Bubil: Shifting season to sell


When a property sale is getting ready to close, Realtors live with this special kind of tension, kind of like that of an expectant father. They know something is going to happen, and they have a date.

Then they play the waiting game. Smart agents usher sales toward the closing table by making sure all the steps (financing, appraisals, inspections, title insurance, etc.) are completed, but at some point, they just have to wait for the attorney, who is the equivalent of the doctor.

Joel Schemmel, who also is a juris doctor, of Premier Sotheby’s International Realty was waiting it out Thursday afternoon; he was the expectant listing agent for the sale of the Githler Residence in Sarasota.

“We’re just waiting on two documents from the attorney,” he told me as I pestered him for news of the closing of this $12.5 million listing.

“There’s always a lot of wheels in motion to close these transactions,” said Schemmel, who had the listing with Cheryl Loeffler. “The good thing is these sellers and buyers are sophistacted, they have attorneys and it runs smoothly. Still, it is not easy to get them closed. There are always a lot of pieces.”

Just before my 4 p.m. deadline to close out this section, Schemmel called me with the news. The 10,000-square-foot house, at 374 S. Shore Drive in Sarasota, sold for $9 million — 10th on my list of the highest-priced house sales in Sarasota County history:
• 4449 Bay Shore Road, Sarasota, $18.85 million, 2008, 21,500 square feet.
• 1219 Westway Drive, Lido Shores, $13.2 million, 2003, 7,415 square feet.
• 1067 Westway Drive, $13 million, 2005, 7,439 square feet.
• 825 Longboat Club Road, Longboat Key, $12.5 million, 11,961 square feet.
• 7712 Sanderling Road, Siesta Key, $11.85 million, 9,347 sf.
• 1127 Westway Drive, $11 million, 2003, 7,148 sf.
• 4300 Higel Ave., Siesta Key, $10.25 million, 2014, 8,623 sf.
• 3410 Flamingo Ave., Siesta Key, $10 million, 2013, 7,218 sf.
• 1804 Casey Key Road, Casey Key, $9 million, 2006, 5,455 sf.
• 374 S. Shore Drive, Sarasota, $9 million, 2015, 10,883 sf.

Shifting season?

The traffic on the roads has lessened, but Michael Saunders says traffic at the closing tables will be heavy through June.

“March was an incredible month,” said the real estate broker on Wednesday. “January and February were flat; we were about 5 percent ahead of last year. But March, and pending sales, are really fabulous.

“We are still very busy. We only have 39 more residences at the Vue (condominium) to sell, so that remains very active.”

Saunders sees a shift in the selling-season calendar.

“We will see the season being in March, April, May and June, as opposed to January, February and March. Contracts are now being written.”

In other words, buyers are shopping hard before writing checks as spring arrives.


1255 Westway Drive$8,900,0002006G&A VittadiniJ&M Armour6,618

8250 Sanderling Road$8,850,0002014David FreundMike Brown, trustee7,756

1333 Westway Drive$8,400,0002010Westway Inc.Colleen Ofield8,840

4067 Shell Road$8,000,0002008U.S. FundingNeil, Sandra De Feo9,517

1011 Casey Key Road$7,575,0002011Ermon PickardKenneth Rowe10,291

1486 Hillview Drive$7,500,0002012Hillview EstatesMerle Butler8,433

1301 Westway Drive$7,423,5002009Sole InvestmentsRobert, Anne Essner5,989

171 S. Washington Drive$7,400,0002007Craig AdamsLee, Joan Schoenherr11,246

1423 Hillview Drive$7,287,5002007Brett PriceChad, Nichole Williams11,586

1255 Westway Drive$7,100,0002012Maryann ArmourBorgelt Florida LLC6,618

3466 Gulfmead Drive$7,070,0002014Gulfmead Invest.Tango II Land Trust7,132#

1452 Hillview Drive$7,000,0002013Mollie NelsonMark, Kim Standish6,728

Note: 4449 Holdings LLC is controlled by James Armour, whose wife, Maryann, sold 1255 Westway in the No. 15 deal in 2012. James and Maryanne bought 1255 Westway in the No. 8 deal from Adrienne Vittadini in 2006.

Asterisk: multiple parcels, same closing

# -- Under construction.

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 11, 2015
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