In a volatile market, knowledge can be your best friend. Laura McCarthy Real Estate works to make sure both agents and prospective buyers are in the know on everything from mortgage markets to local trends.
“Everybody has to be knowledgeable and prepared,” says Laura McCarthy president Kathy Beilein. “Agents need to be really prepared and on top of the market trends. St. Louis has a lot of micro-markets; Ladue is different from Brentwood is different from Webster Groves. You have to be in on what’s selling and what do buyers want.”
Beilein adds that one of the biggest hurdles in the housing market right now is the lack of supply, meaning that listings that do come up can sell as quickly as 24 hours from when they went up. Buyers need to be on top of what they really want and open to looking at adjacent area listings that might suit their needs.
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“Agents need to know the mortgage market so that they can know what the buyer can really afford and help them increase their purchasing power,” Beilein says. “Value is really important and a buyer needs to know that if they’re paying more than asking, then it’s going to give them what they want. You need to keep them informed and current.”
Trends in the housing market can quickly change. Beilein advises those interested in buying or selling to research beforehand by consulting both national news and local agents, since articles published by larger publications might not take St. Louis directly into account when discussing market trends. The Wall Street Journal, for example, might publish an article suggesting readers postpone selling until spring – advice that isn’t applicable to St. Louis, since the local spring market starts earlier in the year when competition is low.
On top of being educated on the housing market, Laura McCarthy agents are also known for their top-tier customer service.
“Every agent should be very responsive and proactive,” Beilein concludes. “It’s really important to us that our agents are trustworthy and give good advice but are also educated. We spend a lot of time listening and helping people find solutions.”
Laura McCarthy Real Estate, 29The Boulevard, St. Louis, 314-725-5100, lauramccarthy.com