It’s Almost Christmas & Real Estate is Selling on Sanibel & Captiva Islands

Sanibel Lighthouse Merry ChristmasSanCapAssnLogoThe island is expected to have many holiday vacationers and visitors arriving tomorrow, with even more coming the following Saturday. Weather is forecast to remain sunny and in the mid to high 70’s during the day until Christmas when a dip to the mid 60’s is expected. Perfect holiday weather!

Here are a couple of news items, followed by the action posted in the Sanibel& Captiva Multiple Listing Service over the last seven days.

SanibelSusan Realty Happenings

SANSLogoIsland real estate activity slowed down considerably earlier this week as folks prepare for the holidays. Yesterday, we had a flurry of calls which resulted in a couple of new listings being posted soon. Thank goodness for internet advertising, as the local newspaper deadline has already passed for Christmas, so these new properties will appear in print locally in the New Year edition.

Tuesday morning SanibelSusan attended the local kick-off meeting for the 2015 Sanibel & Captiva Islands Association of Realtors® leadership team. I will chair the Association’s Grievance Committee next year. Luckily, it is one of those committees that (here on Sanibel and Captiva) is needed about as often as the Maytag repairman – hardly ever. The Grievance Committee receives ethics complaints and arbitration requests from members and the public to determine if taken as true on their face, a hearing is to be warranted.

Florida Realtors logoOn Wednesday morning, I also attended the requisite annual training from Florida Realtors® for all Grievance and Professional Standards committee members.

December Membership Meeting – Sanibel & Captiva Islands Association of Realtors®

SanCapAssnLogoYesterday was our island Association of Realtors® general membership meeting which included a cookie swap (that was a first) and a presentation encouraging more members to get involved in 2015. I have always found that volunteering time and energy to your profession comes back in business and future success, so hopefully with the economy rebounding and subsequently our Association growing again, some industry newbies will be motivated by what they heard.

The Association’s 2014 Honor Society recipients were announced at this meeting. There were 22 Sanibel & Captiva Island Realtors® who earned the award this year. That’s my magic number, as I made it again for the 22nd year in a row.

With the next two Thursdays being holidays, the next Association of Realtors® Caravan of new listings will not be until January 8 when it’s an East-end caravan.

Bennett’s Expands Hours & Menu

Bennetts logoBennett’s Fresh Roast has extended its hours and menu offerings at its Sanibel shop, 1020 Periwinkle Way, including the addition of Artisan Gelato by Norman Love. Now open from 6 a.m. to 9 p.m. seven days per week, the Norman Love gelato is offered beginning at 11 a.m. daily until closing while supplies last. A variety of 12 popular and seasonal flavors is offered daily with three sizes available including Love’s popular waffle cone.

Bennett’s also now is offering table service at breakfast as well as lunch and their menu has begun featuring wild Maine blueberry pancakes and strata from 6 to 11 a.m. daily while supplies last. Strata flavors including ham, sausage, and spinach and feta will be rotated during the week. For more info, visit

Winter Is Best Time to Sell, Study Shows

REDFIN logoUnderstandably, winter is the best time for real estate sales on Sanibel & Captiva Islands. That is when the most prospective buyers are in Florida. It was a surprise, however, to read this article in “Daily Real Estate News” on Monday.

“The housing market doesn’t hibernate in the winter. Sellers who list and buyers who buy often find the winter season the most advantageous time to make a move in real estate, according to a new study by the real estate brokerage Redfin. The winter season officially takes place between Dec. 21 and March 20, and real estate professionals should be ready for a season that often brings in more focused and active sellers and buyers.

“In an update to a two-year analysis it completed last year, Redfin researchers studied nationwide home listings, sales prices, and time-on-market data from 2010 through October 2014. The study found that February is “historically the best month to list, with an average of 66 percent of homes listed then selling within 90 days,” according to Redfin’s research.

“Even in cold weather cities – such as Boston and Chicago – researchers found that home sellers were better off listing their homes in the winter than during other seasons. The winter tends to net sellers’ more than their asking price during the months of December, January, February, and March than listings from June through November. Listing during those four winter months has resulted in higher percentages of above-asking-price sales than listing during any months, other than April and May.

“Redfin researchers found that in 2012 December listings were producing the highest percentage of above-asking sales for the entire year at 17%. Researchers say the winter market is less competitive for sellers since many people tend to wait until the spring to list. The smaller inventory of active listings helps sellers get more attention from buyers on their properties. Also, many large corporations often transfer employees or hire new ones early in the year, creating opportunities for winter sellers from very motivated purchasers.

“Homes that are “priced right and show well can sell any time” of the year, says Nela Richardson, chief economist for Redfin. Winter buyers tend to be “serious buyers… Most people are not window-shopping” in December and January, like they do in the spring months, Richardson adds.

“Sellers shouldn’t worry about the holidays hampering their chances either. A 2011 study conducted by® found that 60% of real estate professionals advise their sellers to list a home during the holidays because they believe it’s an opportune time to sell. Nearly 80% of the real estate professionals surveyed said that more serious buyers emerge during the holidays, and 61% say less competition from other properties makes it an ideal time to sell.

“As for buyers, they may find winter a good time to make a move too. Sellers often are more flexible about negotiations over prices and terms than they would in the spring, real estate professionals say.

“People get more realistic at this time of year,” particularly if their homes hadn’t sold during the summer and fall, says Mary Bayat, a broker in Washington, D.C., and chairwoman-elect of the Northern Virginia Association of REALTORS®.”

NAR Testifies on Capitol Hill

Capitol hillPosted Monday, on the “Real Estate Services E-Newsletter Update”:

“On December 9, the U.S. Senate Banking Subcommittee on Housing, Transportation, and Community Development held a hearing entitled, “Inequality, Opportunity, and the Housing Market.” Mabel Guzman, the 2014 National Association of Realtors® (NAR) Conventional Financing and Policy Committee chairwoman and broker for @properties in Chicago, IL, testified on behalf of NAR. In her testimony, Ms. Guzman focused on ongoing challenges and disparities in the housing market and housing finance system. Specifically, Ms. Guzman covered six main issues, which include:

(1)   the national economy is impacting the supply of both credit and housing inventory;

(2)   high guarantee fees and loan level pricing adjustments charged by the Government Sponsored Enterprises (GSEs) are hurting consumers;

(3)   excessive Federal Housing Authority (FHA) premiums are negatively impacting housing;

(4)   FHA and GSE condominium restrictions are preventing homeownership opportunities;

(5)   housing policies add to lending concerns; and (6) foreclosures and short sales remain problematic for thousands of American families.”

12 Wellness Tips for the Holidays

NAR posted the below calendar from the National Safety Council on their Realtor®Mag Blog this week. Some good reminders here:

?????????????????????????​​Sanibel & Captiva Multiple Listing Service Activity December 12-19



3 new listings: Gulf Beach #102 2/2 $749K, Sundial #R304 2/2 $845K, Sundial #R401 2/2 $849K (our listing – some photos below).

4 price changes: Spanish Cay #F6 1/1 now $275K, Loggerhead Cay #461 2/2 now $499K, Pointe Santo #B4 2/2 now $664K, 2400 Los Colony Rd 3/3 $1.495M.

3 new sales: Loggerhead Cay #453 2/2 listed for $459K, Sundial #Q202 2/2 listed for $694K, Island Beach Club #330E 2/2 listed for $795K.

1 closed sale: 2615 Tamarind Rd 2/2 $347K.


2 new listings: 1774 Bunting Ln 3/2 $589K, 741 Nerita St 3/2 $699K.

3 price changes: 1076 Sand Castle Rd 2/2 now $590K, 375 East Gulf Dr 4/3 now $1.489M, 3744 West Gulf Dr 4/4 now $1.595M.

5 new sales: 702 Donax St 2/2 listed for $439K, 3001 Singing Wind Dr 3/2 listed for $449K (short sale), 589 Rabbit Rd 2/2 listed for $499K, 1520 San Carlos Bay Dr 4/3.5 listed for $1.995M. Without contingencies: 1429 Sanderling Cir 3/3.5 listed for $1.575M.

3 closed sales: 4612 Rue Belle Mer 2/2 $615K, 1901 Sanibel Bayou Rd 4/3 $750K, 5427 Osprey Ct 3/3.5 $1/159M.


1 new listing:  5121 Sanibel Captiva Rd $227,555.

1 price change: 2263 Starfish Ln now $499K.

No new sales.

2 closed sales: 1182 Sand Castle Rd $199.9K, 1246 Sand Castle Rd $212.5K.



1 new listing: Bayside Villas #5318 3/3 $625K.

No price changes.

1 new sale: Marina Villas #603 2/2 listed for $640K.

No closed sales.


2 new listings: 1127 Longifolia Ct 4/4 $5.795M, 16697 Captiva Dr 5/4 $10.5M.

No price changes, new or closed sales.


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.

Until next Friday…Merry Christmas!