By Barbara Gavan
Published inThe Florida Times-Union on Feb. 9, 2017
On Feb. 14, 15 and 16, a rare event in the real estate business will take place in the greater Jacksonville area. Three unique luxury properties will be sold at auction by Tranzon Driggers on those days.
“It’s almost unheard-of to see three homes of this size and quality go to auction in a single week, especially along the First Coast,” said David Bradshaw, president of Ocala-based Tranzon Driggers. “But, we think premier property auctions will have a big year as sellers see the advantages of offering luxury homes at auction. In each case, the owner decided the home would be best suited for an auction in the current market environment. We are seeing more and more cases like this.”
No longer is auctioning real estate relegated to distressed properties. It has become a popular and viable way to sell luxury homes quickly and to market them to the proper audience.
According to Bradshaw, high-end automobiles and works of art have been sold at auction for years, and the process is much the same for luxury homes.
“It is difficult to assign a value to a property’s unique attributes, just as it is to the attributes of fine art and automobiles,” he said. “A unique property with unique features needs a different approach, so prospective buyers can have a better appreciation of the details. It also helps the seller control the timeline.”
The value to the home sellers can be immeasurable. The homes are marketed on their own without having to compete with other listings, and there is an extremely high level of marketing over a short, targeted time period. Also, with both live and online bidding, sellers have a much large audience from which to draw.
The timeline of a property auction can be advantageous to both buyer and seller, with the entire process lasting only about 10 weeks from the listing agreement to closing. For those with a limited timeframe to buy or sell a home, an auction could be a godsend, especially for the luxury home market.
“Realtors are very welcome, too; we compensate them well when they bring us a successful bidder,” Bradshaw said. “We also get many referrals from Realtors for sellers who want a quick turnaround at a competitive price.”
The three properties to be auctioned Feb. 14, 15 and 16 are well worth luxury home buyers’ attention.
The first, the Hibbard House at 272 St. George St. in St. Augustine, is set for auction at 1 p.m. Feb. 14, and is one of the finest examples of Queen Anne architecture in the area. Built in 1889, the home has been restored to the highest standards and combines old-world craftsmanship with floor plans that are completely functional for today’s lifestyle. On an estate-sized lot in St. Augustine’s most sought-after historical residential neighborhood, it has front and back wrap-around porches, four bedrooms and four bathrooms in 3,606 square feet of sheer beauty. Original features include heart pine flooring, intricate woodworking and architectural details, three coal-burning fireplaces with wooden mantels and vintage tile, as well as the home’s spectacular wooden staircase with hand-carved panels. The kitchen and bathrooms have been updated to the moment, but blend seamlessly with the home’s Victorian design, thanks to the use of reproduction period plumbing fixtures and Carrara marble on kitchen counters, as well as in the master bath rain shower.
The third floor also provides a spacious bonus room that could be used as a studio, music room, play room or retreat. In addition, the HVAC system has two units with five zones for maximum efficiency and comfort.
The next day, Feb. 15, at 1 p.m., the Tranzon Driggers auction crew will be oceanfront at 3929 Duval Dr. in Jacksonville Beach for a spectacular 5,002-square-foot home with even more impressive views of the Atlantic Ocean. The home’s traditional architecture features natural travertine stone floors downstairs and Brazilian cherry hardwood upstairs for a warm, cozy feel. The master suite’s best feature is, of course, its majestic ocean view. But, vying for attention are a vaulted tongue-and-groove wood ceiling, a welcoming gas fireplace, marble bath surfaces, automated blinds and a closet loaded with built-ins. The light-filled living room shares the same spectacular view, along with a massive fireplace with oversized mantel, dramatic recessed lighting, a wall of windows and French doors that open to an oceanfront brick patio.
It’s all accented by the graceful swoop of a spiral staircase to the second floor. The kitchen includes Wolf, Sub-Zero and Viking appliances, the executive-sized swimming pool has ornamental fountains and a heated spa, and every aspect of the home’s lighting, pool, thermostat and entertainment are controlled from a touch-screen or smartphone app by a state-of-the-art smart-house system.
The final home, which goes to auction at 1 p.m. on Feb. 16, is a stunning two-story home at 3 Sandhill Crane Rd. in a gated community on the south end of Amelia Island. Situated on a cul-de-sac surrounded by a tidal creek, salt marsh and a canopy of oaks, the home features remarkable views, as well as manicured landscaping, a new paver driveway and coquina façade. The four-bedroom, 2.5-bath residence fills 2,896 square feet of space with unique features such as the master suite with its own balcony that practically nests in the trees, a huge living room with vaulted ceiling, plenty of windows looking out on the golf course or the marsh, and a spectacular gas fireplace. Of course, the owner of this home will also enjoy the Omni Resort amenities and lifestyle. The Plantation offers uncrowded beaches, oceanfront golf and swimming pools, fine dining, shopping, a fitness center, tennis courts and much more.
If your attention has been snagged by one of these unique and beautiful homes, go to the Tranzon Driggers website, www.tranzon.com, scroll through the available properties, familiarize yourself with the terms of the auctions, download a Property Information Package. Someone will call you to set up one or two preview dates. Then you can attend the auction - with the necessary deposit - either in-person or online … and make the home of your dreams a reality.
Barbara Gavan: (904) 359-4536