Bubil: Realtors reporting most sales since the boom


Watch for some big numbers from the Sarasota Association of Realtors when Herald-Tribune real estate reporter Josh Salman reports on March's home-sales statistics in Tuesday's newspaper.

SAR's Ray Porter reports:

-Sarasota Realtors notched the highest number of sales in a single month in almost eight years.

-The median sale price for single-family homes sold by SAR members was the highest in almost five years.

-The number of Realtor-reported pending sales was the highest in seven years.

-The absorption rate, also known as the available months' supply of inventory, was the lowest in a decade.

Feature story, or real estate advertisement?

So if you are selling your house, will I do a feature story about it in the newspaper?

That is was what one reader asked, in a Letter to the Editor, after she read my April 10 story about Villa Solstice, a mansion owned by Charles Githler and Kim Githler. They are selling the notable house, scene of many charity fundraising events, in Sapphire Shores.

Here is the short answer: Yes, reader, I might write about your house ... if it piques my curiosity.

But if you are selling, don't get your hopes up that my feature story will help you find a buyer. It happens, but not that often.

Maybe, just maybe, someone will read my story and give your house a second look. Maybe that someone will even buy it. But my intent is that our audience will read the story — the Githler story was the most-read story on heraldtribune.com the week it ran — and react to it. Some will like it, some won't. My goal is that you read and react.

So what might make your house interesting? It might be historic; maybe it was built by pioneering developer Owen Burns or oldtime Mayor E.A. Smith. Or architecturally significant; a Paul Rudolph, perhaps. It might have great decor, an unusual landscape or have been notably remodeled. It might be green or sustainable in a cutting-edge way or to a significant degree. Or you might be a celebrity in town, a major business person or philanthropist, and you have held a lot of fundraising parties there.

As a feature story, the Githler house had a lot going for it: well-known, successful owners who are starting new stages of their lives; notable, large house; and the most-expensive listing in Sarasota, to boot.

If your house is simply average, while it might be something that the majority of readers could afford, I doubt they would be interested in it for a feature story. Such homes are found in our Market Snapshot feature in the Saturday Real Estate section. That feature paints a picture of a particular neighborhood, showing the average home as an example of what buyers would find there as a matter of course.

Still, I expect that some commenters will continue to call feature stories in this section "real estate advertisements disguised as news stories."

Harold Bubil

Recipient of the 2015 Bob Graham Architectural Awareness Award from the American Institute of Architects/Florida-Caribbean, Harold Bubil is real estate editor of the Herald-Tribune Media Group. Born in Newport, R.I., his family moved to Sarasota in 1958. Harold graduated from Sarasota High School in 1970 and the University of Florida in 1974 with a degree in journalism. For the Herald-Tribune, he writes and edits stories about residential real estate, architecture, green building and local development history. He also is a photographer and public speaker. Contact him via email, or at (941) 361-4805.
Last modified: April 24, 2013
All rights reserved. This copyrighted material may not be published without permissions. Links are encouraged.