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CEO Robbie Briggs: 'I couldn't have predicted that in April or May'

Each Friday, Robbie Briggs, president and CEO of Briggs Freeman Sotheby’s International Realty, writes about luxury, trends, business and more in the advertising pages of the Mansion section of The Wall Street Journal. Below is his letter of July 31, 2020.  FROM MY PERSPECTIVE Going somewhere, fast How would you like some wild news? High-end homes in North Texas are selling very well. Our agents are — thankfully — as busy at the closing end of things as they are at the listing end. You can feel the optimism in the air. And, this news gets more interesting: Here, during a global pandemic, we have had at least 35 homes sell recently in five days or less. Of those homes, 15 sold for the listing price or more than the listing price — making the average listing price of these homes a healthy $1,270,000. I couldn’t have predicted that in April or May, when sales were much slower. I want to share some anecdotes with you from these fast sales. One was a Transitional-style beauty in Highland Park. It was recently renovated by a Dallas designer who Architectural Digest has called one of the top 100 in the world. It has garage space for 11 cars — a collector’s dream. It was listed for $4,995,000, and it sold before our agent could even put it onto the multiple listing service here. A sleek Contemporary home in Preston Hollow just sold in 48 hours. The listed price was $3,250,000, but it sold for more. “Every person who saw it made an offer,” says the agent. In Plano, we had a two-story Traditional house last one day on the market. “We sold it sight-unseen,” says our agent who had the $799,000 listing. The buyer lives in California and still hasn’t seen their new home in person. It was sold purely off the photographs on briggsfreeman.com. We’ve had homes sell fast in Fort Worth, in Southlake, you name it. We had a house that had 10 showings in the first day; a home that sold before the yard sign could go up; and a home that went into the MLS at 2 p.m., had a showing at 4 p.m. and a contract on it by 9 p.m. You can’t make this stuff up. But I want us all to remember that not everyone has a home. I’ve written before about New Story, a nonprofit that wants to end global homelessness. New Story is building modest homes — traditionally and via 3D printing — for people who live in tents, shacks or worse. These homes are hope, safety and a future. Sotheby’s International Realty is a partner with New Story and I can tell you that these homes are game changers. Check them out at newstorycharity.org. While things are looking up for a lot of people, more than a billion people are in need of a safe shelter. That’s a number we’d love to bring down. Robbie Briggs President and CEO Briggs Freeman Sotheby’s International Realty rbriggs@briggsfreeman.com

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