30 Jan



Michael Saunders & Company Realtors® Barbara Sassen May and Debra Pitell-Hauge Broker the $9.85 Million Deal in Two Weeks

An off-market residence in desirable Harbor Acres became, according to MLS records, the highest sale in Sarasota County since October, 2014, when it closed last Thursday for $9.85 million. The sale was negotiated and concluded within two weeks by Michael Saunders & Company Realtors® Barbara Sassen May (buyer representative) and Debra Pitell-Hauge (seller representative). The property boasts unobstructed, panoramic views of downtown Sarasota and Bird Key, 146 feet of private seawall, and proximity to popular West of Trail and Southside Village shopping, dining and attractions.

“Sometimes an unconventional and creative approach is needed in a real estate transaction to create a win-win for all stakeholders,” said Michael Saunders, Founder and CEO of Michael Saunders & Company. “Through the collaborative, professional, and highly skilled efforts of Barbara Sassen May and Debra Pitell-Hauge, the perfect off-market property was identified, which led to a very successful transaction for buyers and seller alike.”

Working with the buyers, Realtor Barbara Sassen May conducted an extensive search for the right property, and while others had been strongly considered, none were a perfect fit. All along, Sassen May’s 39 years of experience told her not to let the 10-year, off-market status of this particular estate deter her from investigating it as a possibility. “My goal is always to build relationships first so I can identify a client’s ideal specifications, then find properties that best serve their lifestyle,” said Sassen May. “For these customers, the friendly neighborhood feel of Harbor Acres, combined with the remarkable views of downtown over the Bay, truly stood out even though the property was not actively listed.”

Realtor Debra Pitell-Hauge, who has 36 years of real estate experience, and two other benchmark sales on her resume with Michael Saunders & Company, maintained contact with the estate’s owner since previously listing it in 2007, and after a conversation with Sassen May, began discussing the possibility of its sale once more. The two agents worked diligently over the next two weeks to facilitate the best outcome for the parties. “Real estate connections, especially when they fall into the luxury category, are often credited to luck. But, much of what fuels that ‘luck’ is the persistence and local knowledge that allows you to build a relationship of trust and respect with your customer,” said Pitell-Hauge. “It was a pleasure to work with Barbara because I feel we both share an unwavering dedication to negotiate a successful transaction.”

Benchmark sales have been the hallmark of Michael Saunders & Company for over 42 years. The brokerage holds a dominating 25.79% market share for luxury property, as reported in its fourth-quarter report for the Sarasota, Manatee and Charlotte counties.

Barbara Sassen May works out of the Michael Saunders & Company St. Armands Circle office at 61 S. Boulevard of the Presidents.

Debra Pitell-Hauge works out the Michael Saunders & Company Longboat Key South office at 440 Gulf of Mexico Drive.

All media inquiries should be directed to Samantha Emelock by email at SamanthaEmelock@MichaelSaunders.com or phone at 978-778-8489.