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Elizabeth Perez
Broker Associate
Prudential Florida Realty
Years in real estate:
Since 1998
Region Served: Dade County, Florida
Average price range within Luxury market: $600,000 – $2,500,000
Average number of days a home spends on the market: 200 days

Is the luxury market bouncing back?

I believe it is because of the great deals luxury buyers can get right now. For example, there was a property that was on the market for 1,400 days and was listed for $23 million. It just sold for $14 million. The home is on 2.75 acres with 275 square feet of beach on the ocean, with a boat house that has two stories …just an unbelievable property. Anyway, after four years, it finally sold, which tells me the luxury market is coming back, because deals like that have a trickle-down effect.

In the past 90 days, every property that sold for over a million dollars did so for approximately $200,000 less than it was listed for, which tells us sellers may finally be lowering prices, and this month (at press time), I am seeing things open up lending-wise. Bankers are telling me they are handling international loans and jumbo loans. What we have seen in recent months is an increase of European buyers purchasing many choice properties in the Beaches and Miami-Dade.

How is the condominium part of the business faring?

The condo market is not like you hear in the news. Although prices have come down, condos are not being “given away.” Any of the high-end properties in Miami Beach and waterfront condos are selling pretty well if they are newer and waterfront.

What gets luxury buyers off the fence?

Good deals. I am a Certified International Specialist and have access to the contact information of luxury international Realtors around the globe. When I get a new listing, I e-mail all my international Realtor contacts. If they realize it is a good buy, they send their clients. Getting off the fence means they have to be ready mentally to go to the next level. If they decide this is the time to buy their dream home because of these prices and because banks are starting to lend, they go to the next level. It’s about having the ability to make the decision and the desire to do so.

What is the biggest challenge involved in marketing waterfront property?

You can’t overprice at this time, especially since many people aren’t buying luxury because they are almost embarrassed to be perceived as high fliers during this difficult economic time for so many. Also, since the banks weren’t extending jumbo loans until just recently, a lot of the properties that have sold were all-cash deals or at least 50% cash deals. There are about 2,900 properties in Miami-Dade County listed for over $1 million. In the last 90 days, 300 have sold. That said, the only real challenge is always the same: finding that one right person, couple or family. I try to do everything under the sun to find that buyer—e-mail campaigns, phone calls…I even customize a business card for each luxury listing I take. It’s all about networking, which is just a little bit harder than it used to be. You have to market like mad. If we don’t market these high-end properties properly, no one is going to buy them.

Why did you become a Member of Top 5?

Networking, networking, networking.

What is the key to a successful life in real estate?

Passion. If you don’t have passion, forget about it.