Friday's Auction Of Michael Jordan's House – Still Time To Register

After being listed for sale now for almost 2 years – first at $29 MM and then at $21 MM – Michael Jordan’s house at 2700 Point Ln in Highland Park is heading to the auction block this Friday, November 22. This is your chance to buy this 56,000 square foot palace at a bargain price since the auction has no reserve price – but I guess if Michael Jordan is not happy with the price he could always back out. The “Legend Point” property where Michael Jordan lived for 19 years is being auctioned completely furnished, which is good, because getting a designer to work with you and furnish a 56,000 square foot home would not be cheap.
I believe the auction is taking place on the premises but I have not been able to confirm that.  If you are interested in bidding you can register with Concierge Auctions and you only have to deposit $250,000 to participate. And if you register me as your broker I won’t add any value to the process but I would be happy to collect the 2.25% commission that is “protected” by the auction house. But I tell you what…I’ll rebate 90% of that commission back to you and just keep 10% for myself.
In light of the auction we now know a lot more about this property than we did when I wrote my original post in February 2012 when it was first listed for $29 MM: Michael Jordan’s House For Sale For $29 MM. I won’t bother to repeat all the features from the original post but here is the current description from the MLS and you can see a notated slide show below along with a video tour of the property that had received 2.1 MM views as of noon yesterday.

AUCTION: November 22nd. Previously Offered for $29M. Set on 7.39 acres just north of Chicago, the longtime personal residence of Michael Jordan offers the ultimate in privacy and luxury. This secluded compound includes 56,000sf, 9 beds, 15 baths, and a regulation-size, NBA-quality basketball court — all surrounded by a living fence of 150 mature evergreens.

In a house like this the design and architecture very thoughtfully reflect the utility of the spaces, the visual appeal of the designs, the traffic flows, and the visibility of various indoor and outdoor spaces. There are a couple of overriding themes throughout the house – lots of indoor spaces for just hanging out with family and friends and lots of outdoor spaces for recreational activities. And then there is the whole fitness center/ basketball court thing going on. Michael Jordan would have some of his teammates (known as the “breakfast club”) over to his house in the morning before practice and they would work out in the gym with their trainer and a chef would make them a breakfast specified by the trainer. Of course, it’s not clear how the teammates not in the breakfast club felt about this routine.
As you might expect the house includes the finest materials, fixtures, and appliances such as Perlino Rosato Italian marble in the foyer and Gaggenau, Miele, or Sub-zero appliances throughout the kitchen, entertainment spaces, master suite, and guest wing. They even bought the original hand carved front doors from the Playboy mansion in Chicago and used them for the entrance to one of the wings of the house.
Oh…and why is he selling the place? The kids are gone, he has a place in Florida now (think the weather might be better there?), and the only other place he needs to be is Charlotte, where he owns their basketball team.

Is An Auction The Best Way To Sell A Unique High End Property Like Michael Jordan’s House?

If you listen to the leaders in the auction industry they will tell you that this is absolutely the way to go – no surprise, right? According to Laura Brady, President of Concierge Auctions, “Instead of being at the mercy of the market and waiting for buyers to make offers, the sellers are able to name the date of their sale and the format, and they don’t have to deal with any negotiations”. But then Stacy Kirk Reich, President of Grand Estates, another auction house, goes on to say that in an auction buyers know they aren’t overpaying because they always know what the next closest offer is. A regular real estate sale is more of a closed bidding process where no buyer has any idea what other buyers are willing to pay.
But if it’s good for buyers then it’s bad for sellers, right? Sellers want buyers to overpay. They want to put the buyer in the position where they have no choice but to bid the most that they think a property is worth, not just enough to beat out the next highest bidder.
In an interview with the Wall Street Journal Michael Jordan sounds like he is reading from a script given to him by the auction house: “some of the best things in the world are sold at auction, and I’ve seen that this is the beginning of a trend for selling unique, one-of-a-kind homes.”
How will we know if this auction ends up being a good deal for Michael Jordan? I would say that, given that it was listed at $21 MM for 10 months without a sale, there’s probably no market for this above $18 MM through the normal channels. So if they can auction this off for more than $18 MM I will be a convert to the auction process for selling homes. However, if it sells for less than $18 MM then I will be immensely skeptical that this was the right way to go because we won’t ever know what would have happened if they had just kept lowering the list price until they got a buyer. And the lower it sells below $18 MM the more of a chance there is that a traditional sale would have achieved a better result.

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