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Will accelerated sale work for Wellesley mansion?

Posted by Scott Van Voorhis April 26, 2011 08:37 AM

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Accelerated marketing has worked pretty well for large condo towers with hundreds of units that can be sold in an auction-style format.

Buyers have been able to pick up some real steals, while enabling high-rise developers to quickly jettison troublesome investments.

But we will soon get a chance to see how this tactic works with mansions, with an 11,800- square-foot Wellesley estate set to to be sold by May 25th to the highest bidder.

The seven bedroom, seven full and two half-bath, five fireplace home was built in 2008 and was last listed at $5.2 million. (That said, it also appears to have been under agreement at the end of last month for $4.5 million, though clearly this deal is now dead.)

Minimum bids start at $3,995,000 for the Cliff Estates home at 11 Hawthorne Road. That's below the $4.5 million it cost to buy the land and build the house, according to Redfin.

The tax bill alone - $51,446 - is enough to pay the salary of a police officer or school teacher in town. It comes with a music room, theater, wine cellar and mahogany library. Sounds nice if you have the cash.

OK, but will this work? The owner of a deluxe Beacon Hill town home took the auction route last spring, but when the bid day arrived for 20 Brimmer St., the hoped-for bidders stayed home.The town home, however, did find a buyer not long after.

I am hardly an expert, but I have written my share of stories over the years about mansion sales.

Here's my takeaway - when you are trying to move a multimillion-dollar property, impatience makes matters worse.

Even sterling properties can take two years or more to move - there are only just so many buyers with that kind of cash out there.

But who knows, maybe I will have to eat my words.


This blog is not written or edited by Boston.com or the Boston Globe.
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About boston real estate now
Scott Van Voorhis is a freelance writer who specializes in real estate and business issues.

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