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THE BIG FIX

How to survive the bust. Buy, sell, rent, move, or wait it out?

Find your next buyer overseas

December 28, 2007|BY MADISON HILDEBRAND | Madison Hildebrand, star of Bravo's "Million Dollar Listing," is a real estate agent in Malibu.

Nobody knows what is going to happen. Contrary to prophecy, historical cycles or headlines, there are no guarantees and too many variables. So for real estate agents, 2008 is going to be a year of strategy.

According to MLS data, for example, the high-end market in L.A. -- houses that cost $5 million or more, my area of expertise -- is still strong. Closed transactions of $5 million and above across the Westside are up 12% year-to-date in 2007. The price per square foot is up too, by $36.

Fortunately, we also live in a city with worldwide appeal. Many of the high-end buyers I see are arriving from overseas with loads of cash; a tight mortgage market is no issue. If you're selling, your brokerage better have an international presence. But whether you're investing, unloading or brokering deals, in 2008 there's no free lunch.

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