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Going Once… Okay, Going Twice

Gavel to grovel in Hamptons.

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When Corcoran’s Hamptons broker Diane Saatchi and her clients decided to sell their 4.7-acre waterfront slice on exclusive Sagaponack Pond—near such overachievers as Mickey Drexler, Edgar Bronfman Jr., Kent Swig, and Tracy Maitland—they raised eyebrows by deciding to put it up for auction. Last month, they announced that they were looking for bids for the property, which was thought to be worth between $12 million and $25 million, but said they would not necessarily deliver it to the highest bidder. “What kind of auction is it if you don’t set a base price?” asks one top agent who found the whole enterprise off-putting. The auction idea flopped, and now it’s on the market with a proper sticker price—$23 million—even as a nearby 18,000-square-foot house on four acres (one acre shy of Saatchi’s listing) that’s asking $19.95 million hasn’t yet moved. Saatchi admits local brokers never liked the auction idea, but her sellers wanted to try it. She insists they did receive numerous offers, most of them from developers who lowballed the parcel, and one that was “high enough but was too complicated.”

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