With 14 years of experience, Lizzy Dooley understands that real estate isn’t your typical 9-to-5 job. At any time of day (or night), she’s prepared to deliver the exceptional ‘white glove’ service she and her team are known for. Having experienced significant changes in technology and advertising, she has a firm grasp of how to effectively reach buyers in today’s ever-changing market. “Real estate is becoming more complex, but it works well with my personality,” Dooley says. “It’s a challenge, and I love that.”

What areas in St. Louis are up and coming?
Young families continue to be drawn to areas with walkability and affordable housing. They are conscious of saving money, but they still want a sense of community. Neighborhoods in University City, Glendale, Kirkwood, Richmond Heights and Maplewood continue to flourish. These areas keep getting better, and we’re seeing people buy homes that they can update and stay in longer.

What is one piece of advice you would give to sellers?
Hire a good real estate agent as a trusted partner. Listen to what he or she says as far as making the house ready to sell, and it will sell. You need someone with experience who can make sure the house looks right and is priced correctly. That’s how you get top dollar.

What about buyers?
Consult a lender and get pre-approved before you begin the house hunting process. That way, you will know what you can afford, and you’ll be able to move quickly to put in an offer on a home. Make sure you choose a lender who won’t abandon you during the process or fail to perform. Buyers should have a good real estate agent, too. Prime properties go quickly, so you need someone who can get you in the door on day one. Negotiation skills also are important. Your agent should know the ins and outs of your desired neighborhoods and be able to win a contract.

What are buyers looking for most in homes?
In today’s market, outdoor entertaining space is very important. Buyers also want a house that doesn’t require a lot of work. Everyone wants a bright, happy home, but many aren’t willing to put in the time and energy needed for a remodel. They are looking for open floor plans with updated kitchens and bathrooms.

What has been your most memorable experience in real estate?
Every transaction is unique! Working with different types of buyers and sellers has brought so much to my career. I take away something new from every single client, and I carry it with me so I continue to improve. They’re all memorable, and it’s amazing to me that I’m still learning and getting better every year.

Photo courtesy of Laura McCarthy Real Estate