Choosing a Listing Agent (In a Buyers Market)


This is my first blog post of the year, so I would like to wish everyone reading this a healthy and prosperous 2008! During my first full week back to work, I’d like to take a few moments to reflect on some of the different seller scenarios that I have most recently encountered:


Scenario #1: SHOULD HAVE SOLD LAST YEAR (Late on mortgage/tax payments, cannot continue with the fixed expenses, probably purchased property after 2003). Often characterized as a short sale with sale terms controlled by the lender. However, often times, the owner still gets to pick the Realtor/brokerage firm.

It is critical to be priced correctly from the start, and that the marketing be handled by an experienced, knowledgeable, detail-oriented, and top producing real estate salesperson/team. This should be someone that will be aggressive AND creative in the marketing of the property (be it a home, condo, or land). It is crucial to be working with a company/agent at the top of their field, and who will be a straight talker, positive but realistic, and gives the seller a good feeling that they will follow up with any and all potential buyers. I have recently seen several of these properties in Miami Beach, that are being poorly marketed. The owners (and banks) do not realize what this is potentially costing them.

Scenario #2: NEED TO SELL (Possible health reasons, relocating, retiring, some financial pressure, misc. life circumstances).

It is critical to price the property correctly from the start. I am writing this on January 10, 2008, and have personally spoken to over twenty potential buyers over the past week (and made two offers thus far within 10% of the asking price). Looking at recently closed sales (within three months), properties that are priced to sell usually receive lots of activity and sometimes multiple offers. These also are properties that are on the market for no more than 45 days. Obviously, the marketing needs to be handled by an experienced, knowledgeable, detail-oriented, and top producing real estate salesperson/team. Shockingly, I’ve seen several properties in South Beach that fall under this category, that are being poorly represented (no return phone calls/emails, disconnected phone numbers, agents that seem to have other jobs and don’t really care anymore, as well as poor pictures and text descriptions).

Scenario #3: CASHING OUT (Opportunity for greater returns from owning something else, owner of many years, general desire to move on).


We are certainly not at the top of the market, however, certain properties still receive strong buyer interest. Examples are certain PH-type units with unique locations/views/floorplans, and waterfront turnkey showcase homes in unique locations with strong curb appeal). Yesterday, I had the opportunity to see a comparison of SE Florida property prices versus major European/Caribbean and South American markets. Property in the greater Miami area is still relatively inexpensive, and the weak dollar is attracting a large percentage of European (especially Russian), Canadian, and some South American buyers. I am finding particularly strong buyer interest in Miami Beach and especially South Beach. Island waterfront homes, and South of Fifth Street (South Beach) premium location condo buildings are especially sought after by European buyers.

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