Finishing Up a Busy April on Sanibel & Captiva Islands

I am back from my week on the Ruby Princess and The SanibelSusan Team is busy – so much for thinking that the few weeks after Easter were going to be slow this year. The report below of the Multiple Listing Service action this week confirms that the islands are active.

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Dave and Lisa spent time yesterday at both our listing on Beach Road, accompanying a showing, and our listing on North Yachtsman Drive, which closed this morning. Posted above are a few photos that they snapped during those trips. Talk about glorious weather. For the past several days, the humidity has been under 40%, days in the low 80’s, and evening temperatures down into the high 50’s. Best April weather that I recall in my 20 years here!

When I attended a closing at Barrier Island Title this morning, the girls there remarked that they are staying late most evenings to stay up with the workload, with most of the incoming contracts being cash and quick closings (our favorite kind).

I just made a call to Island Condo Management for an update on some condominium documents and they said that they also are busy – their busiest April in years. Wow, let’s hope this continues. Maybe the buyers have gotten the word that the tide is turning on Sanibel and Captiva!

Here are a few news items, followed by the MLS report for the week:

75th Sanibel Shell Fair and Show

For those who were just hopping off a cruise ship last weekend – or otherwise busy – if you missed the CBS news segment on Sunday morning about Sanibel shelling, here is a link:;contentBody

Piping To Be Replaced in The Dunes Subdivision

I noticed an article in the “Island Sun” that said that Island Water Association, Inc. started working in The Dunes last week to replace the piping in that subdivision. Construction operations will take place on the north side of the subdivision between Albatross Road and The Dunes Clubhouse, starting near the clubhouse. The dates for other streets will be announced as construction progresses. To get more info, call 239-472-1502.

Final Farmer’s Market of the Season This Weekend

Can you believe that it has been four years since two island residents, Jean Baer and Betsy Ventura, brought the first farmer’s market to Sanibel? Offering vegetables, fruit, breads, flowers, plants, meats, seafood, sauces, dips, cheeses, jams, honey, treats, meals, and much more, the number of vendors varies each week from 30 to 40, including repeat and new vendors each year. The Sanibel Farmer’s Market operates each Sunday from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m., from November to April at City Hall on Dunlop Road. The last one for this season is this weekend. We will miss them and already are looking forward to their return in November.

SanibelSusan’s Golden Rules for Dealing With Technology

Here's our office

As an old dog, always willing to learn a few news tricks, I try to embrace technology so that my business stays ahead of the curve. Thank goodness son Dave is a computer guru. He usually kicks and screams when we suggest social media; while the girls in the office, Elise, Lisa, and I enjoy the connectivity that this new technology brings. The changes that keep us connected today and improve our communication – from iPhones, iPads, texting, and the many features of Facebook, LinkedIn – remind me there are some rules that should not be forgotten. A recent article posted in the YPN (Young Professionals Network) Lounge at the National Association of Realtors® site concurs. (I like to read about what those Young Professionals are saying so I stay young too!)

Here are the three golden technology rules you can always count on from The SanibelSusan Team.

1) The client we are with is always our top priority. We do not use technology when we are in clients’ presence unless it is for them. We respect our clients, so you will not find The SanibelSusan Team reading messages, posting e-mails or texts, or handling routine business calls while we are with you.

2) We use technology for its intended use, not to do our dirty work. When a verbal communication can best relay a message, you will get a “real” phone call. When the written word is necessary to record an event, you will get that.

3) Grammar and spelling are important. My team knows that this is one of my pet peeves. They call me the boss with the “red pen”. If we think the correct use of hyphens is important, imagine how important it is that we “dot the i’s and cross the t’s” correctly in our contract work for you. Technology may provide us with better connectivity, but we will remain details-oriented.

Embracing technology is essential to today’s real estate arena; however, basic good manners and professionalism always will prevail when you work with The SanibelSusan Team.

Tarpon Tournament Update

The deadline to register for the “Ding” Darling & Doc Ford’s Tarpon Tournament is May 1st and 35 teams have already signed up. The tournament takes place on May 4th and 5th at Doc Ford’s Rum Bar & Grille on Fort Myers Beach and will benefit wildlife research and education at the refuge and will also benefit tarpon by rewarding participating anglers who perform DNA scrubs on their catches for genetics research before releasing them.

Mina Hemingway, former Sanibel resident, avid fisher, and granddaughter of Ernest Hemingway has joined the tournament. She will be flying in from Bozeman, Montana to fish with Sanibel Island Fishing Club members Rol Campbell (SanibelSusan’s neighbor), Tom Butcher and Charlie Sobczak (island Realtor® and author) aboard Charlie’s boat “Nine Lives”.

Celebrity author Randy Wayne White and TV fishing personalities captains Ozzie Fischer and Ozzie Lessinger also are listed among the teams signed up for the catch-and release tournament. White, a former Sanibel fishing guide, also will preside over a “Kangaroo Court” during the awards ceremony that follows the tournament.

Did you know that this fishing tradition began in 1885 with the first tarpon ever caught on rod-and-reel right here at the “Ding” Darling Refuge in Tarpon Bay? Some islanders have even delayed their return trips to their northland homes, so that they can fish in the tournament this year. Good luck, Bruce!

Interested fishing teams can resister at or by calling 239-472-1100 ext. 4. 

March Pending Home Sales Rise, Market Recovering

Here is a “positive” press release issued yesterday:

“Pending home sales increased in March and are well above a year ago, another signal the housing market is recovering, according to the NAR (National Association of Realtors®).

The Pending Home Sales Index,* a forward-looking indicator based on contract signings, rose 4.1% to 101.4 in March from an upwardly revised 97.4 in February and is 12.8% above March 2011 when it was 89.9.  The data reflects contracts but not closings.

“The index is now at the highest level since April 2010 when it reached 111.3.

Lawrence Yun, NAR chief economist, said 2012 is expected to be a year of recovery for housing.  “First quarter sales closings were the highest first quarter sales in five years.  The latest contract signing activity suggests the second quarter will be equally good,” he said. “The housing market has clearly turned the corner.  Rising sales are bringing down inventory and creating much more balanced conditions around the county, which means home prices will be rising in more areas as the year progresses,” Yun said.

The PHSI in the Northeast slipped 0.8% to 78.2 in March but is 21.1% above March 2011.  In the Midwest the index declined 0.9% to 93.3 but is 16.9% higher than a year ago.  Pending home sales in the South rose 5.9% to an index of 114.1 in March and are 10.6% above March 2011.  In the West the index increased 8.7% in March to 108.0 and is 9.0% above a year ago.

“The National Association of Realtors®, “The Voice for Real Estate,” is America’s largest trade association, representing 1 million members involved in all aspects of the residential and commercial real estate industries.

“*The Pending Home Sales Index is a leading indicator for the housing sector, based on pending sales of existing homes. A sale is listed as pending when the contract has been signed but the transaction has not closed, though the sale usually is finalized within one or two months of signing. The index is based on a large national sample, typically representing about 20% of transactions for existing-home sales.  In developing the model for the index, it was demonstrated that the level of monthly sales-contract activity parallels the level of closed existing-home sales in the following two months. An index of 100 is equal to the average level of contract activity during 2001, which was the first year to be examined as well as the first of five consecutive record years for existing-home sales; it coincides with a level that is historically healthy.

“Information about NAR is available at News releases are posted in the website’s “News and Commentary” tab.  Statistical data in this release, as well as other tables and surveys, are posted in the “Research and Statistics” tab of

“REALTOR® is a registered collective membership mark which may be used only by real estate professionals who are members of the NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS® and subscribe to its strict Code of Ethics.  Not all real estate agents are REALTORS®.  All REALTORS® are members of NAR.”

Sanibel & Captiva MLS Activity April 20-27

4 new listings: Blind Pass #B101 2/2 $449K, Pointe Santo #C24 1/1 $459K, Shell Island Beach Club #7A 2/2 $710K, Seascape #302 3/3.5 $1.349M.
2 price changes: Seawind #A103 2/2.5 now $450K, Sea Pines #D 3/3 now $489K.
3 new sales: Snug Harbor #311 2/2 listed for $459K, Tarpon Beach #104 2/2 listed for $679K, Sundial #T207 2/2 listed for $849K.
5 closed sales: Island Beach Club #320F 2/2 $410K, Sandalfoot #3D1 2/2 $430K, Sandalfoot #4C2 2/2 $455K, Kings Crown #104 2/2 $565K, Gulfside Place #116 3/3 $1.505M.
4 new listings: 1415 Sandpiper Cir 2/2 half-duplex $329K, 960/964 Palm St 3/3 $379.9K, 1536 Bunting Ln 3/2 $442.5K, 1574 Sand Castle Rd 3/2 $549K.
10 price changes: 966 Fitzhugh St 2/1 now $337K; 1610 Sabal Sands Rd 3/2 now $489.9K; 1339 Par View Dr 3/2 now $670.5K; 4996 Joewood Dr now $760K; 4960 Joewood Dr 4/3 now $769.9K; 1807 Buckthorn Ln 3/2.5 now $779.9K; 4781 Tradewinds Dr 3/2 now $1.695M; 553 Lighthouse Way 4/4 now $1.795M; 1232 Isabel Dr 3/3 now $1,999,999; 568 Lighthouse Way 4/4.5 now $2.4M.
2 new sales: 5230 Caloosa End Ln 4/3 listed for $996K, 2564 Wulfert Rd 5/5 listed for $2.298.5M.
6 closed sales: 555 Chert Ct 3/2 $350K, 525 Lake Murex Cir 3/2.5 $467.5K, 1284 Par View Dr 2/2 $516K, 542 North Yachtsman Dr 2/2 $630K (our listing & sale), 3061 Poinciana Cir 3/2 $650K, 1331 Sand Castle Rd 3/2.5 $725K.
2 new listings: 412 Tiree Cir $375,555; Island Inn Rd $1,350,555.
1 price change: 568 Lighthouse Way now $1.3M.
No new sales.
2 closed sales:  1594 Century Ct $129.9K, 1299 Par View Dr $187K.
No new listings or price changes.
4 new sales: Beach Villas #2516 1/1 listed for $449K; Beach Villas #2517 1/1 listed for $499,950; Captiva Shores #5D 2/2 listed for $768.8K; Beach Homes #13 3/3 listed for $2.475M.
2 closed sales: Captiva Shores #6B 2/2 $675K, Lands End Village #1628 3/3 $1.55M.
No new listings, price changes, or new sales.
1 closed sale: 16185 Captiva Dr 4/4 $1.2M.
Nothing to report.
This representation is based in whole or in part on data supplied by the Sanibel & Captiva Islands Association of Realtors or its Multiple Listing Service. Neither the association nor its MLS guarantees or is in any way responsible for its accuracy. Data maintained by the association or its MLS may not reflect all real estate activity in the market. The information provided represents the general real estate activity in the community and does not imply that SanibelSusan Realty Associates is participating or participated in these transactions. If your property currently is listed with another broker, this is not intended as a solicitation of that listing.