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Sara Harper, Realtor, House of Brokers Realty Inc.

Years lived in Columbia/Mid-Missouri:


Original hometown:

Independence, Missouri.


Bachelor’s degree from MU in early childhood education and elementary education, specializing in behavior disorders.

Favorite volunteer/community activity: 

Supporting Columbia Independent School. From a real estate perspective, many clients move to Columbia looking for educational options for their families. Many were looking for a private college preparatory option that Columbia just didn’t have for a long time. I became a founder of CIS in 1998, helping get the school started, and I’ve been serving as a trustee for 19 years. CIS has grown and evolved into an outstanding academic school focused on a values-based education. I’m proud to say we just completed our athletics and arts center addition in March!

Professional background:


A favorite recent project: 

Volunteering for the Birds of a Feather Gala, Columbia Independent School’s largest fundraiser, founded by Marjo Price.

A Columbia businessperson I admire and why:

Jackie Bulgin. When I first got out of real estate school (with no intention of being a Realtor), Jackie contacted me and encouraged me to join Bulgin Real Estate and just ‘try it’ for a bit while I taught kindergarten. She suggested I might be good at it and could sell after teaching. ‘Me?’ I thought. Well, I’ve been following Jackie ever since, both personally and professionally, and I truly admire her commitment to life, love, and all those around her. I’m so lucky she picked me that day!

Biggest lesson learned in business:  

When I was in the third grade, I came home very upset with a fellow Brownie troop member. She had apparently done something not to my liking. After listening to all that was wrong with her, my dad sat me down and simply said he believed that every single person had at least one good quality and I’d be a much happier person if I looked for that good quality and liked people, rather than focusing on the negative in a person. ‘Sometimes you’ll have to dig deep,’ he said, ‘but there’s always at least one.’ I’ve never forgotten that, and it’s been very helpful over the years. I’m also a big believer in doing the right thing. You can’t go too wrong with that. And, last but not least, as I used to teach my kindergarten kiddos: The Golden Rule works. Always.

Why I’m passionate about my company: 

I have the best team in the whole world. Tracy, Justin, and Erin are stars. I wouldn’t want to do my job without them. They’ve got my back and allow me to shine. House of Brokers Realty continues to be an awesome place to work and play. Our support staff is amazing and helps make my life terrific.

Why I’m passionate about my job:

I like to help people. Transitioning to a new home, and often a new city, can be a super stressful time. Clients are not just buying or selling a home, but also adjusting to a new job, a new lifestyle, new schools — a whole lot of new. They really count on our team to be their advisors and help facilitate many aspects of the transition. I love helping them achieve their goals. I care that they find the best fit for their situation, whether they’re new to Columbia, moving across town, or building a new home. The best satisfaction I have is when we get to the closing and I see smiling faces. I do love a happy ending!

The next challenge facing my industry: 

Real estate is always evolving and changing — the changes in marketing techniques, technology, social media, regulations, etc., keep us on our toes. However, communication and personal relationships remain the core foundations of my business no matter what else comes my way. I am happy to call my clients my friends.

Greatest strength: 

I make a really good apple cream pie, and I make pretty bows on gift packages, thanks to Sally Nichols.

Greatest weakness:

I’m known for my tardiness. I always try to fit one more thing in. I’m still working on that. I’m not very good at saying “no” either.

If I weren’t doing this for a living, I think I would like to be a:

Country western singer.

What I do for fun:

Spend time with family and friends at the beach, pool, Steamboat Springs …


Dennis and I will celebrate 30 years of marriage in July and we have three terrific daughters: Paige, a mortgage lender at Landmark Bank; Taylor, who runs an online clothing boutique, Hello Harper; and Mackenzie, who graduates this month from SMU. They’ve all been an amazing part of the journey!

Favorite place in Columbia:

I haven’t found many places in Columbia that I don’t like except for the grocery store. Luckily, I married an enthusiastic grocery shopper and chef!

Accomplishment I’m most proud of:

My family. They are all pretty cool. I’m not sure that’s my accomplishment (as they are very accomplished on their own), but I’m sure proud of them!

Most people don’t know that I:

Went to real estate school only to please my grandfather, and I won a burping contest in fourth grade.

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