$50 Million Fable! Vacant Oceanfront Land Traded at One-Third the Price

Four lots that make up a 9.4-acre oceanfront property sold for a fraction of the $50 million Nest Seekers' Dylan Eckardt, inset, reported earlier this month.
Courtesy of Dylan Eckardt/Nest Seekers

Four vacant oceanfront parcels in Amagansett, totaling 9.4 acres, wound up selling for $16.5 million earlier this month — a far cry from what we were initially told. 

Nest Seekers International’s Dylan Eckardt, the self-proclaimed Prince of Montauk, had told Behind The Hedges recently that he secured the asking price after a so-called bidding war.

“The price reported was wildly inaccurate,” says Adam Miller, an attorney and founder of the Bridgehampton-based Adam Miller Group, which handled the deal for the purchaser. He was only willing to set the record straight, but would not confirm the name of the purchaser. 

The deal closed as four separate lots for a combined total of $16.5 million on July 1, not the $50 million Eckardt professed. 

What’s $33.5 million? 

The properties at 2012, 2016, 2020 and 2024 Montauk Highway each transacted separately at $4.125 million. The same buyer, Steven Berkson, purchased them under separate limited liability corporations. 

When reached on Thursday about the discrepancy, Eckardt dug his heels in, but did not provide a valid explanation.   

The untouched properties, which had been owned by a local family, include 400 feet of ocean frontage. There are two lots at 1.9 acres and two that are 2.8 acres.

Eckardt claims that a day after the closing, he had someone offer $2 million more over the ask, and that he presented the deal to Berkson, who turned it down. That was refuted by someone close to the deal, who also said there was never a bidding war. 

Since the properties traded for one third of what the broker claimed, it seems like it was more of a pillow fight.

So how does a property listed at $50 million trade at a 66% discount? 

“This deal is a good example of the negative impact of overpricing,” said Adrianna Nava, founder of Hamptons Market Data and real estate agent with Compass. At the time the property was listed, Hamptons Market Data valued the offering at around $20 million, assuming the lots upon being subdivided could yield the size home with amenities that today’s buyers would expect at those numbers, she explained. 

Hampton Market Data based the valuation on recent comparable developed trades, like 7 Beach Plum Court, compared against the possible potential of the offering, scarcity of inventory, buyer demand, and increase in market pricing since September.

Clearly, the buyer here got a good deal. 

“Based on the exorbitantly high listing price, the seller was the only one who had an understanding of his/her goals and what ultimately occurred was the exclusion of potential additional buyers working with other brokers, who may have bid higher had they known the seller was willing to be realistic,” Nava said. 

Listing the price high is one thing, but mischaracterizing the sale price is another. 

“The listing has been updated with a sold price of $50 million, providing grossly inaccurate data to agents who are working together 24/7 in the best interest of their buyers and sellers, regardless of brokerage, branding, or level of business,” Nava says. 

“Lack of transparency on pricing and bad data are precisely what Hamptons Market Data is effectively working to combat,” she continued. “It’s bad for business and bad for sellers and buyers alike. This seller may have been offered more than the agreed price had it been communicated, through the listing offering, that they did actually have an understanding of the current market value. However, it is also a good example that a deal can be obtained in a Hamptons seller’s market when a buyer is willing to submit their best offer despite the listing price.”

Email tvecsey@danspapers.com with further comments, questions or tips. Follow Behind The Hedges on TwitterInstagram and Facebook.

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