Julia Bakewell sees her role at RedKey Realty Leaders as much more than an agent who negotiates home purchases and sales. Depending on each client’s needs, she also wears the hats of coach, guide, problem solver and friend. She enjoys being part of a very personal process and views each transaction as a chance to positively impact people’s lives.

What is the most expensive home you’ve sold?
I have represented both buyers and sellers in multimillion-dollar transactions. My largest (and easiest!) was in Town & Country for $1.8 million. Both the seller and buyer were wonderful and worked well together to accomplish the goal, which was to sell the home to someone who appreciated it.

What has been most memorable about working in real estate?
I really have enjoyed working with my clients, and it’s an honor to be invited into their personal stories. Each of my buyers and sellers has had an objective. Sometimes it’s to fulfill a happy long-term plan, and sometimes things haven’t gone the way they hoped in life. It’s my job to help fix any current problems and find a better solution. I build genuine friendships with my clients by the time we reach the closing table. And when they just need a professional agent to ‘get it done’ and be gone, I roll with that, too.

What areas of town are up and coming?
I specialize in parts of St. Louis County where I have lived and that I know best, which are the central corridor and West County. I think there is still huge demand for the three-bedroom house with two or more baths in Ballwin, Ellisville or Manchester for the first-time homeowner and the ‘move down and add on’ market. I’ve also had multiple clients this spring and summer who are looking for the $500,000- $700,000 West County home. While there is a lot of new construction in the city, West County always will be a favorite place to live due to affordability, conveniences like shops and businesses, and top-rated schools.

What advice would you give sellers?
Sellers shouldn’t think that the current hot market means they do not have to put 100 percent into selling a home. Buyers still are turned off by old carpet, outdated paint, bad landscaping and dirt. Spend some money to make it pretty and clean! Consider using a professional home stager to create attractive spaces. This makes a huge difference in your number of days on market and final sale price. And finally, hire a realtor. We know Missouri real estate law and work every day with issues that most ‘for sale by owner’ sellers have never encountered. Research shows that representing yourself costs more in terms of sale price and negotiation.

What advice would you give buyers?
Be prepared. Act like a fireman waiting to hear the alarm. Have your financing plan together, and show how much house you can afford with a letter from a lender. If you’re paying cash, get a letter from your financial planner stating that you’re qualified to buy a home. Then, when you do find the house that feels right, hire a realtor and use his or her knowledge and strategies to help you stand out, especially if there are multiple offers.