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Karens and Referrals


Good morning South Florida!  First, I hope you like my Jeff Journal articles.  It isn’t easy to write and sometimes it’s late on Friday and Saturday morning before I put them altogether.  No CHAT GPT. I do try to make dry subjects somewhat entertaining and real estate educational.  I also enjoy writing them. If I’m not laughing and pleasing my inner 9 year old while I’m writing them, they usually don’t go out.  It’s actually the way we explain things in the field and it’s always been my personality and authentic selling style. Besides writing these Jeff’s Journals, I also help other Facebook Friends and HOA Feuding Folks out of serious disagreements. All at no cost.  It’s just part of what we do. So, since season is upon us…please consider Echo for your real estate needs.  If you have a relative, friend, acquaintance, co-worker, or even someone you’d like to move away from you, we love referrals. Echo gives white glove service, listens, analyzes/deploys killer strategies, negotiates to completion and we truly love seeing the end result for our client.  Listing? Buying?  Renting?  As they say, you have to grovel and ask for the offer.  Jeff@EchoFineProperties.com or 561-346-8383.  We would be honored to help! Plus, it helps with our kiddos, Jade and Sam’s college fund.

Anyway, on to today’s Jeff Journal……

What do you think about 2-ply blackout lining with interlining versus 3-ply without the interlining? How about a 78×44 construction? Matte finish versus shine? Do you like jacqobeans or are they too harsh. Is that toile’ in repeat? Will the Lodge look last or is distress here to stay? 

During my first decade in the textile industry, none of my friends were interested in my textile shmata jargon. People had all sorts of interesting jobs. I loved mine but it wasn’t exactly dinner conversation although talking about it was a great way to finish up an evening if you wanted to bore your friends and get home.

However, once I pivoted to real estate, all eyes turned to me at the dinner table. And I become an unwanted referee for real estate disputes.  Here is an example from just this week. I received this note from Jim forwarding me a question from a Karen……

Karen:  Jim, yes I got the information from the MLS. If you look at vacant land you will notice up to $200k increase in vacant land on paved roads versus vacant land on unpaved roads. This is the best evidence because there is no structure to which you can attribute the increased value. This discrepancy exists both in Palm Beach Country Estates, Jupiter Farms, and Loxahatchee. It is indisputable that paved roads are worth more as per market value even though I hold space for individual preferences who like their dirt roads. PBCE is large enough that we can have both dirt and non-dirt, whatever the majority of owners prefer. The values assessed by the property appraisers office are worth s**t!   (note that I changed the name of the person to Karen and added a ** as this is a G-rated email blast.)

Jim:  Jeff, could you share your opinion?  The claim is that a paved road can add 200k to the value of an empty lot…especially that it can be shown in the MLS.

Jeff:  Jim, You’d have to do a deep dive analysis and look at the supporting details to get the valuation of how much a paved roads add to the value. I’d probably go back a few years and look at all sales of lots that were on a paved road versus unpaved.  Then smooth out size, favorable or unfavorable streets and any irregular lots or sales.  An appraiser would do an analysis like this and I think that is the best way to know for certain. It’s also what a bank would rely on in a business situation when giving a mortgage or loan on a home for example. If those numbers hold true, then I will be the first in line to buy up all the lots on unpaved roads. 


A quick breakdown of being in the business 23 years, handling thousands of transactions and running a brokerage of hundred agents is that a $200,000 bump for a paved lot doesn’t make sense and is not indisputable.  If so, you should sell your lot for $175,000 more, giving the Karen a $25,000 discount.  Then run as fast as you can.



Jeff Lichtenstein, originally from Chicago, got his start in the home furnishings textile business where he traveled over 35 weeks a year selling fabrics. After the family business was sold, Jeff moved to Florida and became a real estate agent. Today he is the owner and broker of Echo Fine Properties, a luxury residential brokerage voted best brokerage of the year. Jeff manages a non-traditional model of real estate that mimics a traditional business model. Echo has 80 agents, an average of one million dollars per transaction and over 500 million in annual sales. Between traveling for work and annual family trips to national parks with his wife and 2 now adult children, Jeff has visited 49 states. He is also one of the few Chicago White Sox fans you’ll ever meet.  Some publications he has been quoted in.

Author of business & leadership book How Making a Sandwich Can Change Your World –  The Amazing Success of the PB&J Strategy – Available to Buy Now!

Feel free to ask him a question directly at jeff@EchoFineProperties.com including a complementary  valuation of your home.

Posted in Open House Blog, Real Estate Tips on November 3, 2023 at 5:44 am.


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