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.




13 thoughts on “Secret Riverside Deals

  1. Midcountry here. Lots of direct deals in our neck of the woods – all leaving lots of money on the table. People doing this are idiots. I am not a broker – just a pissed neighbor.

  2. Owners of 74 Club brought in a bunch of brokers for advice and said to each: give me a selling price, but by the way, you ain’t seeing a dime? Is it etiquette in these direct sale instances to pay the broker a one time fee for his/her pricing advice?

    • Anon:
      One of the worst parts of the real estate agent business-model is all the non-compensated work we do, and it’s probably the reason why commissions have stayed at pretty much the same level after all these years.
      So yes, sellers do invite multiple offices to provide pricing advice and marketing plans, which can entail quite a bit of work, yet the owner can then announce, “Thanks for your efforts, but we’re giving the listing to someone else”, or even worse, “Thanks, but we’re selling to a neighbor”.

      Oh, and sellers rarely warn you in advance that you’re merely providing information to facilitate a “direct” deal.

      • That’s no different than how bankers get deals (and no one ever feels bad for them): you pitch, and maybe you get the deal or maybe you put in a lot of time and effort for nothing. Name of the game – and nothing wrong with that. If sellers decide after bringing in all these brokers to go with a direct deal, the brokers just didn’t provide a convincing enough case that they could add value.

  3. Like that American Brands home. Hints of old Bing Crosby film, fresh cocktails, and sailing on the bay…

  4. I always like the exterior of 74 Club…sorry to hear it’s a tear down. Never saw the interior however, so it may possibly be so dated as to be impractical for renovation. Great property, though.

    • Cobe:
      Yes indeed, it is a fine old stone house, and the truth is, I don’t know for a fact that it will be removed. It does, however, have some of the fatal characteristics of a future tear-down: small rooms, low-ish ceilings, small windows, and narrow hallways.

  5. At least one of these deals was facilitated through a broker and two were shopped pretty heavily by the sellers to the local pros.

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