2020 defied expectations in almost every way, from cities and countries shutting down across the globe to minimize the devastation of the coronaviral pandemic to a robust housing market that shows no signs of slowing down. Real estate boomed as more and more buyers entered the market to take advantage of historic low interest rates – and, locally, Laura McCarthy Real Estate is advantageously positioned to achieve optimum results for its clients in this competitive and often cut-throat market.
“Innovation became the name of the game,” says Kathy Beilein, president of the agency. “We worked with sellers and the rest of the real estate community to develop standard practices [that] address the comfort levels of sellers and buyers. Virtual home marketing was amplified. The Laura McCarthy team of brokers, staff and agents quickly adjusted, with new systems and an increased presence in the digital and social media spaces.”
Beilein notes that the market typically contracts in November, not seeing increased activity until early spring, but in 2021 the market has only increased its pace. She believes it is due in large part to increased buying power and a strong desire for people to expand their living spaces, from outdoor areas to home offices. Families who were forced to maximize their current home environments because of the public health crisis have determined new needs for their properties.
“You have buyers who are buying $200,000 houses and paying $30,000 or $40,000 over asking [price],” Beilein describes about the commonplace bidding wars that have resulted in this seller’s market.
At Laura McCarthy, agents confer with buyers on a frequent basis to discuss their property goals and how best to achieve them, whether that’s strategizing on price range and geographic area, personalizing bids with letters or reviewing contracts to make them “as clean as possible,” Beilein adds.
Sellers can maximize profits with Laura McCarthy’s expert guidance, as proven by the agency’s success last year. In the $1-plus million range for homes in the central corridor, all area agencies closed 319 sales in 2019, followed by 392 in 2020 – that’s a 23 percent increase. In January and February alone, Laura McCarthy sold 17 $1-plus million homes, a 70 percent increase from the same period in 2020.
“Demand is strong, so sellers are upping their timetable to take advantage of the vibrant market and lack of competition,” Beilein says. “The luxury market in St. Louis thrived in 2020 and […] there is no reason to think that this won’t be another banner year. It’s definitely go time!”
Laura McCarthy Real Estate, 29 The Boulevard, Clayton, 314-725-5100, lauramccarthy.com