We worked with Steve on buying a house in Bethesda and selling a house in Northern Virginia. First, it is important to understand we moved pretty fast and Steve kept up with our pace. We entered contracts to buy a house and sell a house within 1 week of our search, and finished up closing on both properties within 6 weeks of our search. We identified our buyers so the selling was a slam dunk and only an administrative hassle for Steve to work up the contract.
He did not have to list, show our house, or even negotiate a price. On the buy side, we toured houses over one weekend with him. We identified all of the houses we wanted to see. In short, we didn't waste much of Steve's time. While we were very impressed with Steve's knowledge of the Bethesda market, we mainly ended up using him because we loved the house he showed us on our first day out (before we had formally signed a contract with him) and we also liked that he was able to handle the buy and sell side of our transaction. Steve's positives are that he is really knowledgeable about the Bethesda and Montgomery county market and very responsive. Steve answers his phone, texts, and emails promptly. He also understands the Bethesda market and how to get a deal done. That said, we may recommend him with some hesitation. The main issues were that we found him to be unprofessional at times and we found him to be a poor negotiator for our interests. He was sometimes unprofessional in dealing with us (although always professional in dealing with others) to the extent that we felt he wasn't always representing our best interests. He offended my husband and I a few times when we had concerns about some issues in our deal. Ultimately, our concerns were very valid and we almost lost a couple thousand dollars. He had to apologize to us and the agents worked together to fix the problem, but we lost trust in him. Also, he would not waive his real estate company Long and Foster's $345 documentation fee. While I understand this fee tends to be common practice these days, it is not necessary and given that Steve earned a significant commission working with us with minimal amount of time spent on his end, we left our closing day with a bad taste in our mouth. In sum, Steve was knowledgeable and responsive but somewhat unprofessional and not the best negotiator for our interests. He came highly recommended from friends, so it could have been a 1-off experience. Overall everything worked out, and I do believe he can get the job done if you have to use him.