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Distressed Properties: Are Short Sales and REOs Still Driving Business?

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The Power Broker Roundtable is brought to you by the National Association of Realtors® and Jeff Barnett, NAR’s Liaison for Large Residential Firms Relations. Watch for this column each month, where we address broker issues, concerns and milestones.

Moderator:
Jeff Barnett, 
Liaison for Large Residential Firms Relations, NAR

Participants:
Rei Mesa, President/CEO, Prudential Florida Realty, Miami, Fla.
Mark Stark, 
CEO, Prudential Americana Group, 
Las Vegas, Nev.
Kenny Parcell, 
Director, 
Equity Real Estate, 
Spanish Fork, Utah
Jason Waugh, President, Prudential Northwest Properties, Portland, Ore.

Jeff Barnett: As we move into the heart of summer, brokers all over the country are seeing existing-home sales at their highest level since the summer of 2009 nationally, and even since 2006 – 2007 here in California. Not long ago, it seems, business was being driven primarily by the distressed homes sector—essentially short sales and foreclosures. What is driving our business today? More important, what can brokers do to maximize production in this market? Rei, Florida has been a case in point. How is the market changing?

Rei Mesa: No doubt we’ve been in the eye of the storm, Jeff, and we are seeing a paradigm shift. Single-family home closings in Miami early this summer were up nearly 35 percent over the year-ago period—with traditional sales up by nearly 12 percent and short sales down by just about the same amount. Rising prices and a shortage of inventory have brought a lot of sellers out from under water. It’s an opportune time for both sellers and buyers, and that’s what brokers need to focus on.

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