  • 2007 – Top 5%
  • 2008 – Top 10%
  • 2009 – Named in prestigious Sellsius list of “Top 12 Women Real Estate Bloggers 2009”
  • 2009 – appx Top 5% (5.29% to be precise!)
  • 2010 – Winner of the Sereno Group “Next Thing” Idea Contest (an idea contest for what Sereno should implement next to continue to improve as a company)
  • 2010  – appx Top 5% – 10 %
  • 2011  – appx Top 5%
  • 2011 – Named as “best real estate agent in Silicon Valley” in the San Jose Mercury News’ annual list “Best of Silicon Valley 2011
  • 2011 – named to a list of nominees as “real estate’s most influential” for a voting by Inman News. (It’s a great honor to be on this list alone, together with exceptionally impressive real estate people from every aspect of the business: professional realty coaches, CEOs, founders of brokerages, educators & trainers, and many more.)
  • 2012  (mid year) – appx Top 3-4%
  • January 2013: ranking in the top 1% for real estate sales in Santa Clara County for the last year!
  • 2014 – top 5%
  • 2015 – top 5%
  • 2016 – top 3%
  • 2017 – top 4%
  • 2018 – top 5%

About Mary Pope-Handy: Speaker, Trainer, Panelist on Social Media, Web Marketing and Blogging 

As a former high school teacher (and one-time volunteer DJ at college), I enjoy public speaking and do my best to make my presentations fun and memorable. Here’s a list of some of the times and occasions where I have done real estate training, presenting, speaking, or other public sharing (plus a couple of milestone recognitions of my blogging).

  • 2003 to 2007 – informal presentations at office meetings on the history of Los Gatos
  • 2005 & 2006 – guest speaker at West Valley College course on “Real Estate Principals” – my topic was disclosures
  • 2006 – led a group training for about 2-3 months on blogging & web marketing at my Intero office in Los Gatos (weekly)
  • 2007 – Taught a companywide class on blogging & web marketing to agents at Intero Real Estate
  • 2007 – Winner of the Project Blogger Contest, sponsored by Inman News and Active Rain (together with Frances Flynn Thorsen).
  • 2008 – panelist at Silicon Valley Association of Realtors (SILVAR) breakfast meeting – topic: blogging & social media
  • 2008 – panelist at Inman Connect conference on successful blogging strategies
  • 2009 – panelist at Realty World Convention, topic, blogging & social media
  • 2009 – named in Sellsius Real Estate Blog’s prestigious list of top 12 Women Real Estate Bloggers 2009
  • 2009 – Speaker at Santa Clara University’s MBA program career seminar day, discussing careers in real estate
  • 2010 – panelist at the Silicon Valley Association of Realtors(SILVAR) Los Gatos – Saratoga Panel of Top Producers (one of 4, my area of expertise being web marketing, social media)
  • 2011 – one of two presenters at Silicon Valley Association of Realtors (SILVAR)  Los Altos – Mountain View board breakfast meeting on social media and blogging.
  • 2011 – panelist for the California Association of Realtors Annual EXPO & Conference on session covering blogging and social media
  • 2012 – panelist for the Silicon Valley Association of Realtors(SILVAR) Los Gatos – Saratoga board’s breakfast meeting on business planning.
  • 2012 – October – spoke at the Central Oregon Association of Realtors conference Wired’N at Bend, OR on real estate blogging and also on working with the best clients.
  • 2013 – September – spoke at the Meetup group, San Jose Social Media, on the topic of blogging for business. (Read the description & reviews of my presentation here: )
  • 2014 – invited to speak at Get Wired ‘N for the Buffalo Niagara Association of Realtors on Twitter and blogging – flew out, but an untimely blizzard caused the event to be cancelled! Later shared the information with my company, Sereno Group.
  • 2015 – spoke at a Women’s Council of Realtors event at Santana Row, “Tech Talks”

About Mary Pope-Handy’s Real estate blog awards:


2016: Personal Income's list of top 25 real estate blogs
2016: Personal Income’s list of top 25 real estate blogs.


Coastal OC's Best real estate blog award 2016
2016: Coastal Group OC’s list of best Realtor blogs
Top 12 Women Real Estate Bloggers - Sellsius 2009
2009: Sellsius list of top
12 women real estate bloggers

Mary Pope-Handy Joeann Fossland and Frances Flynn Thorsen with Project Blogger Award 20072007: Mary Pope-Handy and Frances Flynn Thorsen win the Project Blogger Contest for Mary’s Live in Los Gatos blog. The contest was sponsored by Active Rain and Inman News.


About Mary Pope-Handy – Personal Information

  • Born at O’Connor Hospital in San Jose and raised in Santa Clara and Saratoga – Silicon Valley native.
  • Mother, Pat Pope, was a Realtor here in Santa Clara County.  Father, John Pope, was an attorney in private practice in San Jose. Of my siblings is a college professor and ther other is a research attorney.
  • Saratoga High School, 1977 (photo editor of school newspaper that year)
  • Gonzaga University, BA, Religious Studies, 1981 (Graduated Cum Laude)
  • Gonzaga-in-Florence, Italy, 1979-1980 –  was fluent, can speak some simple Italian now, but am rusty.
  • Graduate Theological Union/Jesuit School of Theology at Berkeley, MA, Systematic Theology, 1986

Have lived most of my life in the Santa Clara Valley (Santa Clara, Saratoga, Sunnyvale, San Jose’s Cambrian Park District, and since 1999, our home has been in Los Gatos), but also spent a year in Berkeley and another in Fremont (for grad school) and together with my husband, Jim Handy, lived in Santa Cruz for three years and am very familiar with Santa Cruz County as well.

We bought our first house in 1989 (during a correcting market) when we began our family. It was in Cambrian Park, and we paid 10.25% interest with two points to get that loan with 20% down! We fixed it up and sold it ten years later for a nice profit, and then purchased our current home, which is in the Belwood of Los Gatos neighborhood.

Jim and I have two grown children, both graduates of Loyola Marymount University in Los Angeles. When the kids were growing up, we had a delightful array of pets. In particular, we were graced by two black labs, Lancer (a Guide Dog for the Blind “second career dog” when the children were small) and Bella (a rescue dog who lived to a very extreme old age, and left us in November 2015).

Changing paths in the early 90s

I loved my work in the areas of religious education and ministry prior to having my two children and spending a few years at home with them. Living in Silicon Valley, though, is quite expensive – so in 1993, I changed careers to better provide for my family and followed my mother into Real Estate. My mom had been a REALTOR® in Santa Clara County for 40 years, so I grew up with it…. It was a natural fit for both my interest in helping others and the knowledge I’d gained from my mother over the years.

Volunteer work has always been important to me and I have used my education and background in theology and religious education in related volunteer activities as time has allowed in the past. At recent years time, assisting some elderly relatives in my free time has been taking precedence though. Since I have spent so much time with seniors, a few years ago earned the related real estate designation: The Seniors Real Estate Specialist (SRES).We are parishoners at St. Mary of the Immaculate Conception Catholic Church in Los Gatos (although mostly attend Mass at the Mission Church at Santa Clara University).

Jim and I have two kids, now grown, and happily both live in California.

When not busy with work, family, or volunteer efforts, I am often found enjoying walks in my Los Gatos neighborhood, reading, corresponding with friends & relatives, taking photos of local scenery or brushing up on the Italian language. Travel is my passion, and it’s great to speak the language when we can go to Italy.

My family and I are also big Patriots fans – the team is far away, but the quarterback is my second cousin!

I am thankful that Jim, my husband, and our children are enthusiastic about my volunteer and real estate work. These three are my biggest cheerleaders and the reason I want to succeed at everything I do.

About Mary Pope-Handy, Realtor:
Professional Real Estate Memberships

I am a member of

  • The Silicon Valley Association of REALTORS® (and the in the past was also part of the SILVAR Global Business Council)
  • The California Association of REALTORS®
  • The National Association of REALTORS®
  • Also I am a member in the Council of Residential Specialists (the group for the CRS Designation, see above as well as a member of the other trade organizations in which I am a designation holder (working with seniors, buyers, staging homes, internet marketing, etc). Ethics are highly valued and strictly upheld by these organizations. Ongoing education is encouraged and required to keep members apprised of real estate related legislation, realty marketing venues, and anything that may assist us in getting our clients the best price and terms and avoiding any legal pitfalls.

About Mary Pope-Handy’s Professional Philosophy
for Buyers & Sellers of Silicon Valley Real Estate 

I find that clients here in Silicon Valley are highly sophisticated, and above all they need detailed information in order to make good choices in buying or selling homes. I work to educate and guide my clients to making the choices that will enable them to benefit the most from the market and their own situation.

Dedicated to the highest level of professionalism, I stay current on everything affecting buying and selling homes here – disclosure issues, Silicon Valley market conditions, ever-changing contracts, etc. I listen to my clients and am responsive and accessible. I use cutting-edge technology to both stay in touch better and to give my clients the edge by having more information. My hard work, dedication and high-tech approach compliment the soft touch manner I take. I am not pushy and do not use a high-pressure approach to sales; this is simply a matter of treating others the way I myself want to be treated. (I am assertive on my clients’ behalf, though!) My clients refer me frequently, as they recognize the benefit of working with someone knowledgeable, experienced and dedicated, but most of all who puts their best interests first.

Thank you for visiting my profile page to learn more about me and the way I work. Please send me an email or give me a call if you’d like to chat about your real estate needs, whether you are here in the South Bay now or whether you are considering relocating to this wonderful area, once called “The Valley of Heart’s Delight”. Additionally, I can help you find a great agent in many other parts of the country as well since I network with many of them at real estate conventions, blogging events, training, and we communicate via many online portals (LinkedIn, Facebook) on current topics. I look forward to hearing from you.