There Are No “Direct Deals”

42 Gilliam Lane was shopped to builders who ultimately were not convinced it was a double lot.

42 Gilliam Lane, it turns out, was shopped to various builders who ultimately were not convinced it was a double lot.

Difficult to see, but the lot is apparently sort of J-shaped. That notch made it impossible to meet proper set-back requirements.

Difficult to see, but the lot is apparently sort of J-shaped. That notch made it impossible to meet the proper set-back requirement for a second lot.

&%#@! When will I learn this? I’ve now received numerous reports about the deal at 42 Gilliam Lane indicating it was anything but a “direct” deal. Apparently the seller shopped it to every builder in town. Despite it’s over-sized square footage, the case could not be made for there being two building lots.

Broker Jeff Jackson apparently got paid a commission on this deal, and his end-user buyer intends to build just one house. All good for broker Jackson and his client, but I still think the seller would have done better with full exposure on the MLS.

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Secret Riverside Deals

42 Gilliam Lane. When I was a kid, this was American Brands chairman, Robert Heiman's house. Now destined for the srcap heap.

42 Gilliam Lane, $3.760M. When I was a kid, this was our next door neighbor,  American Brands chairman, Robert Heiman’s house. Now destined for the scrap heap.

74 Club Road has just closed at $6,575,000.

74 Club Road has just closed at $6,575,000.

95 Club Road, reportedly fetching $6.75M+. This was the Steiger's house when I was a wee lad...

95 Club Road, reportedly fetching $6.75M+. This was the Steiger’s house when I was a wee lad…

I don’t mind direct deals as long as the seller’s getting a really good price. Here’s my breakdown on these sales:

(Keep in mind, these are all “land sales”, since it’s highly unlikely any of the existing buildings will be saved.)

42 Gilliam Lane: $3,760,000, 1.42 acres in the R-20 zone. This appears to be a true direct deal with no broker involvement, bought by a nearby Riverside neighbor. Its 1.42 acre size (part of which was purchased from the Fountain family in the 1980’s) makes it about 3.09 times the size of the legally required minimum lot size, so by my estimation, the property is worth around $4,500,000. The seller avoided a $188,000 commission, that’s good! But he left $552,000 on the table, that’s bad. Interestingly, the previous owner did pretty much the same thing, back in the 1990’s.

74 Club Road: $6,565,000, 2.2 acres in the R-1 zone. This one was also bought by a (very persistent) nearby neighbor, who began writing letters to the owners around six years ago. That diligence paid off, but the sellers were wise enough to bring in a bunch of brokers for selling price advice, so they didn’t get hosed badly. Could it have fetched more on the MLS? In light of recent sales, I would say yes, substantially more, but they did ok.

95 Club Road: $6,750,000 (reportedly), .97 acres in the R-1 zone, waterfront, almost entirely in the flood-zone. This “direct” deal actually had multiple bids, and there was plenty of broker involvement, but as far as I’ve learned, the buyers were to pay any broker’s commission. If that’s true, I’m especially impressed with these sellers because, at this price,there was no money left on the table.