Thinking about using our services? There are many things we can say about the high quality of service we provide to our home seller and home buyer clients, but probably none would be as credible as testimonials from some of our clients themselves. So please take a moment to read the following testimonials from past clients. We hope they indicate our experience and integrity, as well as make it clear how much we enjoy helping people with their real estate needs.
Stern Realty in Highland Beach, FL Reviews: over 25 years of excellent service!
“Dear Ben and Mayra,
It has been a pleasure working with both of you for the sale of my Toscana unit. You have both been extremely professional, thorough, and very knowledgeable throughout the entire process. In addition, you have also been of the highest integrity, and this is a quality often lacking in realtors and brokers. As a team, you have exceeded my high expectations from listing to closing. Most sellers know that there is quite a lot of competition for listings in Toscana. And any educated seller knows that there is one realtor who has the majority of the listings. Had I not interviewed your team, I would have gone with this realtor, and based on my research, been very disappointed. He creates unrealistic expectations on pricing, and does not show the home personally most of the time. You guys did not promise me a fantasy price for my unit, but a realistic price. You also were present for all showings, and very patient with potential buyers. You were also available on very short notice to show the unit. Because of this, we were able to sell the property on a very timely basis, and for a price very close to asking. At my ripe old age of 63, I have been through many real estate transactions. I can say from the bottom of my heart that you guys represent the highest level of service I have ever experienced. You should both feel very proud of Stern Realty, and your individual efforts. Again, thanks for your attentive and caring service.”
Bill Goldberg – Toscana North Seller/Unit 505
“It is my sincere pleasure to write this letter in regards to the outstanding service provided to me by Mayra and Ben Stern in selling my condominium at 3740 South Ocean Blvd. Highland Beach, FL. The service they provided went above and beyond all my expectations and was truly out of the ordinary. Since my primary residence is out of state, it was desirable that I found a broker that had the ability to pursue and follow up on prospective buyers using pertinent data and timely execution of marketing strategies. Mayra and Ben used expert discretion when it came to communication and information gathering to pinpoint what I needed and when to involve me for necessary decisions and input. Their marketing techniques exceeded even the most seasoned brokers. They use every outlet imaginable including traditional print, lead farming, website ads, and social media. Their methods are seamless and relentless in nature, constantly moving toward that final goal of the sale. My gratitude is boundless for the work they have done for me and I have no reservations whatsoever in recommending them to anyone looking to sell their property quickly, easily and for a maximized profit.”
Gerald Musano – Toscana South Seller/Unit 1609
“Mayra and Ben were wonderful to work with when it came to selling my FL condominium in Toscana, Highland Beach, FL. At our first meeting, they suggested a very fair marketable price for the listing. They were very knowledgeable and answered all of my questions. I had great confidence in them. Among the many things that they did for me were:
· They personally showed the condo (and sold the Toscana Lifestyle) 13 times. They accommodated the showings, even the ones that were short notice, 7 days a week.
· They did tons of online marketing, mail outs, and a Broker’s Open.
· The property was on the market 113 days (a little over 3 months).
· They provided me information about other condos for sale, under contract, and sold, that helped with my decision making about the price.
· Compared to the commission many other real estate agents charge, they saved me about $13,000 (5% vs. 6%, on a $1,300,000 sale).
· They notified me of each showing appointment and gave me feedback each time.
· They gave me regular updates.
· They helped all parties obtain any information they needed, assisted with the appraisal & inspections, scheduling and meeting the charity organization that came to pick up the furniture, meeting with repairmen to fix the sliding glass door locks, & much more.
I would not hesitate to recommend them.”
Elena McTighe – Toscana North in Highland Beach Seller/Unit 601
“Ben & Mayra did it all while we were up North. Their service was excellent, seamless, and detail oriented. Less than two weeks and the condo was sold. Could not be happier.”
Jack Stein, Toscana North in Highland Beach, FL Seller /Unit 1210
“Almost 2 years ago, we were recommended by an employee to use an agent who was supposedly the best in Toscana. One and half years later, with our place sitting vacant, hardly any showings, and no offers, we decided to hire Ben & Mayra Stern, who live right here in Toscana. In only a few short months, they showed our place 17 times during the slow Toscana off season, brought us 4 offers in writing, and were able to get us a full price offer. They helped us with everything, including the inspection, cleaning and emptying our home, the walk through, and the closing, all without us ever needing to go back to Florida. Their service is unbelievable and they saved us over $10,000 in commissions. We could not have sold our place without them. Thank you so much, Ben & Mayra! I want to express our appreciation for everything you have done for us”.
Betty Shames – Toscana South in Highland Beach, FL Seller/Unit 809
“Dear Mayra and Ben, I wanted to thank you so very much for the professional way in which you handled my real estate. I felt very comfortable with you both . I would gladly recommend you to my friends or anyone that needs real estate assistance in the future. Thanks again for all your help and for renting out my place so quickly. Warm Regards.”
Frank Mannarino – Toscana in Highland Beach, FL Owner
“We love Stern Realty-very knowledgeable-honest and friendly.”
Nancy W. – Toscana in Highland Beach, FL Buyer
“Thank you both for all your hard work. The help with the small details was of tremendous value and will never be forgotten. Hopefully we can send business your way.”
Jack S. – Toscana in Highland Beach, FL Seller
“We have used Ben and Mayra on both the buy-side and sell-side of our condo transactions and can highly recommend them for their effectiveness and skills. They are very knowledgeable about the local market and make effective use of on-line technologies in advertising their listings. They are hard working, energetic and accommodating to other brokers – even on short notice. They are very communicative, keeping us informed of all developments and feedbacks. They are very friendly and a pleasure to work with.”
Eric – Highland Beach, FL Buyer & Seller
“We hired Stern Realty as our listing agent for our condo at Toscana in Highland Beach and as an agent for the purchase of a new condo in Florida. We could not have made a better choice. Ben and Mayra were a complete pleasure to work with, responsive, always willing to go the extra mile, and most importantly – nice people! They sold our condo in 10 days and found us a new home. We would highly recommend them to someone looking to buy or sell a home.”
Peter Spirgel – Toscana in Highland Beach, FL Seller and Buyer
“Dear Mayra and Ben:
I could not have found better agents to handle the sale of my condo apartment. I greatly appreciate your concern, guidance and thoroughness. Your help in every respect was above and beyond my expectations. Not only was your performance most efficient, but you made every effort to conclude the transaction to the satisfaction of all involved. It is without hesitation and with pleasure that I will recommend your services to others. Again, many thanks. It was marvelous dealing with you.
Judith Weitzmann – Toscana North in Highland Beach, FL Seller / Unit 1603
“Mayra & Ben are both warm and caring people who possess a tremendous knowledge of the South Florida Real Estate Market! They are such nice people to work with! Thanks so much for all of the great advice and help you’ve given to my kids!”
Jeff C. – Toscana in Highland Beach, FL Owner
“Ben and Mayra are very hard working knowledgeable people. They are very familiar with the local real estate market and are a ‘class act’. We were trying to rent our apartment and did a lot of work to help us in this effort. We unfortunately had to cancel the listing and they were very understanding. ”
Peter Bass – Toscana, Highland Beach, FL Owner
“Although I did not know them when I bought my Florida property 8 years ago the Stern’s were great with accurate and appropriate friendly advice on the sale of two of my Homes in NY over the past two years when I was having difficulty with each of these homes’ sales even though they had no vested / financial involvement in the sales. I listened to their professional advice on proper listing, staging, pricing and subsequent appropriate reduction of the prices based on review of the areas comps. They walked me through the process and steps how to avoid the loss of the sales. They could anticipate every possible roadblock to the closing and advise me how to prevent and / or deal with each issue . They were right on the mark to help me get the offers and subsequent sales. I just closed on my last NY property on 9/29/17 that had been on and off the market for 3 years. If I were to sell my Florida property or purchase a new property here I most certainly would hire them as my agents.”
Helen – Toscana, Highland Beach owner
“As a first-time condo owner, I had a significant adjustment period going from a large single family home to condo living. Even after the transaction concluded, I needed help navigating rules and protocols of condominiums. I asked numerous people for assistance, but it wasn’t until I met the Sterns that I was able to get the resources I needed. While they did not act as my realtor, they were extremely helpful in providing resources making it so much easier to get settled. Their knowledge of the area makes them my go to for almost anything I need. I have never paid them, and I have no plans to sell, yet they continue to provide resources that make my life easier and better. I have never met a realtor who does so much for their community while getting nothing in return. I would have no hesitation in recommending Stern Realty.”
Eileen – Toscana, Highland Beach, FL
“Ben y Mayra,
Ha sido un placer trabajar con ustedes los últimos dos años en los que pudimos rentar nuestro apartamento a un precio razonable y ha personas muy agradables. Ustedes son personas muy profesionales y diligentes en su trabajo y es por eso la efectividad en los negocios. Esperamos poder seguir haciendo negocios con ustedes y con las personas que recomiendan como clientes.
Familia Velez- Toscana West Owner/Unit 907
“Went overboard to help and was able to provide an end product that was very appreciated. Would no hesitate to recommend with 5+ stars. Even went out of their way for many little things that made everything very convenient.” Jonathan Kameros – Highland Beach Landlord
“Services provided were excellent!”
James Fink – Highland Beach, FL Rental
“My wife and I have been extremely pleased with your professionalism along with your prompt help, locating rental property for us. Thank you for always keeping the lines of communication open. We have, and will continue to recommend your company to anyone that wants the name of a realtor that will get the job done. Thank you.”
Paula & Richard Avon – Highland Beach, FL Rental
“Last year we worked with Stern Realty Co. to sell our house in Parkland. They are simply AMAZING! They guided us throughout the entire process, and as you can imagine, we had thousands of questions and worries, and they were there to answer all of them efficiently. They made the process very smooth, and they helped us since the first day with all the necessary tips to sell our property quickly and at a good price. We received 3 offers in the first 2 days after putting our hou…se on the market, and ended up selling for even more money than what we were asking for! Ben and Mayra are seasoned brokers with a vast knowledge of the local market. They won’t make you waste your time. They’re very honest about the market prices, which is something that most realtors lie about. They went above and beyond our expectations. Very professional, very communicative and nice people. We even got recommendations for lawyers, moving companies, inspectors and a plumber. Ben and Mayra are a great team, and they treat clients like friends. Highly recommended company!”
Ana O. – Parkland, FL
“Ben and Mayra were so helpful in our house search! They showed us multiple homes at times that were convenient for us. They always had our backs and were patient throughout the process. We finally found the home that was perfect for us and they were a big part of it. Thank you!!” Andrew Cooper – Boca Raton, FL Buyer
“Your service has been top-notch. You are a real professional – efficient, concise “on the case”, which is most appreciated! Thank you!”
Virginia H. – Boca Raton, FL Rental
“Realtors who did a superb job! I recommend them to everyone. They are the best. They are the most knowledgeable, professional & always do much more than expected.”
R. Thomas – Ocean Ridge, FL Buyer
“Thank you again for all of your help! You guys are the best!”
Shanan K. – Boca Raton Rental
“Mayra and Ben helped my mother sell her house in less than one week. Mayra was able to sell the house in less time than expected and for more money than expected. The biggest benefit of working with Mayra is that she knows the market and all the necessary steps in the selling process. We had no idea how to sell a house and all the details that you need to consider from picking the right pricing, preparing the house for the pictures, and preparing the taxes and other documents. Mayra was able to connect us to the right people for each steps of the process and she helped us all the way until the end. For us the process was seamless and she delivered. Mayra managed the whole selling process from A to Z. Super recommended!!”
Gerardo Sarmiento – Coral Springs, FL Seller
“ Mayra was a referral from a colleague at the office that worked with her several years ago. This colleague told me that I should have Mayra as my Realtor as she was very responsive and customer oriented. After working with Mayra to buy my first home I can say that “responsive and customer oriented” is a huge understatement, Mayra takes responsiveness to a new level by being almost immediately available to answer any question or concern you might have and her customer orientation is more akin to the care and patience of an old friend or family member than any service provider. I could not recommend anyone better to a first time home buyer. If you want a stress free experience and true outstanding customer intimacy there is no one better than Mayra. ”
Elias Albino & Fernanda Lima – Plantation, FL Buyer
“Mayra, we both want to thank you for helping us find a rental property in Boynton Beach, FL. You worked quickly, and the communication with us was wonderful all along the way. You were professional in every way. We will recommend you when ever we get the chance, and are looking forward to working with you in the future. Thank you so much.”
Elaine and Harvey Stern (not a family member!) – Boynton Beach, FL Rental
“While working at Motorola Mayra and Ben assisted our Company with our expatriate housing. They managed short term and long term rentals as well as purchases and sales for our permanent transfers. The level of service they provide is superior and they always go above and beyond for their customers. They treat every client with TLC and I would recommend their services to anyone who is looking to buy or sell. I always received calls from my expats commending them for the level of service they provided.”
Natasha Maldonado, former Motorola Human Resources employee.
” You are reliable, honest and intuitive. These are great skills that aren’t easy to find.” Mónica Coronel – Parkland & Weston client
“Mayra fue nuestra guía en el momento de la venta de la casa. Nos ayudo paso a paso. Siempre estuvo presente cuando la necesitamos. Es una persona que domina cada aspecto del mercado y entiende las necesidades de sus clientes. Gracias por tu ayuda.”
Luis Pestana – Boca Raton, FL Seller
“Mayra has helped us on more than one occasion understand the intricacies of Real Estate. She is trustworthy and dedicated to the interests of her clients.”
Danny Perez – Plantation, FL Buyer
“ Escribo esta recomendación para las personas de habla hispana. Mayra es la mejor Realtor de la zona. Es una persona muy intuitiva ya que supo interpretar nuestros gustos a pesar de la poca información que le pudimos proporcionar, superando nuestras expectativas. La recomiendo un 100%. Muy honesta y sincera. Gracias por ayudarnos!”
Oscar Fuenmayor – Weston, FL Rental
“Ben and Mayra are great to work with! They are knowledgeable, personable, fun and get the job done!”
Kathleen Peterson – Boca Raton, FL Rental
“Hi Ben and Mayra. We wanted to thank you once again for all of your effort during this process. We truly appreciate the many things you did to keep the house presentable and ready for showing. We are grateful to you for making this process so smooth given everything we had going on as well as being across the country. You have certainly surpassed anyone’s expectations. We wish you all the best.”
Joe and Meri Nikolson – Parkland, FL Seller
“We wanted to thank you for the wonderful job you did in selling our home in Parkland Isles. We were very impressed with the efficiency and professional manner in which you handled every aspect – from listing, to showing, through closing. From our first meeting you gained our confidence, as your extensive experience was obvious. Helping us determine a fair selling price, guidance in showing it to its best advantage, arranging all showings based on our convenience, helping with negotiations when we received two full-price offers on the third day, scheduling and attending inspections, communicating with the buyer up to and through closing….the list goes on! The whole experience was a pleasure thanks to your professional and confident manner. We have already spread the word among our Parkland Isles’ neighbors and will continue to give you our highest recommendations.”
Richard & Dorothy Turk – Parkland, FL Seller
“Thank you again for another job well done! It truly has always been a pleasure doing business with you both. We appreciate your “special treatment” and your “old fashioned” neighborhood business manner; it’s nice to know there is still some of that out there. Once again, it was smooth sailing!”
The Castillo Family – Parkland, FL Seller
“We recently listed and sold our home with the Stern’s and their service was great! They were very professional and dedicated in getting our home sold. From the day we listed the property until closing, they both were there every step of the way. We especially liked the weekly status reports which kept us up-to-date on everything going on. We would highly recommend anyone listing a home to consider Ben & Mayra. They won’t be disappointed.”
The Ferbers – Parkland, FL Sellers
“We are so grateful for the excellent service you provided in selling our Parkland Isles home. Your extremely efficient and highly professional service resulted in the sale of our home IN LESS THAN 24 HOURS FOR MORE THAN OUR ASKING PRICE! We are very pleased with the amazing service you provided — it far surpassed our expectations. We have tremendous confidence in your capabilities and have already recommended you to our friends. Please add our names to your list of extremely satisfied customers!!!”
Gladys & Wolfgang Weihrer – Parkland, FL Sellers
“…Mayra & Ben did a great job of keeping me informed. Everything went very smoothly and I am sure it was due to a large part of how thorough and dedicated they both are”.
Dean Ehrlich – Parkland, FL Seller
“Awesome! The perfect word to describe how husband and wife teamwork sold our property in 3 days at list price. Due to the negligence and incompetence of previous Realtors, for 8 months we were preoccupied and unconfidant with our property upholding its value. However, Mayra & Ben rose our hopes with honesty and total professionalism and sold our home for more money than we anticipated. Spectacular performance!”
John & Patricia Porrata – Parkland, FL Seller
“We have sold many homes in the past, and have never had such hard working Realtors help sell our home”.
M. Sheaff – Parkland, FL Seller
“We would like to express our gratitude to Mayra & Ben Stern for all the support and help given to us to successfully complete the sale of our former home in Parkland Isles“.
Maria Luz Caballero and Hernan Mejia – Parkland, FL Seller
“…Your hard work, dedication, brochures and time really made the difference! Having my own real estate license (in another state) I know that you both went “beyond the call of duty”…”
Karen Berg – Parkland, FL Seller
“…thank you for brilliantly handling the listing and sale of our home. Your attention to detail and constant communication made us feel confident in our decision to sign with you. It was fun seeing the review of our home on realtor.com. You did an excellent job providing a detailed description and selected wonderful photos that represented our home well. What amazed us the most is that we sold our home in ONLY THREE DAYS for 98% of our asking price! We have already recommended you as realtors to several of our friends and neighbors. We know that they will receive the same excellent service that we received.”
Deanna Remmich – Parkland, FL Seller
“…I would like to say that having you as the listing realtors for the sale of our home in Parkland Isles made the process enjoyable. You always kept your word about anything that you said to us. You did such a great job of advertising our home that it was sold only four days from the time that we signed a contract with you. We were also able to negotiate a sale price that worked for us, especially in light of the fact that the price we received was the highest to date for our particular model. During the sale process you answered any question posed by us. You always returned our calls in a timely fashion. We had a great experience with two professionals from the time of listing until the time of closing. We could not have gotten any better service. We wholeheartedly recommend you two to list any of our former neighbor’s homes in Parkland Isles”.
Neil & Michele Fogel – Parkland, FL Seller
“Thanks again for a wonderful job! I would recommend you HIGHLY to anyone that was thinking of putting their house on the market! You were very professional and were always available to answer any of our questions”.
Katie Swenson – Parkland, FL Seller
“ …During the time of the sale of my old house in Parkland Isles and throughout and after the purchase of my new house also in Parkland Isles, I found Mayra & Ben to be exemplary in every aspect of business. The two are absolutely the best I have ever worked with on the purchase and sales of 6 other homes.”
Michael Swann – Parkland, FL Buyer & Seller
“…Ben and Mayra have been excellent realtors to work with. They have helped us on more than one occasion to look for new homes and have recently helped us with the sale of our home in Parkland Isles. They are easy to get a hold of, up to date on what is happening in the market and most of all know what they are doing. We can strongly recommend Ben and Mayra as realtors and have been more than happy with the help and services they have provided. They are a great team and we have loved working with them and will continue to work with them as the need arises in the future.”
Jim & Melinda Caldwell – Parkland, FL Seller
“…We have sold 5 principal residence homes since our marriage 34 years ago… and we must say that working with you two has been a pleasure. Never any pressure on us to modify or change anything we requested is a big plus in our minds – just good sound advice coupled with working with us to make sure all aspects of this sale came to fruition was a testament to your professional and personal desire to “make things happen” for your clients. All in all – we have to tell you that you rate a 2 thumbs up with us!”
Bob & Jessi Lieberman – Parkland, FL Seller
“ Dear Ben and Mayra: Thank you for being so helpful in the purchase of a beautiful house. You guys kept in touch with us every step of the way. We felt very well oriented and confident through the whole process…We would definitely use your services if needed either in sale or purchase”.
Hidalgo & Ivette Batista – Parkland, FL Buyer
“… I just wanted to send a quick thank you for helping me purchase my home. You two did everything you could to make this purchase happen. It was a great experience and could not have gone better. You were so on top of everyhting I asked. I will certainly use you both again and will give your name out as often as I can.”
Robin Meinders – Parkland, FL Buyer
“…We can’t thank Mayra & Ben enough for all your help in selling our home… Mayra for your thorough research behind a record appraisal, and Ben for everything from offering assistance with repairs to calming our nerves during a stressful move. Your combined utmost professionalism with personalized attention, and for that we gladly recommend your services to potential sellers or buyers in Parkland Isles!”
The Omenson Family – Parkland, FL Seller
“…We wanted to thank Mayra & Ben again for the wonderful job they did selling our Parkland Isles home. Their professionalism, organization and confident, calm demeanors made, what can be a stressful experience, a very pleasant one. One of the things that impressed us the most was how quickly they responded to any question or issue that arose. We have bought and sold many homes and have the stories, none of them good, to tell. Stern realty Co. was by far the best experience we had, but the first one that didn’t inspire more moving stories!”
Sandy and John Costello – Parkland, FL Seller
“Both Yasemin and I also want to Thank You. Not only was it a pleasure doing business with you, it was also our pleasure seeing you in a most professional manner. Well done from both of us and we hope that our paths will once again cross for all the best reasons. We like doing business with good people and creating a friendly and positive relationship, as I feel we have done here. Good job and thanks for being there when we needed you the most. Do stay in touch.
Frank and Yasemin Pressley – Parkland, FL Seller
“Mayra helped us get the right house for our needs. She will help you with all the questions that may arise during the search and negotiation of your house. Thanks Mayra!”
Gerardo Sarmiento – Coral Springs, FL Buyer
Just listed in Toscana South by Ben & Mayra Stern with Stern Realty Co.! Impeccable Arezzo model on the 16th floor! 2be + den, 2.1 baths, and stunning views of the Intracoastal, ocean, and the Toscana Grounds from every window of this spectacular condo! Shows like a model with about $100,000 in recent upgrades! Custom marble floors & painting throughout, crown molding, recently built custom bar area, beautiful built-in cabinet in the den (could become a 3rd bedroom very easily), custom lighting, kitchen with granite counter tops & backsplash, finished huge walk in closets, master bath with hot tub, double sinks, a separate shower & more. Toscana is a full service luxury building by the beach in Highland Beach, FL . Pets of all sizes are allowed! Priced to sell at $1,500,000. Contact Ben & Mayra at 561-715-0314 or by email at BenAndMayraStern@hotmail.com for more info or for a private showing! http://www.ToscanaRealEstate.info
View more pictures of this condo and the Toscana community here: https://goo.gl/photos/nc9TSjZaVyuaoTut9
3740 S. Ocean Blvd. #1609. Highland Beach, FL 33487 – MLS # RX-10242890
“We believe that an educated consumer makes the best customer.”
Costly mistakes that you should know about…we are spilling the beans!
It is easier to get a listing when you tell the seller what he/she wants to hear. Many agents tell prospective sellers a sales price that is not that realistic so that the property owner is more willing to list with them than with another real estate agent interviewing for the same listing. As nice as it sounds to hear that you can get a higher price for your home, not listening to the agents that are being more honest & giving you a more realistic selling price based on the price of actual sold properties, will probably not do you any good. Your property will sit for months on the market without selling, while you help other comparable properties sell. Buyers in this market are very knowledgeable and computer savvy. With all the information out there, they will know which properties are a better value, and those will be the ones that sell. Many overpriced homes will never sell, they become expireds. It has been proven, that if you price your property right from the beginning, you will sell it faster, and in many cases, even for more money than you would have gotten if you overprice your home. A property that has been on the market for so long makes buyers think that there is something wrong with it, or they will think that the owner is just not realistic, so they will pass and not even bother. As a seller, you might know that you will be flexible & negotiable once you get an offer, but all those buyers and agents out there do not know that. So, do you want to list with an honest agent that told you the truth from the beginning, or the one that did not?
Zillow Zestimates Are Usually Not Accurate. For years we had people tell us that Zillow estimates, made their home be worth this or that. The problem with the estimates that Zillow gives, is that they do not take into consideration many things that a Realtor would know to take into consideration when giving an estimate of value.
- Is the home a foreclosure?
- What is the condition of the home?
- What are the upgrades of the property?
- Does the home back to a main road?
- Does the home have a huge lot?
- Is that floor plan typically more desirable than another in the same community?
- What kind of views does the property have? Does it have a lake or a garden view? By the beach area, a condo on the 15th floor will not sell or rent for the same price as one on the 2nd floor. Does the property have an ocean view or an Intracoastal view, or both? They are stacks of a building that have better views than others.
- Is the property rental price for an annual rental or a seasonal rental? The same property can rent annually for just $6,000 per month, but when it comes to a short term rental during season, the same property can go for $12,000 per month.
So, next time you want an accurate estimate of value, please, contact us! We will tell you what your home is worth based on accurate data and your property specific characteristics.
Real estate commissions are completely negotiable between the listing broker and the seller. These two parties can agree on any amount whatsoever.
The real estate commission is not always split 50% – 50% among the real estate agents involved in the transaction, as many people believe, this too can be negotiated. If two different real estate companies are offering to sell your property for the same commission, it does not necessarily mean that the terms will be the same. A listing agent might split the commission in half (2.5% to the listing agent, and 2.5% to the selling agent that brings the buyer). The other listing agent (like Stern Realty Co. does) might keep only 2%, and give 3% to the selling agent. Why should you care? And why do we keep less money and offer more to the selling agents? The answer is simple. We want to motivate all other agents in the MLS (10,000+) to bring a buyer and sell our listing. If the commission offered to them is much less than what other listings for similar properties are paying, we might not have as many motivated agents trying hard to show and sell our listings. Therefore, your listing might never sell, or might sell for a lot less than it should, costing you thousands of dollars. If there are 25 listings for sale in your community, and most of the listings are offering the agents that bring the buyer 3% commission, and your agent is only offering to pay them 2.5%, there might be a good chance that some real estate agents might not show your listing at all with so many others to show that are offering to pay them more in commission. True, some agents will do the right thing, and show all the listings that fit their customer’s criteria, but many might not do the right thing. This mistake, can cost you thousands and valuable time on the market! 11 condos sold in Toscana: 10 of the condos that sold were paying 3% in commission to the selling agent, and only 1 condo that was paying 2.5% to the selling agent sold in 2016. That condo took 355 days to sell. We want to give our customers a fair commission rate that will save them some money (compared to a 6% commission), but at the same time, we don’t want to sacrifice on the exposure that our customers will get. We are a full service real estate company with low commission rates. We pass on the savings to our customers! What if the listing agent brings the buyer? Most agents get paid the whole commission. If we sell your condo to our own buyer, we will charge you ONLY 4% commission! With Toscana listings, that can mean thousands of dollars for the sellers.
When you hire an agent, you might not get what you expect. Many owners list with an agent thinking that they will only have that one “very qualified” agent to handle their transaction, but some agents might have their assistant, or other less qualified, new, real estate agent doing some of their work. We were all new in the business once, but, just make sure that you know who will be working for you, and know what you are getting for the money. Ben has been doing real estate since 1990, and Mayra got her license in 1996. Combined, we have over 40 years experience in the real estate business. When you hire Ben& Mayra, we are the only ones working for you. Having someone in the team that is not that qualified or experienced, might cost you thousands. And you might be even paying more in commissions but getting less customer service& experience.
About franchise, company, and processing fees. Before the internet took off, paying more in commission to a “global” real estate company with thousands of offices worldwide made sense. It was not that easy to get international buyers without that. These days, with so many internet real estate sites such as Realtor.com and Zillow.com, the need to be part of a big company is less. Because we own our real estate company, we do not have to pay franchise fees, company fees, etc. we can pass the savings on to our customers. We never charge our sellers a processing fee either. Many companies out there also charge their clients between $299 – $500 in addition to the real estate commission when selling. Why pay more to get the same or even more service?
More showings means a faster sale, and maybe even more offers and a higher price when selling! The easier a property it is to show, the more showings you will have, the faster it sells, and the more money you might get. We accompany the showings of all of our listings in Toscana. Since we live here, it is very easy for us to accommodate the showings that other real estate agents request, even on moment’s notice. Requests that you can only show between this time and that time on specific days of the week, or the need to give 24+ hours notice to show a property, is a turn off for other agents trying to show listings to a customer during a specific time of the day. Most agents will not go back to show those hard to show listings another day when it is convenient for the owner or the agent to show it. Even if an agent tells you that they will accompany every showing, chances are that if the agent does not live in the community, the showings will not be as easy as someone that lives in the community. With the two of us living in Toscana, chances are, we can accommodate every single showing request.
Who represents you? We represent YOU as “Single Agents”, unless we bring our own buyer – then we become “Transaction Brokers” to be fair to both parties involved in the transaction. Please, keep in mind that we reduce our commission if we procure the buyer of the property. Most other real estate agents are “Transaction Brokers” from the beginning, even if the buyer comes with a different agent that represents them. “Single Agency” duties includes: loyalty, confidentiality, obedience, and full disclosure, which are not included as “Transaction Broker” duties. A Transaction Broker provides you with a limited form of representation. Would you pay an attorney a high fee to NOT fully represent you?
How about double dipping? Some real estate agents want to double dip (they want to find the buyer of the property they listed on their own, that way they keep the whole commission for themselves) as much as possible and to do so, they might make some of their listings hard to show to other agents. Only towards the end of the listing agreement (when they are about to lose the listing), they start making more of an effort to show their listings to other agents. We will charge the sellers less total commission if we procure the buyer of the property, but many other agents don’t. The more showings a seller has, the more chances they will receive multiple offers. We make it easier for other agents to show our listings, even on moment’s notice. We also try to show it to as many of our own buyers as possible. We want to get the most exposure for our listings so the sellers can choose the best offer for them based on their particular situation.
Being a good real estate agent comes with experience and years in the business. Many people might not be aware that getting a real estate license in Florida is not that hard to do. After you take the “63-hour Sales Associate Pre-License Course” and take the state exam, you can go sell a home. This course, as informative as it is, does not cover many of the important day to day issues a real estate agent can expect to encounter in a transaction…most of what we have learned in our combined 40+ years in real estate came from experience. Even if a new agent is with a well known national real estate company, he/she is still new, and the inexperience & mistakes can cost you thousands of dollars. Choosing a real estate agent because he/she is a friend or a family member’s friend, does not make them the most qualified agent to sell your home. Your property is probably one of your biggest assets, and you should only trust your property to someone with enough experience.
Listing length matters. Some real estate agents try to lock a seller into a long term 1 year listing. We have flexible terms and our listing contracts are for less time. If we need more time and you are happy with our service, we can extend the listing agreement as needed. If you sign a 1 year listing agreement right away, you are now locked into a long term contract with an agent. If you are not satisfied with the service or results for any reason, you might not be able to get out and you are stuck with an agent that you might not be happy with.
Beware of kickbacks! Don’t be stuck with bad service! We get so many calls of people that are stuck with a real estate agent that gives them bad service, and they can not wait to get out of the contract. We tell this people, that unfortunately, until that contract is either cancelled or expired, there is nothing that we can do to help them sell or rent their property. Please, before choosing a service provider, do your homework.
Did you know that for a real estate agent to give back a kickback to someone unlicensed as a real estate agent for referring her/him a customer, is not legal in the state of Florida? See Florida Statutes 475.25.
Florida Statutes 475.25 Discipline.— (1) The commission may deny an application for licensure, registration, or permit, or renewal thereof; may place a licensee, registrant, or permittee on probation; may suspend a license, registration, or permit for a period not exceeding 10 years; may revoke a license, registration, or permit; may impose an administrative fine not to exceed $5,000 for each count or separate offense; and may issue a reprimand, and any or all of the foregoing, if it finds that the licensee, registrant, permittee, or applicant: h. Has shared a commission with, or paid a fee or other compensation to, a person not properly licensed as a broker, broker associate, or sales associate under the laws of this state, for the referral of real estate business, clients, prospects, or customers, or for any one or more of the services set forth in s. 475.01(1)(a).
When someone refers you to a service provider, please make sure that the referral comes from the heart, because that person gives exceptional service, not because they are getting a kickback for the referral. The best referrals come from past customers or people you truly know and trust. To read our customer reviews, please visit our website: www.BenAndMayraStern.com . Go to the “About Us” tab, and then to the “Testimonials” tab.
Magazine & newspaper ads most of the time don’t help you sell your home! While most people read magazines and newspapers, statistics show that 92% of the buyers go online to search for properties (2014 Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers), and real estate agents were viewed as a useful information source by 98 percent of buyers who used an agent while searching for a home. By the time ads on a magazine come out, chances are the property is already sold, or the price changed. Most of those ads don’t mention if the community is pet friendly, how much the monthly maintenance is, or if the home is in a membership required community, among other important information that the buyers will need to know to proceed. The online description of the properties includes that information. Many real estate companies use these ads to show sellers why they are a better choice. In reality, most serious buyers are either looking online, and/or using a real estate agent to help them find a home. Chances of a buyer buying a property from an ad in a magazine or the newspaper are slim. Many real estate companies justify charging a seller more in commissions to compensate paying for the ads that, in reality, just promote their business and not a property. Most listings sell through the MLS in collaboration with other real estate agents; that is why we place over 100 pictures of a property in the MLS, and compensate the selling agent as much as possible to make sure your property sells as fast as possible, for the best possible price. Because we do not spend thousands of dollars on magazine ads that don’t really help sellers sell their property, we can pass those savings on to our sellers and give them a big break in the commission. So, ask yourself, do you want to pay more in commissions just to promote someone’s business?
Make sure your Realtor gives you a signed copy of the totally executed Listing Agreement right away. Some real estate agents do not give a copy of the listing contract to their sellers. We immediately email a signed copy to our sellers. In the State of Florida, you are required to provide your client with a copy of the Listing Agreement signed by all parties. We would be very concerned if an agent did not take the time to go over the listing contract with you, and give you a copy of the Listing Agreement. Make sure you write the expiration date of the contract on your calendar. This will help you keep track of the listing period. If you are happy with the service this agent is giving you, then you could sign a listing extension, if not, you have the right to find an agent that will give you better service and results.
If you are thinking of selling, please make sure you do not make any of these costly mistakes!
Please contact us at 561-715-0314, and we will save you money and give you honest, excellent service!
Do not list with anyone else until you watch our Toscana Listing Presentation!