Getting Ready for Thanksgiving on Sanibel Island

SanibelSusan here reporting that Sanibel and Captiva have had another week of wonderful fall weather. It is getting to be the time of year when we can readily tell the locals from the tourists, the latter being those out-&-about shirtless/tank-tops wearers, some also dressed in bathing suits and shorts. All of this, while we locals are happily in the long sleeves and pants that we haven’t worn since April.

As the joke goes, Florida at this time of the year has Winter in the morning (6 a.m.), Spring starts at 10 a.m. Summer is at 2 p.m., followed by Fall at around 4:30 p.m. Dress accordingly!

Sanibel & Captiva Real Estate Scoop

Below is some island news followed by the real estate action this week posted in the Sanibel & Captiva Islands Multiple Listing Service.

Real estate here continues to move more quickly than years past. There seem to be plenty of buyers, though many are shocked at what has recently happened to prices. Those planning to spend up to $800K are really discouraged. “When will it end?”, they want to know. Our crystal ball is not responding.

For your info, below is a summary inventory update based on the island MLS as of today (Nov 12):

 

 

Status

SANIBEL CAPTIVA
Condos Homes Lots Condos Homes Lots
# Avg $ # Avg $ # Avg $ # Avg $ # Avg $ # Avg $
For sale 20 963,350 24 2,569,541 20 705,450 6 2,123,166 7 5,718,571 0 N/A
Under contract 26 825,336 35 1,739,142 7 455,125 6 914,666 7 4,062,571 0 N/A
Sold 2021 to 11/12 254 858,748 320 1,323,294 64 725,835 55 1,205,380 38 2,874,865 2 2,950,000
Sold 2020 192 733,876 290 954,718 23 606,233 47 821,713 27 2,923,148 4 2,537,500
Yr Most Sold 2005 232 758,507 260 1,028,584 68 496,726 45 863,642 31 2,309,758 0 N/A

There was no Realtor® Caravan Meeting yesterday because of the holiday, but next week Thursday Caravan follows our November Membership Meeting where Florida Realtors® Chief Economist, Dr. Brad O’Connor will give a market update.

Upcoming Events

SCCF 29th Annual Tennis Tournament – The Sanibel-Captiva Conservation Foundation annual tennis fundraiser Is this weekend, Nov 13 & 14 at Beachview Tennis Club. Spectators are welcome.

40th Taste of the Islands & CROW Crawl – The 40th Taste of the Islands kicked off on Nov 1. Like last year, the event runs all month with participating restaurants offering their “Taste” items to showcase their cuisine. A portion of proceeds from these designated food and beverage items will be donated to CROW. Restaurants also will compete for honors in different categories described in the Taste of the Islands Passports. Those passports may be purchased at all Edison National Bank locations (including Bank of the Islands), Bailey’s General Store locations, and Huxter’s Market & Deli. They also may be purchased online at www.TasteoftheIslands.org. (Limited-edition tee shirts also are available at Bank of the Islands. Tomorrow, Nov 13 from 11:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. is the CROW Crawl at 400 Rabbits, Island Cow, Love Boat Ice Cream (Sanibel), Paper Fig Kitchen, Thistle Lodge, and Traders.

73rd Season – Sunday Services at Chapel by the Sea – Sunday interdenominational worship services begin for their 73 season, on Nov 14 at Chapel by the Sea on Captiva. Held weekly at 11 a.m. through the end of April. They will have seating both inside and outside, plus the services will be videotaped and posted on http://www.CaptivaChapel.com.

Cruises to Historic Tarpon Lodge & Calusa Indian Mounds on Pine Island – Cruises to Tarpon Lodge and the Indian mounds on Pine Island are offered on select Wednesdays from November through April, beginning Nov 17 through Captiva Cruises. More info on www.CaptivaCruises.com.

37th Sanibel & Captiva Luminary Stroll – Dec 3 (Sanibel) & 4 (Captiva), both events are from 5:30 p.m. to 9 p.m. Once again, after a reprieve last year, traditional luminary nights return. There will be luminary candles, live entertainment, open houses at businesses, and more. Highlights include Sanibel’s live nativity scene and Captiva’s golf cart parade. For pre-Luminary fun on Sanibel, the Historical Village holiday exhibits will be open with free admission during their open house on Friday, Dec 3 from 3 to 5 p.m.

End of Hurricane Season

The end of the 2021 Hurricane Season for the Atlantic Basin (Atlantic Ocean, Caribbean Sea, and Gulf of Mexico) Is Nov 30. Hooray! This time often is when islanders empty their emergency hurricane boxes and donate their unused non-perishable food goods to F.I.S.H.

Fall into F.I.S.H.mas

This year, the local Association of Realtors® is collecting items for F.I.S.H. holiday gifts which will go to needy seniors, teens, and children. The event wraps up on Dec 1. In the meantime, the SanibelSusan Team is shopping. .

Sanibel & Captiva Islands Multiple Listing Service Activity November 5-12, 2021

Sanibel

CONDOS

7 new listings: Blind Pass #A202 2/2 $629K, Mariner Pointe #421 2/2.5 $769.9K, Blind Pass #E103 3/3 $775K, Sanibel Inn #3421 2/2 $899K, Sand Pointe #228 2/2 $1.095M, Sundial #L402 3/2 $1.379M, Gulfside Place #124 2/2 $1.4959M.

No price changes.

2 new sales: Sundial #C305 1/1listed at $549,945; Sanibel Arms West #J1 2/2 listed at $679K.

4 closed sales: Lighthouse Point #120 3/2 $600K, Sandalfoot #2D3 2/2 $793.5K, Heron at The Sanctuary III #2B 3/2.5 $849K, Lighthouse Point #325 2/2 $1.096M.

HOMES

4 new listings: 1667 Atlanta Plaza Dr 2/1.5 $650K, 543 Boulder Dr 3/2 $1.265M, 4077 Coquina Dr 3/2 $1.299M, 719 Periwinkle Way 4/3 $1.895M.

1 price change: 2138 Egret Cir 3/2 half-duplex now $729K.

5 new sales: 719 Durion Ct 3/2 listed at $995K, 1245 Par View Dr 3/2.5 listed at $1.575M, 1220 Morningside Pl 6/4 listed at $2M, 856 Limpet Dr 4/2.5 listed at $2.358M, 699 Anchor Dr 4/4 listed at $2.395M.

2 closed sales: 837 Casa Ybel Rd 2/2 duplex $580K, 547 N. Yachtsman Dr 4/3 $1,419,999.

LOTS

1 new listing: 1332 Eagle Run Dr $499K.

2 price changes: 845 Pyrula Ave now $515K, 3308 Saint Kilda Rd now $649K.

No new or closed sales.

Captiva

CONDOS

3 new listings: Bayside Villas #5320 3/3 $950K, Marina Villas #706 2/2 $950K, Beach Homes #20 3/3 $4.349M.

No price changes or new sales.

3 closed sales: Bayside Villas #5204 1 /2 $440K, Tennis Villas #3210 1/1 $491K, Lands End Village #1649 2/2 $1.325M.

HOMES

2 new listings: 30 Urchin Ct 3/2 $1.495M, 17201 Captiva Dr 5/4.5 $5.65M.

No price changes.

2 new sales: 11529 Andy Rosse Ln 4/4 listed at $2.55M, 14991 Binder Dr 4/4 listed at $5.795M.

No closed sales.

LOTS

Nothing to report.

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 Associates is participating or participated in these transactions.

Below is our ad from today’s “Island Sun”.

Enjoy your weekend & don’t forget to get your bird early.

Susan Andrews, aka SanibelSusan

Island Life After Irma

2017-09-11 beach2.jpg

Beach looking good 9/12/2017

 

SanibelSusan Team members were all back at their posts Monday morning and island life is returning to normal. Thanks to quick service by Dan from Tru-Clean, Inc. Carpet & Tile Care, our office carpet now looks better than it did pre-storm. 2017-09-19 TruClean

Local schools still don’t go back until Monday, with county education leaders now altering the school calendar to make up the 2+weeks lost. Both the Sanibel Recreation Center and the Sanibel Sea School provided free childcare programs this week for families working and assisting in recovery efforts.

As of the City’s Hurricane Irma report last night, just one reported property remains without power, while debris pickup continues. Roadside collections by claw trucks will be seven days a week beginning at 7 a.m. until all is removed. Some of the piles are huge, many reappearing as soon as debris is removed. Care, caution, and patience are needed traveling roadways and bike paths (most paths are not passable).

The Thurs City report also indicates that inspections of the public canals have been completed. The private canals are next, as the City finalizes plans for removing canal storm debris. They are thinking of everything.

If any good comes from an event like this, it’s the amazing comradery – neighbors helping neighbors & helping strangers too. We all owe a debt of gratitude to City workers, utility crews, and the many contractors that have come from near and far to assist in making homes and businesses livable again. The lessons learned from Hurricane Charley probably assisted in making this recovery smooth.

Thank you, Mayor Ruane, City Council, City Manager Zimomra and staff. With power back on and us again able to watch the news, many areas in Florida are not as fortunate as Sanibel. I sure am glad I live here.

SanibelSusan Realty Associates

2017-09-12 Office

Open & ready for business 09/12/17

Here at the office, we still are working on getting a sale closed that was scheduled on the Friday before the storm. Fingers crossed that it happens on Monday. The two offers that were in negotiations pre-storm didn’t make it, but I’m hoping to fan some life into them as recovery here continues.

 

Our new listing at Sunset South was open yesterday morning for Realtor® Caravan and we have had a few inquiries and showings this week too. The action posted in the Sanibel and Captiva Islands Multiple Listing Service since Sept 1 are posted after a couple of news items below.

(Note this activity covers a 3-week period, since we were without internet service the last two Fridays. Pretty slow real estate market during those weeks, just one new sale, a Sanibel condo. No sales on Captiva.)

Sanibel & Captiva Islands Association of Realtors®

Monthly Membership Meeting

Yesterday morning was the September Membership Meeting for the islands Association of Realtors®. Plenty of affiliates, sales associates, and brokers were in attendance to share post-Irma experiences and to hear guest speaker, Maggi Feiner, President and CEO of F.I.S.H. of SanCap.

2017-09-21 Maggi

Maggi Feiner speaking at the Assoc 09/21/17

F.I.S.H. is a unique comprehensive human-services organization focused for over 30 years on “neighbors helping neighbors” on Sanibel and Captiva Islands. Their mission is to lend a helping hand to those who live, work, and visit here. Their vision is to enrich the lives of those on the islands through an array of food programs, island-based workshops, and social services. Their many different programs, services, and workshops, are supported by full-time social workers, administrative professionals, and a team of volunteers.

 

Maggi shared some F.I.S.H. statistics from 2016 when they had 14,399 requests for help and provided assistance to 2,272 individuals. Most island needs or the individuals most at-risk and needing help are youth and seniors. The F.I.S.H. backpack program operates not just when schools are in session, but 52 weeks a year. They also offer after-school education, and one-on-one tutoring. They help with those needing eyeglasses too and their partnership with Sanibel Rec offers summer assistance.

Maggi advised that 53% of F.I.S.H. funding comes from individual donations, 27% comes from grants. She thanked Association members for their continued contributions, food donations, our recent Meals-of-Hope food-packaging event, their support for the annual “10K Race 4 F.I.S.H.” (coming up Oct 18) and F.I.S.H. Celebration, and for volunteering.

Toiletries for Hurricane Irma Victims

 Yesterday afternoon Sanibel/Captiva Islands Association of Realtors® staff and members of my Communications/Public Relations Committee bagged up donations that the Assoc had collected pre-Irma. We prepared 130+individual gallon zip-lock bags each with an assortment of toiletries, hair and shaving products, flashlights/batteries, socks, first aid and sewing kits, & more. In combination with food, water, and paper goods, also collected by off-island Realtors® and their friends, it all will be delivered to Hurricane Irma victims.

2017-09-21 Assoc.jpg

Big thank you to all who contributed and Realtor® helpers Deb Gleason, Kelly Huguenin, and Cathy Lewis, our Assoc Executive/CEO Bill Robinson and MLS Director Matt Alston. Realtor® Jay LaGace with LaGace Partners, ReMax Realty Team, Cape Coral coordinated efforts and provided a drop-off point with multiple vehicles and trailers to deliver the goods.

Hurricane Irma Strikes Refuge

ding darling goose logoThe following two articles are from the “Ding” Darling Wildlife Society Newsletter dated Sep 14, 2017:

“Hurricane Irma struck a lighter blow (reported winds of up to 80 mph) than expected to Sanibel Island on September 10. Extensive vegetation damage on Wildlife Drive and Calusa Shell Mound Trail will keep the

Refuge closed for an undetermined length of time, reports Supervisory Refuge Ranger Toni Westland. “It will take days with our limited staff, but it will make us stronger,” she said.

“Toni added that the storm seems to have had little impact on Refuge wildlife. “Hurricanes are a natural phenomenon, and wildlife has adapted,” she said. “Habitat and animals typically rebound quickly, and nature reconstructs in a hurricane’s aftermath. However, research is showing that as storms continue to increase in intensity, it will affect wildlife’s ability to bounce back.”

“She noted that the damage was much lighter and the recovery quicker at the Refuge and island than with Hurricane Charley in 2004. “That’s thanks to the removal of Australian pines and other exotics after Charley,” Toni said. “That’s why it’s so important to preserve mangroves and plant other native vegetation built to weather hurricanes.”

“For updates on the Refuge’s recovery progress, please monitor the official Refuge Facebook page.”

ding-ddlogo16“Ding” Darling Days STILL On – October 15-21, 2017

The Refuge plans to keep its annual “Ding” Darling Days eco-festival on track for October 15-21. CLICK HERE for a calendar and other details.

“Did you know? Mangroves have the potential to reduce wave and wind energy by 50%-75%. The J.N. “Ding” Darling National Wildlife Refuges is home to one of the largest undeveloped mangrove ecosystems. Mangroves not only ‘anchor’ an island down (and prevent erosion) during storms and high waves, but they also provide a safe place to shelter for many different species of wildlife. Natural and wild places are critical for communities to recover after a hurricane so that flooding can be absorbed by nature.”

Re-openings, Temporary Closings & More

Funny how fast September flew by this year. Already some of the places that closed for summer breaks, employee vacations, deep cleans, remodeling, etc. are reopening. Here’s a partial list…

Island Cow – had kitchen roof damage. Working on repairs now.

Island Pizza – continuing with their planned remodeling, so temporarily closed.

Open signOver Easy Café – reopened today. Open 7 days a week from 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. for breakfast and lunch.

The Pecking Order – stayed open through the storm & will continue their lunch special from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. all of Sept.

Sanibel Farmers Market – still scheduled to reopen on Oct 1 on the grounds of City Hall from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. For info on the other eight markets reopening in the Lee County, go to www.BuyLocalLee.com.

Sanibel Fresh – serving breakfast 8 a.m. to 11 a.m. Lunch from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Traditions on the Beach – is open this month, Mon through Sat from 4 p.m. until late.

Sanibel & Captiva Multiple Listing Service Activity September 1-22, 2017

sancap GO MLS logoSanibel

CONDOS

1 new listing: Sundial West #K105 2/2 $897.5K.

No price changes.

1 new sale: Sanctuary Golf Villages I #5 2/2.5 listed at $699K.

No closed sales.

HOMES

5 new listings: 887 Casa Ybel Rd 5/3 duplex $575K, 1312 Par View Dr 3/2 $695K, 419 Lighthouse Way 4/3 $797.5K, 6412 Pine Ave 3/3 $1.295M, 1152 Buttonwood Ln 3/3.5 $1.499M.

4 price changes: 673 East Rocks 3/2 now $698K, 698 Spartina Ct 3/2 now $770K, 1043 Sand Castle Rd 3/2 now $850K, 789 Pyrula Ave 3/3 now $1.095M.

No new sales.

3 closed sales: 982 Main St 3/2.4 $465K, 519 Lagoon Dr 4/2 $800K, 1137 Golden Olive Ct 5/3.5 $1.5925M.

LOTS

1 new listing: 761 Donax St $279.9K

No price changes, new, or closed sales. 

Captiva

CONDOS

No new listings, price changes, or new sales.

1 closed sale: Bayside Villas #5136 1/2 $310K.

HOMES & LOTS

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.)

2017-09-11 Beach.jpg

The welcoming committee – ibis trio – at the Fulgar St beach access on 9/12/17

 

Until next Friday, let’s not hear about any more hurricanes!

Susan Andrews, aka SanibelSusan

Labor Day Weekend 2014 on Sunny Sanibel & Captiva Islands

Summer weather abounds on the islands and The SanibelSusan Team is gearing up for the holiday weekend. There still are not many visitors here, but we started to see more action both at the beach and at restaurants yesterday with families arriving for the long weekend.

Palma

 

Even with the limited traffic, we had listings shown this week, with others scheduled over the weekend. It is the time of the year when lower price range properties tend to get more action, so we have our fingers crossed that some of these showings will be productive.

With temperatures in the low 90’s most days, it was a welcomed relief when the humidity dropped midweek giving way to bright sunny days with just occasional showers some evenings.

Sun

Dave and I were both out showing this week, homes by me, off-island investment condos by Dave. I also responded to several emails from prospective island condo buyers just beginning their search and we had a nice closing today!

Below are a couple of news items followed by the action posted in the Sanibel & Captiva Islands Multiple Listing Service this week.

Where to Have Lunch?

We always get inquiries this time of the year about what restaurants are open and which ones are closed. Here’s the latest from our travels this week:

Doc Fords SanibelDoc Ford’s was already closed for a few days for their pre-season work and have reopened.

Over Easy logoThe Over Easy Cafe will close for their deep clean and employee vacations from September 8-18.

Blue Coyote Supper Club logoThe Blue Coyote is closed on Sundays and Mondays through September.

Traders Store & CafeTraders Cafe will close after dinner service tomorrow night and be closed through September.

Sanibel Island Farmers Market

Sanibel Farmers MktWow, time is flying! I saw a posting this week that the Sanibel Island Farmers Market will be reopening for “season” on October 5. It also had a reminder that it was established in 2007.

That was the fastest summer and fastest seven years, I can remember! That’s my Sunday morning stop before the office, so see you there in a just a few more weeks! There’s nothing like eating fresh and buying local.

Taste of the Islands

taste of the island logo_2014Speaking of future events, if you enjoy CROW’s annual “Taste of the Islands”, mark your calendar for Sunday, November 9, when it will be held at The Dunes Golf & Tennis Club from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.

This is the 33rd year for this fun event for the whole family that benefits CROW (Clinic for Rehabilitation of Wildlife) www.CROWClinic.org.

FISH is Moving

FishAs reported today in the “Island Sun”: “FISH, the 32-year-old non-profit, non-sectarian human services organization, will relocate from its current 2,192-square-foot space – at 1630B Periwinkle Way – to the

building currently occupied in the front by The Sangria Grill, at 2430 Periwinkle Way. The planning commission unanimously approved an application for conditional use approval that will allow FISH of Sanibel-Captiva, Inc. to move its headquarters to a new 3,500-square-foot office space.”

Sanibel Sprout Relocating to Bailey’s Center

Sanibel sproutAlso as reported in the “Island Sun” and at Tuesday’s Sanibel Planning Commission Meeting: “The owners of The Sanibel Sprout received conditional use approval to relocate their business to an approximately 1,000-square-foot space within the Bailey’s Shopping Center, which provides the health food store and juice bar with 20 indoor dining seats….Currently, the business operates from a space in the Palm Ridge Place Shopping Center, located at 2330 Palm Ridge Road.”

3 Reasons Mortgage Demand Is Dropping

loan approvedFrom “Daily Real Estate News” on Monday:

“Fixed-rate mortgages sank to the lowest average of the year last week, yet mortgage origination activity remains lackluster. Why aren’t more home buyers taking advantage of the lower borrowing costs? In a recent blog post, Freddie Mac analysts point to three main factors behind the decrease in mortgage originations:

  1. The refinancing boom has ended. From 2013 to 2014, mortgage applications for refinancings have fallen about 60%. Freddie Mac projects refinance applications will drop by another 50% from 2014 to 2015. When mortgage rates rise—as they are expected to soon—borrowers will have less incentive to refinance. Applications for home purchases are not expected to be able to fill the void from the refi boom.
  2. Home sales are down. Sales of existing and new homes have fallen about 5% during the first six months of 2014 compared to the first half of 2013, according to Freddie Mac. “A period of higher mortgage rates, a harsh winter, and slower economic growth compared to a year earlier contributed to the slowdown,” researchers explain.
  3. More buyers are paying cash. The number of borrowers who took out a mortgage to purchase a home is down compared to last year, but that could be due to more buyers using cash. In the first six months of this year, all-cash home sales were up slightly from 31% to 33%, according to National Association of REALTORS® data. Yet, “with rising home values and fewer distressed homes coming the market, expect the available inventory for all-cash buyers to trend down in the coming year,” researchers note.

“Freddie Mac researchers say the key to an increase in mortgage origination activity will be “sustained economic growth and jobs.” “Overall, recent economic and employment improvements should help bolster household formation and contribute to gains in construction, home sales—and also mortgage originations,” Freddie Mac researchers note. “However, even with these improvements, expect new and refinance mortgage origination volume for this year to be the lowest since 2000 at about $1.15 trillion.””

Strategies for Setting a Price for Your Home

wall street journalI love it when clients share articles they have seen that they think apropos for my blog. This one comes from “Wall Street Journal” Real Estate on line last week (thank you, Scott):

” What’s the perfect price when selling your home? Nobody knows. List too low and watch your investment slip away. List too high and drive potential buyers away.

BLINDED BY LOVE Sellers often overestimate the value of their homes for emotional reasons. To get top dollar for his Portland, Ore., home, Alex Hickman played lowball. He set his asking price below that of comparable homes nearby—and got six offers in four days. “We strategically listed it under market and tried to create kind of a frenzy,” says Mr. Hickman, a 26-year-old credit union examiner. Mr. Hickman purchased the home in 2005 for $325,000 and listed it for $497,000. He says a $505,000 asking price would have been more reflective of the market, especially since the property’s first-floor apartment could generate rental income. Mr. Hickman had also finished the basement of the home, which is in desirable Southeast Portland, an older neighborhood with few new construction projects. So his go-low pricing strategy was a gamble, one his real-estate agent initially counseled against.

PRICED TO THE NINES Research has found that pricing at $999,900 rather than $1 million influences buying decisions on a subconscious level. The home ‘seems way cheaper,’ one professor says. “It creates a havoc that doesn’t serve anyone well,” says Rebecca Walter, Mr. Hickman’s agent at Redfin. A low asking price doesn’t necessarily increase what buyers offer, she says, since they are more willing to compete on other terms of the contract, such as paying all cash for the purchase or waiving the inspection to speed the sale. “In residential real estate, the asking price is often as much about psychology as it is reality. Michael Seiler, professor of real estate and finance at The College of William & Mary in Williamsburg, Va., said that most home buyers don’t realize that setting an asking price is primarily a negotiating tactic. “When you set a list price, you’re sending a signal to the market,” he says.

Mike McCann, a real-estate agent with Berkshire Hathaway Home Services, Fox & Roach in Philadelphia, says pricing can be “a delicate balance.” Most sellers overestimate the worth of their home, he says, and some agents will start with a too-high price to avoid hard feelings. Others agents may start high just to get the seller’s business or, conversely, they’ll price too low for a quick sale and commission, he adds.

NOT BUDGING A precise asking price, such as $795,475, indicates that the seller is less open to negotiation. Most agents say that getting sellers to start with a realistic asking price is one of their biggest challenges. Steve Beckman spent $150,000 on renovations to his 100-year-old farmhouse in Ojai, Calif., which he purchased for $325,000. When selling five years later, Mr. Beckman, a 61-year-old retired landscape designer, asked $500,000—with both financial and emotional factors coming into play. It sat on the market for almost 1½ years, eventually selling for $242,000, far less than he and his wife, Mary, had wanted. “We didn’t even get a nibble at the asking price,” says Mr. Beckman. “Nobody cares what you paid for it.”

“Large gaps between the asking and sale price are somewhat uncommon, says Stan Humphries, chief economist at real-estate website Zillow. In May, median sale prices were only 3% lower than asking prices in 35 metro areas across the U.S., according to a Zillow analysis. Separately, real-estate agents surveyed by the National Association of Realtors said that only 3% of homes sold for less than 23% below the asking price in 2013; and only 2% of homes sold at 12% or more above asking price.

“Homes without comparable sales data often see the widest price gaps, says Prof. Seiler. If the property has historic value, for example, is set on a unique plot of land or has a one-of-a-kind design, it can be more difficult to price. Without comparables, “an appraiser will have no clue what a property is worth and a buyer wouldn’t know either,” he said.

GOING LOW Asking below market price can generate a ‘frenzy’ of offers—but doesn’t necessarily translate to a higher sale price. Comparable prices become less relevant when inventory in a desirable neighborhood is unusually low. “This creates a real feeding frenzy for real estate,” Mr. Humphries says.

No one claims to fully understand the psychology of pricing. But some common practices have emerged. For example, research has found that an exact asking price, such as $795,475, often indicates that the price is less negotiable than a round number, such as $800,000, Prof. Seiler says. “Those using precise pricing show confidence in the price,” he says. Additionally, pricing at $999,900 rather than $1 million influences buying decisions on a subconscious level. The home “seems way cheaper,” according to Prof. Seiler. And even when a home sells above asking price, the initial lower asking price can make buyers feel like they are getting a great deal. “The goal is to make it stick in your head that you’re getting a bargain,” he says. “It’s the way our brain looks at numbers.”

“Developer Sebastian Rein took that approach when he priced a home in the Mar Vista neighborhood of Los Angeles at $2.995 million—just $5,000 less than the intended $3 million price tag. The strategy got the property “a wider audience,” he says. The 4,400-square-foot home sold within a week at $3.1 million. “When you come to market, you have a month or six weeks before it starts to fade in people’s minds,” said Mr. Rein, who listed the property with L.A.-based Partners Trust. “There’s a velocity you have to achieve when you come to market.”

“Of course, unplanned events can sometimes trump price. This January, Karen and Curtis Spillers put their five-bedroom, 1910 home in Wilmette, Ill., on the market for $835,000, a price they considered aligned with the market. Then, a winter storm dumped close to a foot of snow on the ground during the open house. Despite the weather, over 100 people showed up, says Ms. Spillers, 53, a technology public-relations executive who bought the home almost 25 years ago. Within 24 hours, the couple had five offers, eventually accepting a $900,000 bid. They credit the timing: Coming on the market in January meant there was only one other home for sale in their Chicago suburb, which has highly rated schools. The couple, now living in St. Louis, didn’t expect to get a premium on their asking price. “We couldn’t have been happier with the results,” she said.”

Sanibel & Captiva Multiple Listing Service Activity August 22-29

SanCapAssnLogoSanibel

CONDOS

1 new listing: Sanibel Moorings #1622 2/2 $450K.

3 price changes: Sundial #C301 1/1 now $315K, Sanibel Arms West #M8 2/2 now $479.9K, Kimball Lodge #304 2/2 now $499K.

1 new sale: Tennisplace #A26 2/1.5 listed for $349,555.

2 closed sales: Mariner Pointe #711 3/2 $535K (our listing), Sundial #D101 3/2 $765K.

HOMES

1 new listing: 228 Hurricane Ln 3/2.5 $799K.

No price changes.

3 new sales: 989 Dixie Beach Blvd 3/2 listed for $595K, 1504 Angel Dr 4/3 listed for $745K, 1307 Seaspray Ln 4/3.5 listed for $1.595M.

2 closed sales: 1434 Sand Castle Rd 3/2 $543K, 1225 Junonia St 3/2 $610K.

LOTS

1 new listing: 971 Main St $219.9K.

1 price change: 2411 Blue Crab Ct now $479K.

No new or closed sales.

Captiva

CONDOS

No new listings.

1 price change: Beach Villas #2511 2/2 now $575K.

1 new sale: Sunset Beach Villas #2332 2/2 listed for $699K.

No closed sales.

HOMES
Nothing to report.

LOTS

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.

Best wishes for a great Labor Day weekend! If you want to talk Sanibel or Captiva real estate, please call The SanibelSusan Team (Susan, Dave, Lisa, & Elise)