ANNA MARIA, Fla. — Finally, Joan Dickinson was about to sell her Anna Maria home.
The island resident had her two-bedroom house on the market for about two years before buyers came forward with an offer she was willing to accept.
Then, the unthinkable happened. The buyers walked.
"In my contract, the reason they stated they were not going to close on the home was the BP oil spill," said Dickinson, whose beachfront home is listed for $848,000. "I was supposed to close my home on May 17, and May 7, the buyers walked away. Every month I'm here in my home past May 17 it's an economic damage."
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Dickinson said she filed a claim with BP but has gotten the "run around" from the company on whether it has been reviewed. She declined to say how much money she is hoping BP will pay.
Dickinson's case appears to be a rare instance of the oil spill threatening local property sales. And, while Manatee County remains free of tar balls and sheen, island Realtors say the Deepwater Horizon spill has sparked concern among buyers.
"About 40 percent of the people that call in mention or ask about the oil spill," said Liz Blandford, a sales agent for Island Real Estate. "They’re worried. I think people who don't live here when they watch the news they make the assumption that oil's covering our beaches. We're just trying to let them know our beaches are clean."
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