Phaidra McDermott

Summer Home Staging Tips

Summer Outdoor DecorThinking about putting your home on the market this summer? Here are a few staging tips to help you sell your home quickly and for the best price possible. 

Remember First Impressions Count

Grab attention from prospective buyers before they step inside your home. Clean up and maintain the exterior of your home, including your yard, patio, or other outdoor areas. Show that the outdoor areas are ready to entertain guests. Add a few plants and colorful summer decor. Make sure to power wash the exterior and touch up the paint, if needed.

Declutter & Depersonalize

Make it as easy as possible for potential buyers to visualize themselves living in your home. Take down any family photos and clean up clutter to open up the spaces and make the rooms appear larger. Take a look at the furniture and rearrange some pieces where it makes sense, and if it makes the rooms look bigger.

Do a One Time Deep Clean

Give your home a thorough cleaning from floors and baseboards to walls, ceilings, windows, and everything in between. Once you do this, it will be much easier to spot clean certain areas before showings or open houses. You can always pull in a cleaning professional if you don’t have time to do everything yourself.

Keep it Cool

Especially during the Florida summer months, it’s important to keep your home cool on the inside. This will also help dehumidify your home and let buyers know that the AC is in great working condition. Now is not the time to try to cut down on your electric bill.

Offer Refreshing Beverages

If you have a showing or open house scheduled, set out a pitcher of iced tea, ice water, and some disposable plastic cups. Or, try a bucket of ice with some bottled water in it. 

If you’re thinking about selling your home on the beautiful Sanibel & Captiva Islands, contact Phaidra McDermott today or request a free home valuation.


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    What Makes Sanibel Island So Popular?

    Sanibel Island Florida Aerial ViewHave you ever wanted to combine city and island living in one package? That's what it means to live on Sanibel Island. USA Today ranks this isle destination first in its list of the "Best Florida Beach Towns." It is an eclectic city that is brimming with coastal culture, and it is no wonder so many people are looking for realtors to help them find homes and make a life for themselves here. So what makes Sanibel Island the place to be?

    The allure of sandy beaches

    The beachfront life is a draw for locals and tourists alike on Sanibel Island. The entire edge of the islands is nothing but beaches, which you can access from six different locations, including the Causeway Islands Beach Park and the Lighthouse Beach. White sands and clear waters are always captivating to behold to people who equally appreciate how easy it is to connect to the island from the mainland.

    Beachfront homes, waterfront properties with amazing views

    Living on an island is all about waking up to glistening beach and ocean views every morning. On Sanibel Island, realtors help people find homes with clear views of the beach or waterfront residences that bring the gleaming ocean waters right to the backyard. How can you go wrong with such stunning views from the comfort of your living room or balcony? Here, these homes are in abundance, along with condo and single-family communities suited to families of all sizes. All anyone would have to do is find a realtor who knows the island in and out to make the search much more productive.

    The pulse of both city and island life

    Despite being an island, Sanibel Island is also a city at its heart. This means that community centers where you can meet people are only a short drive into town. Plenty of commercial centers with shops of all kinds ensure that residents and visitors alike have access to all the amenities they would ever need! You're never too far from the mall, where you can shop to see all that this wonderful island has to offer. Restaurants in and outdoors are waiting to give everyone a taste of the local seafood-based cuisine, and most are close enough to walk to!

    An abundance of culture

    Sanibel Island prides itself on a rich culture that is heavily inspired by both ocean and coastal life. The local government and residents are committed to preserving the ecosystem, and over 67% of the island lands are protected. It's a community that takes great strides to enjoy the environment without destroying it. Activities like shelling bring the people closer to ocean life, and they commemorate these acts and artifacts in museums and parks. Live theatres with music and art galleries breathe creativity into society, and you would be hard-pressed to miss any of it.

    An abundance of entertainment options

    Of course, island living is all about enjoying all that the beaches and waters have to offer, and Sanibel island has more than enough of this. Watersports are an integral part of people's experiences, and they can always rent equipment for boating, parasailing, paddleboarding, kayaking, and much more. Specialty businesses offer regular guided tours of the ocean and inland waters where people meet the aquatic life in their home turfs. If you prefer to spend your time inland, then the city also has entertainment activities for you. Tennis, pickleball, and golf grounds are available, and people can rent bikes, mopeds, or segways to ride through town. With so much to do, Sanibel Island is a paradise of enjoyable activities for all families.

    Sanibel Island rests on the west coast of The Sunshine State, and travelers across the country praise it as a haven for lovers of the isle life. A vibrant coastal culture, easy access to stunning beaches, one-of-a-kind entertainment, and beautiful homes attract visitors and people looking to find homes here in droves. It is just as much a tourist destination as it is attractive to house-hunters looking for their next waterfront or beachfront properties, so get ready to find your dream home in this island wonderland! Contact Phaidra McDermott today or start your home search here.


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      What You Need to Know About Choosing the Right Condo

      Sanibel Florida CondosCondos are a popular choice on Sanibel and Captiva Island! They provide a low maintenance lifestyle so you can enjoy more of everything these beautiful Florida Islands have to offer. Think about these topics when choosing your island condo.

      Consider the Pricing

      The cost of a condo is usually less than that of a house. Condos are usually smaller in square footage than single-family homes which contributes to a lower price tag. Keep in mind that HOA (Homeowners Association) fees exist and can increase over time. They cover the cost of maintaining the building's common areas and may cover common utilities, like water/sewer fees and garbage disposal. Overall, condos are usually less expensive than other forms of housing, but do be mindful of extra fees! See recently sold condos in the area to get an idea of pricing.

      Learn About the HOA

      HOAs can make or break your experience in a condominium. They may have rules and regulations about pets, whether you are allowed to modify the walls, what types of items can be stored on your patio, whether you can rent out your unit, and more. If you break the rules, you may be fined. Be sure to read the fine print in the HOA agreement before you buy a condo. Some people may find the rules frustrating, while others enjoy the structure and the tidy upkeep of the building. Each HOA is slightly different, so shop around until you find the one for you! 

      Review Condo Amenities

      One of the best perks of owning a condo is all of the amenities! These may include but aren’t limited to elevators, BBQ grills, tennis, shuffleboard, beach equipment, and bike storage, and sparkling community pools. As a condo owner, you don’t need to worry about things like mowing the lawn and maintaining a garden. The facility takes care of monotonous tasks like those, so you have more free time to spend on the beach!

      Meet Your Neighbors

      Condos have shared living space and common areas like swimming pools, lobbies, patios, and elevators. You will be seeing your neighbors around, so check out the building and its residents. If the majority of condo residents are retirees and you have a family, you may want to consider a complex with other families so your children can make friends. Likewise, if you’re a single, older adult looking to relax and move into a complex, you may want to consider a quiet community so there isn’t a lot of noise. Or perhaps you want to do your own thing and not worry about neighbors! No matter your situation, you should at least go in well informed and do some digging to find out the vibe of the area so you’re comfortable.

      Contact Phaidra McDermott to Learn More About Sanibel Condos

      Condos are a great relaxed option for those looking to relocate to Sanibel. They are low maintenance and can provide a community. View recently listed condos to find your next property, or contact Phaidra McDermott to learn more!


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        Wellness Opportunities on Captiva and Sanibel Island

        SpaThere’s nothing better than starting your day with some energizing yoga or unwinding with a massage after a long day of adventuring around Captiva and Sanibel Island. Check out Captiva and Sanibel’s wellness offerings to keep in shape, stretch out, and relax.


        Sanibel Skin Spa

        Ranked TripAdvisor’s Traveler’s Choice in 2020, Sanibel Skin Spa is the place to visit for your relaxation needs. Reviewers rave about their massages and facials. The spa also offers body treatment, hands and feet, and collagen induction therapy, known as micro-needling. 

        Sanibel Island Day Spa

        The Sanibel Island Day Spa has been treating residents of Sanibel and visitors for 25 years. The spa offers 10 private treatments for massage therapy, advanced skincare, reflexology, body treatments, hair removal, salon services, hands and feet treatment, makeup application, and ear piercings. 

        Spatini Teabar

        This Sanibel spa uses natural and organic products, often collected from island resources, without skimping on results. Services include massages, nails, body wraps & scrubs, and spray tans. Enjoy bubble tea, smoothie, or hot or iced tea while pampering your body!


        Sanibel Recreation Center

        Keep in shape by visiting the Sanibel Recreation Center. The facility offers a swimming pool, a gym, and classes, like Zumba and water aerobics.

        Sanibel Health Club

        “Live Life Better” is Sanibel Health Club’s motto. They offer the largest weight room Sanibel, a 2,500-sq. ft. cardio theater, well-equipped shower, and locker rooms, and a bar serving delicious protein shakes. The club recently added a yoga and Pilates studio to expand its offerings.

        Sanibel Pilates & Yoga

        "Empowering Your Health and Wellness” is more than just a saying to Sanibel Pilates & Yoga. They are committed to helping every one of their clients to achieve that goal with their daily studio class offerings.


        If you want to know more about wellness on Captiva and Sanibel Island, give me a call at 239-898-3778. I look forward to sharing my knowledge of the Sanibel Island area with you!


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          Sanibel Island Farmers Market

          Sanibel Farmers MarketThe Sanibel Island Farmers Market is an activity to remember! Gone are the days of just fruits and vegetables being sold. Now, you can find bread, honey, seafood, meats, flowers, cheeses, live plants, and homemade crafts along with fresh local produce. The Sanibel Island Farmers Market is a great way to kick off a Sunday morning with fresh breakfast for the family and it provides an opportunity to shop outside for local groceries to keep you stocked throughout the week.

          When Is It?

          The Farmers Market is held from October-May. It’s open every Sunday, including Easter Sunday, from 8am-1pm.

          Where Is It?

          The market is held outside of Sanibel City Hall located at 800 Dunlop Road, Sanibel, Florida 33957. Lot parking is available at Sanibel City Hall, Sanibel Library, BIG Arts, and Schoolhouse Theater. Bicycles can be parked at the designated area at City Hall. Handicap parking is located at City Hall.

          Who Should Go?

          The whole family! The market is suitable for children. It’s a great place to gather with friends in a relaxed, outdoor setting. Unfortunately, keep the pups at home because dogs are not allowed in the vendor area.

          Why Should You Visit?

          Shop small and shop local! Money spent at the Sanibel Island Farmers Market stays in the community and is reinvested locally. Plus, you can find delicious homemade food and unique, intricately crafted goods you won’t be able to find anywhere else. Visitors from far and wide rave about the market and make sure to stop back annually on their vacations.  

          Are There Other Markets in the Area?

          Yes! The overarching operator of the market is Local Roots, LLC. They are the operator of 9 of the largest Farmers Markets in Lee County Florida. There are several markets open around the county on various days. Early in the week, you can find the Captiva Island Farmers Market open Tuesdays, and the Lakes Park Farmers Market is in session on Wednesdays. On Thursdays, you can find open markets in Coconut Point and the River District. If you’re shopping toward the end of the week, you can find the Sanibel Outlet Farmers Market open on Fridays, as well as the Boca Grande Farmers Market. Weekend markets include the Bonita Springs Farmers Market and of course, the Sanibel Island Market on Sundays!

          Thinking about relocating to Sanibel Island? Contact Phaidra McDermott to learn about the current real estate market and opportunities in the area.


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            Home Buyer and Seller Trends in 2020

            Here’s a recap of the home buyer and seller profiles report from the National Association of Realtors (NAR) for 2020. 

            Home Buyers

            • 88% of buyers worked with an agent to purchase their home. Here are 5 reasons buyers should use an agent.
            • 51% of buyers said that having an agent help them find the right home was what they wanted most when choosing an agent.
            • 91% of buyers would use their agent again or recommend them.
            • 18% of buyers contacted a real estate agent as their first step in the buying process, while 43% looked online for homes as their first step.
            • 73% of buyers only interviewed one agent.

            Home Sellers

            • The main reasons for selling a home: 15% wanted to move closer to friends and family, 14% said their home was too small, and 12% had a change in their family situation.
            • 89% of sellers worked with an agent to sell their home
            • FSBOs sold for significantly less than homes sold with an agent. The median selling price for FSBO homes was $217,900, and the median selling price for agent-assisted homes was $242,300.
            • The nal sales price for recently sold homes was a median of 99% of the nal listing price.
            • 77% of sellers only interviewed one agent.

            If you are thinking about buying or selling on the beautiful Sanibel or Captiva Islands, contact Phaidra McDermott today. 


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              Why You Should Use a Realtor to Sell Your Home

              Sanibel Florida Listing AgentSelling your home can be a complicated process. Agents do more than simply attract potential buyers and expedite the paperwork. They market your home to sell, do it in a timely manner, get you the best price, and make the entire process as straightforward as possible. 

              Marketing Your Home

              Agents help advertise your home. From listing your home on the local MLS system to taking professional photos, to staging the right lighting for an open house, real estate agents know the best tips to show your home in the best lens possible. Agents know the best angles to shoot at and staging tricks to help your home sell. 

              Expediting Your Timeline

              Real estate agents give you their full attention. Listing your home yourself can be a hassle when you are juggling a full-time job and a family. Getting back to potential buyers immediately may not be realistic. Packing your day full of phone calls, arranging showings, and ensuring your home is ready to be viewed can be hectic and slow down the process when you already have a full plate of responsibilities. Agents prioritize selling your home and make sure it is being sold for the best price possible. 

              Getting the Best Price for Your Home

              When you use a real estate agent, you get access to years of hard-earned knowledge. They do not make the simple mistakes that inexperienced first time home sellers may. Agents know exactly how to price your property because they’re experts at staging homes and have successfully completed several sales. They’ve sold properties in the area before, so they know the best price points to sell your home. Additionally, they are trained negotiators, so the cost of an agent can easily pay for itself and then some once they have negotiated the best price for your home. Curious about how much your home is worth? Use our Sanibel and Captiva home value estimator

              Gaining Peace of Mind

              Perhaps the most important reason to hire a realtor is to gain peace of mind. Realtors take a lot of emotion out of the listing process. Showing your home to potential buyers who may not share the same sense of sentimental value concerning your home can be emotionally draining. Real estate agents have a realistic view of the situation and are an invaluable resource when it comes to selling your home. They are here to help you and get your home sold as quickly as possible.

              Get Started Today

              Interested in selling your home? View our seller resources or contact Phaidra McDermott to learn more about selling your Captiva Island & Sanibel Island real estate.


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                Affordable Updates to Improve the Value of Your Home

                Home ImprovementsThere are a few updates you can make to your home that will give your property a facelift without breaking the bank. Your home is probably one of your biggest investments, so you’ll want to make improvements that increase the value of your home before you sell it. There are a few ways to do this without spending too much time or money.

                Spruce Up Outdoor Areas

                Make your outdoor space beautiful and inviting to entice buyers to walk through your door. You can do simple things like planting colorful flowers and low maintenance plants. Outdoor light fixtures are another way to add more appeal to your home. Your outdoor space makes a difference, whether it’s a tiny patio or a big yard. If your deck or patio needs repair, now is the time to get it done. Be sure to keep the trees, bushes, and grass well trimmed. Read how to optimize your outdoor living space here.

                Paint, Paint, Paint

                One of the best returns on investment is adding a fresh coat of paint to your walls, doors, and windows. This is a great way to brighten things up. Try to avoid very dark colors and make it easy for buyers to visualize themselves living in your home. Color trends come and go, but neutral colors are generally appealing to more buyers. Let’s not forget about the exterior! Power wash the exterior first and then decide if you need a new coat of paint or some touch ups. It’s a great idea to paint your front door, especially if it’s older.

                Update Hardware

                From doorknobs, handles, and hinges to light switch covers and fixtures, updating the hardware in your kitchen and bathroom makes a big difference. Install new appliances in your kitchen if they are too outdated, and you don’t need to buy the most expensive replacements either. The same goes for the toilet and mirror in your bathroom. Be sure to check the seals and caulk around the cabinets, countertops, sinks, and tile and touch it up if needed.

                Thinking about selling your home on Sanibel Island? Contact Phaidra McDermott today!


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                  How to Optimize Your Outdoor Living Space

                  One of the best things about living on Sanibel Island is the ability to be outside year round. Florida’s warm weather allows you to extend your living space beyond the four walls of your home to include the outdoors as well. Keep reading for tips on how to optimize your outdoor living space.

                  Start with lighting

                  Having subtle but well-placed lighting outdoors helps blend the indoor with the outdoor, making it feel like an extension of your home. A popular lighting method for outdoor spaces is solar lighting, which you can set up along outdoor paths or gardens to highlight the focal points of your space. Solar lighting also requires minimal to no electrical work, which makes it a quick, easy, and cost-efficient option. 

                  Section off your space

                  Outdoor Living AreaZoning an outdoor living area isn’t as complicated as it sounds; it can be as simple as adding furniture to a vacant space. Think about what you want to use the space for. Do you want to host outdoor barbecues? Do you want a quiet spot to sit and watch the sunset with your family? A combination of the two? Each section of your space should have a function and be in an appropriate location. For example, it’s usually a good idea to set up the outdoor dining area near the kitchen so it’s easily accessible come mealtime. A lot of people also like their lounge seating separated from the entertaining spaces and facing the sunset if possible. 

                  Add a fire pit

                  Even in Florida, the nights can be too chilly to spend outside without the warmth of a crackling fire. Adding a fire pit to your space not only adds to its aesthetic appeal and increases value, but it also allows you to get more use out of your space. Now when night falls, instead of going back inside, you and your family can roast marshmallows, grill, or sit and chat in front of the fire, soaking in its warmth. 

                  Try some unconventional seating

                  Cushioned couches and wooden benches are great staples to have in your outdoor space, but adding a hammock, swing, or funky chair can spice up the area. A hammock is a great place to relax, and it’s easy to install. Hanging a swing or hammock from an existing tree also allows your seating elements to mesh with the surrounding nature, making it feel more cohesive and natural with the landscape. 

                  If you have any questions about the Sanibel, Florida area or local real estate opportunities, contact Phaidra McDermott.


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                    5 Things to Do to Make Your New House Feel Like Home

                    House in Sanibel FloridaMoving into a new house can be an exciting experience. Once you’ve made the initial move, it can feel like there’s so much to do that you don’t even know where to start. Here are some tips to help you navigate your move and make it as smooth as possible.

                    Get to know the area (and the neighbors)

                    During a stressful time like moving into your new home, it’s important that you take breaks. One thing you could do that takes advantage of the perfect fall weather is going for a stroll around your neighborhood. Get to know the streets, businesses, and neighbors - if you see someone outside, go up and introduce yourself. The Sanibel community is very welcoming and locals are always happy to help you adjust to island life. Once you’ve walked around and introduced yourself to the neighbors, you could also suggest a socially distanced house-warming party. 

                    Unpack personal items first

                    A lot of people start unpacking the living areas first, but getting your bedroom, closet, and bathroom set up is what really makes a home feel like yours. Who cares if you have two perfectly fluffed couch pillows if you have to dig through boxes to find your favorite blouse? Having a full and organized closet helps you start the day off on a good foot, leaving the rest of the day to unpack less important items (like those couch pillows). You should also have your bathroom set up with your toothbrush, toothpaste, and any other grooming products you use. This will help you start to get back into your routine and feel more relaxed in your home. 

                    Get the address change over with

                    Once you move, there are a lot of documents you need to change and people you should notify. Some of these include your driver’s license, bank, doctor’s office (change your pharmacy too, if necessary), and filling out a change of address form at the post office. Once all of this is done, the move will start to feel official. And getting your first piece of mail at your new house will really make it start to feel like home. 

                    Decorate - but not officially

                    Decorations are the first step to making a new home your own. Having some pieces that were present in your old house can be a good way to make your surroundings more familiar. You don’t, however, want to start decorating in the midst of unpacking, only to change your mind about decorations later. It can be useful to take out all your decorations and simply place them on the floor, leaning against the wall, or otherwise placed somewhere that is not permanent. This way you can get used to seeing all your decorations but not have to commit to placing them before the rest of your home is arranged. 

                    Use the kitchen

                    It can be tempting to order takeout every night during move-in, but cooking meals in your new kitchen is one of the best ways to settle in. Take a break from the organizing and unpacking and cook a dinner from scratch - the whole family can even help! Carve out some time where everyone is free to sit, talk, and eat a delicious home cooked meal in the dining room. 

                    If you're interested in buying or selling a home on Sanibel Island, contact Phaidra McDermott or start your home search here.


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