Much To Be Thankful for on Sanibel & Captiva Islands

We are gearing up for a wonderful Thanksgiving week on Sanibel Island. Rental organizations advise that they still have a few vacancies, but not many. It should be busy! Great weather is forecast too!

Beach Rd 104 Across-Lake-4After a few news items below is the activity posted in the Sanibel and Captiva Islands Multiple Listing Service over the last seven days. You will notice my new listing at Beach Road Villas. This is small community of just six half duplexes at the end of Beach Road, yet near-the-gulf. With a shared pool and tropical view over a small pond, it is private and easy-care. The other side is for sale too, which doesn’t happen often, so if you know anyone interested in buying both sides, it’s a unique opportunity. (The Beach Road Villas resident Great Blue Heron shown in the above photo, is shown in a close-up below.)Heron

November Realtor® Membership Meeting

SilestoneYesterday at our monthly Realtor® membership meeting, the Professional Development Committee, which I chair, arranged for a panel of affiliate business partners to brief our members on the latest island trends in design, decorating, and architecture. If you are wondering what will follow, the popularity of “granite” in kitchens and baths, the word is “quartz (Silestone)”. Decorating trends also are leaning more toward cleaner lines, natural and recycled products, with functionality and the environment key considerations.

Sanibel BIG ARTS Chorus Performances

Community-Chorus-in-concertWondering when the Sanibel BIG ARTS Community Chorus is singing? (We still practice on Tuesday nights now through Dec 10, and again from January through April, if anyone wants to join. No auditions necessary, except for the Special Ensemble.)

Here is our performance schedule:

Annual Thanksgiving Celebration at The Sanibel Community House, Sun 11/24 at 6:45 p.m.

Sanibel Masters Art Festival on the steps of The Sanibel Community House, Sat 11/30, two late morning performances

Christmas Tree Lighting at South Seas Island Resort, Sat 11/30 at 5:30-7 p.m.

Sanibel Luminary at Bailey’s Shopping Center, Fri 12/6 at 5+ p.m. (Rumor has it, there may be a Flash Mob inside Bailey’s store, but I didn’t tell you that.)

BIG ARTS Holiday Concert at Schein Performance Hall, Tues 12/10 at 7 p.m. (get tickets in advance).

BIG ARTS Spring Concerts at Schein Performance Hall, Tues 4/25 at 7 p.m. & Thurs 4/17 at 7 p.m. (get tickets in advance).

Clean, Declutter, Discard: Make a House Shine for Resale

Open HousePosted on line at Realtor®Mag, this article by Barbara Ballinger, author of several books on real estate, architecture, and remodeling, has some terrific tips, whether selling or not.

“Purging belongings can be an arduous task for sellers…Sentimentality can be a powerful disincentive to declutter. How could a loving daughter sell her family silver, even though she dislikes the pattern? How could parents ever discard a painting by their young budding Picasso, even though he’s now 30 and hasn’t picked up a paint brush in 20 years?

“Most home owners avoid those tough decisions and schlep possessions from house-to-house. But it’s far smarter to shed before moving. Not only does it clear out space to make a listing look its best, it also saves on moving costs to transport less stuff. Are you… clinging to keepsakes? Share…these 13 steps to help make the task of decluttering less daunting….

1. Study the entire house. Sellers shouldn’t tackle every room in one fell swoop. Advise them to go room-by-room, starting at the front door. Sellers should pretend they’re seeing each room for the first time, says Kammie Lisenby, CEO of The Organizing Experts in Seattle. The goal is to make rooms resemble those in a hotel, says professional organizer Katrina Teeple, owner of Operation Organization in Los Angeles.

2. Make piles. Sellers should organize piles as they clear each room — for example, stack items to keep, give to family or friends, donate to a charity, sell online, get hauled away, and consign. They should bear in mind the size of the home they’re moving to, their degree of sentimental attachment, and the financial value of each item. It’s best to put highly personal items aside in the keep pile, such as family photos they don’t want buyers to see during showings, says Lisenby….

3. Create a spreadsheet. A master list of what rooms will require organizing tasks can be helpful. This will also aid in prioritizing expenses, such as home improvements, paint, and staging elements. To play it safe with finicky buyers, sellers should go neutral in paint and decor, says Teeple.

4. Empty closets. Often becoming a graveyard for all the belongings home owners don’t know what to do with, clean, spacious closets are a coveted feature among buyers. Barry Izsak, owner of Arranging It All in Austin, Texas, and former NAPO president, suggests eliminating anything not worn or used in the last two years. Aim to dispose of 50% of wardrobes since most people only wear 20% of their clothes 80% of the time, he says. The remaining items should be stored on uniform rods, or in labeled, see-through bins, says Teeple.

5. Clear off counters and bookcases. Get rid of books that won’t be reread, particularly now that so many people read online. Add a few home decor items for sparkle. When in doubt, follow the “rule of three,” a mantra among home stagers, by clustering items into threes to create visual appeal. The final effect should reflect a neutral style.

6. Inspect the home’s exterior. Depending on the time of year, sellers may need to hire a professional to clear leaves, snow, or ice, so that they don’t hide a home’s features. Messiness and wear and tear on the outside indicates to buyers that the inside hasn’t been cared for well. 

7. Check curb appeal all around. While the front yard is key to making a good first impression, more home owners spend time out back, so sellers should be sure lawns, shrubs, trees, and amenities like a fence and air conditioning condensers are maintained.

8. Spruce up the kitchen. This is the home’s most popular gathering spot and another place where everything gets dumped—backpacks, car keys, cell phones, etc. The rule of three applies here, too. Tell sellers not to stuff anything into a pantry or cabinets; get rid of it if it hasn’t been used in a few years. Also, clean out the refrigerator and freezer.

9. Make bathrooms spotless. Not every seller has a spa bathroom to unwind in, but clean grout, tiles, shower door, and vanity can make a big difference in an average bathroom. Clear out the prime real estate of a medicine cabinet, add crisp white or other neutral towels, fresh soaps, and a plant, Teeple suggests.

10. Purge basements, attics, and garages. These are a home’s purgatories—where stuff goes to never see the bright light of day, says Izsak. Anything that’s been moved at least twice and not opened needs to be reassessed, says Chris Seman, president of Caring Transitions in Cincinnati, a relocation service. Separate the items to be stored in see-through bins to reveal their contents; do so by categories, such as holiday decorations; and be sure bins are labeled clearly and have lids to keep out pests.

11. Professionalize an office. With more home owners working from home, a separate room or corner for an office can boost sales appeal. Have sellers clear up paper piles and file documents—but remember, most home owners only reference 5% of their files, says Seman. The work area should include good illumination, a comfortable chair, and clean equipment, says Izsak.

12. Get rid of belongings. Now it’s time for your sellers to rethink what to do with everything in piles. Here are some upsides and downsides to these decisions:

  • Sell or auction through an online vendor like Craigslist or eBay or at a flea market. Downside: It may take time to get the desired price.
  • Leave at a consignment shop to get stuff out of a house now. Downside: Proceeds get shared, and it may take a while to sell.
  • Give away to family, friends, or a nonprofit such as Some communities let residents leave stuff outside their house with a sign, “Take it!” Upside: It gets rid of things fast.
  • Have a group haul it away such as 1-800-Got-Junk? Upside: This avoids driving it to a dumpster.
  • Donate to a charity. Upside: It gets out of a house, helps someone in need, and provides a deduction. Fill out IRS Form 8283 if total exceeds $500.
  • Organize a yard sale. If time is of the essence, the seller could hire a professional who sets up tables, takes money, and gets rid of what doesn’t sell. Downside: Proceeds get shared.

13. Don’t repeat collector mania….”

Sanibel & Captiva Islands Multiple Listing Service Activity from November 15-22 



5 new listings: Beach Rd Villas #104 2/2 $335K (our listing), Sanibel Arms West #H1 2/2 $529K, Loggerhead Cay #453 2/2 $569K, Sundial #L202 2/2 $695K, Plantation Village #A112 3/2 $1.1M, Atrium #206 3/2 $1.295M, West Shore #3 3/3 $1.85M.

5 price changes: Sanibel Arms West #J6 2/2 now $490K, Sanddollar #A104 2/2 now $849K, Sundial #L305 2/2 now $925K, Wedgewood #305 3/3.5 now $1.369M, Anglers Key #201 4/3 now $1.775M, Seascape #105 3/3 now $1.895M.

No new or closed sales


10 new listings: 724 Rabbit Rd 2/1 $495K; 1602 Serenity Ln 3/2 $499,999; 1825 Middle Gulf Dr 3/2 $595.9K; 3131 Twin Lakes Ln 3/2 $694K; 201 Violet Dr 3/2 $875K; 3744 West Gulf Dr 4/4 $1.895M; 1528 Angel Dr 3/2 $929K, 2984 Wulfert Rd 4/3 $2.45M; 696 Kinzie Island Ct 4/5 $2.649M; 3537 West Gulf Dr 3/3 $3.9M.

1 price change: 1342 Junonia St 3/3 now $599K, 865 Birdie View Pt 4/4.5 now $1.495M, 1950 Woodring Rd 4/3.5 now $1.975M.

5 new sales: 1645 Sand Castle Rd 3/2.5 half-duplex listed for $439K, 4724 Rue Belle Mer 2/2 listed for $629K, 1419 Albatross Rd 3/3 listed for $749K, 1297 Par View Dr 3/2 listed for 769.5K, 6123 Starling Way 3/2.5 listed for $895K, 775 Limpet Dr 3/3 listed for $1.695M.

3 closed sales: 490/460 Old Trail Rd 3/2 $360K (short sale), 1809 Farm Trl 3/2 $475K, 1175 Bird Ln 4/3.5 $2.765M. 


1 new listing: 761 Donax St $229K.

2 price changes: 1837 Buckthorn Ln now $349K, 5749 San-Cap Rd now $425K.

1 new sale: 9426 Sage Ct listed for $229,555.

1 closed sale: 1637 Sabal Sands $240K.



No new listings, price changes, or new sales.

1 closed sale: Marina Villas #710 2/2 $540K.


1 new listing: 43 Oster Ct 2/2.5 $799.9K.

1 price change: 15631 Captiva Dr 5/4.5 now $1.795M.

1 new sale: 11541 Wightman Ln 3/3 listed for $1.495M.

No closed sales.


No new listings, price changes, or new sales.

1 closed sale: 11515 Gore Ln $700K.

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.

Thanksgiving wordsBest wishes from the entire team for a wonderful Thanksgiving!


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