A Soddy-Daisy lakeside estate listed for $2.8 million sold for less than $1 million at an auction without reserve Thursday, despite six interested bidders.
The winning bid of $990,000 came from a local buyer, according to agents involved in the deal. The 16-room estate at 1997 Emerald Pointe Drive had been on the market for about two years.
Julie Lochmaier, an agent with Keller Williams who represented the buyers, said they were thrilled with the deal.
"It was a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for them to purchase this incredibly unique and beautifully crafted home," she said. "They were pleasantly surprised."
With the winning bid sliding in at well less than half the estate's listed price, the auction without reserve highlighted the difficulty luxury home owners face when it's time to put their dream home on the market. High-end homes are often highly customized and appeal to only a small sliver of potential buyers, said Chattanooga Realtor Linda Brock.
"The higher the price, the fewer buyers you have," she said.
And the higher the asking price, the more tempting it is for a potential buyer to spend a couple million to build a custom home from scratch instead of buying someone else's dream. Brock added that auctions favor the buyer.
"An auction is a good vehicle for a seller when time is more important than getting equity back," she said. "And I think that's best evidenced by what happened today. They sold it quickly, but at what price?"
Earlier this year, an Ooltewah mansion that cost $15 million to build sold for $3 million at an auction in May. Both that auction and Thursday's auction in Soddy Daisy were managed by luxury real estate company Concierge Auctions.
The company was also scheduled to host an auction of the 19,000 square-foot mansion on Missionary Ridge owned by J. Don and Sam Brock on Thursday, but decided to delay that auction until December 12.
"We had a number of folks come forward this week with interest and we needed to extend the sale," said Laura Brady, managing director of Concierge Auctions. "We wanted to give them more time to conduct research on the property."
She declined to say how many bidders are interested in the Brocks' mansion. The sprawling home was listed for $4.8 million and appraised at $2.3 million.
At the Soddy-Daisy estate, Keller William's Katherine Smith was the listing agent for the home. She said the buyers were hoping for a higher winning bid, but the auction process brought bidders to the table who otherwise wouldn't have taken a seat.
"We weren't selling it the regular way," she said. "[An auction] brought so many more potential buyers to the market than we've seen in the last two years."
Contact staff writer Shelly Bradbury at 423-757-6525 or firstname.lastname@example.org.