Washing Hands & Taking Time to Smell the Gardenia

SanibelSusan is operating solo again today. The team and I are following recommendations about staying at home with only occasional exceptions. I haven’t seen their smiling faces in what seems like forever, but thanks to texting and social media, we stay in touch.

Saturday, I made my weekly trip to Bailey’s for groceries. It was heartwarming to see their workers smiling and shelves stocked. Richard Johnson himself was filling the paper goods aisle and handed me a container of Tropical Seas Hand Sanitizer. Said he’d just gotten it in from the other coast. (It’s from Ormond Beach – antibacterial, biodegradable, non-toxic to sea life, and smells wonderful. www.tropicalseas.com.)

Tuesday, right on time, teammate Dave had a closing at Knight Barry Title for a Gulf Harbour condo listing. Heidi at Knight Barry said their office had some busy days with end-of-the-month closings. They also have received a couple of orders for new contracts (encouraging news). I got a chuckle when she said that Jackie did one closing on the hood of a car in their parking lot – keeping socially distanced.

I just made a quick trip to West Gulf Dr to check our listing at Tarpon Beach #207. It really is a shame that the island is closed. Look at how beautiful the gulf is!

A couple of news items below cover how the island is responding to the coronavirus and how FloridaRealtors® has advised its members. After that is the weekly action posted in the Sanibel & Captiva Islands Multiple Listing Service.

Protecting Islanders

Below is the WinkNews.com posting last night from their interview with Sanibel Mayor Kevin Ruane:

Sanibel mayor talks about how they are protecting island residents

“It’s already quieter on Sanibel. The beaches are closed and you can no longer rent a room at a hotel.

“We asked Mayor Kevin Ruane how else they could be protecting full-time residents and if they would go as far as closing the only way on and off the island. “We’re not opposed to going to a hurricane pass situation like we had during the hurricane,” he said. “Without the pass, you can’t come out on the island.”

“When it came to police being used to stop non-residents from entering the island, Ruane said they’re not looking at that as an option right now. “But certainly, that’s not necessarily something that’s not going to be on the table or under consideration in the future,” he added.

“Ruane says since the average age of full-time residents is 67, he’s trying to educate everyone on how to stay safe. “We’re trying to embrace social distancing or educating our community, working with our local grocery stores, making sure they have the necessary tools, putting x’s on the bottom of their floors when you keep six feet apart. Again, we’re trying to be as proactive as we can. I’ve said to my senior citizens, stay home,” he said.

“So far, he says the three people diagnosed with COVID-19 on the island are doing okay and want to make sure the message of “stay home if you can” really sticks.

“The mayor says they also had to furlough 47 part-time employees and hope to eventually bring them all back.

“For Sanibel’s COVID-19 updates, click here.

Latest Info on Coronavirus for Realtors® in Florida

Below are some excerpts from an article posted today (Apr 3, 2020) at FloridaRealtors® on-line:

“Florida Realtors is monitoring everything regarding how the COVID-19 pandemic is affecting the real estate industry and Realtors and sharing it here.

Florida stay-at-home order:  Gov. Ron DeSantis issued an executive order calling for all Floridians to stay home except to obtain essential services. This order is effective at midnight April 2 and lasts 30 days. Per the order, residential and commercial real estate, including settlement services, are considered essential. Although members may continue to operate, they are not required to do so. A second executive order clarified that the stay-at-home order “shall supersede any conflicting official action or order issued by local officials in response to COVID-19.”

Suspension of vacation rentals: In an effort to discourage visitors to the state who may be carrying the coronavirus, Gov. Ron DeSantis announced a two-week suspension of new vacation rentals (30 days or 1 calendar month, whichever is less). The order does not apply to current occupants of vacation rentals. The Executive Order can be found here.

COVID-19 extension addendum to contract: Florida Realtors released a new contract extension addendum that allows for time periods and dates to be extended as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.

COVID-19 and contract performance: The COVID-19 pandemic is certainly unprecedented, but is it considered, legally speaking, an “act of God”? Here’s a look at how a court may rule on real estate disputes that arise from transactions during this time. The white paper can also be downloaded as a PDF here.

Remote notaries: On Jan. 1, authorization for remote notarizations became law, meaning buyers and sellers no longer have to be in the same room. Here’s what you need to know.

Open houses: All Realtors are encouraged to follow NAR’s guidance regarding Open Houses found here.

CDC business safety strategies: The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has released guidance for businesses and employers here.

“NAR guides for Realtors and Realtor Associations: The National Association of Realtors has posted a guide for Realtors in relation to COVID-19 and a guide for Realtor Associations in relation to COVID-19.

Travel guidance: Here is specific information from the CDC regarding travel.”

Sanibel & Captiva Islands Multiple Listing Service Activity March 27 – April 3, 2020



2 new listings: Coquina Beach #5B 2/2 $449K, Sundial #D403 1/1 $529K.

No price changes.

1 new sale: High Tide #A101 2/2 asking $1.295M.

3 closed sales: Mariner Pointe #1052 2/2 $475K, Pointe Santo #C2 2/2 $757.5K, Sundial #K103 2/2 $823K.


1 new listing: 1361 Tahiti Dr 2/2 $535K.

3 price changes: 433 Lake Murex Cir 3/2 now $569K, 1285 Par View 4/2.5 now $799K, 1747 Jewel Box Dr 3/2 now $889K.

No new sales.

7 closed sales: 965 Beach Rd 3/2 $447K; 1458 Sandpiper Cir 3/2.5 $465K; 1607 Sand Castle Rd 3/2.5 $530K; 1244 Par View Dr 4/3 $794,208; 1333 Eagle Run Dr 3/2.5 $975K; 3358 Saint Kilda Rd 3/3 $995K; 4143 West Gulf Dr 3/3.5 $4.55M.


No new listings.

2 price changes: 486 Ponce De Leon Rd now $219K; 1219 Par View Dr now $284,999.

No new or closed sales.



No new listings, price changes, new or closed sales.


1 new listing: 15146 Wiles Dr 2/2 $2.389M.

No price changes, new or closed sales.


No new listings, price changes, or new sales.

1 closed sale: 16151 & 16155 Captiva Dr $3M.

This representation is based in part on data supplied by the Sanibel & Captiva Islands Association of Realtors® 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 Associations.

Until next Friday, stay well, wash those hands, & continue to take the time to smell the roses (at my house now, it’s the gardenias – they are just starting to bloom & smell so good),

If you get too bored give me a call, taking about real estate is way more fun than commiserating about the virus.

Susan Andrews, aka SanibelSusan