The Sandestin Golf and Beach Resort has long been a reliable weather vane for real estate sales in northwest Florida and the year 2012 proved no exception.



To celebrate another solid year in which sales were well ahead of expectations, Sandestin Real Estate, the exclusive brokerage for the resort, held an awards dinner recently to announce their top selling and listing agents for the year. The awards dinner was held at Graffiti and the Funky Blues Shack restaurant in The Village of Baytowne Wharf at Sandestin.



Jo Stewart has been an award winner since joining Sandestin Real Estate, and for the past two years she won the award for “Realtor of the Year.” In addition to this prestigious honor, this year Stewart was the overall top listing agent and top selling agent for volume. For the fourth year in a row, Christine Thompson is a celebrated award winner; this year her awards were for top selling and listing agent of the year for number of transactions.



The event was attended by Tom Becnel, the owner of Sandestin Golf and Beach Resort, and presided over by Kitty Whitney, executive director of Sandestin Real Estate.



“When everyone was predicting a slow year, we just had a surprisingly good year,” said Whitney. “I give full credit to our wonderful team of agents and a support staff that is the best in the business.” Sandestin Real Estate recorded sales of $118 million for year 2012, with $88 million on the resort, more than the next ten competing brokerages combined.



Stewart moved to the panhandle in 2006 from Washington, D.C. Before her move down south she was executive vice president and chief credit officer of United Bank in Washington, D.C., Virginia and Maryland, overseeing a $2 billion portfolio consisting primarily of commercial real estate in the metropolitan area. She is a resident of Burnt Pine, president of the Burnt Pine Neighborhood Association, and a member of the Sandestin Beach Club Advisory Board and on the Board of Directors of South Walton Habitat for Humanity.



Thompson has been on the Sandestin team since 2001 and has helped hundreds of families find their permanent or second home on the resort. A native of London, England, she lived in South Africa and Australia before moving to Florida with her husband in 1990. Thompson attributes her success to her customers who continue to pay her the compliment of referring their friends and family members for their real estate needs.