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$7.5M buys a house on Lake Wylie

This home at 9235 Sweetleaf Place is listed for $7.5 million. Photo courtesy of Ben Bowen

CHARLOTTE — It has a whopping 15,000 square feet and comes with 11 acres of land, and if this southwestern Mecklenburg County home sells for asking price it would be the highest-priced sale in the CMLS since 2000.

But for now, the house at 9235 Sweetleaf Place, listed for $7.5 million, is just sitting on the market.

According to the listing agent, Ben Bowen, owner of Cornelius-based Ben Bowen Properties, he’s had the listing for about six months. He said that while he’s sold luxury homes, he’s never listed one for this much.

Bowen declined to disclose the seller’s name, but, according to Mecklenburg County records, Wayne and Betty Gorell are the owners of the home, which is roughly 200 feet from Lake Wylie. They bought the land in December 2005.

Last year, the county assessed the land itself at $1.88 million and the home at $2.6 million. The county also assessed “extra features” at $43,700.

It’s the highest-priced listing in the Carolina Multiple Listing Services.

“The challenge in selling this home isn’t going to be about financing, like it can be for some lower-priced homes in the current economy,” Bowen said. “Whoever is going to buy this home has the money in cash or they can get it easily.”

He said he’s trying to find someone to “fall in love” with the house.

There’s a lot to fall in love with.

According to Bowen, the home, which was built in 2008 in The Sanctuary subdivision, comes with a 1,500-square-foot guesthouse and roughly 2,500 square feet on the lower level that a new owner could use as a gym or art studio.

“I’ve been emphasizing those things to potential buyers,” he said. “But I haven’t shown the home that many times yet.”

Bowen also said he is advertising the home on Zillow and Trulia and in the duPoint Registry of Homes, published by Florida-based duPoint Publishing.

He said it’s been tough to price the home.

“Because so few homes sell in this price range in our area, there are very few comparables to use as a basis for setting the price,” he said.

He said his comparative market analysis shows that only three homes have closed for above $5 million in the Charlotte area since 2000.

In May 2007, a 9,749-square-foot home at 920 Granville Road in Myers Park sold for $5.1 million. In November 2007, a 9,915-square-foot home at 4701 Carmel Park Lane sold for $6.32 million. And on Oct. 12, a 4,000-square-foot home at 196 Old Stagecoach Lane sold for $5 million.

“You do have to do things differently now in the luxury market than you did before the big real estate crash,” Bowen said. “But a lot of it plays into the Internet and how you market things. The first thing I do is use the Tour Factory photography company, and that virtual tour gets distributed over thousands of websites.”

Sharon Finch, a broker with Keller Williams Ballantyne, said that to sell a home for $7.5 million, it must be in immaculate condition.

“Condition and price is everything, period,” she said. “You price it right for the condition it is in, it will sell. A $7.5 million home is the very top of the market in Charlotte, but the right price will sell a home.

“I’ve sold million-dollar homes in Lake Norman and Union County, and even if it is in excellent condition it has to be priced very graciously, especially in this market.”

Scott Baughman can be reached at scott.baughman@mecktimes.com.

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