Newspaper article Sarasota Herald Tribune

Counteroffers Show Market Is Recovering

Newspaper article Sarasota Herald Tribune

Counteroffers Show Market Is Recovering

Article excerpt

Kathy Marlowe came to Sarasota from Rhode Island in 1994. She has owned her own company, Kathy Marlowe & Associates Realty, for nine years. Personable and energetic, she has made the foreclosure and short-sales market one of her areas of expertise. Correspondent Chris Angermann interviewed her at her Palm-Aire office, which covers Sarasota and Manatee counties.

Q:How did you get involved with foreclosures and short sales?

A:When the market bottom fell out in 2007, I realized that I needed to educate my buyers and sellers. So I did foreclosure bus tours for second-home buyers, retirement buyers and some first-time investors -- experienced investors usually do their own thing. I included a mortgage professional, a home inspector and a title professional.

At the time, everybody wanted to buy foreclosures -- it was the new buzzword. So many people were looking that there were always multiple offers on a foreclosure -- if the property was decent, if people thought they could fix it up easily and move in. You would have to put your best foot forward and hope that, in a sea of 20 offers, yours would be chosen.

Q:What has changed?

A:Now, it's moved on to short sales, because foreclosures have been really picked over. I was representing a couple, and we saw a house that had been on the market just 24 hours. We put an offer in immediately, and I received an email from the listing agent: "We've had multiple offers. We're calling the highest and best-presented tonight. Tomorrow the seller will talk with his attorney and decide which to accept."

In Manatee and Sarasota counties, our low inventory is driving our prices. I had two sales over $200,000 that went to contract last month. One of them was full-price cash, the other just $6,000 less than the asking price.

Q:What do buyers need to know now?

A:Many buyers come from elsewhere, and they don't know what's happening in our market. …

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