Post-Thanksgiving Sanibel/Captiva Real Estate Scoop

2016-treeIt is SanibelSusan running SanibelSusan Realty solo today while the team gets an extra day off.

Our listings had a few showings earlier in the week, but the phone has rung only a couple of times today. Prospects must be out shopping, enjoying family time or just the beautiful weather. It is a bright sunny 81 degrees here this afternoon.

Teammate Elise’s daughter Payton joined us in the office on Wed. She and Elise got our Christmas decorations up. We have to do that early here, as the first Christmas events begin tonight.

With the Thursday holiday yesterday, we had no Realtor Caravan, but the activity posted in the Sanibel & Captiva Islands Multiple Listing Service since last Friday, follows a few news items.

Purchase Contracts: Is A Deposit Required to Seal The Deal?

Florida Realtors logoHere are excerpts from a good article by friend and FloridaRealtors® Vice President and General Counsel Margy Grant. It was posted Monday at FloridaRealtors® on-line.

“It’s a question we often get on the Florida Realtors® Legal Hotline: Is earnest money required to make a contract legal and binding. The answer: no.

“Deposits are often provided as evidence of a buyer’s commitment to the purchase, but they are not required by law. A binding contract to purchase real estate only requires consideration. Consideration is defined as something of value offered for something else of value.

“According to the Florida Bar, “The formation of a contract is accomplished when there is an offer and acceptance between the contracting parties of the exchange of ‘consideration’ (that is, something of value). This offer and acceptance are sometimes referred to as a ‘meeting of the minds.’ If the parties have not reached a meeting of the minds, then there is no agreement.” In the case of a real estate purchase contract, the consideration the buyer is offering is the purchase price in exchange for the deed to the property.

“Most purchase contracts contain a section to indicate the amount of an escrow deposit and when it’s due. Purchase contracts also usually contain a liquidated damages clause that entitles the seller to keep the deposit if the buyer defaults. Liquidated damages are common in real estate purchase contracts, even though the parties are agreeing what the remedy is for the other side in the event the buyer defaults.

“If you as the listing broker receive a contract that is either cash or 100% financing with a deposit amount of “0,” you must present it to the seller. This contract is valid despite the lack of an earnest money deposit. You may explain to the seller that because there’s no deposit, there is nothing for the seller to keep as liquidated damages if the buyer defaults. Buyers and sellers can negotiate these terms just like all other terms of the agreement.

“Some sellers look at a lack of deposit as unfair. Why, they ask, would they remove their house from the market if the buyer is not serious enough to put down a deposit? A seller certainly may insist on a deposit before agreeing to the contract; this is allowable if the buyer agrees. However, it is not legally required. In addition to a deposit, sellers will also sometimes ask for other requirements like proof of funds or a prequalification letter.

“Transactions come in all shapes and sizes. Realtors® do well to understand some components of contract law to assist them in working with buyers and sellers. All parties should review purchase contracts carefully, preferably with an attorney, to understand their rights under the agreement in the event the other party does not perform as promised.”

Now SanibelSusan’s 2-cents worth:

Here on the islands where Buyers and Sellers may be vacationing and “here today, gone tomorrow”, not only do Sellers want to see deposits, but they usually want them to be significant ones. Sometimes visiting Buyers don’t have their check books with them, so it is not unusual for a deposit to be provided within 3 days of contract acceptance, often by wire, after the Buyer has returned home.

For a typical island sale, the deposit is 10% of the purchase price. Sometimes it is provided in two parts, a smaller initial deposit within 3 days of the contract Effective Date and then a later second deposit bringing the total deposit up to 10%. With the “as is” contract, that second deposit often is related to the end of the inspection/cancellation period, when the contract usually becomes solid.

As the saying goes, “in the perfect world, Sellers want offers to be full price, cash, close tomorrow.” Since the “close tomorrow” part rarely can happen, it makes sense for Buyers to make strong deposits so Sellers give their offers serious consideration.

Upcoming Island Events

artist-clip-art-clipart-of-artistToday & Tomorrow – Nov 25 & 26 – 25th Sanibel Masters Art Festival from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. at Sanibel Community Park (across the street from SanibelSusan Realty).

BIG ARTS Community Chorus is singing two holiday sets tomorrow morning (Sat) beginning at 10 a.m.

Tween WatersTonight – Nov 25 – ‘Tween Waters Inn Fireworks Show & Tree Lighting kick off the holiday season at sunset, with music, the lightening of the tree overlooking the gulf, and colorful fireworks display.

Tomorrow morning – Nov 26 – 5th Annual “Ding” Darling Kids Fishing Derby at Sanibel Causeway Islands Park (Island A, closest to Sanibel). Kids able to hold their own fishing pole may participate. Registration is FREE and begins at 8:30 a.m. Ages 15 & younger start fishing at 9 a.m & finish at 11 a.m. Awards ceremony at 11:30. Participants should bring fishing poles, but the refuge will provide a limited number of loaner poles. Bait will be provided. J.N. “Ding” Darling National Wildlife Refuge and the “Ding” Darling Wildlife Society – Friends of the Refuge (DDWS) cosponsor the event as part of this year’s Smithsonian Waterways exhibit at the refuge (Oct 28 – Dec 8), with support from The Historic Bait Box, Trophy Case of Fort Myers, Sanibel Island Fishing Club, and Lee County Parks & Recreation.

2016tree_lighting_for_app_and_websiteTomorrow night – Nov 26 – South Seas Tree Lighting Ceremony from 5:30 to 6:30 p.m. BIG ARTS Community Chorus singers will be performing again.

Also tomorrow night – Nov 26 – Sunset Arias on the Beach at ’Tween Waters Inn. Bring a blanket, sit back and enjoy beautiful operatic voices while the sun dips into the Gulf of Mexico.

Dec 2 – Next Friday – 32nd Annual Sanibel Luminary Holiday Stroll

  • luminary 2014.jpgSanibel Historical Museum & Village luminary event from 3:30 to 5:30 p.m. will showcase displays from the 50’s, including a replica of a former ferry’s wheelhouse. There will be music too, including some holiday tunes performed by the Sanibel Ensemble which is a small group of singers from the BIG ARTS Community Chorus. (It’s good practice for our upcoming holiday concert. Photo above from 2014 at the Museum/Village.)
  • Luminary SantaRumor has it that there will be another flash mob inside Bailey’s General Store 5 to 5:30-ish (more of those chorus singers). Then 5:30 to 9 p.m., lit paths will lead the way to merry landmarks from one end of Periwinkle Way to the other, where festival goers can enjoy assorted activities, snacks and refreshments. No trolleys this year, it really will be a stroll.
  • Mid-island, thousands of lights will adorn the campus of Sanibel Community Church where beginning at 5:30 p.m. there will be food, drink, live music, a petting zoo and kid’s tent, plus a presentation of “A Walk Through Bethlehem”.
  • Mid-island, Santa will be at Jerry’s Center with free photos from 5:30-7:30 p.m. There also will be wine, food tastings, Girl Scouts serving soda and hot dogs, plus live sax music.
  • At the East end, Sanibel Sea School and the San-Cap chapter of Solutions to Avoid Red Tide will partner to host luminary fun at the school’s flagship campus. The school parking lot will be converted into a festive patio, where attendees can sip mulled wine and beer, munch on snacks, including Ralph Woodring’s famous grilled mullet, and listen to music. There also will be family-friendly games and activities, and a raffle featuring prizes from both organizations.

Former Captiva LuminaryDec 3 – Next Sat – 32nd Annual Captiva Luminary Holiday Stroll from 5:30 to 9 p.m. Captiva luminary spans Captiva Drive and Andy Rosse Lane with plenty of special treats at various businesses and a variety of bands performing live music throughout the Village.

Sanibel & Captiva Multiple Listing Service Activity November 18-25, 2016



7 new listings: Coquina Beach #5A 2/2 $380K, Ibis at The Sanctuary #B302 3/3 $498.5K, Mariner Pointe #842 2/2 $499K, Sundial West #D305 1/1 $545K, Sand Pointe #215 2/2 $759K, Sundial West #A308 2/2 $809.9K, Sundial East #T306 3/2 $1.475M.

1 price change: Blind Pass #G203 2/2 now $455K.

1 new sale: Sundial West #C310 1/1 listed at $439K.

No closed sales.


10 new listings: 998 Greenwood Ct 3/2.5 half-duplex $459K; 770 Donax St 2/2 $525K; 5305 Umbrella Pool Rd 3/2 $619,916; 671 Rabbit Rd 3/2 $649K; 5100 Sea Bell Rd 4/2.5 $739K; 186 Southwinds Dr 2/2 $749K; 608 Boulder Dr 2/2.5 $869K; 1126 Harbour Ct 3/2 $1.495M; 518 N Yachtsman Dr 3/3 $1.495M; 2474 Wulfert Rd 3/3.5.5 $1.495M.

6 price changes: 174 Southwinds Dr 2/2 half-duplex now $659K, 545 Piedmont Rd 3/2 now $659K, 1772 Serenity Ln 3/2 now $670K, 1429 Jamaica Dr 3/3 now $724.9K, 1048 Fish Crow Rd 3/2 now $849K, 918 Lindgren Blvd 3/3.5 now $1.199M.

3 new sales: 1411 Sandpiper Cir 2/2 listed at $439K, 400 Rabbit Rd 4/3 listed at $785K, 2405 Blue Crab Ct 4/4.5 listed at $2.695M.

3 closed sales: 1333 Par View Dr 3/2 $825K, 615 Hideaway Ct 3/2.5 $1.16M, 584 Kinzie Island Ct 3/4 $1.6M.


2 new listings: 1344 Eagle Run Dr $279K, 5687 Baltusrol Ct $325K.

4 price changes: 4566 Buck Key Rd now $179K, 5633 Baltusrol Ct now $359K, 5830 Sanibel-Captiva Rd now $385K, 1305 Seaspray Ln now $729K.

No new or closed sales.



No new listings or price changes.

1 new sale: Tennis Villas #3238 2/2 listed at $435K.

1 closed sale: Bayside Villas #4206 1/2 $277.5K.


No new listings.

2 price changes: 14980 Binder Dr 4/3 now $1,377,977; 14860 Mango Ct 5/4 now $2,343,967.

No 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. 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.)

Here’s hoping the weather is wonderful wherever you are!

Happy Friday! Susan Andrews, aka SanibelSusan

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