Businessman who ‘really found himself’ in real estate served with industry organizations and won many awards
Marc Witman, who sold residential real estate and was a past president of the Greater Baltimore Board of Realtors, died of pancreatic cancer Oct. 8 at Gilchrist Hospice Care of Howard County. The Pikesville resident was 66. Born in Baltimore and raised in Baltimore County’s Milford Mill area, he was the son of Hal Witman, an attorney, and Miriam Witman, a homemaker.
He was a 1968 graduate of Milford Mill High School, where he was on the golf team. He earned a bachelor’s degree in business from the University of Maryland, College Park.
A Democrat, he was active in the 1960s civil rights movement and participated in demonstrations to integrate the Milford Mill Swim Club.
After college, he worked for a mail-order firm and became its vice president. He also co-owned an automobile oil-change business.
In 1989, he changed careers and received his real estate license.
“He really found himself in that industry,” said his wife, the former Helaine Boslow. “Everything he learned earlier in life all come together for him in his real estate career.
“Marc prided himself in knowing what was coming on the market. He knew his clients, and he knew what would make them happy,” she said. “And if his clients were happy he was thrilled.”
He worked at the Merrill Lynch, Meredith, and Long and Foster real estate firms. In 2007, he was one of the founders of the Strata Group, and most recently was a partner at Berkshire Hathaway Homesale Realty in Bare Hills.
“Marc was kind, resourceful, smart and clever,” said Michael Yerman, his business partner. “He was a great salesperson. His clients came first. He was steadfast. He followed up everything, on every detail. And he really knew the industry.”
Mr. Witman became president of the Greater Baltimore Board of Realtors in 1999. He successfully lobbied the Maryland General Assembly to change required tax escrows from 13 months to six months. As a result of his campaign, residential tax bills are mailed every six months.
“It made a huge difference in the closing costs related to a house,” said Alan Ingraham, chief executive officer of the Greater Baltimore Board of Realtors. “Maryland had been the third-highest state for transaction costs for home purchases, and after this change, it moved all the way down to the 31st state nationally.”
Mr. Ingraham said his colleague was a gentleman and “the consummate professional. He was a class act in every regard.”
Mr. Witman received numerous professional awards. He was Greater Baltimore’s 1996 Distinguished Realtor of the Year and the 1998 Realtor of the Year. He was also the 2016 recipient of the Greater Baltimore Board’s Lifetime Achievement Award.
“Marc was an incredible tactician. He had the answers to complex questions at his fingertips. In our partnership, we never had a cross word,” said Brandon Gaines, another business partner. “He loved doing deals, loved being on the phone talking to his loyal clients and customers. He derived a tremendous enjoyment from this industry.”
Pat Windisch, his assistant since 1994, said Mr. Witman “always dressed in an immaculate suit and tie. He believed in looking professional.”
For many years he wore a white shirt offset by suspenders.
“Ahomeis a sacred place — not because of the walls or the floors or the furnishings, but because of the life and love and spirit of the people who live in it,” said Rabbi Elissa Sachs-Kohen in her eulogy for Mr. Witman. “Marc had a wonderful sense about walls and the floors, but more importantly, he cared about the people who would come and go, the people who live in the home.”
Mr. Witman supported the Lustgarten Foundation for pancreatic cancer research.
He enjoyed playing golf at the old Chestnut Ridge Golf Course. In the 1980s, he belonged to a Wednesday night sailing group in Annapolis. He also sailed to Maine.
He was a member of Baltimore Hebrew Congregation.
Services were held Oct. 10 at Sol Levinson and Bros.
Survivors include his wife of nearly 15 years; two daughters, Samara Sisserman of Lutherville and Shana Witman of Baltimore; two stepdaughters, Jane Frankel Sims of Lutherville and Devon Silberstein of Rye, N.Y; and six grandchildren. “If his clients were happy he was thrilled,” Marc Witman’s wife, Helaine, said of him.