Realty franchise gives Sotheby’s a presence in Indianapolis

Four veteran real estate agents have launched Encore Sotheby’s International Realty, a member of the real estate network of Sotheby’s International Realty Affiliates.

Sotheby’s International Realty is part of New York-based Sotheby’s, which operates the famed Sotheby’s Auction House.

Jeffrey B. Cohen and longtime business partner Mark A. Zukerman, along with the mother-son team of Margie and Bradley Litz, purchased the franchise and announced the opening on Friday.

The north-side office at 9510 N. Meridian St. has 17 sales associates, including Sales Manager Jeff Carroll, who arrived from F.C. Tucker Co.   

“We’re thrilled to be part of the Sotheby’s family and specifically the Sotheby’s International Realty brand,” Cohen said. “It’s a perfect fit for our veteran agents and us.”

Cohen, 48, is a developer and agent who operated J.B. Cohen Realty Corp. for nearly 25 years. He and Zukerman are developing Laurel Ridge, a 48-acre subdivision at 106 Street and Ditch Road. The upscale development features 17 lots selling for an average of $900,000 each.

The Litzes, who operated The Litz Group Inc., ranked seventh in last year’s IBJ listing of top residential real estate agents, with total sales of $64.8 million.

Encore has 117 residential listings in the metropolitan area, and Cohen said it will have a strong presence in Boone, Hamilton and Marion counties. The goal of the firm  is to have 25 agents with annual sales of about $10 million each. The firm’s average home listing is roughly $300,000.

Encore joins an already crowded residential real estate market at a time when home sales are weak. But Cohen said he has no fears about purchasing the Sotheby’s brand and expects the firm to be competitive.

“We’re not trying to be the big guy,” he said. “We’re hoping to gain a market share commensurate with our brand, our office and our agents.”

Encore’s listings will be marketed on Sotheby’s International Realty’s Web site. The network has more than 10,700 sales agents in about 500 offices in 40 countries and territories worldwide.

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