Island Sales This Week, 2018 Forecasts, & More


 

great-white-pelican-namibiaIt’s SanibelSusan with another weekly report of real estate happenings. You are probably sick of me blogging about Sanibel’s summer-like weather and the traffic, so just a quick update, that it’s more of the same. A mini-cool front arrived today, bringing temperatures that will be only mid-70’s for the next few days.

Sanibel-shells-from-storm-windsMeanwhile, the 81st Sanibel Shell Festival across the street from SanibelSusan Realty at The Community House appears to be a huge success. It wraps up tomorrow afternoon.

An interesting mix of articles is below, followed by the activity posting in the Sanibel & Captiva Islands Multiple Listing Service this week.

  • 2018 national trends include big shifts in housing
  • good news from Sanibel police department
  • Sanibel Planning Commission ordinance action relating to pools and flood insurance
  • annual Market Watch with real estate outlook.

2018’s Top Trends

From the March 2018 “Florida Realtor®” magazine:Realtor.com logos

“Big Shifts in Housing… Realtor.com® predicts four developments this year.

  1. Inventory Will Increase. Starting in August 2017, the U.S. housing market started to see a higher-than-normal month-over-month increase in the number of homes on the market. Based on this trend, Realtor.com® projects that U.S. year-over-year inventory growth will tick up into positive territory by fall 2018, for the first time since 2015.
  2. Price Appreciation Will Slow. Home prices are forecasted to slow to 3.2% growth year-over-year nationally, from an estimated increase of 5.5% in 2017. Most of the slowing will be felt in the higher-priced segment as more available inventory in this price range and a smaller pool of buyers forces sellers to price competitively. Entry-level homes will continue to see price gains due to the larger number of buyers that can afford them and more limited homes available in this price range.
  3. Millennials Will Gain Market Share. Although millennials will continue to face challenges with rising interest rates and home prices, they are on track to gain mortgage market share in all price points, due to the sheer size of the generation. Millennials could reach 43% of home buyers with a mortgage by the end of 2018, up from an estimated 40% in 2017.
  4. Southern Markets Will Lead Sales Growth. Southern cities should beat the national average in home sales growth in 2018, with Lakeland – Winter Haven leading Florida. Sales are expected to grow by 6% or more in these markets, compared with 2.5% nationally. The majority of this growth can be attributed to healthy building levels combating the housing shortage.” 

Report from Sanibel’s Finest

santiva chronicleAn article in this week’s “Santiva Chronicle”, shows a big drop in island crime. Some of the statistics in the associated article include:

“Crime on Sanibel was down in 2017, including a huge drop in burglaries, according to statistics released Monday, Feb. 26, by Police Chief William Dalton. The police department tracked 72 federal reportable crimes in 2017, the only time in the past 11 years that that number has been below 100…

“Sanibel continues to be murder-free and no armed robberies have occurred since 2013. No vehicle thefts were reported in 2017, the only time in the past decade that has happened….

“Sanibel residents accounted for just 15% of the department’s arrests in 2017 with nearly half – 46% – coming from elsewhere in Lee County….

“Although crime numbers were down in 2017, the phone was still ringing at police headquarters. The department took in 26,140 calls. That’s an average of 72 per day or one every 20 minutes.”

Planning Commission Acts on Ordinances Re: Pools & Flood Insurance

Sanibelcityseal logoAs reported this week in the “Santiva-Chronicle:

“An ordinance amending the height of a swimming pool and decks in relation to the adjoining structure was unanimously approved by the Sanibel Planning Commission at MacKenzie Hall on Tuesday, Feb. 27.

“It is a move the commission said is grounded in common sense and will help streamline approval of pools and decks. Because of the current wording, the commission was forced to hold hearings about them when their approval was a matter of common sense. It was also costly to applicants.

“Wording of the ordinance to go to the City Council for approval is: “Any swimming pool elevated higher than three feet, six inches above the ground cannot be higher than the lowest floor of the associated structure. For the purpose of this height limit, a mid-level entry or other area devoted only to building access shall not be considered the lowest floor, even if constructed above the base flood elevation.”

“The current elevation is seven feet, but that is not based on the lowest floor. The change will allow the Planning Department to grant approval without it coming to the Planning Commission, Benjamin Pople, city planner, said in his presentation of the ordinance….

“Also Tuesday, the commission unanimously approved an ordinance to go to City Council that would bring the city in line with the Florida Department of Emergency Management pertaining to flood insurance.

“The ordinance about flood insurance is mandatory to preserve the city’s status and rating as a continuing participant in the National Flood Insurance Program’s continuing rating system which benefits Sanibel residents with a 25% discount on flood insurance premiums.

“Commission members cautioned residents that flood insurance rates still apply and that 25% savings aren’t always realized if insurance companies raise rates….”

Annual Market Watch – Lee & Collier Counties

News Press logoEach year, the Fort Myers “New-Press” hosts an event, where local real estate experts share their outlook on the real estate market. Here are excerpts from their on-line article posted this week.

“A recession may be on the way, but first-time home-buyer millennials and retiring Baby Boomers looking for a deal may be coming to the rescue in Southwest Florida’s residential market.

“That was among the big takeaways Tuesday at The News-Press Market Watch Real Estate 2018 at Germain Arena, where more than 1,000 people were on hand to gauge the market pulse from industry experts.

“Presenters included Randy Thibaut, land sales and development expert and owner and founder of Land Solutions Inc.; Denny Grimes, residential real estate expert and president of Denny Grimes & Co.; and Stan Stouder, CCIM, commercial real estate expert and founding partner with CRE Consultants.

“As Thibaut entered the stage, a screen showed a roller coaster on its way up a track. “We’ve been climbing this roller coaster that’s behind me for almost nine years since the downturn,” he said. “Are we going to go up and over and are we going to lose our lunch, or are we just going to have a little hiccup? One thing is for sure: we’re going to have change.”

“Total single-family and multifamily permits increased 28% in Lee, Collier and Charlotte counties year-over-year, with Lee leading the way.

“Why? “Apartments and assisted living were again on fire,” he said. “That changed the dynamics of the market.” On the home front, more buyers are looking for “value” properties, those under $300,000, and builders who cater to that demand are benefiting. “The millennials are coming and they are buying homes because they’re having families,” he said. “There’s a different type of baby boomer – they’re coming here with less money in their pockets. They’re coming. The difference is they’re not looking for $500,000 homes.”

“On the other end of the market, there’s strong demand for luxury high-rise condos in Naples and Bonita Springs, in developments such as Aqua and Seaglass at Bonita Bay. “The product came out and they gobbled it up,” Thibaut said.

“Downtown Fort Myers is a bit of a different story, where developments such as ONE, The Place on First and Prima Luce are in the works. “These projects are still trying to get started, and I think some of them will,” Thibaut said. “It hasn’t been for the lack of trying.” Market watchers should also keep a close eye on the Corkscrew Road corridor, where there are a lot of development plans.

“But ultimately, how are things? “We’re not going down into the abyss,” he said. “Are we going to have a little hiccup? I think so.”

“Prior to the event, Thibaut was asked about impact fees, which are a hot topic in Lee County. “The impact fees that are scheduled to be looked at in March will be the deciding factor over whether we’ll be able to serve our workforce and Middle America employees,” he said. “If they raise the impact fees a lot, they will hurt the biggest percentage of the buying sector. Now is not the right time for a full increase.” Thibaut said people looking to buy a home under $300,000 are the sector that “can’t afford the increase or they won’t be able to own and live the American Dream.”

“Grimes was next on stage, touching on seemingly controversial topics — fake news, the wall and DACA — in a nonconfrontational way because his points weren’t really about those topics at all.

“National headlines about the hot real estate market are giving some buyers and sellers a false perspective on the local market, which isn’t so hot. “There’s a party going on and we’re not part of it,” he said. “But that’s OK. We’ll win in the end.” The number of home sales was down 3% in Lee and up 3% in Collier year-to-year. Grimes used the words “steady” and “stable” in describing the market, with an exception here and there.

““Cape Coral was the star performer in Lee County,” he said. “Collier South is the star performer there.”

In the Cape, dry lot prices have been rising, commanding $20,000 and up, while Lehigh lot prices start at $5,000. “Cape Coral is in for another growth spurt,” Grimes said.

“Home prices, however, have hit a wall. The median sales price for an existing home was $238,500 in December, compared to $250,000 a year earlier. That median price is close to $450,000 in Collier County and $217,500 in Charlotte.

“On DACA — homes where you can dock a boat — Grimes said the cost to live on the waterfront in Cape Coral averages $479,000, not far below the cost in Fort Myers. “It’s the best waterfront value and it’s gaining on Fort Myers,” he said.

“Stouder started out by saying self-storage is going gangbusters. Eight self-storage businesses went up between 2010-14, with 12 built between 2015 and now, with another 12 under construction. “There’s a correlation between those and the robust number of apartment units being built,” he said.

“Senior housing, too, has also continued to surge. Ten senior housing projects were completed between 2000 and 2014. In the past three years, 21 senior housing projects have come to market.

A few notable projects for market-watchers to keep an eye on: Meridian Place industrial property near Southwest Florida International Airport, where a 201,000-square-feet of space is expected to be built.

“That’s a big industrial project and that’s because the vacancy rate is so low,” he said.

“Stouder also talked about the likelihood of a recession. “The stock market is having heartburn, but not a heart attack,” he said. Stouder pointed to the fact that it’s been “about eight and a half years since the last recession was declared over in June 2009,” so a recession is inevitable due to market cycles, it’s just a matter of when.

“Stouder also offered a “what’s that?” segment. In the “what’s that?” segment, market-watchers should look for the Grand Central project to come out of the ground across from Page Field Commons. That project will have the area’s first Krispy Kreme location.

“For people who might be wondering what to do with their money, whether after a property sale or because they simply want to make a smart investment, “it’s time to sell.” “How many of you wished in 2009 that you’d have sold in 2006,” he said. “If you get greedy, you will get burnt.””

Sanibel & Captiva Islands Multiple Listing Service Activity February 23-March 2, 2018

sancap GO MLS logoSanibel

CONDOS

6 new listings: Mariner Pointe #241 2/2.5 $629K; St.Croix #4 2/2.5 $995K; Yacht Haven #2 3/2 $1.099M; Pointe Santo #C3 3/2 $1,184,415; By-The-Sea #C102 2/2 $1.349M; Tamarind #B302 2/2 $1.824M.

4 price changes: Sanibel Moorings #941 2/2 now $529.9K, Pointe Santo #D32 2/2 now $779K, Island Beach Club #220E 2/2 now $949K, Island Beach Club #340D 2/2 now $1.324M.

4 new sales: Sanibel Moorings #212 1/1 listed at $425K, Beach Road Villa #104 2/2 listed at $455K, Loggerhead Cay #264 2/2 listed at $598.3K (our listing), Blue Gulf #101 3/2 listed at $1.42M.

10 closed sales: Tennisplace #D21 1/1 $235K, Lake Palms #6 2/2.5 $339K, Seashells #40 2/2 $320K, Sundial West #F308 1/1 $415K, Lighthouse Point #217 3/2 $455K, Mariner Pointe #733 2/2 $475K, Loggerhead Cay #402 2/2 $560K, Sanibel Inn #3535 2/2 $745K, Nutmeg Village #201 2/2 $965K, By-The-Sea #C302 3/2 $1.675M.

HOMES

3 new listings: 1283 Par View Dr 2/2 $574K, 4239 Gulf Pines Dr 3/2 $735K, 4171 West Gulf Dr 3/2 $3.248M.

24 price changes: 813 Rabbit Rd 2/2 half-duplex now $399K, 1940 Periwinkle Way 3/2 half-duplex now $470K, 1938 Roseate Ln 3/2 now $499K, 3043 Poinciana Cir 3/2 now $525K, 998 Fish Crow Rd 3/2 now $629K, 1020 White Ibis Dr 3/3 now $649K, 1342 Junonia St 3/3 now $669K, 1450 Sand Castle Rd 3/2 now $749.9K, 5430 Osprey Ct 3/3 now $764K, 5690 Sanibel-Captiva Rd 3/3 now $979K, 938 Pecten Ct 3/2.5 now $1.135M, 1747 Jewel Box Dr 3/2 now $1.165M, 1349 Eagle Run Dr 3/2.5 now $1.175M, 1672 Hibiscus Dr 3/2 now $1.179M, 529 Lighthouse Way 3/3 now $1.22M, 519 Kinzie Island Ct 3/2.5 now $1.275M, 1672 Hibiscus Dr 3/2 now $1.179M, 1743 Venus Dr 4/3.5 now $1.65M, 794 Conch Ct 3/2.5 now $1.679M, 267 Ferry Landing Dr 3/2 now $1.749M, 2029 Periwinkle Way 4/3 now $1.799M, 2167 Starfish Ln 4/4.5 now $1.875M, 5606 Baltusrol Ct 4/6 now $2.195M, 1552 San Carlos Bay Dr 4/5.5 now $2.425M

11 new sales: 970 Sand Castle Rd 3/2 listed at $599K, 1008 Demere Ln 2/2 listed at $615K, 678 East Rocks 3/2 listed at $829K, 4791 Rue Helene 3/2 listed at $849K, 3239 Twin Lakes Ln 3/2 listed at $899K, 1114 Captains Walk St 3/3 listed at $899K, 1275 Par View Dr 3/2 listed at $949K, 4960 Joewood Dr 3/3 listed at $1.049M, 6412 Pine Ave 4/2.5 listed at $1.245M, 4265 West Gulf Dr 4/4.5 listed at $4.895M, 1310 Seaspray Ln 4/4 listed at $5.795M.

8 closed sales: 9446 Yucca Ct 3/2 $530K; 1341 Sand Castle Rd 3/2 $820K; 765 Conch Ct 5/4 $810K; 701 Anchor Dr 3/3.5 $1,186,810; 3822 West Gulf Dr 3/2 $1.2M; 899 Almas Ct 3/2 $1.2M; 960 Victoria Way 3/3 $1.4595M; 547 Kinzie Island Ct 4/4.5 $1.7M.

LOTS

1 new listing: 9232 Dimmick Dr $199,555.

3 price changes: 2307 Wulfert Rd now $219.9K, 2133 Starfish Ln now $399K, 1770 Dixie Beach Blvd now $689,999.

1 new sale:1312 Eagle Run Dr listed at $319K.

No closed sales. 

Captiva

CONDOS

1 new listing: Bayside Villas #5102 1/2 $375K.

1 price change: Captiva Shores #8B 3/2.4 now $1.599M.

1 new sale: Bayside Villas #5144 1/2 listed at $385K.

2 closed sales: Tennis Villas #3210 1/1 $297K, Beach Villas #2621 2/2 $645K.

HOMES

1 new listings: 11540 Laika Ln 3/3 $1.625M.

3 price changes: 11490 Dickey Ln 3/2 now $995K, 11535 Chapin Ln 4/3 now $1.359M, 11509 Chapin Ln 4/4 now $1,999.999.

No new sales.

1 closed sale: 15154 Wiles Dr 4/3 $1.475M.

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.

Until next Friday, here’s hoping you have good weather too! If not, come to the islands, the bougainvillea and hibiscus are blooming everywhere. It really is a paradise here!

Susan Andrews, aka SanibelSusan (& please call me to help you with island real estate)

 

Just Another Happy Friday on Sanibel Island


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.

Beach in front of Sanibel Arms West

Beach in front of Sanibel Arms West

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

croppedTVcabinetIn getting ready for season, we had the office carpet cleaned this week which led to us cleaning out a few file cabinets.

croppedsofaOur old palm pilots, digital cameras, and laser-jet printers which have been replaced with newer technology are now at Goodwill. Who knew they would take that stuff? They even will help with pick-up.

Phone inquiries this week again were mostly about selling, though we had a few good showings too.

View at Island Beach Club #260D

View at Island Beach Club #260D

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.

Beach in front of Island Beach Club

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

  • Discover DingThrough Oct 24 – 26th Annual “Ding” Darling Days – has continued all week and ends with Conservation Art Day tomorrow. Event schedule at www.dingdarlingdays.com.
  • baileyfest 2012Sunday, 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.
  • bailey-mathews shell museum signShell 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

white-pelicans from trip advisorDing 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

NAR gray-logoFrom NAR’s (National Association of Realtors®) on-line “DAILY REAL ESTATE NEWS” on Oct 21:

“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 the sunshine statePosted yesterday, Oct 22, on Florida Realtors® on-line:

“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

NAR gray-logoYes, 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.

Spade Archer design agency“Not all home staging is created equally. Staging Darwinism is real and only the smart survive. Below we countdown the top 10 “stoopidest” home staging ideas.

“#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.”

Beach in front of Sanibel Moorings

Beach in front of Sanibel Moorings

Sanibel & Captiva Multiple Listing Service Activity October 16-23

Sanibel

CONDOS

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.

HOMES

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.

LOTS

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.

Captiva

CONDOS

1 new listing: Bayside Villas #5216 1/2 $325K.

1 price change: Bayside Villas #4206 1/2 now $294K.

No new or closed sales.

HOMES

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.

LOTS

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

Beach in front of Compass Point

Beach in front of Compass Point