Houston’s high-end residential real estate market has been expanding for years, and the city’s top Realtors have sold millions of dollars worth of magnificent homes and estates in all of Houston’s best neighborhoods. Given the wealth that can be found in the city’s rich energy market, it is no surprise that Houston ranks among the hottest luxury real estate markets in the entire country. Indeed, two of Houston’s most expensive neighborhoods rank within the most luxurious areas in the United States.
Throughout the city center and its prestigious sprawling suburbs, Houston is home to grand country estates, show-stopping mansions, historic manors, and architecturally stunning new homes. Only a top agent is trusted to negotiate the sales of such significant properties. Those who excel in this high-end real estate market have insider knowledge of the region, excellent connections, strong negotiating skills, and a deep understanding of the market and their clients’ needs.
To determine the top ten realtors in a city with such high standards, we considered a number of factors, including total sales volume, the prestigious of the neighborhoods where an agent has listings, high-profile client lists, involvement in industry associations and groups, and the value of their current listings. We also looked at awards and industry recognition such as the Houston Business Journal’s annual list of top-producing Realtors, and H Texas magazine and Texas Monthly magazine lists.
10) Lisa Kornhauser
Website | 713.626.3930 | Company: John Daugherty Realtors
Lisa Kornhauser has been a Houston Business Journal Top 10 Residential Realtor based on Total Dollar Volume Sold since 2010. In 2016 she sold $63.79 million worth of homes. She has been the Realtors top producer at John Daugherty Realtors since 1999 and is currently the company’s number two agent in sales volume. In 2010 she was inducted into the John Daugherty, Realtors Hall of Fame.
Kornhauser became a licenced real estate agent in 1999. She represents sellers and buyers in Houston’s traditional close-in neighborhoods. She focuses predominantly on areas in and around Bellaire, West University, Texas Medical Center neighborhoods, River Oaks, Tanglewood, and the Memorial Villages. She credits her extraordinary success in residential real estate to her dedication to each client and her skills as a negotiator.
Prior to entering her career in residential real estate, she honed her sales and business skills as a highly-successful marketing and sales representative in the southern U.S. for luxury clothing firm St. John’s Knits. She has lived in Houston since the age of two, giving her a wealth of local knowledge that benefits her clients.
Kornhauser is selling 4404 Camellia Lane, a grand Mediterranean style mansion priced at $2.499 million. This home’s location inside The Loop on a beautiful street is nearly as desirable as its amenities. The Bellaire home is sophisticated and meticulously maintained, and contains top-of-the-line finishes and home systems, including an abundance of smart home technologies. Within its nearly 7,000 square feet it has a paneled library, formal living and dining rooms, a casual family room, game room, and an open kitchen that was remodeled in 2017. The property also includes a 3-car garage, magnificent pool, and covered outdoor patio.
And she has the listing for 5105 Braeburn in Bellaire, priced at $2,499,999. Located on the most desirable section in coveted Braeburn Country Club Estates, the 7,067 square foot home holds 5 bedrooms with 7 and 2 half baths. Originally built in 1997, the home was significantly updated in 2013. The magnificent home was designed for entertaining on a grand scale with its inviting foyer, formal living and dining room, gourmet kitchen and breakfast room, and even a “Trophy Room” with a wine cellar. Outside is a gorgeous patio with a large pool and beautifully landscaped yard.
9) Aida Younis
Website | 713.857.9156 | Company: RE/MAX
Aida Younis is one of the most awarded real estate agents in Texas. She has worked in Houston area real estate for over 30 years and has surpassed $800 million in sales. Younis has been a multi-million dollar top producer since 1982. Her team came in 2nd this year in the Houston Business Journal’s rankings (for teams with 10 or fewer members) of agents by sales volume, with $109.21 million in sales last year.
Younis typically works in the City of Sugar Land, Houston, Missouri City, Richmond and more. She has a reputation for finding quality real estate opportunities for buyers, using her strong connections and knowledge of the region. She bases her work on three guiding principles, that have been the foundation of her career for over 30 years: effective communication, honesty, and respect.
Throughout her successful career she has earned many accolades and awards, including being inducted into the RE/MAX Hall of Fame, awarded the Lifetime Achievement Award, and earning membership into the 100% Club and Platinum Club. She has previously been #1 in Top Volume Listed, #1 in Top Units Sold, and #1 in Top Units Listed.
Younis has the listing for one of the most iconic estates in Sugar Land, a $6 million estate at 5124 Palm Royale Blvd. Located on one of the city’s most exclusive streets and on a large lot surrounded by lakes golf course views, this home is build for luxury living and world class entertaining. Details are exquisite, and include imported stone, custom woodwork, and exquisite chandeliers. The backyard is a spectacular oasis, including a massive pool, cabana, and outdoor kitchen.
And she is selling a gorgeous, historically designated, estate at 2112 Brentwood Drive, Houston, listed for $3.999 million. Built by Cameron Fairchild in 1927 for the founder of Texas Children’s Hospital, this home has been extensively renovated to blend timeless period elegance with the modern, 21st-century amenities expected from a luxury home of this level. The large lot, coming in at 16,463 square feet, is perfect for entertaining. The home included countless balconies and covered porches, and phenomenal guest quarter with a full kitchen, living room, bedroom, and bathroom.
8) Paige Martin
Website | 713.461.9393 | Company: Keller Williams Realty
Paige Martin was recently ranked by Keller Williams Realty as 2017’s #1 Individual Realtor in Keller Williams Houston. Paige has also been named as the #1 Individual Realtor in the entire state of Texas and the #10 Individual Realtor in the United States for 2017. REAL Trends named her one of the best real estate agents in America. She has been featured in The Wall Street Journal, Fortune Magazine, Reuters, Fox News in the Morning, Houston Business Journal, and Houston Chronicle.
Martin is a consistent the Top Producing Broker-Associate and is the owner of HoustonProperties.com. She is a sought-after Realtor for buyers and sellers alike. A Houston-native, she has an abundance of local knowledge and connections. She is respected by her peers and clients alike for her local perspective and deep knowledge of the real estate market. After graduating from Baylor, Martin had a successful career as a marketing consultant, developing customized marketing plans and strategies for her clients. She now uses those professional marketing skills to help her real estate clients find and sell their homes.
Additional honors include Five Star Professional Real Estate Agent (given to fewer than 7% of Houston realtors), Houston Realtor of Excellence Award, Houston Realtor Par Excellence Award, Top Google Houston Real Estate Award, and Talk of the Town Award for Excellence in Customer Satisfaction.
In addition to her robust real estate career, Paige was appointed by Houston’s Mayor Bill White to serve on the Board of Directors for the Downtown Redevelopment Authority and Tax Increment Reinvestment Zone #3 (TIRZ). She volunteers her time as a Chairman of the Housing Committee, and a member the Budget & Finance Committee. She is a member of the National Association of Realtors, Texas Association of Realtors and Houston Association of Realtors, and has served on the Houston Association of Realtors MLS Advisory Group. Paige is also the co-chair of the Keller Williams Realty – Memorial Office’s Luxury Homes Committee. Additionally, she serves a variety of non-profits, civic, and community boards and has been recognized by the Houston Police Foundation.
Martin recently represented the seller of 3405 Piping Rock Lane in Houston, an elegant, historic, home on one of the most sought-after streets in River Oaks. It is estimated that the home sold for around $2.8 million. The warm and inviting manor home features exquisite finishes and loads of character. Inside you will find details such as a carved marble fireplace in a grand living room, a lounge/game room with a granite-topped wet bar and direct access to the pool and outdoor patio, and show-stopping marble and stone filled bathrooms. Outside is a resort like setting, with beautifully manicured lawns and landscaping, a large pool, and covered patio area.
And she represented the buyer of an incredible condo in Houston’s newest and most exclusive high-rise at 1275 S Post Oak Lane. Estimated to cost between $2.5 and $2.9 million, the home has 11 foot ceilings, floor-to-ceiling windows and large living and dining rooms, The magnificent and modern kitchen with Miele appliances and Eggersmann cabinets is streamlined and has clean lines, with an open layout that is perfect for entertaining. This home has gorgeous finishes throughout and includes 2 large corner terraces, 1 assigned parking spaces, and 1 storage unit. The new owner has access to a grand heated pool, formal gardens, private cabanas, pet park, fitness center, and event rooms.
7) Clayton Katz
Website | 713.561.6890 | Company: John Daugherty Realtors
Katz not only has the listing for one of the top ten most expensive homes on the Houston residential market right now, but he also sold one of the top ten priciest homes last year. He was named a Five Star Real Estate Agent by Texas Monthly from 2010-2015, and was named by HAR as one of the “Top 20 Realtors under 40” in 2015.
Katz prides himself on keeping abreast of the latest trends in the market and in technology. He has built a long list of exclusive contacts in the Houston areas since the time he attended River Oaks Baptist and Episcopal High School. He is known among his peers for his insider knowledge and ability to give his client’s all of the information they need to make educated and solid residential real estate investments. He works throughout the Houston area, specializing in River Oaks/Montrose, West University Place, Southside Place, Bellaire, Tanglewood, Rice Military, and The Heights.
His backgrounds and introduction to the field of real estate began years before his Realtors career. He gained a unique insight into the industry through his family’s custom home-building business, and later honed his customer service and management skills while owning and buying for his clothing and home furnishing boutique. His dedication to taking his skills to the next level can be seen in his obtaining additional education and experience to become a Texas Real Estate Broker. Katz is a member of the Houston Association of Realtors, Texas Association of Realtors, and the National Association of Realtors.
Katz has the honor of earning the listing for one of the top ten most expensive homes on the market in Houston right now, a $8.5 million estate at 920 Kirby, Houston. The home is a Robert Dame designed French traditional on a stately wooded Kirby lot. Currently under construction, this magnificent home will feature 5-6 bedrooms, separate traditional and catering kitchens, an underground garage and wine cellar, media room, library, dual master bath, and expansive master retreat. The home will be completed with top-of-the-line technology and amenities, including Crestron home automation and iron windows with retractable doors. Outside, the home’s gorgeous grounds will be home to a loggia, pool and spa.
Katz is responsible for selling one of the most expensive homes last years, a beautiful new mansion at 59 Tiel Way, which sold for between roughly $5.8 and $6.8 million. This 8,130 square foot French traditional home is also designed by Robert Dame, and is located on a Tiel Way ravine lot. Inside, you will find soaring ceilings and beautiful wooded views from towering iron windows. The private estate holds 5 bedrooms, separate traditional and catering kitchens, a lofty master retreat with a vaulted beamed ceiling, gorgeous wine room, elegant library, multiple dining spaces, a loggia, and theatre.
6) Heidi Dugan
Website | 713.524.0888 | Company: Greenwood King Properties
Heidi Dugan has been recognized by the Houston Business Journal as one of the Top 25 Realtors in the City of Houston since 2002. She is consistently ranked the Number 1 real estate agent in West University Place (per MLS statistics). Dugan regularly represents high-profile clients in some of Houston’s leading neighborhoods. In 2016, she sold an impressive $63.98 million worth of homes.
Dugan specializes in the areas of West University, Southampton, River Oaks, Southgate, Bellaire, Braes Heights, Museum District, Rice Military, and Memorial. She has been a resident of West University Place for over 35 years, 22 of which she has been a leading realtor in the area. As such, she knows the ins and outs of the neighborhood, understands local market trends, values, and the intricacies of specific locations, builders, and current events in the area. Her clients value this inside knowledge and respect her commitment to excellence. She is well known throughout the industry for her professionalism and likeable personality.
Dugan has the listing for the phenomenal home at 3775 Farber, Southside Place, which is listed for $5.799. This home is located on a rare double lot that is 22,500 square feet large and located in a prime spot across from Firetruck Park. The main house, with an elevator, holds five bedrooms, a wine room, study, game room, open kitchen, and media room. The home also has a wonderful 3,042 square foot pool house designed by Scott Frasier, with a soaring beamed ceiling, bar, catering kitchen, changing room, exercise room, and private apartment. The grounds have an amazing pool, outdoor kitchen, and professional landscaping.
And she has the listing for the fantastically update home at 6530 Auden in Southside Place, listed for $2.549 million. This home is located on a huge 11,160 lot just a block away from Fire Truck Park. Inside, the home has up to 7 bedrooms, a second floor game room, a downstairs media room and study, and an open kitchen and den with a wonderful chef’s kitchen, perfect for entertaining. And the huge master suite has its own sitting room and balcony. An elevator connects all floors, as well as a grand floating staircase in a double height lobby surrounded by glass windows. This mansion has spectacular designer finishes and lighting throughout, such as Hermes & Romanoff wallpaper. Outside, the home has a fantastic patio with a large pool, covered living space, and a large lawn.
5) Mike Mahlstedt
Website | 713.341.1766 | Company: Heritage Texas Properties
Mike Mahlstedt is the companywide Top Producer at Heritage Texas Properties, closing over $50 million a year in production and ranked by Houston Business Journal as a Top 25 Real Estate Professional for the 3rd year in a row. In 2014 he closed on almost $66 million in sales.
A native Houstonian, Mahlstedt sells real estate throughout the Houston area, focusing on traditional Inner Loop and close-in neighborhoods. He has a reputation in the field for his experience, expertise, and enthusiasm. His success is evident in his continuously growing business and repeat and referral business.
Mahlstedt has been elected to the Board of Directors of Houston Association of Realtors. He has received numerous awards and acclamations for his work, including the Texas Monthly 5-Star Realtor Award, the John E. Wolff Community Service Award from the Houston Association of Realtors, was a “Man of the Year” Candidate for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society, was recognized with the “Top 40 Under 40” Award from the Houston Business Journal, and the “Top 20 Under 40” Award from the Houston Association of Realtors.
Mahlstedt has the listing for a stately, custom home at 1 Maggie Lane in Piney Point, listed at $3.995 million. The roughly 10,000 square foot home is set on over an acre in a highly desirable neighborhood. It is designed for luxury living and entertaining. The home is incredibly sophisticated and features imported marbles & Onyx, Venetian plaster walls, soaring ceilings, and countless designer touches. It includes a professionally equipped kitchen, impressive master suite with a gym, an expansive game and media room, and glamorous guest suites. The property also includes a 5-car garage and a backyard retreat with numerous private living areas, a pool and spa, outdoor summer kitchen, bocce court, and fire pit area.
And Mahlstedt is selling a magnificent mansion at 5 Smithdale Estates Drive in Piney Point, listed for $2.995 million. The 5,771 square foot manor has 5 bedrooms and 4 and one half bathrooms. Set on nearly one acre in a prestigious neighborhood, the home is built with a timeless aesthetic. Features include grand mahogany doors that open to an airy marble foyer, gracious formal areas and a private, stately study, and a chef’s kitchen with abundant storage and a breakfast area. A wall of windows and French doors in the living room and den show off magnificent views of the sprawling backyard, pool, and spa.
4) Colleen Sherlock
Website | 713.524.0888 | Company: Greenwood King Properties
Colleen Sherlock was first named a top 10 real estate agent in Houston by the Houston Business Journal in 2001, and has consistently ranked as one of the top 10 agents since. She came in 2nd place last year with $75.61 million in transactions. She is constantly a top producer at Greenwood King Properties, which she joined in 1988.
Sherlock’s extraordinary career serving residential real estate buyers and sellers that began in 1976. She is an expert in negotiating, attention to detail, and marketing. She is known for her ability to analyze and interpret market trends in order to professionally advise her clients long-term considerations. She is an established specialist in many of Houston’s neighborhoods, likely to known off the top of her head who originally built a home nearly 100 years ago and what is going on in neighborhoods regarding schools, property taxes, and professionals to care for your property.
Her market area encompasses both inside and outside the loop. She services many of Houston’s finest neighborhoods including Shadyside, River Oaks, Avalon, Southampton, West University, Southside Place, Rice/Medical, Tanglewood, and Memorial.
Sherlock has the listing for a fantastic custom home at 5636 Longmont Drive in Tanglewood, priced at $3.1 million. This 5 bedroom, six and two half bathroom home is by Parker House and includes custom features throughout. The house includes 11 foot ceilings on the first floor, granite counter tops and stone floors in the grand kitchen, and a large master suite with beamed ceilings. Additional rooms include a game room, exercise room, paneled study, home office, and formal living and dining areas. Outside, the home has gorgeous grounds, that include a loggia, summer kitchen, heated salt water pool, and oversized 3 car garage with a porte-cochere.
And Sherlock has the listing for a stunning traditional home at 10927 Wickwild in Willowick, listed for $4.487 million. This home is being built by Concord Builders and is expected to be completed in May 2018. This brand new home will offer its future occupants an abundance of living space, including formal living and dining rooms, a study, wine grotto, game room overlooking the expansive backyard, exercise/craft room, and two utility rooms. The hom will hold 6 bedrooms and six and two half baths, including a master and guest suite on the first floor.
3) Laura Sweeney
Website | 713.561.6696 | Company: John Daugherty Realtors
Laura Sweeney is the #1 top producer at John Daugherty Realtors, where she is also a member of the Realtors Hall of Fame. She is consistently named a Top 25 Realtor by Houston Business Journal and was ranked in first place this year with $92.89 million in sales. Since 2009 she has been ranked in either the first or second spot. She currently has at least 10 listings above $2 million.
As one of Houston’s premier residential real estate professionals, Sweeney has earned a well-deserved reputation for his hard work, organization, and persistence in getting client’s exactly what they need. She is nationally acclaimed for her marketing expertise and negotiation skills. Sweeney is a member of the Houston Association of Realtors, Texas Association of Realtors, and the National Association of Realtors.
Sweeney specializes in Houston’s most in-demand neighborhoods, including River Oaks, Memorial, West University, and Tanglewood. She has been a licensed Realtor since 1997 and has won many awards and honors since. She has participated in some of the largest sales on record in River Oaks, Memorial, and West University, including four of the five most expensive properties sold in River Oaks in 2015.
Sweeney currently has the listing for Spanish style estate at 2240 Inwood Drive, priced at $4.695 million. This majestic River Oaks home is prominently situated on a prime corner property with a gated entry courtyard. It has distinctive architectural elements and is full of fine finishes. The five bedroom home has a grand reception hall, gourmet open kitchen, wet bar, and wine vault, making it the perfect home for entertaining. The property also has private guest quarters, 3 guest suites, and a luxurious master suite that opens onto a spacious terrace. Outside the home has a loggia with a summer kitchen, a large swimming pool, and a gated motor court with a two car garage.
And Sweeney is selling a majestic Memorial English manor at 15 Mott Lane, which is priced at $4.5 million. This distinguished six bedroom home was masterfully built by Abercrombie utilizing a Rudolph Colby design. It sits on over an acre of enchanting grounds on a private ravine in Piney Point Village, with manicured grounds and unbelievable English gardens, a loggia, outdoor fireplace, a cabana, large swimming pool, and circular motor court and three car garage. The home is built for entertaining, with grand reception areas that harmoniously blend into intimate living spaces, and a wet bar with a wine vault.
2) Ruthie Porterfield
Website | 713.558.3247 | Company: Martha Turner Sotheby’s International Realty
Ruthie Porterfield is consistently among the Martha Turner Properties Circle of Excellence top five producers and is a charter member of the Martha Turner Properties Hall of Fame. According to Houston MLS, she has been the number-one Realtor in all residential categories for the Tanglewood/Briargrove area annually since 1991. And she is recognized yearly in the Houston Business Journal Book of Lists for selling some of the top-50 most expensive homes in the city. She has been named a top Realtor in central Houston by both H Texas magazine and Texas Monthly magazine.
Porterfield has had a 30+ year career as one of Houston’s top residential Realtors. In 2010, she was recognized for 20 years in the Circle of Excellence and is a member of the Martha Turner Properties Pinnacle. Over the years, she has acquired an enviable clientele and has been recognized for producing the highest volume of closed referral business within the company. She gains repeat and referral business due to her exemplary professionalism and production.
Porterfield specializes in luxury residential real estate. She takes a comprehensive approach to market statistics, updating her neighborhood sales data on a monthly basis, and serving as a valuable resource for her fellow Realtors. She is a native of Fort Worth and graduated from the University of Texas with a degree in interior design and a minor in architecture.
In addition to her career in real estate, Porterfield has served on the Texas Christian University Clark Board, the TCU Parent Council, and the boards of several Houston charities.
Porterfield is selling the Mediterranean-style residence at 8802 Memorial Drive, for $6.995 million. This classically styled, custom built home comes in at 9,768 square feet on over an acre of land. It was designed by Robert Dame with curated finishes and authentic details and included high-end amenities throughout. Interior features include walnut, alder and cypress wood cabinetry, honed limestone and walnut floors, enormous fireplaces, and a first-floor master wing with onyx/marble-clad bath. The home also has an exercise room, bar with a wine cellar and kegerator, and a movie theatre. Outside, the property has a sheltered living and dining area, a resort-inspired pool, bluestone terraces, Venetian plaster walls and Artisan painting.
Porterfield also has the listing for a historic New England colonial style home at 3363 Inwood Drive Houston, listed at $9.995 million. It is the former home of legendary Houstonian political powerhouse George R. Brown and was designed by architect J. T. Rather. The home is the epitome of old Houston grace and elegance. The home has been thoughtfully restored and renovated to include period-style additions by architects Sharon Perry and Roger Cooner. It includes inviting light-filled formal rooms, a professionally-equipped kitchen, a master suite with a morning room, sumptuous bath, custom-fitted closets and dressing area, and en suite bedrooms with sitting areas. It also has a guest house and large pool house with an entertainment and serving area.
1) Walter Bering
Website | 713.851.9753 | Company: Martha Turner Sotheby’s International Realty
Walter Bering has been successful in real estate for over 34 years. He was Martha Turner Sotheby’s International top producer for 2007, 2011, and 2013, and for over a decade has consistently been among the company’s top ten producers, is a Circle of Excellence Award winner and a member of the Hall of Fame. He is recognized annually as as one of the Top 25 Individual Realtors in the City of Houston by the Houston Business Journal.
Bering specializes in Houston’s most prominent neighborhoods, including River Oaks, Tanglewood, West University, Southampton, Bellaire, and the Memorial Villages. He is known by his peers and clients for his dedication, professionalism, and knowledge of the area and real estate market.
Bering has a long family history in real estate, aiding to his strong understanding of the field. Some of his earliest memories are of the realty business started by his grandfather and father, Bering Realty Corp. Bering earned a degree from Tulane University and went to work as a top sales agent, office manager, relocation direction, and eventually designated broker at the family firm. After 16 years at Bering Realty Corp., Bering joined Martha Turner Sotheby’s International Realty, where he has had a truly impressive career.
Bering has the impressive listing for impressive estate at 1000 Kirby Drive, listed for a shocking $20 million, making it one of the most expensive homes currently for sale in the Houston market. The home was designed to accommodate the living, entertaining, and professional lives of its residents. The home’s first floor greets guests with a triple-height, marble-and-glass reception hall, holds elegant formal living and dining salons with space for over 200 people, and a professional grade, eat-in kitchen. The luxurious second-floor master suite has a pair of bedrooms with two magnificently appointed full baths, bespoke dressing areas, room-sized closets, a gym/beauty salon, and two balconies. This estate also has a spectacular outdoor area, with a resort-style pool, spa, fully-equipped cabana, outdoor kitchen with a pizza oven and bar, a gazebo holding a commercial hibachi grill, and multiple play areas.
He is also selling the 12,808 square foot English Georgian-style home at 2 Longfellow Lane for $16.5 million. Set on nearly 2 acres in the prestigious gated Shadyside, the home is listed on the National Registry of Historic Places. Originally designed by Harrie T. Lindeberg and his protégé, John Staub, the home has been thoughtfully updated and restored. Equally as impressive as the grand home are its yards, with magnificent 100+ year old oak trees, landscaped gardens, a pool, pool house, and multiple patios.
Other listings by Bering include the $14.95 million 1721 River Oaks Boulevard home, the estate at 3940 Iverness Drive, priced for $8.75 million, which has what is apparently the largest residential pool in the country, a roofed party pavilion and a tennis court with stadium seating, and at least ten others homes all priced over one million.
Other notable Houston realtors not included on this list include: Kellie Geitner with Martha Turner Sotheby’s International Realty, Jay Monroe with Martha Turner Sotheby’s International Realty, Steve Baumgardner with John Daugherty Realtors, Clare Leppert with Martha Turner Sotheby’s International Realty, Beth Ferester with Coldwell Banker United, REALTORS, and Diane Kingshill with Martha Turner Sotheby’s International Realty.