For more than 20 years, Holly Bry has been helping clients find their perfect homes in the central corridor as an agent for Gladys Manion real estate. The St. Louis native enjoys helping buyers and sellers navigate the complicated process. She has assisted everyone from professional athletes to multiple generations of the same family. “I have reached a new stage in my career where I have the honor of helping the children of friends and clients,” Bry says. “It is so flattering that they trust me with this major decision.”

What has been your most memorable experience in real estate?
It’s hard to say which experience has been the most memorable. I’ve had so many! Working with a few professional athletes over the years has been fun. One time, I was sitting at the front desk of our office when a very tall, polite, good-looking young man came in the door, asking if I could help him get out of his noisy rental and find a quiet place to live—turns out he was a new player for the Cardinals! I helped him with three homes during his St. Louis career, met his girlfriend and was the first person they told when they got engaged! Actually, I have been the first one to hear about a couple’s engagement or pregnancy more than once. I enjoy working with clients of any age, but it has been especially rewarding to help young buyers make their first home purchase, and then the next one. I have the pleasure of following them through getting married and having babies!

What areas attract young buyers?
My young buyers end up in the central corridor from the Central West End to Chesterfield and Ballwin. Young buyers today know what they want, are Internet-savvy and involve themselves in the home search process. They have different priorities—some want a short commute to work, some want a specific school district and those from St. Louis often want to live in the area where they grew up. (They always think it’s the best!)

What are buyers looking for most in homes?
The majority of buyers want a home that is new or renovated and move-in ready. They do not seem to have the time or interest for a fixer-upper. They also want floor plans that have usable space with a focus on kitchens and family rooms where everyone can gather in a casual setting.

What are the disadvantages to a ‘For Sale by Owner’ for both buyers and sellers?
The process has become so complicated that buyers and sellers need professionals to help navigate it. It’s really in both parties’ best interests to have the protection of working with someone who is very familiar with contracts. If they get through the negotiation phase and agree on a price, there are still many complicated steps. The inspection phase also can be overwhelming and frustrating. And finally, from a marketing standpoint, a professional can show your home to its best advantage, providing more exposure and ultimately getting you a higher sale price.

What is the biggest hurdle you had to overcome in real estate?
My first year in business, I didn’t make a sale. It was extremely frustrating to stick with it when nothing was happening, and I had to work hard—but I’m glad I did!