November Real Estate Scoop (& more) from Sanibel & Captiva Islands

BObcat10-3-13In addition to some good real estate action on the islands over the last few days, SanibelSusan Realty had a bobcat sighting yesterday at the City Park across the street from our office. Here are a few news items followed by a report of the activity posted in the Sanibel and Captiva Islands Multiple Listing Service this week.

Thursday Realtor® Caravan & Other Island Events 

realtor logoYesterday, the Sanibel and Captiva Islands Association of REALTORS® Caravan meeting was packed and the tour increased to 17 properties – another indication that “season” is just around the corner. These meetings convert next week back to the winter every-week schedule where the property permitted on caravan will rotate between East and West ends so viewers have time to see them all during the 9 a.m. to noon timeframe.

coastal_living_3346Another announcement from a Captiva colleague was that “Coastal Living” magazine is doing a segment on the island for their holiday edition. It will include a chance to win a Captiva vacation and cover the upcoming happenings at the Holiday Village.

Speaking of upcoming events here are a few in the days ahead:

Nov 2 – ‘Tween Waters Annual Halloween Bash (for adults); theme this year is “Twisted Circus”.

New Farmers MarketNov 3 – Sanibel Farmers Market reopens for “season”, every Sunday until Apr 27 on the grounds of City Hall, 8 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Nov 8 – SanCap Cracker Fest by The Sanibel-Captiva chapter of Solutions to Avoid Red Tide, Inc. (START) returns to The Bait Box. Only 300 tickets are available, email

Nov 9 – 2nd Annual “Ding” Darling Kids Fishing Derby on the causeway.

Taste Dunes 2013Nov 10 – 32nd Taste of the Islands to benefit CROW at The Dunes Golf & Tennis Club.

Blue Coyote Supper Club Sanibel

Blue Coyote Supper Club logoWithin Beachview Country Club Estates at 1100 Par View Drive, islanders are looking forward to the opening of this newly remodeled restaurant, new owners and menu. (Those who have dined at the original Blue Coyote, a private supper club inside Caloosa Yacht and Racquet Club in Fort Myers know their food is fabulous!) The Sanibel location, called Blue Coyote Supper Club Sanibel, is expected to open for lunch on Nov 4 (11 a.m. to 2 p.m.) and for dinner on Nov 5. Lunch hours will be 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. everyday and dinner 5 to 9 p.m. Tues through Thurs, and 5 to 10 p.m. Fri and Sat.

What’s The Year-to-Year Market Like on the Islands? 

ASSOC LogoAs we roll in the last quarter each year, I like to compare the market to the same timeframe in previous years. As Sanibel and Captiva real estate sales move into recovery mode, here is a quick look at what has sold from Jan through Oct each year since the heydays of 2006. For good measure, I added current inventory too, which leads into the second article below.


                        SANIBEL ISLAND

                        CONDOS                      HOMES                        LOTS               

                        #          Avg $                #          Avg $                #          Avg $

For sale            133       715,234         165       1,282,251          82         695,543

Closed Sales from January through October:       

 2013                144       556,859         180       923,007           21         460,193

 2012                136       560,907         158       791,569           28         401,582

 2011                129       608,908         153       839,400           16         407,366

 2010                106       589,225         108       774,391           19         347,368

 2009                69         661,543         123       757,268           9          336,667

 2008                80         731,004         132       950,901           10         406,056

 2007                76         789,211         126       1,024,913        16         889,791

 2006                128       870,546         145       1,113,918        17         524,735

                        CAPTIVA ISLAND

                        CONDOS                      HOMES                        LOTS               

                        #          Avg $                #          Avg $                #          Avg $

For sale            33         788,158         35         3,379,143        6          2,049,833

Closed Sales from January through October:

 2013                32         686,990         16         2,579,500        1          650,000

 2012                31         842,242         24         1,534,854        3          1,221,667

 2011                22         762,323         19         1,924,095        1          485,000

 2010                18         645,800         7          1,852,500         2          2,850,000

 2009                20         777,175         14         2,417,643        3          2,241,667

 2008                18         872,514         13         3,465,385        4          3,251,250

 2007                11         795,227         19         3,270,300        1          3,575,000

 2006                18         1,246,222       7          2,551,429        3          2,658,333

Study: Higher Home Prices Lead to More Sales 

PrintThis article has an interesting spin. It was posted in RealtorMag “Daily Real Estate News” on Monday, Oct 28th:

“If home prices edge higher, the housing market will see higher home sales, according to a new paper by two senior economists with the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco. The economists note that it’s not that the higher prices entice buyers as much as the higher prices entice owners to sell their homes, thereby helping to alleviate current inventory shortages. 

“Many sellers are still waiting out the market until home prices rise more, economists William Hedberg and John Krainer write in an article in the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco’s Economic Letter titled “Why Are Housing Inventories Low?” In the past year, existing-home prices have edged up 11.7 percent, according to the National Association of REALTORS®

“Still, despite rising appreciation, some sellers are underwater on their mortgage or do not have enough equity yet to motivate them to sell. Research has shown that counties with a high share of underwater mortgages tend to have the smallest for-sale inventories.

“The economists say that a distinct pattern exists in housing inventories, with the number of homes for sale rising in good times and falling in bad times. Some of it can be explained by credit, they say. Lenders tend to ease credit restrictions during good economic times, which help more buyers enter the market. 

But the economists say that the level of home prices and changes in employment are by far the variables that most influences the inventory of homes for sale. “Once these are accounted for other variables, such as changes in the for-rent inventory, the underwater share, or local price-rent ratios, do little to explain the inventory of houses for sale,” Mortgage News Daily reports on the study. “Thus, current home owners may be making a rational choice to postpone selling in the hope that prices will rise further. However, this behavior tends to be short run. In the longer run, the link between the level of house prices and for-sale inventories is strong. If prices continue to rise, inventories for sale should eventually rise too.”

“The housing markets that have seen the strongest house price appreciation and job growth are the ones that are seeing for-sale inventories rise the most, the economists note.”

Four Emotional Mistakes Sellers Make

For sale signThis article directed to real estate professionals contains info worth sharing with sellers and prospective sellers. It was posted Oct 28th on “TruliaProBlog”:

“Have you ever said something in the heat of the moment, then wished for weeks later you could reel those words back in? The truth is, all of us commit emotion-driven mistakes in some areas of our lives. But when it comes to selling their homes (read: cashing out their most valuable assets) the stakes are simply too, too high to allow your sellers and their transactions to fall prey to predictable emotional pitfalls.

Fortunately, when it comes to emotion, what’s predictable is avoidable. Over the years, I’ve found that sellers can and often will check themselves before they wreck themselves if you can help them predict the specific emotions they are likely to experience at various points in their transactions.

“This list will help you predict—and help you help them avoid—some common seller decision traps driven by emotions.

“1. Price reduction paralysis

“Wikipedia defines panic as “a sudden sensation of fear which is so strong as to dominate or prevent reason and logical thinking, replacing it with overwhelming feelings of anxiety and frantic agitation consistent with an animalistic fight-or-flight reaction.” But there’s a real estate-specific reaction to panic that the infinitely wise Wiki editors left out: freezing up entirely.

“In cases of overpricing, many sellers start out as overconfident in their home’s prospects on the current market. But as the days on the market turn into weeks, or even months, that overconfidence morphs into panic: panic that the place will only get a lowball offer, panic that the place won’t ever sell, panic that the seller will be stuck in the property, panic that the seller’s future life or career plans will be ruined. This is a panic that snowballs into increasingly disastrous hypothetical scenarios, and fast.

“Unfortunately, this panic is often accompanied by a fear that reducing the home’s list price will kick off this snowball effect. As you and I know, this couldn’t be further from the truth. When a home is dramatically overpriced, cutting the price is the only way to fix the scenario and render the home more compelling to buyers. If you’ve been around the business for awhile, I’m sure you’ve even seen cases in which a price reduction causes a listing to hit a sweet spot where it receives multiple offers and sells somewhere between the reduced price and the original list price.

“But sellers who cannot manage their fear and panic often end up paralyzed, unable to cut the list price.  And this begins the snowball effect of more and more days on the market, which aggressive buyers watch until they believe the seller’s desperation will make them amenable to a lowball offer.

“The best way to help neutralize this panic is to work with your seller to put a price adjustment action plan and timeline in place before it ever arises. If you’re taking a listing you believe is overpriced, tell your client that, brief them on local DOM data and get them to agree up front to set up a timeline for making price reductions, if the home stays on the market significantly longer than average DOM.

“2. Excessive attachment.

“If you sell dozens of homes a year, each client may be special to you, but it’s easy to see their homes as commodities. To them, though this is the place where her daughter took her first steps, the place he carried his bride over the threshold, maybe even the place their parents built with their bare hands. So, take care as you do this, but have a conversation with your sellers to help them mentally transition their home. Gently walk them through the truth that, at the moment they made the decision to sell it, their family’s precious place became an asset which, like any other good one would sell in the course of business, must be wisely marketed and priced and transacted for.

“Sellers who are excessively attached to a home are likely to:

  • overprice it
  • ignore market data, like the recent sales prices of comparable homes nearby
  • disregard their agent’s staging advice
  • improperly prepare their home for the market, failing to update or neutralize the decor
  • be irrational in negotiations around price or repairs
  • refuse to respond appropriately to market feedback, like no showings or offers even after it’s been on the market for weeks or months.

“If you continue to run into challenges with a seller who is overly emotionally attached to their home, make these points: “Buyers don’t know the emotional value your home holds for you. Nor do they care—and they certainly have no interest or intention to pay for it. If you want to stay attached to your home, keep it—no harm, no foul. But if you truly want to sell it, you must release yourself from your emotional attachment to it.””

“3. Celebrating too soon.

“An old friend of mine who happened to be a former pro athlete would often shake his head when a baseball team on TV went wild over a mid-game rally. His mantra: “Don’t celebrate too soon.” In sports, some say that celebrating too soon can cause you to relax and play less aggressively or less defensively for the rest of the game, giving your opponent a chance to make a last minute comeback.

“And the same is true in real estate. Multiple offers and above-asking sales prices happen frequently on today’s market, but some sellers assume their home will be in that number way before they even sign the listing agreement. Sellers who “celebrate too soon,” so to speak, can put themselves at a disadvantage in a number of ways, like:

  • Cheaping out on staging, failing to do all the items on their property prep list
  • Overpricing their homes, assuming the demand-supply imbalance will automatically swing in their favor
  • Getting sloppy in how they maintain their homes on a daily basis, while they are still on the market, and
  • Making large purchases or spending their house proceeds “in advance,” while the buyer’s loan and inspections are still pending.

“Even in today’s market, deals sometimes fall out of escrow because a buyer has a change in their life, their job or their family, or because they simply turn out not to qualify for the loan they were pre-approved to receive. Smart agents advise smart sellers to stay vigilant and keep their houses meticulous and their finances in good shape throughout the entire time frame from property preparation through close of escrow. It’s also essential to keep your client’s mortgage broker in close contact to help time the purchase of their next home in a way that makes sense vis-a-vis their current home’s listing and sale.

“4. Price confusion.

“Some sellers have a confused understanding of the mechanics of determining the fair market value of a home and setting a list price. This leaves them vulnerable to the trap of letting their financial self-interest and fantasies for the future get in the way of setting a smart list price.

“As you know, a home’s fair market value is defined by what a qualified buyer will pay for it at a given moment in time. Yet some sellers are so emotional about their plans for the next stage of their life that they convince themselves to base the list price for their current home not on its fair market value or marketing considerations, but based on how much money they need to fund their next home purchase or their move to Malaysia. (I’ve been watching too much House Hunters International—don’t mind me.)

“This is the quickest, most lethal route to pricing a property so high no one comes to see it and it lags on the market. And that road usually ends in no offers at all, or very low ones. Make sure your sellers understand that overpricing actually endangers their vision of moving forward with their lives, rather than somehow magically financing it. Help your sellers combat this tendency toward price confusion and take the interpersonal tension out of making low pricing recommendations by constantly referencing comparable sales data and market feedback like low buyer traffic, comments from buyers broker’s and a listing DOM much greater than the average in your area.”

REALTORS® Collecting for F.I.S.H.

Canned_FoodsWhile emptying your annual hurricane box or preparing your pantry for the upcoming holidays, please consider donating non-perishable food items to replenish the F.I.S.H. food pantry. F.I.S.H. of Sanibel, Inc. is a local nonprofit non-sectarian human services organization focused on “neighbors helping neighbors” on Sanibel and Captiva Islands – those who live here, work here, or visit here. Between now and Nov 21, the Sanibel and Captiva Islands Association of REALTORS® is collecting food items and they will be delivering them to F.I.S.H. in time for Thanksgiving. If you want to donate, please drop them off at the Association Office (2353 Periwinkle Way, Suite 201, that’s behind Wings and above Finnimores Cycle Shop), at SanibelSusan Realty (2242 Periwinkle Way, Suite 3, across from The Community Center City Park), or give us a call (239-472-HOME (4663)) and we’ll pick them up.

County Launches Flood Insurance Info Website

logo Lee CountyLike the rest of us, Lee County is working to gain federal legislators’ support in delaying implementation of a federal flood insurance rate increase so that the required affordability study can be done. Learn more about the Biggert-Waters Flood Insurance Reform Act of 2012 at under “What’s New”.

Sanibel Civic Core Presentation 

Sanibelcityseal logo

There is a presentation at Tuesday’s upcoming City Council meeting on progress toward creating an expanded and cooperative Civic Core area on Sanibel. Check it out on the attached agenda, where you can click on the presentation:

Sanibel & Captiva Islands Multiple Listing Service Activity from Oct 25-Nov 1

4 new listings: Seashells #21 2/2 $345K, Sanibel Arms West #J6 2/2 $512.5K, Nutmeg Village #304 2/2 $699.9K, Nutmeg Village #313 2/2 $1.35M.
1 price change: Mariner Pointe #1083 2/2 now $386K.
2 new sales: Sanibel Arms #C8 2/2 listed for $429K, Loggerhead Cay #331 2/2 listed for $484.9K.
1 closed sale: Lighthouse Point #125 2/2 $480K.
4 new listings: 984 Sand Castle Rd 3/2.5 half-duplex $369.9K, 5284 Ladyfinger Lake Rd 3/2 $525K, 1759 Jewel Box Dr 2/2 $995K, 5795 SanCap Rd 3/3 $1.079.9M.
5 price changes: 1364 Jamaica Dr 2/2 now $525K, 9459 Begonia Ct 3/4 now $599K, 1221 Par View Dr 3/2 now $795K, 1001 Kings Crown Dr 3/2.5 now $997K, 785 Birdie View Pt 3/2.5 now $1.15M.
No new or closed sales.
No new listings or price changes.
1 new sale: 1637 Sabal Sands Rd listed for $295K.
1 closed sale: 1503 San Carlos Bay Dr $1.05M.
No new listings.
1 price change: Bayside Villas #5132 1/2 now $273.9K.
2 closed sales: Bayside Villas #4204 1/2 $245K, Gulf Beach Villas #2008 2/2 $596.67K.
3 new listings: 11411 Old Lodge Ln 4/2 $995K, 11514 Wightman Ln 5/5 $1.995M, 1133 Longifolia Ct 3/3 $3.65M.
1 price change: 1119 Schefflera 4/3.5 now $4.695M.
No new sales.
1 closed sale: 11516 Andy Rosse Ln 6/6 $1.638M.
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.


If you are lucky enough to be on the islands Sunday a cool front is expected with highs that day expected to only go to 81 degrees F!

Otherwise know as “Island perfect”!

P.S. If you are a fan of the art & photos displayed at SanibelSusan Realty Associates. This week we have a new addition. Painted by the hubby of one of our favorite managers (Kim) at Doc Ford’s on Sanibel, it reminds me of driving on the island. I call it “Diving Bombing Pelican”. Artist is Jerry McGreens who often is found painting at the Franklin Shops in downtown Ft. Myers. His work makes me smile!


Happy weekend to all from SanibelSusan