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How to Sell a House with a Backstory, or a Lifetime Movie

In the wake of the Madoff/Montauk saga, the Press is shedding a light on the world of high-profile Hamptons real estate, and how notorious owners help, and hurt, a sale. Madoff's name will garner his oceanfront property a great deal of recognition, and few potential buyers would likey be uncomfortable living in the home, aside from dealing with some curious onlookers. Homes with more sinister stories are often treated differently, as laws about full disclosure on the backstory of a property usually take effect after a buyer has asked. A few of the Hamptons most infamous listings, after the jump.
AMMON ESTATE - Few forget the 2001 gruesome murder of financier Ted Ammon in his Middle Lane home. Though his wife and her electrician/lover were eventually implicated in the killing, a 2005 Lifetime movie 'Murder in the Hamptons' added fuel to the story's fire. On the market since 2003, the home has been rented consistently every year, though potential renters are vetted to ensure that they are serious about their intentions.
STOCKEL RESIDENCE - The story of a murder-suicide in August 2008 on Cedar Trail may have slowed the process on the home's sale. 'The three-bedroom house is currently listed on the Corcoran web site at a “significantly reduced” price of $1.35 million, down nearly $650,000 from the original asking price of $1.995 million.' The listing agent refused to speak to the Press about the property.
SMITH RESIDENCE - On the other hand, a murder-suicide in November 2007 on Cooper Lane in East Hampton may have had little effect on that home's sale a year later. The house went for $930,000 in December 2008, and though the asking price was $1.1 million, the down market was most likely to blame for the pricechop.
DE KOONING RESIDENCE - Though no murders to speak of, the artistic transactions at this Northwest Woods home have made headlines throughout the years. Richmond Burton bought the house and large studio from sculptor John Chamberlain in March 1998, while Chamberlain had bought the home from Elaine de Kooning, the wife of Willem de Kooning and 'an extremely successful painter in her own right.'
GREY GARDENS - Perhaps the most famous of them all, former Bouvier-Beale residence Grey Gardens was bought in its most dilapidated shape in 1979 by Ben Bradlee and Sally Quinn. The new owners restored the property to its original glory and have made it one of the shining examples of Hamptons real estate success.
· Selling Houses with a History [EH Press]

Grey Gardens

3 West End Ave, East Hampton, NY 11937 Visit Website