Is 23 Years On The Market Too Long?

Some might say so. But this seller no doubt insisted he was just “waiting for the right buyer”, or perhaps he dipped further into that old classic, The Real Estate Seller’s Book Of Common Phrases And Excuses (available on Amazon, $6.99) and reassured each of his six different listing agents that “all it takes is ONE!” *

Anyway, it is over; the long, long, tiresome journey has come to its end, and it turned out to be an $8,000,000 end, not bad!

44 Upper Cross Road

In every struggle such as this there are heroes, fallen and un-fallen. I wish to take this time to commend the two that remained standing:

Kathryn Clauss, listing agent

Brad Hvolbeck, selling agent

There is a popular saying among brokers, “Better to be the first son, the second wife, or the third listing agent”, but Kathryn Claus saw the folly in this, determining that, for 44 Upper Cross Road, the winning position would be that of the sixth listing agent. She guessed correctly.

Brad Hvolbeck (the “v” is silent), a Greenwich broker for 35+ years, had no way of knowing, back on that frosty October day in 1999, when this listing first appeared, that he would one day sell it and collect a 4% (you heard right) commission of $320,000, but, as the saying goes, “Some are born to greatness, others have it thrust upon them”.

*”All it takes is one” is a common sellers’ exhortation to their (weary) broker that the last 50 unsuccessful showings don’t prove anything because….. that one happy-to-over-pay buyer may still be out there!


44 Upper Cross Road sold this week for $8M after 23 years on the market. It comes with 23 acres, so that’s 1 year per acre.

5 thoughts on “Is 23 Years On The Market Too Long?

  1. That’s amazing. Would it be too much work to put together a chart with the listing dates and asking prices? Not sure how its setup in the MLS and if this would be very manual. Given 23 years, I’m sure it may, but it would be fun to illustrate a crazy homeowner chasing every market over two and a half decades…. amazing.

    • D:
      Problem is, this baby almost preceded the beginning of the Internet, so I’ve got to dig up old PRINTED copies of MLS books from the nineties and early oh-zees. But for YOU? I’ll do it.

      By the way, imagine if the seller had accepted, let’s say, $4M, back at the beginning; what would 23 years of compounding interest (let alone an investment in Google) have grown that money to?

      • Oh man! I was hoping there was some carry forward when the system was digitized. Definitely too optimistic. No rush on pulling it together, but the alternative investment analysis, as you suggest, will definitely be interesting!

  2. Is this the Iannitto property? This was listed with Sotheby’s in 1987, during my stint there, back then. Another “VDO;” Very Difficult Owner. The per sq. ft. ask on the house was never right.

    I did, however, have a four-flusher come up from Delaware who had an accepted offer on the place. I had Rick Hvolbeck do a building inspection and, of course, the deal never went to contract. Problem: The buyer and his gun-moll girlfriend both had criminal records. Oh, well.

    • Anon:
      “Four-flusher”, one who bluffs in the game of poker with a four card (instead of the required five card) flush of cards of the same suit.

      But never mind your quaint expressions , it’s that bit about being “listed with Sotheby’s in 1987” that caught my attention. Are you certain? Did Sotheby’s even have a Greenwich office back then? I know Marilee Harnek managed it, but I thought that was several years later.

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