Realtors Peter Martocchio and David Goldberg help clients find their dream homes
By Kamala Kirk
For almost 20 years, local Realtors Peter Martocchio and David Goldberg have been top producers for Sotheby’s International Realty in Pasadena, representing buyers and sellers for many luxury and historically significant properties throughout Los Angeles.
Their extensive knowledge of the Southern California real estate market and its rich history, combined with their background and expertise in creative design and architecture, has earned them a reputation as trusted professionals who offer clients true local knowledge and insight on the luxury real estate market and trends.
Growing up, Martocchio was a classical pianist and tap dancer. He worked at the La Jolla Playhouse while attending UCSD, eventually transferring to UCLA, where he graduated with a degree in theater arts. Several years after moving to LA, he opened a retail store in Silverlake that required a full renovation, and over the course of the project he discovered his passion for real estate. That ultimately led him to become a licensed agent in 2001.
“I discovered how much I cherished the design/build aspect of the Silverlake adventure, but seeing as I didn’t own the property, I vowed never to embark on property improvements on any property that I didn’t own outright,” Martocchio says.
“That is what motivated me to get my real estate license. I later discovered that there is something entirely uncanny about the similarities of the theatrical cycle and the home-selling cycle. Each house is the set, the open houses are much like opening night, and the run of any listing always has theatrics. The concentrated duration of the process creates an instant family-type unit.”
Goldberg’s family owned a construction supply business, so he was exposed to construction and architecture from day one. He has two degrees — a Bachelor of Arts in design/architecture and landscape architecture from UC Berkeley, and a Ph.D. in clinical psychology.
Prior to obtaining his license and becoming an agent in 2004, Goldberg worked as a designer for home remodels and new construction. He often oversaw renovations, restorations and other general improvements on properties that Martocchio listed for sale or had sold to clients.
“I started my career in real estate by building homes from the ground up and selling them,” Goldberg says. “I then started buying old character homes, renovating them and then selling them. As an agent, it has been a huge part of my success being able to show buyers the potential in a property that needs work. I also can oversee the things that need to be done to prepare a property for sale. My design background is an important part of my ability to make a property look amazing before sale.”
Married for 23 years, Goldberg and Martocchio have worked together as a full-time real estate team for the last 17 years and formed House of Martocchio in 2017. While the majority of their business is in Pasadena and Altadena, they work in many areas of Los Angeles, including Silverlake, Highland Park and Eagle Rock. They have also sold properties in Bel-Air, Palm Desert, Claremont, Oxnard, Santa Barbara and Lake Arrowhead, among others.
“Our dynamic as a team is great,” Martocchio says. “Because we live and work together, there is a natural rhythm and distribution of responsibilities. More often than not, David works with our buyers and is the field agent, while I handle the many nuances of our listings. In this new age of immediacy, that often means that I am close to my desk or portable electronic devices so that I can respond swiftly to any issues that come about.”
Since the beginning of their careers, Goldberg and Martocchio have been involved with historic homes and landmarks. They have sold renowned properties by many famed architects, such as Greene and Greene; Rudolph Schindler; and Buff, Straub & Hensman.
The Kresge/Richter Laboratory in the North San Rafael Hills was one of the most important historic properties for which they represented the purchase and ultimate resale. Goldberg worked as a principal designer with the owners and helped transform the property from a scientific/educational facility into a single-family home, receiving an award from the city of Pasadena and the state of California for his efforts on the project.
“Understanding the history and relevance of these properties architecturally is an important part of properly representing these homes,” Goldberg says.
“When preparing these homes for sale, it’s crucial that you respect the original architecture and character of the property while taking current trends and styles under consideration.”
One of Martocchio’s first listings was the Hale Solar Laboratory in Pasadena on what was once a remote edge of Henry Huntington’s estate. The property is a National Historic Monument, bearing the highest classification of a protected property, and had been owned by the Carnegie Institute before falling into private hands.
“There are many special considerations that must be taken when dealing with such properties,” Martocchio explains.
“As the Mills Act took hold in Pasadena, I began working with many homeowners in the application process. Selling such homes also requires special knowledge and understanding of the maintenance contracts. There are pros and cons to the program, and I’m well-versed in explaining the nuances to homeowners, buyers, sellers, agents and the general public. Historic preservation isn’t something to be feared, and I try to explain potential restrictions in a matter-of-fact way.”
Goldberg and Martocchio have been Pasadena residents for 27 years and live in a National Register Spanish home in the Prospect Park Historic District. They recently purchased a post-modernist property next door to their home and are in the process of transforming it into an industrial-influenced modern loft, with the intention of using it as a deluxe home office.
“I was attracted to the area for many reasons, the most important is the abundance of beautiful character homes and stunning neighborhoods,” Goldberg says. “I also love the smaller town feel here and the city’s history.”
Martocchio, who had a secondary emphasis in writing in college, is putting the finishing touches on a novel he wrote that was inspired by his love for the Arroyo Seco.
“When I came to Pasadena in 1997, it immediately felt like home,” Martocchio says.
“There is a genetic reaction I have when passing the Eagle Rock on the 134 Freeway and having the grandeur of the Colorado Street Bridge welcome me into the central Arroyo with the mountains running as far as the eye can see — it never gets old. It’s like turning the page in an illustrated novel and finding a two-page color spread. It goes without saying that the houses, the trees, the cultural institutions and the diversity of the community make it an exceptional place to live and work.”
One unique thing that sets Goldberg and Martocchio apart from others is the team of experts that they work with and bring in for various home projects for clients.
“We have an entire crew of people, from architects to engineers, who we can tap into when a client wants to renovate or redesign their home,” Goldberg explains.
“When we’re showing a buyer homes, we can show them the potential in a house, which opens up the possibilities. We make the experience much easier by taking control of all these things so that clients don’t have to worry about them. I love helping people fulfill their dreams when it comes to where they live.”
Clients appreciate the personal approach and attention to detail that Goldberg and Martocchio provide throughout the entire process of buying or selling a home. They are excellent negotiators, are transparent from beginning to end and make it a policy not to do double-end deals.
“We take considerable time making sure that our clients understand the process and the many situations that will come up that they need to be prepared for,” Goldberg says.
“One aspect of real estate that is extremely important for an agent is their ability to understand their client’s needs and personalities. An agent has a huge responsibility to keep a transaction together by negotiating a fair deal for each party involved. My negotiating abilities can result in significant monetary gains for our sellers and fair deals for our buyers.”
COVID-19 has impacted the real estate market, resulting in an increased homebuying demand, a lack of inventory, and home prices that have exceeded pre-pandemic levels. Martocchio and Goldberg recently represented a buyer and, out of 36 offers on a home, theirs was the one that was accepted.
“Being successful listing agents gives us an advantage when competing with multiple offers, because we get to see the creative ways other agents work to represent their own clients, and we can take the best of their methods and apply them on behalf of our clients when confronted with multiple offers,” Martocchio says.
The pandemic has also raised the industry standard and forced a higher degree of organization. Goldberg and Martocchio’s listings are designed to protect the health of anyone who steps foot onto one of their properties.
“I think our clients know we are successful, capable and open-minded,” Martocchio says.
“We try to make the process fun by infusing humor into our conversations. I believe that our clients know when hiring us that every decision we make is for their benefit. Our job is to adapt our services to each client — some clients don’t have computers; others don’t text. Some are out of the country entirely, so we may implement video calls to stay in touch. Our business occurs in an ever-changing landscape of technology and culture. We have to monitor the stock markets, the sociopolitical arena, new laws and regulations, mortgage rates, international politics and more. If we can speak to the specific needs of each client, then we start with a mutual understanding that builds a strong relationship.”
Goldberg adds, “You can make a huge impact on someone’s life by finding them an exciting home to buy or helping them sell a home. I love helping people. Seeing someone happy because of my work with them means the world to me.”
House of Martocchio
David Goldberg: 626-644-6011
Peter Martocchio: 626-529-6880