Cathy Rogers is Marco Island’s most accomplished realtor right now.
The reason: After three years of marketing and advertising one of the island’s premier Gulf-front properties — 1549 Heights Court — Rogers recently closed the $7.5 million sale of the sprawling, luxury home.
It is the highest priced home sale on Marco since 2008, when a home sold for $7.7 million. To date, the highest priced home sold on the island changed hands in 2007 for $9 million.
“Although I do all types of real estate, it is very much an accomplishment to not only list a property of this stature, but to sell it as well, as there have only been four homes over $7 million sold on Marco Island,” says Rogers, a luxury real es-tate specialist with Premier Sotheby’s International Realty.
She adds that the sale was finally made possible because “the truly high-end buyers just now have come back onto Marco.” To be sure, Marco Island’s real estate market has rebounded nicely from the financial and foreclosure crises that began in 2008, especially when it comes to home prices. In fact, according to the December 2014 market summary by the Marco Island Area Association of Real-tors, the median sale price of a home on Marco was up 4.5 percent from Decem-ber 2013 to last month. Additionally, the average sale price was up to nearly $1.068 million from $971,584.
Built by London Bay Homes on the southern end of Marco Island, the home encompasses 20,000 square feet of total space, including 11,662 square feet of living space under air conditioning, an outdoor kitchen area, a multi-tiered lanai and five garages. It is positioned on 293 feet of property right on the Gulf of Mexico, and has a 255-foot teakwood dock and an Olympic-sized swimming pool.
The front doors open to a grand foyer with 33-foot hand-painted ceilings and a dual staircase. The home showcases five bedrooms, two master suites, one maid’s quarters, a dining room with a Swarovski crystal chandelier, a mahogany den and a game room complete with a full bar and 12-seat movie theater, as well as four coquina shell fireplaces and six balconies.
Even with this spectacular description, selling the home was a challenge.“The market conditions when the home was listed were not great,” admits Rogers, and these conditions made it difficult to find the right buyer for the home.
The biggest obstacle was making sure potential buyers were qualified. “It was tough,” she notes. “You have to research the people and make sure they are qualified, and you have to be a little more diligent in your research. The average buyer gets prequal letter from the bank. The type of buyer for this home has to prove they have the net worth and ability to buy a home like this.”
As a result, Rogers put her extensive background and education to work for her client. She holds numerous real estate certifications and designations, including the advanced Custom Luxury Home Marketing Specialist (only 1 percent of realtors achieve this); Council of Residential Specialists Certification (only 4 percent of Realtors in the nation have this designation); Graduate Real Estate Certification; Seniors Real Estate Specialist; Certified Distressed Property Expert; Accredited Buyers Representative Certification; and the highly sought after Million Dollar Guild designation. She also has earned numerous real estate performance awards, including “Sales Team of the Year” for several years and Gold and Platinum awards.
“My education helped me with the sale of the house,” Rogers says. “The more educated you are, the more prepared you are to handle whatever situation comes up.”
To that end, she used Premier Sotheby’s international reach to 900 different web sites to market the property, as well as advertising in “Wall Street Journal,” “New York Times” and “DuPont Registry.” The home was showcased on “Out and About Southwest Florida” on ABC-7, and Rogers herself handed out magazines and brochures highlighting the home at the Fort Lauderdale Boat Show and Sotheby’s International Convention in Miami.
So, what is next for Rogers? She hopes this sale will prove her expertise and bring her more high-end clients, and in fact, she has a number of luxury listings on Marco Island right now.
“This is a hard act to follow,” she notes. “But, I’ve proven I can sell this type of property, and I hope to get more ops to sell homes like this. I have proven that I am a quality luxury home market specialist.”