About Donna & Gil
After more than 20 years in real estate sales and management we remain passionate about helping people achieve their real estate goals. Real estate is a complex blend of satisfying personal needs and making sound investment decisions. Experience counts and we’ll put ours to work for you so that you can make your best informed decisions.
Chicago native, transferred to San Diego, California, Richmond, Virginia & St. Louis
Licensed Realtor® in St. Louis 1983
Self supporting in real estate sales 1983 - present
Managing Broker for Blake & Davis Realtors & Prudential Select Properties 1990 - 2005
Responsibilities included managing, problem solving, recruiting and training agents
Returned to full time sales with Berkshire Hathaway Select Properties in 2005
Lifetime sales volume exceeds $40,000,000
Interests - Golf, Reading Mysteries, Sailing, SCUBA, Travel
Lives in Chesterfield with her husband, Gil Reynolds
Born & raised in Ferguson, Missouri - yes, that Ferguson, a nice St. Louis suburb
Graduate Southern Illinois University - 1966 Management & Marketing
Owned Tom Boy Groceries in Glasgow Village & Spanish Lake 1966 - 1976
Entered real estate field by purchasing Century 21 Franchise, eventually sold to what is today
Berkshire Hathaway Alliance Realtors®
Named manager of a new Gundaker Realtors Branch Office in Chesterfield. Set company records for growth and profitability.
Moved to Indiana to run the New Homes Department of a local builder
Returned to St. Louis and was appointed Institutional Pharmacy Sales Manager for Interlock Pharmacy
Moved to GHP/Coventry/Aetna Medicare Advantage Director of Medicare Sales
Retired after ten years and returned to his first love -
Real Estate Sales for Berkshire Hathaway Select Properties in 2015
Interests - Golf, History, Reading, Travel
Lives in Chesterfield with his wife, Donna Giamalva
Sellers and buyers need information about value and many other factors. Accurate research is the cornerstone of our service to you. There is an immense amount of data available from recent sales figures to schools, roads, zoning and much more. We will provide the data and help you make sense of it so that we can proceed smoothly toward your goals.
With all of the conveniences available there is no excuse for being left in the dark. Whether you are selling or buying, you need to know what’s happening. You will receive the information you need in the manner you want it — in person, by phone, voice mail, email or postal mail. You will be given the information you need to make the decisions your move requires.
Negotiating is not about price alone. In fact, good negotiating is not price haggling. It is true value determination about the worth of something to both parties. The best negotiators simply help decision makers get their best perspective on the issues at hand.
Credentials & Designations
|There are very few agents with the Luxury Collection Specialist Designation in St. Louis. I’m proud to be one of them. The designation is awarded to agents who have consistently sold homes in the upper two percent of their market. It requires experience, expertise and results in this challenging arena.|
|G-Certified is a course required by the United States Government to qualify to work with relocating U.S. Government Employees. Material covers confidentiality, communication and more.|
|Certified Seniors Specialist is awarded to agents who have successfully completed a course in the unique aspects of advising and helping seniors who face complex lifestyle changes.|
|Berkshire Hathaway recognizes agents who have earned high levels of sales. The Leading Edge Society is the third from the top level of all Berkshire Hathaway agents nationwide.|
Certified Residential Specialist, CRS, is the most advanced residential marketing course offered by the REALTOR® organization. The prerequisites are a minimum number of transactions, number of years in sales and multiple fields of study including appraisal, financing, negotiating and marketing. Fewer than 5 percent of all agents earn this designation.
|E-Certified— The Internet, E-mail, Personal Websites, Personal Computers, Cell Phones, Text Messaging and more are all new since we first entered the field. New tools come on board all the time. We have adapted to and adopted today’s technology and employ every resource available to bring the best of today’s market literally to your door.|
|Certified Skilled Negotiator is a designation created in 2006 that I earned in the same year. Prior to that we completed several independent courses in negotiating. Effective negotiating for our clients is among our most valuable skills.|
|Graduate, REALTOR® Institute, GRI, is awarded to agents who successfully complete a multi-part course of study focused on the marketing and sale of residential properties.|
|The REALTOR® symbol indicates an agent who subscribes to the Code of Ethics. It signifies membership in the National, State and Local Associations and affords clients all of the benefits this powerful and influential body provides.|
|A Broker’s License is optional. A Salesperson’s License is the entry level. The additional knowledge we have permits us to supervise agents and delivers added expertise for our clients.|
Straight Talk About commission
So, how much does it cost?
Our company charges 7% of the final sale price. That figure is negotiable. Talk to us. The commission is divided 4 ways – listing company & listing agent; Buyer’s company & Buyer’s Agent. The fee pays all 4 service providers who cooperate in your sale.
YIKES! A LOT! – We KNOW it’s a lot. Yet it is about the same amount you pay on almost every purchase you make without even thinking about it; it’s less than sales tax.
Is cost your only criteria when hiring any other professional - Attorney, Accountant, Dentist, Surgeon? Didn’t think so.
Sometimes owners believe that real estate agents have opposing goals with them.
No one would pay the commission if the job were as easy as it sometimes looks.
Our goals and yours are quite similar.
|Seller’s Goals||Agent’s Goals|
|Highest Sale Price||Highest Sale Price (to attract new business)|
|Successful Closing||Successful Closing|
|To Move||Seller To Move|
|Many Buyers (offers)||Many Buyers (offers)|
|Marketing||Self Promotion through marketing|
|An agent worth paying||To be THE agent worth paying|
|Profit||Profit and Future referral business from satisfied clients|
Whenever you “buy” a service you need to know several things about the purchase:
1. What services do I really need?
2. How do I know that this company or person is capable of providing them?
3. Even if they are capable, how do I know they WILL do as promised?
A fair way to evaluate is to examine what has been done for you before you sign. Have you been provided with market statistics, a thorough pricing analysis, honest recommendations about condition, samples of marketing materials and a detailed marketing plan?
Almost anyone can “list” a home – that is put it on a list, put up a sign and hope. Often times that is just what the lowest bidder does. There is always someone who will do a poor job for less money. There is always someone willing to tell you a higher price in order to get your business and you may be stuck with a regretful decision. Demand solid evidence when determining your asking price. Use common sense; don’t confuse the lowest bid with your best deal. Not all agents are the same.
You want to know that you are buying your BEST service at the BEST price and not overpaying for “fluff” yet not cheating yourself out of the advocacy and guidance you need.
We do all things possible to bring the marketplace to your door. The product that they find when they get there is up to you.
When you are ready to make that decision we will discuss the realities of our marketplace and the extent and value of our service. Together we will determine a realistic selling fee that includes all of the aspects of selling a home. We will show you that we are prepared to deliver everything you need to accomplish the complex task of selling by researching price, advising you on market strategy, property condition, marketing and advertising, advocating for you when offers are received, navigating the building, termite, environmental and municipal inspections, the appraisal, title search, survey issues, closing and possession.
We have the expertise and experience to handle all the details.
Our goal is to make your sale a success… and a pleasure!
Are you better at your job than other people who do the same or similar job?
Is that partly because you have developed effective systems and procedures and have resources, networks and personal contacts in place that you have cultivated over time?
Is it also partially because you have more knowledge and experience solving problems and, especially, in avoiding problems that your employer may not even be aware of?
Is your professional reputation alone sometimes instrumental in getting the results your employer needs?
Are you paid at least a little more than some other people who do the same or similar job?
Does your employer actually make more money by paying you more for the expertise you bring to him or her?
Considering the above, does it make sense to you now that when you are in a position to hire someone for a complicated job that the amount of compensation you will pay should
be only one of the criteria you use when making that decision?
We have worked for years putting in place the experience, networks, resources and personal connections that help us deliver your successful sale.
“But with all the homes on the Internet it is so much easier nowadays that it should cost so much less…”
How much easier is your job now than in “the old days?”
Ours, too. Technology just makes us able to do more, not less.
What do you get for the commission?
The fee is for more than a sign and some paperwork. It is for knowledge, experience and expertise. It is for knowing how to get your home sold so you can get on with your life.
What we’re really talking about is buying the package of services you need. We believe that, especially in this challenging market, sellers need all of the advantages we offer. And you only pay us at your successful closing.
We are a full service, not limited service brokerage. This concept has worked the best over time – in fast & slow markets. Systems and procedures are in place to handle the million details – showing appointments to ad deadlines, Internet inquiries and sign calls.
Your agent is the center point of communication and information. You will find that your agent becomes all of the following: the voice of reason, confidant, negotiator, soft shoulder, drill sergeant and chief hand holder. Multitasking at its best.
What our clients say...
"As an independent broker I often refer clients to Gil and Donna. I’m not sure that my respect and appreciation of their talents can easily be put into words. However, amazing does come to mind and that isn’t nearly close to describing the abilities that they both have and give to all the clients lucky enough to have them representing them."
- Joan Zucker
"Donna has been a trusted advisor and an excellent agent for our family through several West County and Clayton moves. She has provided a deep understanding of current market conditions and excellent insight into pricing our homes appropriately. One of Donna's many strengths in her negotiating skills which gives us a high level of confidence during each of our real estate transactions. She’s always given us practical recommendations on how to make our homes show beautifully. With Donna’s guidance we sold our last home on the first day on the market - at the asking price. We couldn’t have been more pleased."
- Steve & Barbara Archer
"I worked for Gil at Aetna and when we wanted to buy our first home I couldn’t think of anyone except Gil. He mentored me, taught me, was patient with me and he has put all that to work in selling houses. The house we fell in love with sold before we could buy it. They wrote a backup contract and warned us that they rarely work. So we kept looking and didn’t find anything we liked as well as the first one. A few weeks later Gil called to tell me our backup was now primary. The original buyer had financing problems. Even they thought it was amazing. We love our new home."
- Stacy Key & Don Price
"Gil is the consummate salesman in the best sense of the word and profession. He is intelligent, witty and intuitive. A good listener and an adept communicator. If he put his mind to it I believe that he could, in fact, sell you that bridge!"
- Mela Sera, Senior Account Director
"Donna has helped me with real estate matters for 35 years including the most recent sale of our home in Kirkwood. After her preparations and presentations the house sold four days after it was listed in a down market. Nice expertise."
- Carl Ehrlich
"I wasted 6 months with another agent, was finally referred to Gil and Donna who knew precisely what needed to be done. Their marketing expertise sold my home in 35 days over the Christmas holidays."
- James Kemp
"After selling my home with another agent I decided to buy a condo. My agent said the sale would be too small for her to handle. She recommended Donna and I’m glad she did. She zeroed in on what I wanted; we looked at a few, but the one I really wanted to see had already sold. Three weeks later it was back on the market and it was just what I wanted. I bought it and have been very happy with it and with Donna’s caring service."
- Debbie Benson
"My husband and I used Donna the first time when she sold our house in Chesterfield during the downturn in the market. She helped us in what can be a stressful process of selling and helped us with any issues that needed to be addressed in order to get the best deal possible. When we returned to St. Louis a few years later we asked her for help in buying a house here. She took the time to listen to our wants and needs for the new house so as not to waste time looking at houses that would not be a good fit. She was instrumental in purchasing our home by giving me a virtual tour since I was not able to view the house on the first showing. We found a great house in a great neighborhood that we love."
- Heide Quirk
"Donna sold our home when we were transferred to Switzerland. I called Donna when we learned we were coming back. I wanted house in Webster Groves or Kirkwood that I knew would be hard to find. She previewed, photographed & videoed many homes and gave her candid opinion. Eventually we found one that was good enough to get on a plane for and bought it. Superior service."
- Amy O’Neil
"I was once a real estate agent and worked with Donna. When I decided to sell my house and move to a condo I immediately thought of her. Donna did an excellent job selling my house quickly and for top dollar, and she negotiated a great deal when I purchased the perfect condo. Donna is knowledgeable, professional, and conscientious, and I would not hesitate to recommend her."
- Valerie Rovira
"I was interested in downsizing. Donna came over and gave me a list of things to do. It took me forever. Donna did her homework, too. She looked at several comparable houses nearby and compared prices. When we finally listed my house I accepted a contract for full asking price on the same day. That’s right! The first day! In the process of looking for a house to buy I’m afraid I just about drove her crazy. This was the first house I was buying just for me. And I wanted CUTE. We found it, but unfortunately it fell through due to some major repairs discovered during the inspection. By then I was getting worried about finding a place before we had to vacate the old one. Donna was all over it and found me another super cute house and we closed in record time. You can tell when you talk to her she’s been doing this a long time and knows all the ins and outs of getting through the mountain of paperwork it requires. What a relief to know someone else had all the details covered. My advice: do what donna says. It's just easier that way and you’ll get what you want."
- Marlo Montabon
"Donna sold our home in Ballwin in 1991. This smooth sale was due to Donna making sure the real estate transaction moved along. With my job transfer and 3 very young children, Carol was busy taking care of the details of the transfer. When we returned to St. Louis a few years later we called her right away to find our new home. Success! We still live in the same home and highly recommend her and Gil to anyone needing a real estate agent."
- Eric Brimer
"My family transferred in and then out again 14 months later. Donna and Gil took care of everything both times. We appreciate all you did for us."
- Walt Koteff
"My husband and I wanted a fixer upper. We knew the area; she didn’t. She just knew how to find our miracle house. It wasn’t even on the market when she told me to drive by. When we went to see it the owner was doing some repairs and doing them poorly. The condition was awful, but the house was perfect. We wrote our offer subject to all work stopping. It worked. She’s my mom."
- Cindy Haynes
"I wanted a condo and Donna told me she knew which one, but it would take a while to get the owner to move. She was right. It was ideally located for me and a great floor plan. It took six months for her to find the owner his new house and I bought the condo. A few years later I wanted a house for my new family. She found us exactly what we wanted and sold the condo for a nice profit. PS. I was once married to her."
- Ben Giamalva