Miami Beach Real Estate DealsAlmost every day, I'm getting phone calls and emails from new buyers looking to take advantage of the price declines that have occurred in the past few years here in South Beach. I'd like to highlight a few of the key attributes to look for in a strong Miami Beach Real Estate Agent who can get you that Amazing Deal:

- They should have long-term experience working in this market / neighborhood. Whether it's a condominium South of Fifth Street in South Beach or selling waterfront homes on Miami Beach's Venetian Islands, the agent you're working with needs to should have at least ten years of market experience. Ten years is the minimum to have the negotiating and market skills to competently represent a buyer in this market.

- Attention to follow-up and detail.This is perhaps an obvious one, but something that I have found sorely lacking among many local agents. This means having a specific SYSTEM in place for following up with all due diligence items- such as title issues, inspections, lender/mortgage broker approval, title issues that may come up, closing attorneys, and potential code violations, open permits, condo association approval process, and making sure that the agent representing the seller is also doing his job. I've seen many buyers lose out on great deals, only because the buyer's agent they were working with dropped the ball, opening the window of opportunity for another buyer to come in and "steal" the deal away.

- The agent should stay current with today's business headlines- both local, national, and international real estate and financial trends. Your real estate agent must be current with what's happening both locally and nationally with market liquidity, local inventory levels, and the financing issues that may come up for a qualified buyer.

- The agent should be well informed as to what's happening with both short sales and foreclosures in the immediate neighborhood, whether it's a condo building, nearby condo buildings, or with sales of waterfront and non-waterfront homes in a neighborhood. I've encountered many agents, especially in South Beach, in the recent past that pretend that somehow the condominium buildings or neighborhoods where they routintely work are not impacted by today's market realities. This is just not true. These agents not doing a good job on behalf of their sellers, and the buyer's agent needs to know how to navigate this situation.

- The agent should know the most recent closed sales in the specific condo buildings and single family neighborhoods that they work. Any buyer today (and also the lender) will not be willing to overpay- this means that the agent must understand the closed sales of the past two months. Again, many agents I've recently dealt with like to pretend that the latest sales are somehow not valid comparables. If it's a closed sale, it's a comparable sale that must be taken into account in making an offer.

- The agent should look, act, and conduct themselves professionally at all times. I know of several long-time agents that do not dress professionally, much less act in a civil manner to others, and in the process poorly represent their clients. Often times, first impressions do tell the whole story.

- The agent should embrace today's technology and business trends. Life and business today moves at a fast pace- lenders, attorneys, title companies, clients, mortgage brokers, etc. usually expect a fast response during certain critical moments in putting a deal together. If the agent does not, as a minimum, have a smart phone and respond to your emails and phone calls in a timely manner (within 12 hours) then this should be cause for concern.

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