Got $20 mil­lion? It’s yours

The Taos News - - BUSINESS - By Mary Beth Libbey fo­rum@taos­ The Taos News

Psst. Wanna buy a ranch? It’s only $19 mil­lion, a

65 per­cent hair­cut from the

$55 mil­lion list­ing price of only a few months ago.

All you have to do is buy, yes, buy the due dili­gence doc­u­ments on, take a tour some­time this month, and make a bid some­time be­fore Dec. 6 on the Black­stone Ranch, an

190-acre par­cel on Taos’ south­west side with a

27,000-square-foot house, a 10,000-square-foot guest house, a green­house and sev­eral barns. The earnest money re­quired to make a bid: a mere half-mil­lion.

That’s ac­cord­ing to Misha Haghani, the Man­hat­tan­based real es­tate bro­ker who is auc­tion­ing the Black­stone Ranch.

That doesn’t mean he stands on a makeshift stage in the front yard and yo­dels. He was hired by owner Pat Black of Erie, Penn­syl­va­nia, a wealthy in­vestor in bio­fu­els, to help him price the prop­erty, make up the mar­ket­ing ma­te­ri­als, in­clud­ing the web­site, and then give some tours of the prop­erty and an­a­lyze the bids that come in.

As for the po­ten­tial buy­ers for the Black­stone, Haghani says, they fit into “two buck­ets”: one bucket is the high-net worth per- son, who prob­a­bly al­ready owns two houses, maybe a celebrity, who just “wants to get away.” The other bucket is in­hab­ited by peo­ple with an idea for a com­mer­cial use for the prop­erty: a med­i­ta­tion cen­ter or ex­ec­u­tive re­treat. Need­less to say, nei­ther group is short on cash.

That begs the ques­tion: how do you price a lux­ury prop­erty like this? It’s not like you can “pull comps” as Real­tors say. That is, find out what the com­pa­ra­ble houses in the neigh­bor­hood sold for with three bed­rooms and two baths.

Haghani says it isn’t easy. He had to look for com­pa­ra­ble prop­er­ties in sev­eral states to com­pare this one to be­fore he could sug­gest an open­ing min­i­mum bid price to his client. Plus, he added, the auc­tion it­self sets the price. “That’s sort of the pur­pose of an auc­tion,” he said. “You let the mar­ket tell you what it’s worth.”

More­over, he said, in this price range, peo­ple don’t usu­ally squab­ble over a price dif­fer­ence of a few mil­lion or other de­tails or fea­tures of the house. “It’s not like they’ll say, ‘This house has 28 bed­rooms, and I wanted 26. Or, I don’t like the school district.’ “

Oh, and by the way, you may have seen Haghani on CNN or Fox News last year. He’s the guy who last No­vem­ber auc­tioned off Don­ald Trump’s child­hood home in Queens for $1.4 mil­lion to some­one who turned around and sold it for $2.4 mil­lion all sight un­seen. What hap­pened in the in­terim? You guessed it. Trump was elected pres­i­dent. “I must have done 100 in­ter­views, Haghani said.

‘That’s sort of the pur­pose of an auc­tion. You let the mar­ket tell you what it’s worth.’ — Re­al­tor Misha Haghani

Black­stone Ranch

The pric­etag on Black­stone Ranch near Taos was re­cently re­duced by $36 mil­lion dol­lars.

Cour­tesy pho­tos

The in­te­rior of the main house at Black­stone Ranch.

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