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MIAMI-Dean Isenberg, a local entrepreneur who has operated sell-a-boat.com for the past 10 years, has launched sell-your-preconstruction.com. It joins other websites that have recently taken to the Internet to capitalize on the “flipper” trend in residential real estate.

Unlike the USCondex site, which lists only condos before, during and after construction, this site contains only pre-construction residences but covers single-family houses as well as condos. And, unlike Condo Flip, which lists only preconstruction condos, this site does not charge a commission but a one-time flat rate for individual listings and for developers, realtors and investors with multiple properties to sell. Richard Swerdlow developed USCondex, and Mark Zilbert operates Condo Flip. All three websites cast an international net for buyers.

Although the website provides a map of the US, and every county in every state is listed, clicks to the majority of states and counties revealed no listing. Isenberg acknowledges that the website now has “close to 200 listings,” with the majority, 45, in South Florida and a smattering in Las Vegas, New York and other competitive markets. “The hurricane delayed our efforts somewhat,” he says, “and it takes time to become known in all states and counties.”

He expects a fairly even split among individual sellers, developers and brokers, with the latter using it as a tool to broaden their marketing efforts. “They will charge their regular commission,” Isenberg suggests. The anticipated split mirrors the pattern set by sell-a-boat.com, he explains. While Isenberg is a licensed real estate broker in Florida, “I’m not doing this as a broker,” he says. “This is an entirely separate nationwide business.” And while he describes the benefits in terms of flippers gaining significant profit prior to completion of their residential acquisitions, he acknowledges, that in heated residential construction environments, the potential profits may not be as high as sellers anticipate.

Jack McCabe, CEO of Deerfield Beach-based McCabe Research and Consulting, forecasts a turning tide in Miami-Dade County. He estimates that between 70% and 80% of condo unit buyers here are speculators. He forecasts a correction that will take condo prices in the county down by between 20% and 30% within the next two-and-a-half to three years.

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