John and Gail Gilece are like a lot of homeowners looking to downsize as they get older.
But what makes their situation unique is that they are trying to downsize from a 6.24-acre estate with a 12,000-square-foot home, a garage with eight car stalls, two boat houses and 1,600 feet of shoreline along the South River.
“We’ve been here for 24-25 years since we built the house. We aren’t getting any younger. Our kids are gone; they’ve grown up and left the area. It’s just too big for my wife and I,” John Gilece said. “We’ve had a lot of fun here over the years, we’ve enjoyed it very much and we’ve had a lot of good times with the kids and everything, but now it’s just the two of us and everybody gets to a certain age when you’ve got to downsize.”
The home at 1234 Cherry Tree Lane, located just minutes from downtown Annapolis, has been on the market for more than two years and wasn’t drawing offers near the original $15 million asking price. Since then, the Gileces found a home they want to move into, and after dropping the listing price to $8.99 million without any takers, decided to auction the property through DeCaro Luxury Real Estate Auctions.
“The market will determine the value of this property on Saturday. Someone will probably get a very good buy and the sellers will achieve their goal of moving on to their next home,” said Daniel DeCaro, founder of DeCaro Luxury Real Estate Auctions. “So, as you know, there’s a trade-off for everything. They’re willing to give a discount to sell the property so they can move on with their life.”
Despite the lack of success in the traditional real estate market, John Gilece said he’s comfortable with auctioning the property.
“I guess this is just the effect of the market, the way things have been going in the country the last several years. But there are buyers out there, and I think this approach that we’re taking now is probably a much better one than the traditional real estate sales route,” Gilece said.
DeCaro declined to speculate on how many bids he expects the property to receive on Saturday and added that they really wouldn’t know until registration for the auction is complete. Decaro’s company has shown the property several times recently, and another showing is scheduled for 1 p.m. on Friday, ahead of the scheduled auction. He said the response so far has been tepid, but DeCaro, whose company has sold luxury homes across the country, including the historic Bohemia Manor waterfront mansion in Chesapeake City, was taking the response in stride.
“I would’ve liked to have seen a better response. But when you get to a property like this, the air is thin,” he said.