STL Realty Views

News and Views from top producing St Louis REALTORS.


April 6, 2021

Homes Near St. Louis Trails

St. Louis area homes near trails

Finding Homes Near St. Louis Trails

There are many different things to consider when buying a home:  Schools, home styles, lot sizes, and proximity to work being some of the major factors. One thing that is being considered more and more is finding a home nearby recreational trails for bicycling, inline skating, and walking.  Compared to other government spending, its determined that the return on investment of establishing trails exceeds other types of investment.   

Living and working nearby local trails and bicycle lanes promotes fitness, environmentally clean transportation, and entertainment, as well as stimulates the economy of the area by attracting visitors and business to local restaurants, hotels and shops. Trails can be established simultaneously with landscaping, drainage and reclamation of blighted properties such as abandoned rail lines.  Lastly, proximity to trails adds to the value of homes in the communities adjacent to the trails.  Properly established trails can serve as interconnections to parks, businesses, and attractions.  

St. Louis is a city that has been established for hundreds of years, and the abundance of local municipalities has limited the overall regional strategy.   These two factors have challenged the St. Louis area in ways not found as much in other cities.  In order to catch up and build connections between nature and existing towns of the area, it's important to educate St. Louisans and its visitors to the existing trails, plans to develop new trails, and lastly, the benefits of trails and trail investments. 

 4SaleStLouis  helping out by creating pages to showcase some of the amazing communities that also happen to be located in proximity to trails in the region.  

Trail & Parks Pages

🚴🏻‍♂️ 🚴🏿‍♂️ 🚴🏻‍♀️ 🚴🏻‍♂️ 🚴🏻‍♀️ 🚴🏿‍♂️ 🚴🏻‍♂️ 🚴🏻‍♀️ 🚴🏿‍♂️  

Grant's Trail Home

River Des Peres Home 

Cliff Cave Park

Carondelet Park

Creve Coeur Lake Home 


Meramec Greenway Home coming soon

Flat Creek Trail

Route 66 Park Trails

Katy Trail Home  

Mississippi Greenway Trails 

Monarch Levee Home 

Babler Park Trail 

(Babler Park homes -large lots)

Brickline Greenway 

(currently in planning and development stage)

Deer Creek Greenway Trail

Homes near Riverfront Trail  

Centenial Greenway Home

Sunset Greenway Trail

St. Louis Parks



Trailnet St. Louis

Great Rivers Greenway

Trail Link

8 area trails to check out! STLMAG

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March 3, 2021

Welcome Medical Residents

Time To ChooseSt. Louis medical residency

Today is the day that Medical residents all over the country are making their selections on which residency programs they would like to attend, in order of preference.   

Having helped many residents in the past in both buying, and eventually selling their homes, we were initially surprised by the high level of organization, level of recruiting, and how decisions are made.   We've worked with many physicians that expected to live in St. Louis, but ended up being "matched" with a program elsewhere, and vice versa.   One client of mine had a house picked out in another city and was ready to make an offer when he found out he was moving to St. Louis.   

Some physicians have family members who are also in some type of residency or fellowship and the whole deal has to work for everyone in order for them to locate here.   

This hear, the rank order deadline is today, and Match day is in 2 weeks.  

St. Louis is fortunate to have several residency programs listed below by institution.   Our pages include some of the "just listed" homes in proximity to the location.   

St. Louis Residency Programs

Helping all clients to find the perfect home for them is lots of fun, but especially challenging for residents!   Knowing how far of a drive to the hospital is always a factor, and resale of the home in 3-5 years is something residents consider more than the typical buyer also.   

Medical Residency Relocation Support

Mercy         St. Louis University     St. Lukes      St. Mary's     Washington University / BJC    


March 2, 2021

Landscaping and Gardening Season

Home Landscaping Season Start's Today! 

St. Louis Planting Schedule

While this isn't a horticulture website, there's no doubt that gardening and landscaping property is a huge part of real estate.  Good looking gardens are a huge selling point for new home buyers.  Whether someone is getting their home ready to sell, or just finding a way to enjoy the property they own, developing a garden is a plus! 

 backyard garden front yard landscaping backyard landscaping

These pics show the front and backyard gardening that was ready to go when we listed a property in Benton Park last year in the city.  Other folks like large lots in various places in the county for gardening, but either way, a carefully planned garden and landscape can be the WINNING TICKET if it's planned ahead at the right time. 


Dec. 16, 2020

Welcome to St. Louis Residents!


Never before has the St. Louis community had so much appreciation for the health care institutions and workers we've been blessed to have as in 2020!   In speaking with people from outside the area, including health care workers, we really are fortunate in St. Louis.   

In March we'll start working with resident physicians that have matched at Mercy, St. Louis University, St. Lukes, St. Mary's, Washington University / BJC    and have a system to assist all residents in finding homes

In 2021, the difference is that we've had a year to adjust to the changes a worldwide pandemic have caused, such as holding buyer consultations via zoom

All out of town buyer's can benefit from our teams enhancements, and especially university faculty and medical residents.  See you all soon & WELCOME TO STL!

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Sept. 21, 2018

The Price of Experience

Inexperienced vs Experienced

Hiring the Experienced Realtor Pays

A homeowner in my neighborhood of Tower Grove South came to me today with concern about a flyer being distributed in our neighborhood.   It came from a person working out of an office in Chesterfield, and to the homeowner, seemed to indicate that they had sold a lot of homes in our neighborhood.  This bothered the homeowner that a few of the homes he knew we had sold, but that the agent apeared to be taking credit for them.  Nowhere on the form did it clarify what the list represented.

We had a nice visit, and I pulled up the agents number on the MLS.   Per the MLS, the agent had no listings and never sold a home.   I explained to the homeowner not to worry, and how that happens frequently and that new agents have to do a lot to break into the business.   

I started thinking about some of the questionable ethics I'm seeing in our profession.   Some of the training I'm seeing at larger brokerages these days is aimed at training new agents to apear experienced, even though they aren't.   Like this flyer, showing all the homes sold with an agents name, giving people the impression that they have sold those homes, when really, they're just reporting whats in the tax records.   

Another trick I hear often is about teams.   I have a team of 5 right now, which costs our clients no more than if they were working with an individual agent.   We charge the same price as they do, but employ more resources.   So training classes teach new people to advertise that they're a team also.   "You work with a mortgage broker, a title company and an inspector..." they say, " consider them to be a part of your team."   This manipulation is just plain dishonest, in my opinion, because every realtor works with vendors, and they typically don't step in and help answer phones, or serve clients, especially if you're brand new!   

inexperienced realtorWhat's even more unfair, is that the consumer generally pays the same commission rate for this less experience agent pretending to be established.

Because the real estate market has rebounded in the past decade, our profession has been cram packed with new agents.  If historic trends stay the same, a very large percentage will leave the business soon.  In the mean time, I think about the sign I have to post in my back window because my son is a new driver.   When we started our career, we had bought and rehabbed a home, we had investment properties, and we both had previous careers that gave us a good amount of transferable experience.  We were agressive and hard working, but never tried to decieve people about our level of experience.   Maybe brokerages were doing the same thing back then, but we were on our own.   

An ad salesman came in yesterday, and during our small talk, he explained how it can be a hard decision to choose an experienced professional or a personal friend in the real estate business.   He said something wise, " at the end of the day, its a business decision."    Hiring a Realtor is a business decision and the value of the business decision should always be based on experience and success.

Aug. 1, 2018

Red Flags on Housing

2018 Housing Market Economics

The overwhelming sense in speaiking with people these days is about a hot market.   People talk.   They hear about multiple offers, quick sales and rising prices.   We see that too.   Interestingly though, there has always been multiple facets to understanding the entire real estate market, and increasingly so this year.   As any Realtor:   2018 has been a strange year. 

News of the Wierd

How can the home market everyone thinks is so hot right now all the sudden be a red flag for the next recession?   This CNN news article seems to point out how the fact that home sales are slowing as a factor of rising prices and rising interest making homes too expensive.   While not an economist, I'd say this is garbage.   I've been talking to people all year about the slowing home market, to the disbelief of many, but not becuase of home price, a higher standardized tax decuction, or higher interest rates.   In one word.....SUPPLY.   We have multiple offers on so many homes now becuase buyer's are waiting until they find what they want.  They tend to want the same things, so thats why some homes get multiple offers in the first week, and others sit on the market.  Homes above $400,000 are a slightly different story.   In that submarket (locally) we seem to have more supply than buyers.  

The graph below also shows that despite a slowing market, the overal units sold has maintained a healthy climb.   Its disturbing to hear them compare the easy lending of 2005 with what they believe is easy lending today.   Both the purchase and refinance lending market have found what feels like an equilibrium compared to the insanity of the early 2000's.   Buyer behavior is also more measured and cautious.  I remember people buying homes in one city while they were applying for jobs in another, or couples getting ready for marriage, and buying homes seperately, only to have to sell one wihin months, and of course in 2004-6, NO MONEY DOWN was in effect fueling plenty of irresponsible purchases.

housing units sold

Seller Fright

Homes are taking longer to prepare, and seller's are often times finding a home before they sell, sometimes moving in to a new home before the old one even hits the market.    This type of cautious behavior is mainly due to the low inventory levels, but smart home seller's are taking more time and spending more money to get their homes ready than ever before.  The cause of this, I would attribute to the massive increase in both digital photography quality, and the massive increase in internet speed and access to listings and listing photos.   Effort has to be made to showcase homes, because decions are made on apps and onine about homes, where 15 years ago, when photos weren't even required on listings, and most home listings had less than 10 grainy and distorted pictures.   


I'm not sure, but in talking with my elders in real estate, I get the sense that "First Time Home Buyers" have never been branded based upon their generation.   As a Gen X'er, I don't recall anyone specifying my generation as a first time buyer, only that I was indeed a first time home buyer.   Millenials are different.   The Millenial First Time Home Buyer (hereinafter referred to as an MFTHB) likes 'turn key', move in ready homes.  They like nice homes, already updated, and they'll pay money so that they don't have to do the work.  Sweat equity doesn't come up in conversation.  Rehabbers love them.   Existing home seller's, not so much.   Inspection notices in 2018 are more extensive, with more inspections being performed, higher costs paid, and more things that most seller's are having to fix. 

Rentals to the Rescue

One factor that many don't seem to be considering about the housing market slowing is the number of high quality rental being introduced to the market.   Multifamily buidlings leading up to the great recession were frequently condos and lofts.  Due to the amount of developoer fraud, getting financing to develop condominiums has become very challenging, making large scale developments turn instead to hotels and apartments.  Shortly after the Great Recession, when the housing market was struggling more than ever, the cry everywhere was that the Millenials weren't buying homes and were more satisfied living with Mom and Dad, or still renting.   This added more fuel to the fire for rental developments.  Having higher quality, new construction is what people often times want.  So what if its an aparment?

Housing Market Parting Thoughts

These observations are probably just a start on why the market has been strange in 2018.   What's gone on in the past will most likely happen.  We scratch our heads and try to figure it out, then it changes again.   I'll be attending a national agent seminar specifically for mega agents next week in Austin, and we may have more details about the markets nationally that either support or modify our view from St. Louie.  Our hope is that things keep moving forward and growing, even if its at a slower pace.   The last housing market recession was enough for me!


May 4, 2018

Homes with a View? St Louis Parks

Parks in St Louis MO

One trend we’re seeing in St Louis real estate is that buyer’s are starting to ask for homes listed with close proximity to local parks and recreational facilities.  The fact that St Louis is one of the largest urban forests in the country and has some of the most magnificent parks could be a factor.

With concerts, events, pavillions, streams, fountains,beautiful trees and flowers, shaded walking and running paths, playgrounds, wildlife and plenty of SPACE to spread out! These are a few of the perks of living close to a park in the St. Louis area. 

Public parks are a great way to explore the great outdoors and stay in shape. St. Louis has a wealth of parks that allow individuals to relax after a long day of work or school. Essentially, people who live closer to these areas are more likely stay active! 

Public events and social interaction develop a wonderful sense of community! Different communities offer a WIDE variety of events for Everyone to enjoy, like; Public concerts, farmers markets, carnivals, yoga classes, pools, picnic tables and you can’t forget the fireworks during 4th of July! 

Trying to get away from the hustle and bustle of every day life? St. Louis parks offer additional room for kids to play and enjoy the recreational facilities such as baseball/softball fields, basketball courts, soccer fields and swimming pools. Keeping the whole family active and healthy is a TOP priority and the list is endless! Pets are a huge part of the family and the real estate community has taken note! With pet friendly parks and recreational areas, everyone is welcome to enjoy these fantastic outdoor spaces.

When considering a purchase, there are many factors:  school district, access to highways or public transportation  and proximity to work, but one more thing that brings added value to your St Louis real estate home buying experience is the quality of the parks nearby. 

As a service to some of our out of town home buyers looking in St. Louis, we're adding a local parks page at Even if you're a local, sometimes we tend to take things for granted or ignore what's in front of us completely.  As long time St Louis residents, we've been embarrased to learn things about the amenities of our local public spaces from real estate clients that have only lived here for a few months.  

Check out our pages for the local parks in the St Louis metro area, and let us know if there’s another great park, or service within a park that you’d like to see!  We’re adding pages all the time.

May 3, 2018

Why Pay Realtor Fees?

Understanding the Costs of Selling Your Home

As a life long do-it-yourselfer, I had problems with Realtor fees long before I knew anything about the business. 

In learning the business, there was several things that became apparent: Getting the most out of your home

  • a lot of confusion exists about what Realtors are paid and what they do for the money.
  • The same confusion exists about where to get answers.
  • Many competing sources of information add to the confusion.

Now a veteran real estate broker with years of experience I find myself saying the same thing to help people understand much about the real estate business, but despite this, really don't find myself addressing much about the money real estate professional make.  Aside from sharing about that, answering the question above, why would someone want to pay Realtor fees, and what are the alternatives we see being used, for better or worse, and how some people don't get their money's worth when they hire a Realtor.  


Why Do Realtors make so much money?

Why pay realtor fees

 It's not hard to hear people's opinions on Realtor fees.   The "c" word.  We call commissions SUCCESS FEES in our office, because that's the case.   If we don't sell a house, we don't make money. 

Without understanding what those fees pay for and how they are broken down, its easy to view them as unnecessary and excessive.  Lack of understanding often creates fear.

Understandably, sometimes people don't make the right choice in hiring Realtors, and they regret it, and think their agent may have gotten lucky by making a sale.  

Other people just get sticker shock from the perceived numbers.   If a person sells a $200,000 home and pays a 6% commission, THAT'S $12,000!  They may have nightmares about their agent sleeping in a bed of $100 dollar bills of THEIR MONEY. 

The biggest myth in real estate is that the agent keeps the fee.

The truth is far from that though, because just like any business, there's the cost of doing business.  Nearly all agents have a broker they have to share their success fees with.  Splits have a large range based usually upon what services are given to the agent from the broker.   Usually there's two sides to a transaction also, and as the graphic shows, that $12,000 for starters gets chopped up at the closing table.  Brokerage fees pay for the cost of an office, a broker to train and lead agents, the copiers, staffing, office supplies and office decor don't come cheap either.   All this comes before the agents personal expenses, like their ongoing marketing costs, cost for photography, cost for marketing flyers, MLS access, association fees, administrative services, cell phone, and last but not least, UNCLE SAM.   A good rough figure is that once the commission from a sale has made it through the splits with the agents and brokers, the government and overhead take another 50% of the commission. 

If that's the case here, the buyers agent has a net profit of $1,350 andAgent Expenses the listing agent$1,975.  This still may sound like a lot until we realize that the average client works with their agent for over 5 months,  the average agent sells only 12 homes per year, and the average agent works with more than 4 people a year that don't end up closing on a deal.   The hourly rate is beginning to look more and more normal as we go on.  

Putting into perspective the cost your realtor pays, just to do business is only half the story.   

In looking to buy, sell, or invest in real estate, lots of people will elect to do it yourself, just like the people that do their own plumbing, electrical work, carpentry, and interior design.  With regards to real estate, most professional realtors would agree that selling by owner isn't impossible.   Knowing how to price, negotiate price, negotiate insepection requests, market, prospect, network, stage, and ultimately pull deals together and sell your home isn't impossible to learn, but there's also no guarantee that a mistake won't be made during the process for someone with little to no experience.  Mistakes can be costly in real estate.  Professionals sometimes pop in and make a job look easy.  By the time I'm done with a job that I keep for myself, the hours and other expenses add up, and when its all said and done, I may have to end up hiring a professional to undo my mistakes.   Having listed many homes that were previously failed 'by owner' attempts, I've heard stories and witnessed a lot.    One client was getting ready to sell by owner.   They were nervous about fees.   When they approached me, they were about to sell the home for 30% less than market value to their neighbor. To them it felt safe.   I gave them a figure of what I thought the ABSOLUTE LEAST they would net if they listed it with us, and the neighbor backed off.  We ended up selling it for more, and they ended up netting ALMOST $20,000 more than the my 'bare bones' net projection.  The scary fact is that by owner seller's often times misjudge the market and either over price or underprice the market.   By owner advocates may talk about how much is saved based upon the fees not paid, but if these 'savings' were balanced with the missed opportunity costs we see regularly, it would be a different story.   You just never know what you don't know.  

Here's Why.....The Reasons For Hiring (the right) Agent

“He who represents himself has a fool for a client”

Despite the conventional wisdom from Abraham Lincoln (above), an attorney from California seems to be a huge proponent of selling homes by owner.   (Could it be that by owner sales end up in litigation more frequently?)  Hiring a professional Realtor has too many advantages to fully name.   Truly, the real estate wouldn't exist if selling homes were easy.   The same is true for buyers.   Some buyers may look at by owner sales, thinking they can get a great deal on a home because of lower fees.   I've seen it go both ways.   One former client came to us to market a home that she bought before she was married.  The price she wanted seemed high for the area, so I did some investigating.   Within 12 months of her purchase, comparable homes were selling for an average of 24% less than hers, with the closest comparable sale being $18,000 less than what she paid.    I asked her about the process, and she told me the seller provided her a list of 'what homes were going for nearby' which was based on the asking price of homes, not the sale price. 

We can write just as many volumes about people hiring the wrong agent as hiring no agent at all, but chosing a competent, full-time professional Realtors, guided with the Realtor Code of Ethics as well as their own proven marketing system will help the home seller navigate the complex and risky world of home selling and likely pay for themselves in the process.....and that's why you should pay realtor fees!






April 16, 2018

Chosing a Listing Agent: Your Most Important Business Decison

finding a listing agent

Your Major Business Decision

Recently we helped a family sell their home and “buy up” into a larger, more expensive home.   Like most transactions these days, the purchase was smooth.   The agent that brought a buyer to our listing was a professional.   They understood the business and led their client through the transaction.   


On the flip side, it was more challenging. 


Once we found the right home at the right price, we acted quickly.   One quick ‘red flag’ was that the agent appeared new.   When making an offer, I research everything I can, including the agent with whom I may be working.  (Poor representation can be a deal killer!)  So we pull up the agents license number (often times an indicator of their experience) and their sales in the MLS, then I have a conversation with the agent.  


In this case, the agent had a license number from 2016.   The MLS showed three sales and no other listings, and in this case, another ‘indicator’ is that the agent was related to the seller.  I called, and in conversation, the agent came off like they had other things they’d rather be doing.   With most experienced or strong agents, that’s not the case. 


The transaction eventually closed, but throughout the entire process, the sellers andhiring listing agent business decision their agent were in reaction mode about everything.   At closing we got a call from the agent asking us to reduce our fee because the seller “just found out” their proceeds from the sale weren’t enough to cover all the expenses.  This should always be front and center during pricing and negotiations.   The inspection discovered a lot of items that are normally discovered during the agents initial walk through of the property.  To top things off, right after the ink was dry on our deal, a similar home nearby went on the market for almost $25,000 more and sold immediately.  When it was all over, I really felt bad for the sellers.   


The choice of representation should never be taken lightly.   Often times home seller’s select their listing agents with non-business related factors.   Things like family ‘obligation’, loyalty to a friend,  or to help a new agent start their career.  Most likely not the same criteria they would use for a heart surgeon!  


The act of “giving” a listing to someone, rather than making a business decision stems from the general public being misinformed about the real estate industry on many different levels.  


Successful agents know how many homes they sell per year, what it takes to sell homes, and what they do to sell homes.  Selling lots of homes matters, because in real estate, really knowing how to sell homes comes from the experience of doing it lots of times in succession, not from classes, being in a busy office, or being in the business a long time.  


In almost every company, the Realtor is not an employee, but is a free agent contractor.   Each Realtor is its own business.  Each Realtor has their own standards on things like getting an education, how many homes it sells, how much money is spent on marketing, how hard they work and how they go about marketing a home.      Because much of the general population is unaware of this, they often times view all Realtors as being essentially the same, and doing the same things to sell homes.   This couldn’t be further from the truth.   To help people understand our business, we developed a list of things we do to market and sell homes.  We talk about it whenever we meet with a seller.  When people read our reviews, the unspoken truth is that we have 6-10 people working full time each week with the common goal of finding a buyer for our listings, and finding homes for our buyers.  Inactive agents or part time agents working other jobs that just so happen to have a real estate license couldn’t compete.   


One time we had a client that didn’t like the news we delivered, so in response, they went to their local Schnucks store and spoke to a cashier that happened to have a real estate license to see if what we were saying was true!   Comparing a real estate team that spent hundreds of hours per week in real estate with someone pushing groceries over a scanner!


We know human nature, and understand when people want to ‘give’ us business.   In our case, we feel we can back up anyone’s decision based on our hard work, determination and experience.   In selling a home, or buying, the important key is to remember that it is a business decision.   Make it accordingly!


Jan. 24, 2018

Help Wanted: Service Providers

Premier Realty Exclusive Service Provider Network

service provider network

Helping clients in hiring the right contractors and other service providers to meet the challenges of preparing, updating, and repairing a home is part of what we do to assist our clients.   This is an important part of our job as a FULL SERVICE REAL ESTATE PROFESSIONAL.   

The real estate sales process -- whether with buyer's or sellers', demands that RELIABLE service providers can be accessible to resolve problems that come up during a home sale and inspection process, or other types of providers. This is in addition to the main types of services:  lenders, inspectors, home stagers, photographers and title companies. Selling a home can be overwhelming and stressful, so having assistance when you may otherwise not need help can be an unexpected necessity.   

Relocation buyers and sellers are frequently caught up  in this trap.    Ever have to coordinate repairs in your hometown at the same time as shopping for houses across country, or vice versa?   This is where a competent real estate professional can step in to help save the day.   

Having Great Service Providers isn't a Piece of Cake......

Change is the one thing inherent to the job of the full service real estate agent.  Over the years, many service providers have assisted clients in the past.  Some retire, some relocate themselves.   Sometimes contractors just get busy, or even lower their standards for some reason.   We've even had contrators that close up shop and start working for a bigger company.   

There are many things that can happen, so we're ALWAYS LOOKING for great workers!

In looking at our some of our BEST, most reliable contractors and service professionals, the Premier Team has gotten many of these referrals from our clients, then have shared them with so many others.   This is a WIN-WIN situation.   Who wouldn't want to reward GREAT SERVICE by referring someone to a busy realtor?

If you know someone, fill out the form below and we'll be in touch soon to thank you!!!