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Markus Hartwich
Prime Real Estate in Southwest Florida
Markus
Cape Coral | Fort Myers | Fort Myers Beach | Estero | Bonita Springs | Naples | Sanibel Island | Captiva Island

The Realtor in Florida and his tasks and the Multiple Listing System

In case you are thinking about working with several real estate agents to get a good overview about the market  - there is no need to! Every agent has full access to the complete MLS database containing all listings of a certain region. As a great Realtor, I really listen to what details are important to you regarding the right property and incorporate your wishes into a custom tailored MLS search.

Realtor Cropped

A real estate agent is a REALTOR® when he or she is a member of the NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS®. The term REALTOR® is a registered collective membership mark that identifies a real estate professional who is a member of the NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS® and subscribes to its strict Code of Ethics. Founded in 1908, NAR has grown to more than 720,000 members. Members belong to one or more of some 1,700 local associations/boards and 54 state and territory associations of REALTORS®. They are pledged to a strict Code of Ethics and Standards of Practice.

 

Picture of the client portal showing properties in details side by side with a map

 

The Multiple Listing Service (MLS)

is a suite of services that enables cooperating brokers to establish contractual offers of compensation with other participants, accumulates and disseminates information to enable appraisals, and is a great source of statistical information to better serve broker's clients, customers and the public.

A multiple listing service's database and software is used by real estate brokers and agents, representing sellers under a listing contract to widely share information about properties with other brokers who may wish to cooperate with a seller's broker in finding a buyer for the property.

The additional benefit of the MLS system is that an MLS subscriber may search the MLS system and retrieve information about all homes for sale by all participating brokers.

MLS systems contain hundreds of fields of information about the features of a property. These fields are determined by real estate professionals who are knowledgeable and experienced in that local marketplace. Whereas public real estate websites contain only a small subset of property data.

 

Picture of a query within the MLS client portal showing the details of a property search

 

The MLS CLIENT PORTAL is a great tool that allows you to monitor the real estate market in any neighborhood in Lee County. The client portal is programmed with your personal criteria and can be changed anytime. It gives you up to date information as properties become available or current properties change.

The portal also allows you to sort the properties into a SAVE or REJECT folder to keep them organized. Check it out and see what it can do for you - the Client Portal is FREE and there is no obligation - you can cancel at any time. 

Once you sign up, you will receive your personal web site link, that you can bookmark and return to whenever you like to get updated information.

The Realtor of the Buyer

Your decision to buy real estate is not only a big financial one, but also a very emotional one and both need to be balanced. As your buyer's agent, l will help you find your dream property as well as negotiate hard to get the best possible price for you. I will use my expert knowledge of the local market and my experience in negotiation strategy to your advantage.

 

Picture of a Realtor reaching out for a hand shake

My responsibilities as the buyer's agent:

  • I will accompany you throughout the whole buying process and even thereafter I will be available whenever you need me.
  • I will inform you in an initial meeting to give you an overview about the market and detailled information.
  • In case you need to finance, I will give you the necessary information and support you in finding a lender.
  • I will give you access to the free MLS Client Portal System to keep you informed on a daily basis about new listings matching your criteria. You can view all information comfortably on your personalized website.
  • If you plan to build a new home, I will gladly recommend reliable general contractors. I can accompany you to meetings and share my field experience with you.
  • As your real estate agent, I will accompany you on a showing tour to introduce you to the selected properties and give you more details about the neighborhood etc.
  • Picture of a Realtor showing information to clients in front of a houseAfter you have chosen your favorite properties, I will do my market analysis to determine the true market value and find out more detail information like property taxes, open utility assessments, etc.
  • After you have made the decision which property you want to make an offer on, I will prepare the offer reflecting your desired terms and conditions.
  • After submitting the offer I will negotiate hard with the listing agent to reach your goals.
  • When the offer is accepted, I will be happy to recommend impartial and independent home or pest inspection companies, surveyors, roofers etc.
  • During the complete buying process, I will keep you informed on what has to be done when and how. I will also take care of the paperwork.
  • Before the closing, I will do a final walkthrough of the property either on your behalf or together with you.
  • After the closing, I can help you with the solicitation of insurance quotes or insurance decreasing inspections as well as repairs or renovations.

 

The Realtor of the Seller

Picture of a Realtor talking to a clients at their homeSelling your home is one of the biggest decisions you will ever make. The complete process can be nerve-wracking and filled with a lot of questions that somebody needs to answer. Having the best Realtor to market and sell your home, inform and take care of you all along the way makes the difference.

This rather difficult and stressful process can be changed into a comfortable experience for you. I will work in your best interest but also counsel you so all your questions will be answered and you will be informed about each and every step. It is my duty to ensure that the sale of your property takes place as comfortable and effortless as possible!

For most of the real estate agents the entry of the listing into the MLS is the first and final activity in marketing the property. I, however will show you further possibilities how I can present  it on a national and international platform to the widest possible community of prospects.

By means of my networking contacts and transnational business relationships as well as my technological background in the field of electronic marketing I can introduce your listing to all the places where qualified buyers get informed. The strongest international buyer countries are Canada, Germany and the U.K., which account for approx. 47% of all international buyers.


My responsibilities as the listing agent:

  • Initial contact with important information about the process of selling
  • Recommendation of a listing price based on a comparable market analysis and the determination of the market value
  • Detailed Listing in MLS (Multiple Listing Service)

  • Depending on the property either high quality pictures or a virtual 360 degree tour, for homes also a drone video of your house and neighborhood

  • Marketing on our own webpages and on those of worldwide cooperation partners as well as social media and other platforms

  • Marketing in specific electronic local and international real estate magazines

  • Creation of a marketing brochure containing all important data for electronic distribution

  • Publishing through real estate offices in Europe

  • Setting up a "For Sale" sign in your front yard with a color brochure of your property

  • Checking the incoming purchase offers and presenting them to you

  • Handling of the transaction making you aware of important deadlines and contingencies and continuous assistance up to the day of closing

  • Support in selling or shipping furniture or other household items in case the property was a vacation home and your home country is abroad

 

Purchasing a Short Sale Listing

Less and less short sale listings are on the market today and this is a sign of a healthy real estate market. These properties are listed at pretty low prices, however you have to  take into account that in most cases this will not be the purchase price (even if you make a full price offer) as it is considered a start amount for an auction-like negotiation between seller, bank/lender and various potential buyers.  Because of this low listing price many clients think that this house has to be a bargain - which is not the case as it only serves to create interest among potential buyers and to stimulate them to make an offer.

Picture of a short sale yard sign

At this type of sale the current owner cannot satisfy the recurring monthly mortgage payments and is asking the bank for a debt reduction or even a forgiveness.  For example the mortgage is $200,000, the home however has a market value of only $130,000. The bank will now examine  if and to what extent the debt can be reduced.

The primary and crucial factor of course is the financial situation of the mortgagor and the market situation. This negotiation, which can also be done by a lawyer on behalf of the seller, can take a very long time (9-18 months are not rare). Some people associate a short sale with a quick transaction, which is not the case and usually is the exact opposite.

In some cases it can happen that no agreement comes about and the house will then go into foreclosure. The lender however usually tries to find a solution as this also means a reduction of losses on their books. The original problem goes back to the years 2004-2006  when banks massively gave away excessive mortgages and loans because of the increased property values. It can happen that after months of waiting for an answer all you get is a short and simple NO. Then you realize that you have lost a lot of time in which the market has moved on. So do not only focus on short sales - there are plenty of other great deals out there, traditional ones and foreclosures - and I am here to find them for you!

 

Buying a Foreclosure / REO Property in Florida

Picture of a foreclosure yard sign

If the short sale of an owner does not work, the property in most cases will go back to the bank via the foreclosure auction as the outstanding loan amount usually makes them the highest bidder. The bank will then take ownership of the property. The bank will take care of the zeroing of tax liens, will have the house foreclosed if necessary, and prepare the issuance of property insurance for the buyer at the time of resale - then they sell the property themselves, also called REO.

The purchase of Foreclosures is usually easy and can be handled quite quickly (within four weeks). However, most of the houses are in poorer condition, as they are often left empty for a long time and without any care during the takeover by the bank. While some money must be invested into these properties you can get quite decent purchase prices.

The process of the Foreclosure purchase is in the end similar to that of a traditional one. The only difference is that after submitting your offer you will automatically receive a counter offer (should the bank consider your offer). This includes bank-specific conditions that you must accept in order to move forward. For example, if you have to postpone the transfer of ownership through your own fault or the disclosure that the bank will not make any repairs to the house or accept a reduction in the purchase price even if the home inspector identifies major problems.

In this case, you can still get out of the contract. The bottom line is that these counter offers with the documents are not dramatic, you should just monitor them carefully - and involve your Realtor!

Correctly, a "Foreclosure" actually is only a foreclosure during the process of transfer to the bank. As soon as the bank is the new owner of the property, it actually becomes a "REO (Real Estate Owned"). However usually everybody uses the term Foreclosure for any property of that type.

 

No matter whether you are a first time buyer or a real estate pro! I will prove to you that customer satisfaction is my priority, not the commission check. My service promise is not just a marketing slogan. Try me!

DO NOT MAKE ANY COMPROMISES - YOU CAN AFFORD THE BEST REALTOR!