First solo bike ride, first kiss, first job—we never forget these momentous events. But for a dedicated real estate agent, perhaps no first is as thrilling as that first big sale or buy. Below, agents at some of the top companies in town remember their first time.
Kim Carney, Coldwell Banker Premier Group
“It was eight years ago, but I remember it very well,” Carney recalls. “It was my second day in training, and my broker had instructed me to cold call ‘for sale by owner’ prospects and try to get them listed. I saw a sign on Lafon Place in Clayton Gardens, copied down the number and called. To my complete and utter shock, the homeowners agreed to meet with me.”
After a few minutes, the owners, who Carney describes as “the nicest people ever,” signed a listing agreement. “It was amazing—I had no idea what I was doing!” she says. “I overpriced by about $100,000. I didn’t even know commissions were negotiable. I filled out the paperwork all wrong. My broker laughed and laughed! But the whole office was so excited for me, and I felt like Rookie of the Year.” After several price readjustments, the place sold. “I celebrated with my fiancé, now my husband. And my broker still tells the story to all his new trainees.”
Gina Bundy, Gladys Manion Real Estate
“My first big deal wasn’t on the sell side—it was a buy,” Bundy recalls. “I’d been an agent about six months when I heard through the grapevine that a couple with two kids had put their Chevy Chase/Olivette home up for sale and were looking for a bigger place in the Ladue School District.” Bundy sent them a market analysis report and her card. “They called me!” she says, still sounding like she doesn’t quite believe it.
It wasn’t easy, but Bundy found exactly what they wanted: a four-bedroom home on Waterbury Drive, off Old Warson Road. “My clients loved it—it was the right house at the right price, close to their country club, Old Warson, and they already knew most of their neighbors,” she says. All systems were go, until it was time for the inspection. “There was a leak beneath a crawl space, and it took awhile to get it taken care of—there was a lot of negotiating back and forth, and lots of details to deal with,” Bundy recalls. “It was scary at first. What if I let my clients down? Luckily, everyone involved was really nice, and we worked together to get it done.”
What she remembers most about the deal, Bundy adds, was the support she received from her colleagues. “Everyone at the office was so helpful and encouraging—I couldn’t have done it without them,” she says. “Once the sale went through, I knew all the hard work had paid off. I kicked back with a nice glass of wine.”
Kathy Beilein, Laura McCarthy Realtors
One of Beilein’s first sales occurred about 27 years ago. “I’d met this woman whose husband was in medical school,” she recalls. “We both had little babies, so we bonded. She and her husband had their hearts set on living in Hampton Park, and I told them I’d keep my eyes open. I sold them a five-bedroom home there about a year later.”
The home, completed in 1911, was one of the first built in the Hampton Park neighborhood, a historic area in Richmond Heights that dates back to the late 1800s. “My clients were over the moon, and so was I—I’d helped them find their dream house,” Beilein says. Excited about the sale, she shared the news with a friend. “It turned out the house had once belonged to the friend’s grandfather, Max Goldstein, who’d founded Central Institute for the Deaf in 1914!” Beilein says. “That made it seem even more special.”
Beilein, president and general manager at Laura McCarthy, no longer handles sales. “But you never forget how much fun it is, and how challenging,” she says. “There’s a lot of teamwork involved, and everyone here has always been so supportive. At the end of the day, this business isn’t about houses, it’s about people—and when you find a client that perfect home, it’s a real thrill.”