It’s another happy day on Sanibel Island! The weather is a glorious breezy sunny 82 degrees this afternoon with the forecast the same for the next week.
Below are a few news items followed by the action posted in the Sanibel/Captiva Multiple Listing Service over the last seven days.
SanibelSusan Realty Office Happenings & Sanibel/Captiva Real Estate News
Phone inquiries this week again were mostly about selling, though we had a few good showings too.
Teammate Dave held an open house with a big turn-out Wednesday afternoon at our new Island Beach Club listing.
He and Assistant Elise held it open again Thursday morning for Realtors® during our Association’s last bi-weekly caravan.
Weekly Thursday-morning caravans begin again in November – alternating between east-end and west-end properties – and continue weekly until May – or when business slows down.
Interestingly during the announcement segment of yesterday’s meeting, only a handful of sales were mentioned though there was plenty of chatter about properties getting offers that didn’t make it to contract. This time of the year, it’s not unusual for Sellers in receipt of a less-than-perfect offer to say “We’re just going into season, so I’m waiting for a better offer”. History shows that rarely happens, but I do agree that this is the time of the year to be ambitious!
The best window of opportunity for island sales is between now and Easter. There usually is a little slowdown around the holidays, then the most activity in February and March when the island is busiest.
Upcoming Island Events
- Through Oct 24 – 26th Annual “Ding” Darling Days – has continued all week and ends with Conservation Art Day tomorrow. Event schedule at www.dingdarlingdays.com.
- Sunday, Oct 25 – 30th Annual BaileyFest Celebration – From noon until 4 p.m. at the Bailey’s Shopping Center. I’ll be there at noon singing with the BIG ARTS Community Chorus as we kick-off the afternoon of fun.
- Shell Museum Will Soon Celebrate its 20th Anniversary! As part of the celebrations, the Bailey Matthews National Shell Museum will host events on two days in November: On Saturday, Nov 14, will be a Free Day, with assorted activities offered to visitors. On the actual anniversary date, Thursday, Nov 18, there will be an open house to members, friends, and neighbors.
White Pelicans – Snowbirds Are Back
Ding Darling Wildlife Society posted in their weekly on-line newsletter that the White Pelicans have officially arrived again. A flock was spotted in the Refuge on Monday, Oct 19. They say that other winter birds beginning to arrive include Woodstorks and Pied-Billed Grebes.
Did you know that a pelican’s lower mandible (bottom jaw) serves as a framework for its big stretchy pouch which can expand and hold up to three gallons of water, which could weigh up to 24 pounds?
Humorist Dixon Lanier Merritt wrote a famous pelican-themed limerick in 2010: “Oh, a wondrous bird is the pelican! His bill holds more than his belican. He can take in his beak enough food for week, but I’m darned if I know how the helican.”
Along with the feathered visitors, more winter-resident snowbirds arrived this week as traffic increased. Late afternoons on Periwinkle, it’s close to “season” traffic already.
Plenty of winter singers came back early too – as the first rehearsal of the BIG ARTS Community Chorus this week had close to 60 in attendance. That’s a record!
What Luxury Buyers Desire in a Home
“High net worth individuals aren’t being deterred by rising prices. 54% of them say they plan to make an investment in real estate this year, up from 48% in 2014, according to a survey of the wealthiest 1.5% of the U.S. population by Coldwell Banker Previews International and Ipsos Connect.
“High net worth individuals surveyed give the following reasons for buying real estate:
- 40% cited investment attractiveness
- 39% desired to live in a specific location
- 38% sought a safer investment than the stock market
- 31% wanted to take advantage of low interest rates.
“Among the group members, residential real estate comprises an average 38% of their net worth. What’s more, 43% purchased real estate in the past five years, and 57% paid cash for their home purchases, according to the survey.
“What are the most desired home features among the wealthy? The survey found that its respondents listed as the top desires in a property:
- Move-in” condition: 43%
- Fully automated and wired home environment: 41%
- LEED-certified green home: 36%
- Open floor plans: 36%
- Home gyms: 34%
- Home theaters: 32%
- Safe rooms: 30%
“Among high net worth individuals, Generation X members tended to pay the most for their properties. On average, they spent $5.24 million on their home purchase compared to $4.96 million by millennials and $1.55 million among baby boomers.”
Florida’s Single-Family Home Sales Up 13.4% in Sept
“Florida’s housing sector continued its momentum with more sales, rising median prices and a tight inventory of homes for sale in September, according to the latest housing data released by Florida Realtors®. Closed sales of existing single-family homes statewide totaled 23,574 last month, up 13.4% over September 2014.
“”Florida’s housing sector continues to show strength with more closed sales and an uptick in new listings,” says 2015 Florida Realtors President Andrew Barbar, a broker with Keller Williams Realty Services in Boca Raton. “September marked the 46th month that statewide median sales prices increased year-over-year for both single-family homes and townhouse-condo properties. Sellers received a higher percentage of their original list price, with single-family homes getting on average 94.3% and townhome-condos getting 93.2% on average…Sellers should take advantage of the strong market conditions with rising median prices, while would-be buyers can benefit from interest rates that currently remain at historically low levels and greater access to mortgage financing.””
Top 10 Stupid Staging Ideas
Yes, the heading of this article posted on-line Oct 5 by NAR (National Association of Realtors®) blog contributor Justin Riordan of Spade and Archer Design Agency sounds negative; but the article has some good advice.
“#10. Bake cookies right before your open house. Our sense of smell is very closely related to our sense of memory. True enough, for some people, the smell of freshly baked cookies may bring back fantastic memories of days past when their loving mother baked cookies every Saturday afternoon. However, I use to work at Mrs. Fields, and my boss was a real jerk. Whenever I smell freshly baked cookies … I get slightly nauseous and a bit angry. Your house should smell like nothing when it is being shown. Scented homes lead to one of two reactions:
- Buyers who are chemically sensitive get headaches, irritated eyes, or nausea and want to leave immediately.
- Buyers wonder what you are trying to cover up and immediately become suspicious that you are a shyster.
“#9. My house won’t sell unless it has plants in it. Live plants or flowers in a vacant house tend to become dead plants very fast. Unless you are dedicated to checking on these plants regularly, you need to skip them, because nothing stops a house from going pending like dead plants. Fake plants are just that, fake. When it comes down to it, staging is creepy. You are in a house that appears to be occupied and yet, it is not. Every time you add something fake, it is one more reminder that this is not real and thus adds to the creepy factor.
“#8. If they can’t see past that “ “ then they don’t deserve to buy my house. The truth is, if they can see past “___” then you did a poor job preparing your house for the market. If you find yourself saying this, think again.
“#7. I can just lightly stage this room and it will work. Light staging or, as I call it, “the placing of random objects in a room,” like a chair and a rug in a bedroom, does not help sell houses. It will actually slow the process down. Staging is only meant to do three things:
- Show the room’s purpose
- Show the room’s scale
- Add light to the room
“Random objects in a room serve only to draw attention away from the house. Light staging is like hiring a clown to dance in front of a rack of dresses to help sell the dresses. Your buyers end up paying more attention to the clown than they do the dresses. Either stage the room completely, or don’t stage it at all.
“#6. I am paying for the staging, you should only stage with things I like. You are correct in that you are paying for the staging, but you are incorrect in that you think you are the customer. Really when it comes down to it you are now a retailer, trying to sell a product. You have hired a stager just as a department store would hire a visual merchandiser to display their items to sell to a customer. Your stager is concerned about what the potential buyer will like. You should be too.
“#5. The style of the staging should match the style of the house. Nobody has an entire household full of mid-century modern furniture. When staging a home we want the house to look obtainable. We want our clients to say, “Hey, I could do that!” By staging with an eclectic mix of furniture that does not necessarily “go” with the house, we prove to people that their mis-matched, rag-tag lot of furniture could look good in the house as well.
“#4. We should make everybody take off their shoes before they enter. Why in the world would you ask people to be uncomfortable in their new home, the first time they see it in order to protect floors that will no longer belong to you in a matter of weeks? Regardless of how or if you ask, thoughtful people with dirty shoes will remove them before coming through; thoughtless people will leave them on.
“#3. We should pull out the staging as soon as the house goes pending. Uh-oh! You pulled out your staging before the inspection period ended in order to save a few bucks on rental furniture. Now your sale has failed because the buyer didn’t like the condition of the water heater. I see that frowny face. Next time leave it in through the inspection period, better yet, through the financing contingency.
#2. Staging can fix anything. I so wish this was true, but often, it is not. Sometimes things are so bad, they need to be fixed prior to, or in lieu of, staging. If your entire house is painted in rainbow tie-dye, no amount of staging can help you.
“And the #1 “stoopidest” idea … “Staging is easy.” It is amazing how many sellers I meet on a daily basis. Nearly every single day somebody calls me to explain to me why they don’t need staging services. They say they know exactly what their house needs in order to sell, and how they have a lot of experience doing what I do and they could just do it themselves. I always wonder to myself, “Then why are you calling me?” The truth of the matter is, home staging is not as easy as it looks. I often compare it to women’s gymnastics. You know you are doing it right when it looks effortless. If you get a chance Google “Nadia Comaneci, perfect score” and watch the video. I don’t think she even broke a sweat. Good home staging looks like that. What it all comes down to is that “staging is easy” is the No. 1 biggest myth we would love to perpetuate. In the end, “stoopid” staging does nothing to help you and could actually hurt your sale. You need a competent staging professional if you want top dollar for your house.”
Sanibel & Captiva Multiple Listing Service Activity October 16-23
4 new listings: Blind Pass #E206 2/2.5 $412K, Loggerhead Cay #331 2/2 $515.9K, Island Beach Club #P2E 2/2 $1.079M, Nutmeg Village #113 2/2 $1.079M.
1 price change: Tigua Cay #489 3/3.5 now $2.235M.
5 new sales: Sandpebble #1F 2/2 listed at $384.9K, Sundial West #H103 2/2 listed at $460K, Sundial East #N301 2/2 listed at $739K, Tarpon Beach #204 2/2 listed at $745K, Junonia #201 3/2 listed at $1.195M.
2 closed sales: Signal Inn #14 2/2 $700K, Wedgewood #104 3/3.5 $2.3125M.
5 new listings: 1121 Periwinkle Way 3/2 $519K, 215 Palm Lake Dr 3/2 $579K, 626 Kinzie Island Ct 3/2.5 $2.09M, 2518 Tropical Way Ct 3/3.5 $2.595M, 536 Lighthouse Way 4/4.5 $3.495M.
5 price changes: 9032 Mockingbird Dr 3/2 now $499.9K, 1076 Sand Castle Rd 2/2 now $589K, 1410 Causey Ct 3/2 now $699K, 1312 Sand Castle Rd 3/2 now $749K, 3911 West Gulf Dr 5/5.5 now $4.498M.
5 new sales: 9012 Mockingbird Dr 3/2 listed at $539K, 720 Elinor Way 3/2 listed at $649K, 426 Lake Murex Cir 3/2 listed at $669K, 689 East Rocks Dr 3/3 listed at $768.5K, 1188 Harbor Cottage Ct 3/3 half-duplex listed at $899,555.
3 closed sales: 999 Sand Castle Rd 3/3 $499K, 1183 Kittiwake Cir 3/2 $737.5K, 1198 Harbor Cottage Ct 3/3 half-duplex $850K, 3790 West Gulf Dr 3/2.5 $1M.
No new listings.
1 price change: 5706 SanCap Rd now $449K.
2 new sales: Pine Ave, Lot 24 listed at $248.5K, 1243 Par View Dr listed at $349K.
No closed sales.
1 new listing: Bayside Villas #5216 1/2 $325K.
1 price change: Bayside Villas #4206 1/2 now $294K.
No new or closed sales.
No new listings.
3 price changes: 11461 Dickey Ln 3/2 now $1.395M, 11530 Paige Ct 4/5.5 now $3.78M, 16151 Captiva Dr 4/3 now $9.68M.
1 new sale: 953 S Seas Plantation Rd 5/5.5 listed at $6.299M.
No closed sales.
No new listings or price changes.
1 new sale: 11545 Wightman Ln listed at $1.245M.
No closed sales.
(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 general real estate activity in the community and does not imply that SanibelSusan Realty Associates is participating or participated in these transactions.)
Until next Friday, Susan Andrews aka SanibelSusan