UPDATE (10/20/11):

Today’s auction was cancelled before it could start. But it was all good news for owners Rodney and Beverly Hawes, who were eager for a final sale of their New Canaan, CT home.

“The seller of the Laurel Road Estate has chosen to cancel the auction in expectation of receiving an acceptable offer from a highly interested prospect,” said Laura Brady, vice president of marketing for Concierge Auctions.

“The prospect was sourced through our marketing efforts in connection with the auction and in fact had never seen the property prior to reading about it in the press. Overall, the auction exposure resulted in 4,600 web visitors from 31 countries, 178 showings and 46 interested buyer prospects, so it was an exciting one!” Brady said.

The amount of the offer has not been revealed at this time and until a contract has been finalized, the home will remain on the market with other offers accepted.

ORIGINAL POST (10/19/11):

At this New Canaan, CT house — complete with an adjacent barn that sports a gleaming indoor basketball court —┬áit really is winner-take-all.

That’s because the compound, situated on 6.43 bucolic acres, attracted no buyers when it was listed for $10,900,000, despite upgrades to this Williamsburg Colonial and amenities like a swimming pool, fully-equipped cabana, guest house and a $7 million sports palace complete with movie theater, bowling alley and basketball court.

Ready to move on, the sellers have opted for an auction, set for Thursday, Oct. 20.

In fact, according to Laura Brady, vice president of marketing for Concierge Auctions, which is handling the sale, the auction will be “absolute.” There is no reserve price set. Highest bidder wins.

“Our job is to identify what a property is worth, generate competition and identify buyers who will be qualified to bid so we can get a fair outcome for the seller,” Brady said, adding that bidders are screened and escrow funds are pre-wired prior to the start of an absolute auction.

Ronald and Beverly Hawes built a custom sports field house for their grandchildren. Source: AP

While the flagging real estate market has pushed some owners to opt for auctions to unload pricey digs, this gem on the New Canaan real estate market does not fall into that category at all.

The owners are Rodney A. and Beverly Hawes, who made millions in the reinsurance business as well as other ventures. An Idaho native, the Harvard Business School alum — and major donor — is all set to move West again.

According to Hawes, he would rather have the sale completed and have closure rather than wait any longer for a buyer. The New York Times reported that the Hawes’ are eager to be closer to the 25 grandchildren for whom they added the impressive sports barn that is one of the most compelling features of the property.

Beverly Hawes looks like she's trying to get Insurance executive husband Rod Hawes out of the basketball court key to avoid three-second violation. Source: AP





About the Author

Laura Vecsey is a former sports columnist, news reporter and politics writer and has worked for the Seattle Post-Intelligencer, Baltimore Sun, Albany (N.Y.) Times-Union and Harrisburg Patriot-News. She was also a regional editor with She is a graduate of Sarah Lawrence College.

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