It’s not the price, it’s the broker!

74 Upper Cross Rd

74 Upper Cross Rd

This cottage in Conyers Farm (in the association but not behind the gate) was last purchased in 2000 for an even $10,000,000. The owner spiffed it up in 2003 and listed it with Tamar Lurie in May, 2006 for $14,975,000, a price he reduced to $13,650,000 in September of that year and has stuck to ever since, even when he dumped Tamar and brought in David Ogilvy to work his magic. Something went awry and the listing expired today, the house unsold. So over two years, seven months, two of the most successful brokers in town were unable to convince a buyer that this house was worth its asking price. It’s so sad to see top producers slipping like this.


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15 responses to “It’s not the price, it’s the broker!

  1. Flyover Girl

    Were the agents unsuccessful in persuading buyers to buy the house at this price? Or unsuccessful in persuading the seller that he was unrealistic, short-sighted and perhaps excessively greedy?

  2. CEA

    To: Owner of 74 Upper Cross

    From: Reality

    Date: February 4, 2009


    It has come to my attention that you have failed in your attempt to sell a home from Sept. 2006 to the present.

    During that time, the real estate market has fallen approximately 20%.

    As your house was 15% overvalued at the time of original listing, and housing prices have fallen significantly since then, may I suggest pricing at $9.5 million, 35% below your first (and, may I say, insane) listing price, and 30% below your second one.

    Otherwise, I look forward to visiting you at 74 Upper Cross for many years to come!

  3. Jane

    I have worked with both of the brokers you mentioned. Not impressed. A buyer or seller is better served by using a broker who is not quite so greedy. I know several I would be happy to recommend.

  4. christopherfountain

    Jane, come to think of it, so do I!

  5. Chappy4me

    Although some of my dear friends are brokers, I have to say I think most of them are utterly out of touch with reality. Consumers are finally getting smart(er), asking the right questions, seeing what else is out there…. Yes, 74 Upper Cross looks gorgeous, but $13.6 gorgeous? I for one am so tired of going into Greenwich houses that all look alike – the media room, the exercise room, the wine cellar, the open kitchen to the family room. There’s absolutely no soul to these houses. Give me a 1930s house any day, even the ones with low ceilings and meandering hallways; houses with character, not ones built to please the IBers all fighting to ‘out-Jones’ the other.

  6. Stanwich

    WOW! This retarded seller hired both the King AND Queen of over-pricing. I wonder what part of the royal family the seller will move on to next.

    By the way, I am sure the house is beautiful on the inside and the property is probably gorgeous, but if I had $15m I would spend it on something a little more, how should I put it, unique.

    Holy tits, do people think taking a standard colonial and pressing 400% on the copier machine will create a house worth $15m?! The Taconic white elephant, for all its excessive faults, was not ordinary yet it was not too unique. Does money make people boring…I hope not because I plan on being very rich someday (well, now that Obama is Prez I don’t have to pay my mortgage so that will help somewhat).

  7. Enzo

    A lot of criticism on this site of IBers and the like. Yet what about all these hotshot real estate brokers in Greenwich who made 5% commisions on an average price in town of $2.5mm? Seems they too were simply a function of the market.

    Wall Street compensation is in the process of correcting, when will real estate commissions follow suit?

    • christopherfountain

      Enzo, our commissions are adjusting as we speak and house prices fall. But, for the record, I have always spoken glowingly of IBers and their bonuses because, as you point out, I was putting my kids through college on them. I’ll miss those bonuses at least as much as their recipients!

  8. Chappy4me


    I don’t think money makes all people boring, but Greenwich money definitely makes Greenwich people boring…and predictable. Look at all the black RangeRovers with ACK stickers parked in the driveways of the not-so-unique standard colonials. Now that there is far less money to spend, maybe houses will be bought because people fall in love with them, not because they need to make a statement. I’m not holding my breath.

  9. pulled up in OG

    Stanwich: “This retarded seller hired both the King AND Queen of over-pricing. I wonder what part of the royal family the seller will move on to next.”

    Don’t think even the Wayward Prince (CF) could talk him off the short bus.

  10. anonymous

    Conyers’ land is awfully cheap

    This is an ancient structure of dubious design, even when new

    Cost and time of new construc on similar land w/(likely) a better builder/finishes and certainly more elegant design is far less than $10MM and perhaps <2yrs from now…perhaps earlier than when this used house might sell at a more rational price, i.e., closer to land value…

  11. Towny

    CEA: 6.99-7.49 is closer.