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Sunday, March 30, 2008

Scream -- Not the Movie

I received an email on Friday. I'll let you read it.

Hi Garry,
I just wanted to let you know that also because of your blog, our short
emailconversation and your analysis of the current properties that are on
the market, I fall in love with XXX XXXXXXX, came over, made a (good) offer
and bought it.
Hope to meet you someday in person in KW...
Greetings from a rainy and cold Netherlands,


XXX had contacted earlier in the month regarding properties he knew by address and asked my opinion on those houses and specially asked "please give your opinion and options of good properties around 500-600k with a possible reduction during negociations."

It happens that one of the properties he was interested in is a former listing of our office. (It was then listed with another Realtor at a significantly lower price.) I had probably at least ten Open Houses at that location over a year's time. I had intimate knowledge of the house and had listened to the comments from several hundred people who had walked through the property. I felt I could give very knowledgeable information on the house's good points and bad point.

I made an appointment and looked at a similarly located property that was equally charming in the same area. I wrote my would-be client an e-mail message discussing the merits of the two properties. I concluded by saying "Both houses will probably still be available when you come to Key West. But properties are selling. My feeling is that people may be thinking we are near the end of the down market and they don't want to wait until it swings back up and miss the bargains. Again, thanks for reading the blog and call me when you get here. Bring lots of cash!!!"
(I had sent him a list of other properties in his price range earlier with comments.) After reading my e-mail he responded and thanked me for my advice: "Thanks for your quick reply. I am planning to coming to KW in a month to make decisions. Maybe we can make an appointement to discuss serveral options."

I did not have a Buyer-Broker contract with the would-be buyer. And it may be that he thought he had to deal with the listing Realtor or that if he dealt with the listing Realtor instead of through me (or another Realtor) that he would get a better price. It doesn't work that way folks. Every Realtor hopes to sell his/her own listings because they make more money. But in reality the great majority of sales are co-operating sales between two offices (or sometimes between two agents in the same office).

It's ironic that perhaps it was my recommendation that led to the pending sale of this property. When our office had the property it was priced $216,000 more. The owner encouraged me to hold Open Houses to show his property. But he disliked my bringing information sheets on comparably priced homes in the Old Town area for buyers to see. He told me it was my job to sell his house, not to solicit clients. One time he even hid my information sheets. (I quit doing open houses for him by the way.)

Such is life in Key West. Sometimes I feel like the guy in the pic above.
Please, no more well intentioned would-be buyers who want to pick my brain (such as it is). But if you want to buy a place in Paradise, I'm still open for business and willing to help. Call me, Gary Thomas, 305-766-2642 or e-mail me at

CLICK HERE to search the Key West Association of Realtors mls database. This database is maintained in real time. The listings you see and the prices shown are the real deal--not stale info like you may see on other search engines. Don't waste your time searching elsewhere. If you see something you like, please call me.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Sorry to hear this story, Gary. I've been reading your blog for awhile now and it seems like you are very knowledgable and helpful. It is a shame the buyer didn't have the IQ to know better.


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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.