As the ink dried on a $122.7 million deal for the sale of a contemporary oceanfront Palm Beach mansion this past February, real-estate agent Ryan Serhant toasted his success with a glass of Champagne and a lobster at a table for one at the area’s iconic hotel, The Breakers.

He had flown in from New York to finalize the deal, which was the largest of the year so far in Palm Beach. It also marked the pinnacle of a dramatic market surge that has overwhelmed local real-estate agents since the beginning of the Covid-19 crisis.

In many ways, the deal spoke perfectly to that unique moment. The seller, Mark Pulte, is a local developer who had built the sprawling estate on a 2.25-acre property once owned by President Donald Trump and located near the Palm Beach Country Club. He paid $37 million for the land in 2017. The buyer: Yet another New York financier purchasing a home in Florida. He is Scott Shleifer, a…

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