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Does a $147M home sale really need a broker?

Not much added value

May 5, 2014
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The most expensive home sale in American history is, where else, the Hamptons.

60 Further Lane, East Hampton, to be precise.

It’s an 18-acre, beachfront property designed by Christopher Browne and Andrew Gordon before their deaths, and the price was $147 million.

How would you like to have gotten the real estate agent’s usual 3% on that?

Except there wasn’t one used – it was all done privately, which has some agents upset.

 “The trustees of the estate, one would think, have a fiduciary responsibility to get the top dollar, which would have happened on an open market,” one broker fumed to the New York Post. “This was an inside deal. They closed ranks. It was all very hush-hush.”

Which…come on.

Yes, technically the broker is right. But really, it was the biggest real estate sale, ever. There’s not much value a broker could have added to the transaction, no matter how much extra he or she put into an open house?

Do the trustees really feel cheated because, what? They didn’t get to roll some closing cost into the mortgage? That they could have gotten $147,000,050?

The line of people with $147 million to drop on a home, unfortunately, isn’t particularly long.

The buyer was Barry Rosenstein, head of the Jana Partners hedge fund (of course) and he is one of those able to drop that kind of paper on a Hamptons home, according to Forbes.