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Wednesday, April 25, 2007

People Don't Listen

Seven years ago a friend from 27 years ago came to Key West with his partner to look at homes. They had a 45 foot motor coach (a rock star bus, actually) and they wanted to find a place that would accommodate the monster. That requirement pretty much eliminated all of Old Town. We started looking in the Casa Marina area and the area just east of White Street. We met with a fellow in the city building department so that my buyers could understand what type of property the city would permit them to park their motor coach on.

We found a couple of properties that met their needs. They really liked a new house on Flagler. I warned them of the extreme difficulty in selling a house on that street because of the noise. Then they found a house on White Street that could have made a wonderful remodel. It told them that White Street was a killer address as well. I recounted two listings of superb homes on White Street that I just could not sell because every local hates that street. We finally found a property on Washington Street that met their needs. It had a very large lot, large specimen palms, and two ROGO units. They decided to tear down the existing structure and build a new home and a "carport" for the motor coach.

My friend was a real estate developer from Denver and had plenty of experience building homes. So he was able to build the new house much less expensively than one not so familiar with the construction trade. After the house was done we talked about the other properties he and his partner had looked at and he said something I thought was odd. He said I talk too much and that I gave too much information. He said that I should be quiet and let people figure out if the property works for them.

I replied that I want to help people make informed decisions and not buy something that has problems or that would be difficult to resell, because most people who buy in Key West don't keep their houses all that long. My experience has been that most people sell the first property and move up a notch. He replied that the buyers are adults and can make their own decisions and their own mistakes. That's a argument I could not refute.

I have not changed my ways, however. I still try to give lots of information to help buyers make the correct decision. But the house or condo they pick is their decision, not mine. I don't try to impose my choice on my customers.

I also know from experience that most customers do not listen to what a Realtor says when he or she shows a property. Most customers are too busy looking a the awful artwork or dreaming about what it would be like to relax by the pool. They overlook flaws to see things that impress then negatively or positively. The really experienced buyers do listen, however. And those buyers tend to be successful in their fields of expertise back home.

That's my theory at any rate. The Key West MLS website just expanded areas covered today. So you can now look at all mls listings in real time from Key West to Key Largo. That is over one hundred miles of homes and businesses. CLICK HERE to enter your search criteria. Remember to limit your search criteria. And consider giving me a call if I can be of any assistance to you. 1-305-766-2642.

An explanation about the pictures. The old black and white photo shows the Island City House in its condition from years ago. It was rehabbed several years back an made into a guest house. And a couple of years ago it was condominiumized. Sales have not done very well. Not by a long short. There are some outstanding properties on William Street where this building is located. This in my opinion is not one of them.

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Gary Thomas in a Nutshell

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Key West, Florida, United States
I first read about Key West in a magazine called "After Dark" sometime in the mid 1970's. But it wasn't until March 1984 that I made my first visit to the island that would become my home. I had two weeks for a vacation and reserved a room at Colours Guesthouse (now Marrero's Guest House) for one week. I thought that if I didn't like Key West, I could always go back to Miami or Ft. Lauderdale for the rest of my trip. But after a couple of days in Key West, that was no longer a consideration. But when I wanted to extend my stay for the extra week I found there was no room at the inn. The guesthouse owner did find me a room at LaTeDa, the infamous guesthouse/restaurant. That's a story I'll write another day. But those two weeks in Key West gave me the realization that I had found Paradise. Key West has been my home since 1993 and my only regret is that it took me so long to get here. I am a full time Realtor at Preferred Properties CRI. Let me help you find your new home or business in Paradise. Living in Paradise is not a slogan, it's a way of life.