Joel Nelson

Joel Nelson
Team Leader, Listing Specialist

About Joel

Joel garnered his first hands-on real estate skills as a teenager in Philadelphia where he worked for several years on the maintenance crew of a classic 1912 apartment residence. The job taught him early how to work with historic building experts in every trade and how to keep residents happy with creative problem-solving. Joel moved to Washington, DC to attend American University, where he obtained a degree in psychology. Those twin foundations – the physical and psychological – have been invaluable throughout his life as an agent and consultant, as he leads people to align their competing objectives for mutual success.

After six years working in cities and towns across the country Joel, and his wife Thonya, returned to Washington in 1998. They fell in love with Capitol Hill and immediately began finding and renovating historic homes in the neighborhood. In 2001 Joel committed full-time to helping others make good purchase and sale decisions as a licensed agent. The Joel Nelson Group joined like-minded agents in founding Keller Williams Capital Properties (KWCP) in 2006, the first KW office in DC, and the fastest-growing brokerage in the capital.

Joel and his team have varied and hands-on experience as counselors, investors, renovators, and marketers. They are unparalleled in their dedication to client service, and make extraordinary advisors and guides as their clients achieve their individual goals in the vibrant neighborhoods of the Nation’s Capital!

What Clients Say about Joel

We were so pleased with the work of Joel and his team. Joel is so great to work with—he’s so gracious and supportive. We especially appreciated how he stayed on the schedule he outlined at the beginning of the process; how he kept us informed at every step of the way; how his team prepared and staged the house, and also how Jen helped us navigate the later part of the process. We highly recommend Joel and his team!

Fran Z.

Joel and his team are complete pros. From start to finish the process of preparing, listing, and selling my house was handled with care. Joel has peerless experience in Capitol Hill; he and his team communicate promptly, clearly, and with kindness. I highly recommend the Joel Nelson Group.

Nicholas S.

Extremely professional and capable. Great communication. A pleasure to work with.

Dan M.

Joel Nelson Group and Alan Mertz have been amazing partners over multiple real estate purchases and sales. In 2024 they helped us find our newest DC home. Thank you Joel and Alan!

Robin W.

Joel and his team are fantastic! They assisted us with both the purchase and sale of our homes. Very knowledgeable and communicative, Joel and his team made every step in the home buying and selling process painless. Would highly recommend!

Colleen D.

"We can't recommend the Joel Nelson Group highly enough. We used their services for both buying and selling a home in DC. Joel's team went above and beyond to sell our old place, while Chris Walters helped us find the perfect new home. Everyone on the team is friendly, reliable, and a joy to work with. Great experience all-around."

Liz S.

Joel and his team truly provided a full service experience by helping with contracting services to get a home ready for sale. They have excellent knowledge of the Capitol Hill market and the history of Hill homes. Joel helped us hit a quick timeline for preparing the house and were great at communicating their strategy throughout the whole process. I've recommended the Joel Nelson Group to friends and family since the home sale.

Matt U.

Joel and team were competent, quick responders, and kind. They got our house sold quickly in a tough market (high interest rates).

Russ G.

I am a repeat customer of the Joel Nelson Group(JNG) and cannot say enough great things about Joel and his team. JNG helped me with the sale of 2 and purchase of 1 house on the Hill. I put my trust in JNG and I am so glad I did. Moving and selling a house is overwhelming and stressful, especially when you have small kids in the mix. Joel and his team went above and beyond looking for ways they could help make the process easier for us. I really appreciated how patient and flexible the team was with us. Shout out to Sean and Thonya for the amazing job staging the house and getting it ready to list. It was clear that they listened to us and helped devise an effective and very successful strategy to sell our house. Cannot thank you guys enough for being quick to answer all our questions. Joel and Sean were so very patient and understanding of the limitations scheduling things around family etc. I could really go on and on. It is a bonkers market, Joel and his team know their stuff and were an absolute pleasure to work with.


We had a wonderful experience working with Joel (selling role) and Paul (buying role). They know the ins and outs of the Capitol Hill neighborhoods and old townhomes. Highly recommend!

Thomas P.

Joel and his team did a fantastic job selling our property. From start to finish, they made it an easy, pain-free process. Beyond that, they took a beaten up home and did a stellar job of renovating it so we could fetch top market value. Joel and his colleague oversaw the entire renovation, which was fast and impressive. These guys know how to get the job done and deliver the results you want.

Taos T.

Joel and his team were amazing! They sold our home in an incredibly difficult market. There was constant movement through scheduled open houses as well as private showings organized with Joel's amazing contacts. When it was time to close, he worked over time to help us close in less than a month. This included managing last minute repairs while we were no longer local so that the house could close by the desired date. From start to finish, he went above and beyond the call of duty to get the deal done.

Caroline F.

We sold a house and bought a house through the Joel Nelson Group within a three month window, without a glitch: excellent experience from start to finish. This Capitol Hill team is outstanding!! Joel's advice on pricing and staging our house before the listing went live was spot on.

We followed his advice and had a contract within two weeks. Chris worked with us with patience and good humor to find us the unicorn of a house that met our complicated criteria and help us seal the deal. Everyone in the Joel Nelson group is knowledgeable, client focused and a delight to work with.

Marjorie W.

Very professional and top notch with service and recommendations!

K. Guest

Joel Nelson and his group did a wonderful job in getting our house ready to be sold. They took care of all the unwanted junk that we left behind. They fixed the home space with patching and painting, and then staged it in a most attractive way, that featured the qualities of the space rather than our family furniture.

Joel and his team were professional throughout and kept us informed about the process, especially after we had moved out of the city. They managed to secure a buyer by the end of the second weekly open house and had a couple of social media nibbles even before the first open house. This is in a market that we have heard is more challenging for sellers than a year ago.

Joel knows and appreciates Capitol Hill!

C. Barner

"Joel and his team did a great job selling our Capitol Hill home. Joel knows the neighborhood, prepped the property and handled repairs efficiently, was responsive and provided updates throughout the process, met deadlines, and secured us a strong offer in just a couple of days on the market. The professionalism of his team made what can be a difficult process very smooth."

Alex A.

"From initial discussions and concept, laying out a work plan to prep the home, staging, photography and listing all the way through closing it was truly a "full service" experience. Joel and his amazingly talented team pulled off our DC home sale in such a professional manner, we felt secure with them the entire time and the hard work paid off with mere days on market! Highly recommend---Go with the Joel Nelson Group!"

Alit B.

"Joel's team went above and beyond the call of duty and had our house sell over the listing price in one weekend! I could not recommend them more."

Andrew D.

"It was really great to have an opportunity to work with Joel and his team. The first time I talked with Joel, I told him about the impressive flyers I used to get from JNG, and that when the time would come for me to sell my property, I already knew who to go to. I have been proven right. Joel was able to sell my home in a challenging housing market, and I am grateful!"

John K.

We couldn’t have been happier with our experience working with Joel and his team. Everything was handled seamlessly and expertly — preparing the house for sale, managing the listing, negotiating the deal, and getting us through the closing. Communication was excellent throughout: always available and always clear without bogging us down in detail. I can’t believe how little of our time the process consumed while getting the result we wanted (even as the market has slowed down). Highly recommend.

Brian B.

Joel, his office and all of his affiliates have been phenomenal!!!! I can not thank them enough for all of their hard work, diligence to see things through to the end, their level of detail, their rapid response to all situations and their continued support throughout the sales process. I’m blown away by how easy and smooth they made everything.

Fiona W.

The team from Joel Nelson Group is fantastic and exceed our expectations. They are professional, knowledgeable, and experienced. I really appreciated their familiarity with the Hill market. I felt like Joel and Paul were working hard for me the entire time. I recommend anyone looking at real estate on Capitol Hill and in the DC area leverage Joel and his team.

Michael O.

Joel Nelson and his team were simply outstanding! We sold our beautiful East Capitol Street home in the summer of 2022, and our timing could have been better with interest rates increasing to numbers not seen in years. Joel brought years of experience selling homes on Capitol Hill and delivered for us! He staged the house perfectly, met personally with potential buyers, stayed in close touch with us throughout, and, as we said, delivered! Joel knows the Hill, and we strongly recommend him.

Ron T.

The Joel Nelson Group is at the top of the class!! Joel is extremely knowledgeable about the market, and helped us to price and sell our house very quickly. The entire team goes out of its way to make sure every detail is taken care of - they are top notch in every way. If you want to buy or sell a house on Capitol Hill - Joel is your guy.

Lisa R.

Joel Nelson’s team was great to work with. Joel provided excellent advice that saved us thousands in repair costs. Our sale happened quickly with no problems. We highly recommend the Nelson Group.

Mike A.

If you are selling in Capitol Hill, you MUST go with Joel and his all-star team! Joel undertook major remodeling and prepared it for sale in ONE week, and was an absolute pleasure to work with… Joel has fabulous people skills, a great reputation among realtors, and took the time to listen and support us through the emotional process of letting go of our first family home. We couldn’t have been happier with the process, the high sales price of our home in a challenging market, and Joel’s incredible customer service throughout.

Rae W.

Working with you and your team has been great! Thanks for all that you did to manage the process, our expectations, and get us across the finish line.

John R.

Joel and team did a great job in helping us sell our house. Their hard work resulted in a fast, easy transaction for us. And it allowed us to move on and focus on our next home while they took care of the details of the sale.
Highly recommended!

Mark L.

We were pleased beyond expectations with the Joel Nelson Group. We know several people planning to sell houses in the next year, and we intend on selling them on Joel!

Jim A.

On behalf of all Diamond Ridge team, we would like to thank you for the professional work that was provided by Joel and his team, it was one of our best sales in DC and went very smoothly.

Developer Client

Professional staff and experienced realtor who really knows Capitol Hill and will make sure your property shows all its advantages. Excellent use of Matterport filming and staging to give ambiance to your home. TWO THUMBS UP! 👍 👍

Juanita H.

We absolutely loved working with the Joel Nelson Group. Bottom line: he sold our funky old Capitol Hill row house in three days and got us an offer that was pretty much exactly what we were asking for AND with zero contingencies. His team was very helpful with every part of the process- from reserving street signs, helping to coordinate a portable storage unit, staging, coordinating cleaners and landscapers, they made our lives during what was an extremely stressful time significantly easier. I would definitely recommend the Joel Nelson Group to anyone in DC looking to buy or sell a house, especially in the Capitol Hill neighborhood. Joel knows his stuff inside and out and will get you excellent results while shielding you from both the boring and stressful parts of buying a house. Thank you!

Allison M.

Joel actually was the seller's agent when we bought our first home in DC 5 years ago. He left such a good impression then that 5 years later when we had to move and sell the same house, we reached out to him. He and his team were very responsive and quick to address all our questions and concerns. They walked us through every step of the process. It was also a particularly challenging time for our family when we had to move and Joel and his team did an amazing job taking care of everything so that we didn't have to worry about the house. Our move out date changed at least twice, and Joel's team were able to work with us. In less than a week from when we moved out, they had done all the things preparing the house for sale (small repairs, painting, cleaning, staging, photos ETC.) and we were on the market! In the end, we got multiple great offers and sold the house in just a few days. Communication throughout the process was also great. We couldn't be happier with the process and results! We would definitely recommend Joel and his team!

Martyna P.

We used Joel Nelson Group for purchasing our home and, years later, selling our home. They are absolutely wonderful and a terrific, often necessary, resource when going through either process. Can’t recommend them enough and would absolutely use their services again.

Brooke M.

We were thrilled with our experience working with Joel Nelson and his team on the sale of our house. Joel is knowledgeable, patient, and professional, and we benefited from his experience and expertise every step of the way -- from walking through our house as our three small children gave him a "tour," to explaining our options for how to prep and sell the house, to deciding on a list price, and ultimately helping us secure a contract well above asking price. Joel and his whole team exude confidence, putting us at ease through what could have been a very stressful process -- especially since we moved out (and across the country) and left all the details to them. Andrew was great in getting the listing finalized. Angela was a star in coordinating the contract and closing. Everyone communicated well. We never worried for a moment, and there is no price you can put on that.

William D.

Joel / Alan / Angela: You all were FABULOUS. I SO APPRECIATE YOU! I am SO pleased with what you did. I called from the hospital - very sick and very weak with Covid - even talking was hard. Alan jumped on it. Joel jumped on it - prepared the condo - got it done - had an open house on Sunday - Sold it Monday for the exact price I wanted.

And the closing was as smooth and professional as it can be! I am so grateful for all of you.

Jim G.

Excellent experience working with Joel and his team to sell. Handed over the keys to Joel, relocated out of town, and he took care of everything after we left. Joel is on top of everything so we never worried about a thing. The house listed on time after his team prepped and staged the house. It sold quickly without a hitch. The entire experience was easy and smooth thanks to Joel and team's hard work and willingness to go above and beyond. Highly recommended.

Stephanie G.

Best broker I've ever used; professional, knowledgeable, experienced and a step ahead of everything!

Adam C.

I had such an amazing experience working with Joel and his team on the sale of my Capitol Hill home. Not only did they get us a contract quickly and above asking price, but they managed all aspects of pre-sale home improvements - advising on which projects would be high impact and project managing all of the implementation. And they were helpful, efficient, and just plain nice throughout the entire process. Their services are above and beyond what the typical realtor would do - they are truly in a category of their own. I cannot recommend them more highly.

Anne W.

Joel and his team provided fantastic service during an unusual months long sale process (due to our plans), with an excellent result of securing a buyer at nearly our asking price within a few days of the initial open house.

Barbara S.

Joel Nelson and team did a superb job marketing our property on Capitol Hill. Transparent, best in class use of social media and target marketing, and amazing staging of our home. We got our asking price and sold property in two weeks. Excellent customer service and high positive energy. I highly recommend The Joel Nelson Group if you are considering selling and buying residential property in DC.

Michael F.

Thank you so much Joel Nelson Group, for proving me with such great service in the sale of my rental property. Your expertise during the negotiations as well as the emotional support was exceptional. Thanks again for an A Plus experience.

Rulious W.

Our experience with Joel, Angela, and the rest of the Nelson Group team was fabulous from start to finish. They provided expert advice and help selling our home of 41 years beginnng with sending in their people to do needed repairs to staging and then finding a buyer the first weekend who paid over asking price. They are truly dedicated to superb customer service, responsive every step of the way, and genuinely nice people. As good as it gets!

Patty W.

Our property near H Street NE was not an easy sale, but Joel and his team got it done. They were responsive, creative, and worked their tails off to get the sale done, despite some unforeseen challenges. Would highly recommend.

Edward M.

The Joel Nelson Group was the perfect realtor to handle our sale. Your boutique firm was incredible, guiding us through preparing, marketing, staging and launching the house on the market in record time. The fact that it sold within days - and over a holiday weekend - makes the feat all the more amazing. Thank you so much for helping us make that big move. And to anyone who is overwhelmed thinking of selling a house they've lived in forever, we say they could not be in better hands than with your company. You took care of everything.

Jane A.

Our experience with Joel, Angela and the rest of the Joel Nelson Group team was fabulous from start to finish. They provided expert advice and help selling our home of 41 years beginning with sending in their people to do needed repairs to staging and then finding a buyer who paid over asking price the first weekend. They are truly focused on superb customer service, responsive every step of the way, and genuinely nice people. As good as it gets.

Roy F.

I don’t know where to begin. Joel and his team made every phase of selling our home effortless. His market knowledge is unmatchable. Our house needed a little TLC before market and Joel got it done on budget. Then it was perfectly staged to sell. Under agreement with a full price offer in six days! Why on earth would you choose anyone else to sell your Capitol Hill house!

James G.

Joel and his team were fantastic! They were easy to communicate with, available to answer any question, managed the sale long distance, staged the place beautifully, had it on the market for less than a week, achieved a sale price 7% over the ask and closed in under two weeks. I don't know what else needs to be said!

Bailey M.

Joel Nelson sold us our first home, and nine years later he helped us sell it to a new happy family. I could not recommend him and his team more highly. They made the process straight-forward and pain-free - terms not usually associated with real estate transactions. Communications were excellent all throughout the process. The extra steps Joel took even in the intervening years when I had questions that came up showed me how much Joel cares about the historic homes of Capitol Hill, about the community and the neighborhood.

Alissa F.

We recently sold our home and the Joel Nelson Group exceeded expectations! We really appreciated their superior customer service and their expertise of the Capitol Hill real estate market. From day one Joel’s team took the lead and handled the prelisting renovations, the staging of the house, and everything else we needed to get our home ready to sell. We listed the house on a Thursday, held the open house on Sunday, and had a ratified contract by Tuesday! The entire experience was stress free and fantastic. We couldn’t be more satisfied. The Joel Nelson Group is highly recommended.

Jimmy S.

Trustworthy, professional, and knowledgeable -- Joel and his team make every piece of the real estate transaction flow smoothly because of these traits. Joel prepared, staged and professionally photographed our house for market. The result: he secured a solid contract in less than 6 days with excellent terms and achieved an outstanding overall result. Our move was seamless and we couldn't imagine it going any better -- We can't thank Joel and his team enough for providing the best service ever received while living in DC. Great people, amazing results, out-of-this world value. Thank you!!!

Matt M.

My wife and I worked with the Joel Nelson Group to both sell our previous home on Capitol Hill and purchase our new home.

Joel Nelson assisted us in selling our old home on Capitol Hill. Joel has a deep knowledge of the Capitol Hill market and an eye for setting up the home for sale. He gave us great suggestions on small improvements that we could make to the house that led to a great return on our investment. Joel worked with us to lay out a schedule for getting our house on the market and kept us informed throughout the process.

Buying and selling a home is a huge ordeal, but Joel, and the rest of the wonderful staff at the Joel Nelson Group helped us through the process. They were great and my wife and I highly recommend them for all your real estate needs!

Kevin B.

Joel Nelson and his team were a complete joy to work with in the selling of our home. They've actually reinvented the process, taking as much burden off of the homeowner as possible. Every step of the process was handled with extreme professionalism and aplomb. We highly recommend this team to anyone in the Washington, DC, Metro Region.

Jennifer W.

Best Realtor Ever. Selling our house of 29 years, and buying a new home, was daunting, but Joel and his group made it a smooth and stress- free experience. Joel guided us every step of the way. He is amazingly knowledgeable, ethical, and personable.

Tina D.

Joel and his team were superb in every aspect of the sale of our Capitol Hill home. I have sold several houses both with and without realtors and this sale was by far the best. And it wasn't just because it sold in one week, the week of a giant snow storm no less (open house was the day after DC got 2 ft. of snow.) Joel's business model is unique: he and his team manage any renovation that needs to be done to make the house presentable and staging is part of the package---no extra cost! Also, the marketing materials are slick and modern. Finally, Joel's winning personality and professionalism made this stressful process much less so!

Louise M.

I cannot recommend Joel Nelson highly enough. Simply put, Joel knows the market and can identify low-cost improvements to your home that will increase the value of your house.

David A.

Joel and his team made selling our Capitol Hill home one of the easiest, least stressful things we've ever done! From the first meeting we had with him until closing, Joel was always responsive and kept us in the loop. In just a couple days, we had multiple offers over asking. Joel and his team took care of everything- coordinating small repairs to be done, cleaning, staging, the open house, and closing. It was a very smooth process and to top it off, the entire team is just genuinely nice and excited to be working with you.

My husband and I couldn't have been more pleased with the outcome of our home sale and we both highly recommend Joel!

Sarah O.

We decided to sell our Capitol Hill row house after we had left the DC area and rented it out for a while. We cannot say enough about the positive experience we had with Joel and his team - they provided valuable advice and guidance at every stage in the process. After a single walk-though with my husband, Joel took it away and not only were we pleasantly surprised by the eventual sale price, but we were able to complete the sale remotely from start to finish! Joel proposed some improvements to the house, hired competent and reasonable providers to execute the projects, and completed the projects ahead of schedule and in-budget. He then staged the house free of charge, which is huge value-added. Most importantly, when the house was ready to go, he recommended listing it when the weather remained unseasonably chilly, just before the real estate season really began. We were hesitant to do so, but we are so happy we followed his advice! In the end we had multiple offers after barely lifting a finger to get the house in shape for sale. To name just one example of a personal touch - on the day of our open house, he personally shoveled the snow on our front walkway! It is clear to us that Joel is an expert in Capitol Hill real estate and that he and his team are personable, professional and responsive. We already have recommended him to our friends, and will continue to do so.

Esther Q.
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