Karen Lee Bertiger
Lic. Real Estate Broker
CDPE, REDM
Florida & Arizona
Commercial & investment Real Estate
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List Your Property or Yourself (As a Buyer, Seller, or Owner) With Me



We have some fairly unique services available now to prospects, customers and clients interested in high dollar value residential property. These Private Listing Services are being expanded. Although my services are similar to "pocket listings" where listings don't appear in the existing MLS, we provide true marketing of your property which is why I consistently produce transactions that sell for 97% (on average over 30+ years) of offering price. My services currently do not utilize the existing MLS system due to the loss of control of information for marketing purposes. 


Although many industry people will state that having your property marketed everywhere on the internet is doing the best for you, including with third parties who use your listing information to sell other services, it's not uncommon to see more than one price for a property that's listed in an MLS because brokers are trying to gain leads or the listing information has been scraped or submitted to outside websites (Zillow, etc.) whose information is not updated in a timely manner. If you value your privacy & want to protect your property while utilizing the most efficient marketing strategy to qualified buyers, please call me to discuss how my experience & knowledge base can benefit you. My state-of-the-art relational database finds connections who might be interested! Kind of like property dating!  


Interested in commercial and/or investment property, re-development or new development? Because I am an independent boutique brokerage, I can make inquiries, gather information, or pitch properties to you based on your criteria, with no deal leakage of information to other brokers. My primary occupation has been investing since 1978 & this is a very different environment for real estate investments. We have real estate cycles which are the causation of more "cycles" which are driven by behavioral economics for periods of time before some brave soul decides that opportunity is knocking. Will you be ready when that opportunity knocks because it doesn't care if you are ready or not. It's still opportunity! But you have to make a decision to do something and live your life! 


Sometimes even residential owners need to consider that their property may be of more interest to an investor, rather than an owner-resident, particularly in today's markets. The want-to-be-homeowners are being outbid by investors in many markets in both Florida & Arizona (although this appears to be less so right now in certain areas & residential properties are being marketed to owner-occupants based on a "first look" time frame.) Which might be good for you as a buyer, but then again it might not. As a seller you may still receive less than current market value if you are not careful. Know what replacement values are currently. The price of building is going up (it has increased approximately 15% just in 2013) & it may require more funds from a buyer to replicate your property as a new build than to buy from you. The value of the dollar falling or appreciating against other currencies affects residential properties as well as commercial properties. Remember that appraisals are looking in the rear view mirror of the real estate market. They're where we've been. They may not be where we are now. We have a chicken & an egg problem. You need to see higher comparables for buyers getting loans, but they can't get those loans when there are not enough recent comparables to support higher values. This is why I have always maintained that the MLS system should never have been allowed to be compromised by lenders for their own purposes. The market is made by ready, willing & able buyers & sellers in an arms length transactions, not banks. (Although now the banks want that shoe on their foot; they don't want to leave any money on the table now.) Those ready, willing & able buyers just might be investors, who may be connected to an investment banker or hedge fund. You need a sophisticated, financially literate real estate broker on your side.


Residential MLS services are geared toward that owner-resident, but may actually be harming owners because lenders & investors are currently using the MLS statistics to strip value from owner-residents, as they have been since 2007. If you want to prevent this from happening to you, you may want to read the passages in the best seller, Freakonamics by Steven D. Levitt & Stephen J. Dubner. 


Remember, a $10,000 difference in your sales price means only a $600.00 commission difference (based on a 6% fee) split 50-50 between 2 brokerages, with each $300.00 being split with that brokerage's agent. However, it really does mean a difference of $9,400.00 to you. Keep that in mind when you are considering your situation - $10,000 to several hundreds of thousands of dollars is up for grabs when you place a property on the traditional MLS service offered by the REALTORS organization. We've seen the ugly side of how the financial crisis was used to migrate values steeply lower, by lenders & large investors. "Your" broker may actually be working for himself or herself when they try to convince you to list your property way below market and/or replacement value. Brokers are starved for inventory. Don't get taken!


My relatively unknown investment business model which began in 1978 has been hijacked by the Wall Street investment funds & put on steroids. Although I speak "Wall Street investment banker" because I was previously licensed as a broker-dealer principal for real estate securities, it's very easy to buy, but I am detecting a bit of angst about how they will get out of the market. Fools rush in without disposition plans. Watch for many public offerings with low investment thresholds so they can pawn these portfolios off on the mom & pop investors through offerings suitable for IRAs or offering financing of 5-units & up to local operators who are having issues getting financing. (This is already happening!) They are also pushing rent-to-own transactions. The best antidote to being taken advantage of is to be a stealth operator who has an advocate. If you're currently dealing with one or more of those types, you might want to put me on your team.


I recommend that individuals & small businesses read Travis H. Brown's book "How Money Walks" & call me with your numbers to see if moving can reduce your income taxes & in essence pay for your Florida property. Exchange your taxes for a luxury residence, business or commercial-investment property.


In the interim, I am working on a solution for those who demand the best & know the difference. Most of what is going on in the market is traditional (we've always done it that way) & is nothing more than noise which gets in the way of what buyers & sellers want to accomplish. Most of it is a distraction.