Listing and selling at the high end


The recent sale of the Githler mansion in Sapphire Shores on Sarasota Bay reflects something I have noticed in very high-end sales.

Houses at the very high end of the market often sell for deep discounts from list price.

The Githler property sold for $9 million, or a 40 percent reduction from the original listing price of $14.9 million when it came on the market two years ago.

Aquadisia, a 4-acre Gulf-front estate that sold for $11.85 million in October 2014, had been marketed at $22 million.

But as the prices go down, the selling price tends to come closer to the listing price. A case in point is the former John and Karen Melk property on Higel Avenue. It originally was listed at $10,975,000 and sold for $10.25 million. Phyllis Garfinkel of Michael Saunders & Co. brought in the buyer; Karen Melk listed it.

Roberta Tengerdy and Carolyn Collins of Premier Sotheby’s International Realty have closed more than $17 million in sales since February, mostly at $1 million or more, and most of the selling prices are close to list.

A $5.3 million sale two weeks ago at 703 Casey Key Road came on the market in February at $5.75 million, a remarkably quick sale, and at 92 percent of list price. Tengerdy/Collins represented the buyer; Jill Friedman of Coldwell Banker listed it for the seller.

The PSIR pair also represented the buyer on a Cherokee Park deal that was listed at $1.55 million and sold at $1.4 million, or 90 percent of list.Matthew and Maureen Morris of PSIR had the listing.

Realtors say, price realistically and the market will come to you. Overprice, and your property will sit. Underprice, and you might even benefit from a bidding war.

Hurricane strength?

Observant reader Tom Fastiggi, a professional property manager, saw my recent story on the rebirth of Florida House and noticed aluminum soffits in a photo.

“One structural failure issue that was prevalent in Hurricane Charley was the aluminum soffits,” Fastiggi wrote to me. “The material lacked sufficient structural rigidity, and unless it was installed over plywood soffits, it would blow out and allow the wind to get under the roof, and, depending on the slope of the roof, lift the plywood decking off the roof, thereby causing major structural failure. . . . Strong windows and doors are great, but if a key roofing component fails, the entire structure is in jeopardy.”

I posed the issue to John Lambie, executive director of the Florida House Institute.

“The attic has been sealed with closed-cell spray foam so the outside air connection from the soffit to the attic space has been eliminated,” Lambie said. “As we go around the building replacing windows and upgrading siding to Hardiboard, we are replacing the soffit with Hardiboard, as well.”


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: May 5, 2015
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