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The debate over whether home prices have stabilized in Southwest Florida has reached something of a confusing impasse, with as many experts saying they have as those who think they haven’t quite.
Regardless of whom hindsight eventually crowns the winner of this somewhat ludicrous debate — which accomplishes little more than stalling our recovery by injecting more uncertainty into many would-be buyers — competitively-priced properties at Michael Saunders & Company continue to sell at the average rate of $4.5 million each day.
Meanwhile some of the major beneficiaries of today’s value-laden real estate market are wasting no time on the sidelines waiting for the pundits to sort out whether now is the right time to buy, or not. These are today’s international buyers, many of them from Western Europe, who are recognizing some of the best buying opportunities to come out of Southwest Florida in many years. With a buyers’ market in full swing over here, and the dollar at unprecedented lows over there, they’re cueing up as never before to happily seize on opportunities that could just as easily slip away while the debate rages on. Whether a great deal today could get better by waiting is a moot issue if the home you want sells tomorrow to someone else. The time to buy, the pundits will eventually agree, is in the eye of the beholder.
At Michael Saunders & Company, we haven’t suddenly realized the importance of the international buyer. Our perfect little swath of coastline has long been favored by quality and cultureconscious Europeans and reaching out to them where they live has been an important benefit extended to our sellers for going on four decades now. Indeed no one has been a more dedicated or tireless ambassador of our enviable lifestyle than Michael Saunders, who at great effort and expense has pursued one international brokerage partnership after another since first opening her doors back in 1976. To continually satisfy the best interests of our customers, Michael Saunders & Company now claims exclusive relationships with several of the top consortiums of independent brokerages throughout the world. These include Leading Real Estate Companies of the World, Luxury Portfolio, Board of Regents, Christie’s Great Estates, EREN-The European Real Estate Network and London’s Mayfair International Realty, an organization representing 125 real estate brokerages with 350 offices throughout the United Kingdom, Europe and the Middle East.
Just since ringing in the New Year, Michael Saunders has logged thousands of air miles to take the podium at numerous international conferences — held on both sides of the Atlantic — to preach the marvels of paradise on Florida’s Gulf Coast. One week in New York, the next in Chicago; her next stop will be in the Dominican Republic where you will find her promoting Southwest Florida before an international conference of EREN, the European Real Estate Network, one of our newest brokerage partners. Comprised of 22 of the most prestigious European property firms, EREN operates from 53 offices in 10 countries. Then it’s off to Boca Raton for the international conference of Leading Real Estate Companies of the World where as chairman of the board for her third straight year she will welcome representatives from the organization’s 700 affiliate firms representing 160,000 sales associates from over 35 countries around the world.
Then it’s west to a conference in California, on to Denver, overseas to Rome, back to Denver, overseas to the UK, and so on throughout much of the year. To keep up with this annual schedule of promoting Southwest Florida to brokers around the world you’d need a few pairs of comfortable shoes and a year’s supply of Wheaties. And since it’s not uncommon to hear her friends and colleagues ask where in the world is Michael Saunders, a global positioning system couldn’t hurt.