Home & Design: Best of the Best Realtors: Sotheby's International Realty

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As individual real estate companies get absorbed by national chains, we take comfort in knowing that Sotheby’s International Realty still functions as a boutique agency. Its reach is worldwide, but its motto could be, “Think local, act global.” When Sotheby’s sold the contents of a house in the mid-1970s and then was asked to sell the house itself, it seemed a natural progression for the auction house to establish its own real estate division. Today there are some 20 Sotheby’s-owned real estate offices around the country and about 200 international affiliates. “Because we entered the high-end residential market so early, we were able to establish relationships with the firms that are local experts and leaders in their communities,” says Rick Moeser, senior vice president for the Southeast and the Caribbean. Moeser’s idea of the perfect listing is Musha Key in the Bahamas, a private island that is currently for sale for $56.5 million, fully furnished and equipped with boats and jet skis. “The owner is a terrific person who created a unique and magnificent property, a resort paradise. It’s not just another new, large home with all the bells and whistles,” he says. “We prefer to list properties that have some architectural or historical significance, have been featured in magazines and movies, or are owned by someone interesting. That combination is guaranteed to get the property some publicity. But we also have sellers who want complete confidentiality, and we honor that, too. We are the biggest and the best.”

Sotheby’s International Realty, 212.606.4100, www.sothebysrealestate.com

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