Roger Pettingell of Coldwell Banker Realty surpassed his previous sales volume by nearly $25 million, achieving what could be the first $200 million year in Sarasota’s residential real estate market.

The waterfront luxury specialist has had the highest closed volume of any real estate agent in the Sarasota market for 11 consecutive years and is poised to close 2021 as the top agent again.

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He recently sat down with the Herald-Tribune to discuss the Sarasota market.

What do you currently see in the luxury residential market and what do you think will happen in the near future?

I now consider Sarasota’s luxury market to be over $5 million. That’s a significantly higher price than before the pandemic, when we were talking about $3 million in luxury. The volume of sales in this market is staggering. We have always had buyers who could afford such homes; however, they generally did not appreciate Sarasota as a market worthy of such value. Today’s luxury shopper has already determined that Sarasota is where they want to be. Inventory is so scarce that new luxury homes that come on the market usually aren’t around very long. I think the near future will see more of the same. The stock market and the pandemic are wild cards for the entire real estate market, although unlike in the past, the new luxury buyer is less likely to buy a second or third home (the purchase of which can be deferred). Today’s luxury buyers are likely looking to make Sarasota their primary home base due to the visible mass migration from the Northeast, California and the Midwest.

What do you see in our market that might not be obvious just by looking at sales figures and ongoing sales?

Big houses are back in fashion. Buyers want separate offices, home gyms, and space, both indoors and outdoors. New or refurbished is the most sought after, but not required. Many buyers, due to a lack of inventory, do not buy their first choice; it will be interesting to see how this plays out. Fortunately, the market value has continued to rise, allowing a buyer who has secured their second, third or fifth choice to continue to search and trade for what may not be their dream home.

You have been one of the top agents in our area for over a decade. How were you able to do this and what advice would you have for people to succeed in a real estate profession?

The more I read about successful people (I recently read the biographies of Will Smith and Phil Knight of Nike), I see that the common thread is very hard work. Real estate allows professionals to participate on many levels, but the best are those who are passionately dedicated to the profession. I am a career real estate agent; real estate, marketing and then sales is the only job I’ve ever had. I run a real estate business and employ real estate professionals to support me. When I mentor new real estate agents, I discuss the importance of eating, breathing, and sleeping in real estate. Product knowledge takes years to learn, and it’s the most important skill we offer. I also encourage much more listening than speaking!

With the market being as hot as it has been, are there fears that it could be overheated? If not why ?

What goes up eventually comes down. Real estate is a market, and I expect prices to come down at some point. Then they will go up. It really all depends on your time horizon. If you are looking to flip properties, get in and out quickly, this would definitely be the time to be on the safe side. If you have a long term horizon, which is what most people do with their homes, fret not and enjoy a lifestyle in Sarasota that few people are blessed with. After 2008, when the mortgage crisis rocked the real estate market, homes fell by 50%. Since then, we have largely exceeded the highs reached by the housing bull market of 2004/5. Another way to approach this question: if you are looking to sell your home in the next year, we are in a very high priced market. I think you are taking the risk of not capturing the maximum gains on your property if you wait. You never know where you are in the cycle until you look in the rearview mirror.

Has the Sarasota metro luxury market reached a new level as some have said?

We have reached a new level, but not only from a price point of view. We are appealing to a much larger and seemingly wealthier pool of buyers who are demanding higher standard housing than we have experienced before. The cost of homes that are being built is unlike anything we have ever seen. I’m interested to see how this new buyer assimilates into the community. We’ve always been a very philanthropic, Sarasota-centric community, and I hope these new buyers join us and love Sarasota as much as we do.