1930s-era Palm Beach estate headed to auction

The mansion at 201 Banyan Road in Palm Beach
The mansion at 201 Banyan Road in Palm Beach

A Georgian-style mansion in Palm Beach’s estate section is set to be auctioned off on November 11.

The home, first built in 1932, is three lots away from the ocean at 201 Banyan Road. It measures roughly 8,000 square feet, and according to its auction listing, was completely restored with details like a Rosso Verona marble door surround and hand painted Italian frescoes.

The sale is being handled by Sheldon Good & Co., a major real estate auction company based in New York.

Craig Post, the firm’s executive director, told The Real Deal that the starting price is $7 million, and interested buyers have to put down $350,000 to enter the bid.

He told TRD that this is the first home auction his firm has handled in Palm Beach in more than a decade, and that the owner, whom he declined to name, was attracted to an auction because the sale happens at a set time, instead of possibly stagnating on the open market.

MLS data shows 201 Banyan Road has been listed and de-listed multiple times starting in 2009, with price tags ranging from $7.6 million to $9.5 million. It was last in the hands of Brown Harris Stevens’ office in Palm Beach.

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“The other reason is that this owner doesn’t live at the home, hasn’t lived at the home in a while, and just wants to make sure that it sells in an expedited fashion,” Post said.

Palm Beach County property records show the home is owned by the Carol Simmons Revocable Trust, with Carol Simmons as its trustee. She first paid $3.95 million for the home, or roughly $493.75 per square foot, in 2002. At its minimum price, the home is now being auctioned for $875 per square foot.

Forbes magazine’s annual list of the 400 wealthiest Americans, released earlier this month, names 35 Floridians, including 10 with residences in the town of Palm Beach.

Post, the auctioneer, said there’s an emerging trend of luxury real estate going to auction, primarily for one reason: convenience.

“We haven’t seen many auctions in Palm Beach; I think that’s going to change. We’re doing auctions throughout the country for high-end homes,” Post said. “People don’t like the aspect of putting a home in the marketplace and not knowing when their property is going to sell.”