Miami Beach Real Estate AgentWhen giving a Miami Beach Real Estate Agent the Marketing Exclusivity (Listing Agreement) to a particular property, what are some of the things that a seller should look for? Successfully selling Miami Beach waterfront homes or condominiums requires QUALIFYING potential buyers and other real estate agents.

Why qualify potential buyers, and agents representing buyers, before showing a property? Our #1 rule in real estate is to not waste time and to have a focused approach to marketing properties. There's nothing worse than having a seller clean, get ready for a showing, uprooting their family, and have a buyer (perhaps with a buyer's agent) show up to a house or condo that is listed for sale, and decide that "it's not what they are looking for". This leads to frustration, anger, and disappointment for all concerned, and demonstrates a lack of targeted marketing, as well as a breakdown in communication in the marketing and sales effort.

Therefore, one of the FIRST things we do is QUALIFY all buyers/real estate agents who inquire about a listing. We QUALIFY all potential parties by asking about the price range of the buyer, what kind of home or condo they may be looking for (contemporary, traditional, size of property, waterfront or non-waterfront, etc.), and we ask the agent working with them how long they have been working with this client, and whether they have seen other homes or condos on the market. For example, for a Miami Beach waterfront home on Palm Island, a listing agent should know if the buyer is interested in a guard-gated community, and if they are willing to pay a premium for this? Also, the buyer's agen needs to know the minimum price point of their client, and make sure that they are financially qualified to purchase in the price range of a Palm or Hibiscus Island waterfront home currently on the market.

We realize this process takes a little extra time, effort, and diplomatic tact (especially with the real estate agent representing the potential buyer). However, it is the feduciary duty of the listing agent to bring the seller QUALIFIED buyers, and to generate the best possible offer at the highest price. As always, the goal is to have a pending contract that has a high probability of closing - otherwise the seller will be forced to place their home or condo back on the market, having wasted time, energy, and financial resources with an unqualified buyer!

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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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I am an optimist and expect us to have a bright and active future marketing and selling Miami Beach single family homes to both to international and domestic buyers looking to own a piece of paradise. Following up from our last sales update regarding the overall trend in terms of prices and pending sales trends for Miami Beach (South Beach area) for January, 2010:

Some local Miami Beach perspective on this latest sales trends for zip codes 33139 and 33140:

55% of the homes sold in January in Miami-Dade County were priced under $500,000 and these homes that sold were actively on the market for an average of 30 days.

Price trends at the lower end of the market have been positive, with the latest closed sales showing flat pricing, and in some cases a slight appreciation in neighborhood values. However, in the higher price ranges (over $500,000), we are still seeing weakness in demand and no decline in supply of new inventory.

Below is the supply of houses listed for sale in Miami-Dade County in October, according to the MLS:

  • - Under $500,000: eight-month supply of homes
  • - $300,000 to $1 million: 21-month supply
  • - Over $1 million: four-year supply

Miami Beach’s luxury housing market falls into mainly in the over $500K category, however, the supply is much more restricted due to the fact that these are islands communities. Also, since there is no new construction taking place, I continue to expect Miami Beach's housing inventory to slowly work it's way down to a healthy six to nine month supply for the luxury segment of the market.

Miami Beach Housing Inventory:

  • - $300,000 to $500,000: less than six month supply
  • - $500,000 to $1 million: 15 month supply
  • - Over $1 million : 24 months supply

As I speak to an ever-increasing number of motivated sellers as part of my daily/weekly round of listing appointments, I continue to emphasize to everyone that there is NO room in the local housing market for overpriced listings. The strongest demand continues to be for turnkey (completely remodeled & finished) waterfront and non-waterfront homes that are priced RIGHT! The issue today is not so much the current inventory levels of unsold homes, it's the expected supply of NEW Miami Beach unsold homes that are expected to come on the market in the next few years. I personally know of quite a few sellers that have kept their homes off of the active market waiting and hoping for the market to "turn around".

To view latest Miami Beach sales data, click here.

* Data Sources: MLS & Miami-Dade Public Records

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A few month's ago, Jim Cramer (from the financial network CNBC), predicted a housing market bottom. For anyone considering buying a waterfront property in Miami Beach, and most specifically in South Beach. NOW is the time to be making offers on well priced Miami Beach homes or condos in premium waterfront buildings.

Cramer’s Key Points:

* Inventory is drying up & being steadily being absorbed
* Housing starts have been down for over two years
* New construction projects stopped two years ago
* Florida is generally one year ahead of market trends
* Interest Rate cuts have had a positive effect in absorbing excess inventory (at much reduced prices)

Miami Beach single family homes (especially waterfront luxury homes) that are truly good deals continue to be in short supply. I’d like to take this opportunity to highlight two latest sales in the island communities off Miami Beach which are indicative of a price bottoming trend:

Luxury Waterfront Island Home - 830 W Dilido Drive, Miami Beach
Tropical paradise for that was on the market for sale for just 12 days at the final asking price of $2.9 Million. Wide bay views at the north tip of Venetian Islands.

Key “Market Bottom” indicators:

“For Sale” Price: $2,950,000 (12 days on the market at this reduced price point)
Original List Price : $4,700,000 (July, 2008)
Previous Price Reduction: $3,450,000 (January, 2009)
Bedrooms: 4
Bathrooms: 3
House S.F.: 3,734
Land S.F.: 13,408
Closed Price per S.F.(Land): $194
Closed Price per S.F.(House): $698
Previous Sold Date: 2004 ($3,150,000)
Closed Price: $2,610,000 (Sept 2, 2009)
Discount from Latest Asking Price: 11.5%

Property Address: 25 East Rivo Alto Drive in Miami Beach, Florida 33139
Rivo Alto Island Waterfront Home – Completely Remodeled. Located on the preferred southern side of the Venetian Islands. This Mediterranean delight greets with a beautiful courtyard setting reminiscent of a European Villa. The sale also included a separate two story adjacent guest house.

Key “Market Bottom” indicators:

“For Sale” Price: $2,590,000 (19 days on the market at this ACCURATE price point)
Bedrooms: 4
Bathrooms: 4
House S.F.: 3,894
Land S.F.: 13,382
Closed Price per S.F.(Land): $175
Closed Price per S.F.(House): $740
Previous Sold Date: 1998 ($950,000)
Closed Price: $2,350,000 (Sept 1, 2009)
Discount from Latest Asking Price: 9.2%

As Real Estate sales specialists in waterfront properties in Miami Beach, what we’re seeing is waterfront and non-waterfront single family homes that are priced RIGHT receive multiple purchase offers and are selling relatively quickly close to the final asking price.

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