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BOSTON BUSINESS JOURNAL - Auctioneer tapped to move million-dollar oceanfront home in Gloucester

June 13, 2014

Thomas Grillo, Real Estate Editor

BBJ Real Estate Daily


Unable to sell their waterfront home in Gloucester for more than two years through a standard brokerage, Steven and Diane Cobb have broken with tradition by hiring an auctioneer to unload their million-dollar dwelling to the highest bidder.

The Cobbs, who built the Colonial on Eastern Point in Gloucester in 1985, are not willing to wait anymore for an agent to bring them an offer, according to Justin Manning, who heads JJ Manning Auctioneers in Yarmouth Port. He is scheduled to manage an auction event for Saturday, June 21, at 11 a.m. An open house is set for Saturday, June 14, from 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. The home has a reserve price, which Manning declined to reveal.

"The seller is not disgruntled, just impatient with the traditional process," Manning said. "They are now living on the West Coast and just want the sale to happen quickly."

Manning said more luxury home sellers are turning to auctions as a way to sell. So far this year, his company has handled four homes priced above $1 million, compared to just one for the same period a year ago.

"Typically, when we get the house, it had been listed with a brokerage for a long time with up to 10 price reductions," he said. "The sellers tell me it's time to stop lowering the price and sell it at auction and bring what it will bring."

The couple listed the nine-room, four-bedroom home with Landvest in April 2012 for $1.8 million. A year later, the price was dropped to $1.6 million - but still no buyers. A few weeks ago, Manning was awarded the contract to auction the 2,358-square-foot home. The house, which is assessed at $1.9 million, is not in foreclosure.

Situated on more than 1.5-acres, the four-bedroom Colonial oceanfront home at 14 Rouse Road features large open living spaces. It offers panoramic ocean views and is located near Eastern Point Yacht Club and Brace Cove Beach.