The Art of the Auction: Platinum Luxury Auctions Featured in Winter 2016 issue of The Peninsula Magazine

When Rudy and Linda Light decided to sell the dream home they’d spent 20 years perfecting, they called Chris Iverson, a top producing agent with Dreyfus Sotheby’s International Realty in Menlo Park, California. But the ranch–a complicated real estate asset with many of its 1,745 acres preserved for conservation under California’s Williamson Act–didn’t attract the attention of the right buyer, despite Iverson’s robust marketing program.

The lovingly built and maintained Queen Anne Victorian main residence had fewer showings than the owners or Iverson anticipated, and no viable purchase offers were received. Realizing the Property’s unique situation, the listing agent began researching auction firms and presented several companies to the sellers, who ultimately selected Platinum.

Subtitled “Successfully Selling a Challenging Property,” the article details the “full court press on marketing” Platinum conducted over the 6-week international auction-marketing campaign. Featuring nearly 40,000 website visits, 74 bona fide inquiries, and 2 written offers prior to auction, the campaign concluded with five registered bidders competing in real-time to produce a sale price of $6.215 Million, shattering the $3 Million reserve. The sale price equated to 114% of the Property’s most recently appraised value.

Read the full story here:

Houston Business Journal Covers Platinum Luxury Auctions in The Woodlands

After establishing the resale pricing record for The Woodlands in 2016 with a $7.1 million sale, luxury real estate auction firm Platinum Luxury Auctions has returned to the community with three more “modest” luxury home offerings. On February 4, 2017, the Miami-based firm will offer a brand new estate located in the Carlton Woods Creekside community at a live, on-site auction. Two more elegant properties in the same community will be offered via “High Bidder’s Choice” on February 24. Although recently listed for nearly $2 million, each property will now be sold to the highest bidder who meets or exceeds the auction’s reserve price of only $1 million. Platinum is managing the auction sales of all three properties in cooperation with listing agent Rodrigo Munguia of Houston’s D&R Consulting.

The Houston Business Journal, which previously featured Platinum Luxury Auctions in a cover story detailing the popularity of auctions as a means to sell Houston’s finest homes, has released two new stories in the past two days. Both feature Platinum’s auction efforts prominently, and in one case, exclusively. Platinum acts on behalf of wealthy individuals who want to sell their homes, but don’t have to: they want the benefits of a date certain sale and understand that auctions provide an excellent method to combat the traditional pitfalls of real estate sales by creating urgency in the right audience.

In Houston alone, a home listed at $1 million or more spends almost a month longer on the market than a typical home. Says President Trayor Lesnock, “[Sellers are] looking to the auction as an expeditious and effective way to sell their home. Residential luxury real estate is a competitive and cluttered market where it’s hard for properties to stand out. The auction process cuts through all of that like a hot knife through butter.”

The full articles on Platinum’s new auctions and its 2016 record breaking sale can be found here and here.



Platinum Luxury Auctions Schedules Wellington Equestrian Estate for Feb Sale

Miami-based luxury real estate auction firm Platinum Luxury Auctions will look to extend its flawless sales record in Wellington, Florida with the offering of a unique, 15-acre equestrian estate this winter. To date, Platinum has closed all of its Wellington auction sales, including the sale of Two Swans Farm ($6.9 million), Wild Orchid Stables ($4.325 million), and a residential home in the area’s Polo Club enclave ($2.365 million).

On February 25th, 2017 a luxurious horse property located in the private and gated community of Las Palmas will be sold at a live auction, to the highest bidder who meets or exceeds the auction’s reserve bid of $4 million. The property was recently asking $11 million prior to the auction announcement. Listing agent Matthew Johnson with Engel & Völkers of Wellington is working in tandem with Platinum for the transaction.

More specifically, the 10-acre portion of the property – which contains all of its structures – will be offered with the $4 million reserve. An additional, 5-acre parcel is available separately, with the price being negotiable between buyer and seller. The undeveloped, 5-acre parcel is contiguous with 10-acre parcel, and is currently used only for additional grazing or riding space.

“This property should readily satisfy those looking for both a luxurious residence and a working horse farm, and those two items can be difficult to find as one unit of sale in Wellington,” stated Trayor Lesnock, Platinum’s president and founder.

The property’s main residence offers nearly 6,400 sf of living space, with 4 bedrooms and 4 full baths. Features include an infinity-edge pool and spa, 1,400-bottle wine cellar, library, media room, office, fitness center, and a “tower” on the second level that is currently outfitted as a yoga studio. There are also two generators, in addition to “Smart Home” technology that is controllable via mobile devices.

Additional structures include a 3-vehicle garage (with A/C), guest cottage, 12-stall barn with enclosed lounge and attached loggia offering views of the riding arena and fields, a dedicated set of grooms’ apartments with an additional garage for larger equipment, a 215-ft-by-125-ft riding arena, and 6 paddocks.

The property is also quite “green:” it draws additional water from both a well and from rain-catchers located in the paddocks, and it also collects energy from solar panels – which can in fact create an energy surplus that can be sold back to Florida Power & Light.

Wellington, Florida has a well-established reputation as one of the world’s most prominent equestrian marketplaces. The area is home to the world’s longest-running horse show and competition – the Winter Equestrian Festival. The event draws the Who’s Who of the equestrian world to South Florida each year, many of whom then lease or purchase property in Wellington. The community boasts residents such as Bill GatesTommy Lee JonesBruce Springsteen, and billionaire media mogul John Malone.

The property is available for previews between the hours of 12 and 4pm (EST) every Friday through Sunday, until the auction. Additional information is available at, or by calling Platinum’s offices at 800.743.1368.

Platinum Luxury Auctions Returns to The Woodlands With February Offering

After establishing the resale pricing record for The Woodlands in 2016 with the $7.1 million sale of a Carlton Woods estate, luxury real estate auction firm Platinum Luxury Auctions has returned to the community with what may be considered a more “modest” luxury home offering. On February 4, 2017, the Miami-based firm will offer a brand new estate located in the Carlton Woods Creekside community at a live, on-site auction. Although recently listed for $1.6 million, the property will now be sold to the highest bidder who meets or exceeds the auction’s reserve price of $1 million. Platinum is managing the auction sale in cooperation with the property’s listing agent, Rodrigo Munguia of D&R Consulting.

“This property occupies a sweet spot in the current marketplace,” stated David Ashcroft, Platinum’s director of business development. “While many of the luxury property markets across the U.S. have experienced softening in the uppermost tiers of pricing, properties in the $1 million to $2.5 million range have performed rather well. This seems to be especially true for newer homes.”

The Creekside estate fits well within Mr. Ashcroft’s parameters, as it combines modest luxury home pricing with brand new construction. It was completed in the fourth quarter of 2016, and is awaiting its first owner.

The two-story home offers approximately 4,907 interior square feet of living space and a total footprint of nearly 6,800 square feet when including outdoor living areas and a 3-car garage. With 5 bedrooms, 5 full and 2 half baths, there is ample room for family and friends. The foyer and great room feature 24-foot ceilings, creating a bright, welcoming space.

Other property features include a gourmet kitchen with oversized center island, formal dining, a “bonus room” suitable for a home theater, fitness center or office, and a lovely outdoor courtyard featuring a summer kitchen and fireplace. The courtyard can also accommodate a pool, should the new owner wish to install one.

Sometimes referred to as the “Beverly Hills of Texas,” Carlton Woods is the premier gated community within The Woodlands, a 44-square-mile, master-planned development located just north of Houston. The amenity-rich area is known for its neatly manicured communities, golf courses and clubs, and its collection of impressive addresses.

Beginning January 11th, the property will be available for previews between the hours of 12 and 4pm (CST) daily, until the auction. Additional information is available at, or by calling Platinum’s offices at 800.916.5676.

Buyers Line Up to Purchase Laguna Beach Mansion Sold by Platinum Luxury Auctions

An impressive crowd of ten bidders gathered in the living room of a hilltop estate in Laguna Beach on November 18, 2016, in order to participate in a live auction for the chance to become the multimillion-dollar property’s new owner. Platinum Luxury Auctions, a real estate auction firm specializing in the sale of luxurious properties, was hired by the homeowner to conduct the auction in cooperation with broker John Stanaland of HÔM Sotheby’s International Realty, the listing agency of record.

The price paid by the highest bidder has not yet been revealed, but a Platinum spokesperson noted the winning bid “almost doubled” the auction’s $2 million reserve price.

Platinum’s auction-marketing campaign garnered significant interest from buyers in the U.S. and abroad, with 146 inquiries, 83 on-site property previews and more than 39,000 visits to the property’s webpage during a 5-week period. Coverage of the ocean-view home appeared in the Wall Street JournalThe New York TimesLos Angeles Times and in television commercials on major news networks.

“To have ten bidders for the auction of a property that sat on the market for so many years – especially at the height of a significant political shakeup in the country – is a tremendous feat,” said Kevin Vaughan, Platinum’s project manager for the transaction. “In addition, I believe only one bidder was an investor, meaning the audience was nearly entirely comprised of end-users. It’s certainly a testament to the quality of Platinum’s buyer database and the effectiveness of its luxury auction platform.”

Prior to the auction, the Orange County residence spent more than 6 years on the market, starting at an asking price of $7 million, which was gradually reduced to approximately $4.9 million. Custom built in 1996 and carved into the hillside, the tri-level home features postcard views of the Pacific Ocean. In total, the estate offers 7,200 sq. ft. of living space, seven bedrooms and five baths. Highlights include a gourmet kitchen, home theater, saltwater fish tank, fitness room with sauna and an elevator servicing all three floors.

“With one exception in 2013, we have sold every property we have offered for luxury auction in California,” stated Trayor Lesnock, Platinum’s founder and president. “It’s certainly a fertile market for our platform, and we are expanding our business efforts there going forward.”

For more information on this sale or other upcoming luxury auctions, please contact Platinum Luxury Auctions at 800.262.5132 or visit

Platinum Luxury Auctions Succeeds with Sale of Park City Area Home Sites

The upscale Wolf Creek Ranch community in Heber City, Utah has enjoyed a string of new sales as a result of the planned September auction of up to four buildable lots located within the subdivision, according to Platinum Luxury Auctions, the firm that managed the transactions. Platinum is the Miami-based real estate auction firm responsible for developing the luxury auction® model for the non-distressed auction sale of multimillion-dollar properties on behalf of wealthy owners. The auction house worked in cooperation with listing brokerage Summit Sotheby’s International Realty, who served as the broker of record for the sales.

In August, Platinum and Summit announced the planned auction of up to four buildable lots within the development, which is located approximately 15 miles south of Park City. One lot was to be sold to the highest bidder without reserve, while the remaining three lots were offered subject to the seller’s acceptance, meaning that unlike the auction of the first lot, the highest bids could be accepted, countered or rejected.

However, direct negotiations began for one of the properties immediately prior to the planned auction date of September 30 – which quickly led to the negotiation of two more of the lots – in lieu of a live auction sale. “There’s a saying that, ‘Sometimes the best auction is the one that doesn’t happen,’ meaning that the auction event itself was not needed because the mere threat of the auction was enough to produce a sale,” stated David Ashcroft, Platinum’s director of business development. “That is essentially what occurred here, and it resulted in three of the four lots being sold to the seller’s satisfaction, with the sale of the final lot still in negotiations with a small handful of buyers.”

Individual lots within Wolf Creek are large, starting at about 160-acres in size. While some of these parcels previously achieved prices around the $1 million mark, sales within the development cooled significantly in recent years, with pricing adjusting downwards. Final figures for the three lot sales have not yet been released, but Mr. Ashcroft reported that each of the sales, “exceeded the price threshold established by the seller at the outset of the auction process.”

Occupying 13,200 private acres and with only 80 home sites, Wolf Creek Ranch offers its residents a sense of peace and privacy amidst Utah’s beautiful landscape. Community amenities include a well-appointed owners’ lodge, an equestrian center, and even an on-site trout-fishing guide.

Those looking for more information on these sales – or inquiring about the status of the remaining auction parcel – may contact Platinum at 800.262.5132 or visit

Colorado’s Historic Redstone Castle Sold by Platinum Luxury Auctions

Redstone, Colorado’s historic Redstone Castle has been successfully sold following a live auction held at the property site on October 7, 2016, according to Platinum Luxury Auctions, the auction house that managed the transaction. The sale was held in cooperation with Aspen-based brokerage Aspen-Snowmass Sotheby’s International Realty, represented by listing agents and top producers Ted Borchelt and Jana Dillard.

Although the price of the sale has not yet been released, representatives for Platinum stated that the high bidder satisfied all of the terms of the auction sale, and that the transaction should close shortly. The auction required that a reserve bid of $2 million be met in order for the property to be sold. The purchaser is also required to put forth an additional 10% in commissions and other transaction fees to consummate the sale.

“We have been quite impressed with PLA since day one!” exclaimed Borchelt, adding that he and the property seller interviewed several luxury real estate auction firms before selecting Platinum. “I cannot imagine the competition doing a better job.”

“We were incredibly pleased with the makeup of inquirers for this auction, which included two billionaires and a sizable pool of wealthy individuals from both U.S. and foreign markets. One would be hard-pressed to think any stone was left unturned in the marketing outreach,” stated Aaron Carmody, Platinum’s project manager for the sale. “Selling an historic property is never an easy feat, especially when that property is a 24,000 square foot castle that is largely original per its 1902 build date.”

To be sure, the property enjoyed a tremendous amount of exposure in the media, such as a televised feature during FoxNews Denver’s primetime evening segment, in addition to articles in Bloomberg, The Wall Street Journal and a series of local and regional publications based in and around Colorado.

A spokesperson for the Aspen-based company that owned and sold the property expressed satisfaction with the sale, stating via email that Platinum and Sotheby’s, “…put forth the best effort possible,” and that the company, “truly appreciated working with” the parties throughout the process.

While the company’s ownership originally had grand plans for the estate, those plans were shelved and the company instead decided to open the property for public tours, relying on the knowledge and experience of a caretaker who has lived at the Castle for nearly twenty years. The tours have maintained public interest in the Castle, continuing its long-held role as centerpiece of the small mountain hamlet of Redstone, located about 30 minutes outside of Aspen, CO.

Built in 1902 for John Cleveland Osgood, a powerful coal and steel industrialist who became the sixth wealthiest person in the country by 1900, the castle was named for the town of Redstone, Colorado, which was in fact founded by Osgood. Also known as “Cleveholm Manor” and “Osgood Castle,” the estate served as Osgood’s personal residence, and as such played host to members of the era’s high society, including American icons such as John D. Rockefeller, J. Pierpont Morgan and Teddy Roosevelt.

The buyer of the property is reported to be private businessman with other commercial property holdings in Colorado’s Roaring Fork Valley region. His future plans for the Castle are yet to be revealed. Additional information on the sale can be found at or by contacting a Platinum associate at 800.262.5132.

Platinum Luxury Auctions’ Sale of California Ranch Closes at 114% of Appraisal

After previously reporting the East Ranch estate in California’s Redwood Valley was pending sale following a live auction held on the property site on September 17, 2016, Miami-based auction house Platinum Luxury Auctions has announced that the transaction has closed at a price of $6.215 million. The sale price is equal to 114% of the property’s most recently appraised value, according to an appraisal report furnished by the ranch’s owners. Platinum managed the sale in cooperation with listing agent Chris Iverson of Menlo Park real estate brokerage Dreyfus Sotheby’s International Realty.

“This closing marks our fourth consecutive auction sale in the state of California,” stated Trayor Lesnock, Platinum’s president and founder. “Ironically, we have yet to really focus our business development efforts there, but I expect that to change.” Platinum is also handling the upcoming auction of an ocean view mansion in Laguna Beach, CA, which is scheduled for sale on November 18.

With the plus-$6-million sale price, the auction’s reserve price of $3 million – that is, the lowest price for which the seller was obligated to sell the property – was more than doubled. “Many firms shy away from auctions with reserves, but this is an excellent case study for the results that are produced by a very effective reserve price, especially as opposed to the ‘bait-and-switch’ auction models we unfortunately see many firms using in today’s marketplace,” stated David Ashcroft, Platinum’s director of business development and a spokesman for the sale.

Mr. Ashcroft elaborated that many property auctions in today’s market are promoted as being “absolute” or “without reserve,” but instead of allowing buyers to truly name their price at a live bidding event – the hallmark of an auction with no reserve price – buyers for these auctions are aggressively pursued for bids and offers prior to the live auction sale. This turn of events sours many buyers on the experience, in some cases causing them to abandon their interest in the given property entirely. Further, many auctions are cancelled or withdrawn if these advanced bids or offers are not attractive enough to the seller. “It’s certainly a gray area,” Ashcroft added, “The irony is that the model is promoted as being better for the seller when in fact the opposite is true, as we see time and again.”

Conversely, listing agent Chris Iverson noted that he and his clients were drawn to the straightforward transparency and methodical management of Platinum’s auction process. “Platinum’s program was exceptionally well-managed from start to finish,” said Iverson. “In fact, I sincerely believe that Platinum’s management of the actual, day-of-auction bidding process added another $500,000 to $1 million to the ultimate sales price.”

More information on the sale is available at, or by contacting Platinum’s corporate offices at 800.262.5132.

Platinum Luxury Auctions Offers Ocean View Estate in Laguna Beach, CA

After announcing the $6.215 million-dollar closing of a ranch in northern California, Miami-based luxury real estate auction firm Platinum Luxury Auctions has announced yet another luxury auction® in southern California’s Orange County. On November 18th, 2016, a hilltop estate in Laguna Beach will be sold at a live auction to the bidder who puts forth the highest price at or above the auction’s reserve bid of $2 million. The residence was previously listed for $7 million. Listing agent John Stanaland of Hôm Sotheby’s International Realty is cooperating with Platinum as the broker or record for the sale.

Platinum specializes in the non-distressed, auction sale of multimillion-dollar properties on behalf of their wealthy owners, who have often been unsuccessful in selling their home using the traditional brokerage process. The firm conducts approximately 90% of its business in the United States, with the balance in foreign markets such as the Caribbean, Canada and Mexico.

“With the exception of one transaction in mid-2013, we have sold and closed every property we’ve handled in California, so we really enjoy the opportunity to represent clients and properties there,” stated Trayor Lesnock, founder and president of Platinum. “We’ve certainly seen consistency in the global appetite for luxurious California properties.”

With unobstructed views of the Pacific Ocean from its elevated, hilltop location, the property is an excellent choice for those who prefer life with a water view. The main and upper living levels offer oversized, ocean view terraces, while the lowermost level features a walk-out loggia with fireplace, summer kitchen, water features, and a custom pool and spa with rock waterfall.

“It’s easy to envision yourself relaxing in the pool or spa with a nice glass of wine while enjoying a front row seat to Laguna’s golden sunsets,” said Kevin Vaughan, Platinum’s project manager for the transaction. “And with the property’s elevated location and its setback from the beach, the homeowner is afforded a charming view of Laguna below.”

Custom built in 1996 and meticulously maintained, the estate offers elegant finishes and a bright, contemporary design. Three living levels sum to a very manageable 7,200 square feet of interiors, with seven bedrooms and 5 baths. Prominent features include a gourmet kitchen, formal dining, billiards room, home theater, music room, a dual-sided, saltwater fish tank, fitness room with sauna, and an elevator servicing all levels. There are also multiple fireplaces throughout the residence, in addition to a number of wet bars/kitchenettes.

The estate is available for open house previews between the hours of 12 and 4pm PDT daily, until the auction. Additional information is available at, or by calling 800.678.8445.

Platinum Luxury Auctions Announces Auction of 42-Acre Connecticut Estate

Building on the momentum of a string of recent sales in the western United States – including the auction of a California ranch at 114% of its most recent appraisal – veteran luxury real estate auction firm Platinum Luxury Auctions has announced the upcoming auction of a 42-acre, country-style home in Litchfield County, CT. Located in the rural enclave of Kent, the property was once asking $10.9 million, but will now be sold on November 17, 2016 at a live auction to the highest bidder who meets or exceeds the auction’s reserve price of only $2.75 million. A smaller, adjacent property situated on more than 6 acres – ideal for hosting additional family members and extra guests – is also available separately. Platinum is managing the auction in cooperation with listing brokerage William Pitt Sotheby’s International Realty, in Kent, CT. Listing agent Judy Perkins is representing William Pitt for the sale.

“On the heels of five consecutive property sales in the months of September and October with Sotheby’s International Realty affiliates in Colorado, California and Utah, we’re pleased to return to the northeast for our first transaction in Connecticut, with William Pitt Sotheby’s,” announced Trayor Lesnock, Platinum’s president and founder. “We’ve been discussing the possibility of this auction with Platinum for more than a year. The property owners are extremely diligent, and are confident Platinum was the best auction firm to present their home to the international marketplace,” added Mrs. Perkins.

Situated on 42 private acres in southern Kent, the property offers striking views of the conserved and protected lands that surround it. These lands also ensure that the estate is protected from encroaching developments.

When the owners purchased the property as a raw parcel of beautifully wooded land, they wanted to ensure the home they constructed would compliment – rather than interfere with – its natural surroundings. They enlisted the services of a former associate of Frank Lloyd Wright to design the estate, and much of the natural stone and timber that was accumulated during clearance of the homesite was repurposed in order to build the residence. Many of the wooden beams used in the estate were cut and treated by hand.

The end result is a sprawling manor featuring warm woods and carved mantles that speak to the rich architectural heritage of New England. Prominent features include lofted ceilings with exposed beams, a wine cellar, billiards room, eight fireplaces, an art/music gallery, gourmet kitchen with top-of-the-line appliances, and a sun/summer room. The residence offers 6 bedrooms, 6 full and 2 half baths throughout two levels of luxury living: a main level of 7,200 square feet, and a lower level adding an additional 6,700 square feet. Many of the rooms open onto terraces, patios, or manicured lawns, emphasizing the Property’s harmony with nature.

In addition to the main residence, there is also a lovely pool house with a full bath, a custom pool with infinity-edge design, an artist’s studio (also with a full bath), and several small outbuildings for storage and utilities.

An adjacent property – which will be offered for sale separately from the primary estate – sits on nearly 7 acres, and features a main residence of more than 2,300 square feet, in addition to a guesthouse of 660 square feet. In total, this adjacent property offers 4 bedrooms and 3 full baths. There is also a 2-car garage, and two private ponds on site. It is ideal for housing caretakers, extra members of large families or party guests, or to be used as an entirely separate residence.

The property is available for previews between the hours of 12 and 4pm EDT daily, until the auction. Additional information is available at, or by calling 800.218.5173.