Old meets new
Another historic Virginia home is up for auction, and this one can be purchased over a mobile phone.
Stone Ridge, a 22,336-square-foot Georgian manor in Appomattox County built in 1789, is scheduled to be sold to the highest bidder at an auction conducted via a mobile app at 7 p.m. on Sept. 8.
New York-based Concierge Auctions will run the auction in cooperation with France Burger of RE/MAX 1st Olympic, the property’s listing broker, who’s from Lynchburg.
Personal tours can be scheduled before the auction.
Concierge, in business since 2008, focuses on the sale of luxury high-end properties in the range of $2 million to $40 million. According to Krystal Aeby, the company’s vice president of marketing, the sale of Stone Ridge will be the company’s ninth in Virginia and its third of an historic home.
“Historic homes in particular are great for our platform because it was created for the buying and selling of luxury properties that are oftentimes unique and hard to value,” Aeby said.
The two historic homes already sold via live auction were the Merritt-Hutchinson Estate in Lynch Station in 2011 and Ramsey Farm in Greenwood in 2012. Merritt-Hutchinson, an 800-acre state, sold for $2.3 million and at one time had been listed for as much as $11 million.
Ramsey Farm, a 78-acre property located in pricey Albemarle County, went for $3.6 million and had been listed for as high as $7.5 million. The sales prices include the 10 percent buyer’s premium that buyers must pay, above the final sales price, to Concierge Auctions.
According to Concierge’s website, sellers are typically not in a distressed situation. While the firm doesn’t disclose specifics about clients, Aeby says, “In general, sellers and agents partner with us as an accelerated solution to obtain market value on a set timeline. We give sellers control — they're able to name all of the sale terms, which includes the closing date, as well as the property being sold as-is, with no contingencies — in return for letting the buyers name the price.”
Typically the time frame is about 90 days.
What’s different this time out is the mobile app. No live auctioneer will be challenging buyers to up their bids. Instead, Concierge will use its Instant Gavel mobile app to run the sale. Last year, the company sold 62 homes, 10 percent of them on the app, which it began using last year.
This year, 80 percent of its sales have been conducted so far via the app, which Aeby says people can download for free through the Apple ITunes store.
“We not only know this is the future of buying and selling high-end real estate, but our clients value being able to bid on our global opportunities from wherever they are in the world at the tap of a finger,” says Aeby. “… Anyone can download and watch our auction live, and bidders can see every bid as it comes in.”
While there is no set opening bid amount for Stone Ridge, clients who wish to bid, must register.
They also must wire a $100,000 bidder deposit into an escrow account. The money is refunded if they are not the winning bidder, or is applied towards the transaction if their bid wins.
Bidders also must sign a terms and conditions document and provide a letter of reference.
Stone Ridge is located on 2,500 acres. According to promotional materials from Concierge, the home was previously listed for $10 million. It was built in 1789 from stone quarried from the property and was later
restored by Georgian Colonial architect H. Truehart Poston.
The sprawling estate includes six bedrooms, eight bathrooms, a massage room, bar/lounge area, exercise room, game room, billiards room, theater, rooftop terrace and a 6,000-bottle wine cellar.
Described by Concierge as “a sports enthusiast’s dream”, the property offers plenty of opportunities for recreation. There’s an indoor pool, softball field, driving range and a Stone Ridge Sports Complex with a tennis court, outdoor pool, shooting range and bowling alley.
Also on the property are horse pastures, riding trails, a 20-stall barn, and 2.5 miles of frontage on the James River.