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Oconomowoc Lake estate up for auction

Village of Oconomowoc Lake - The owners of an expansive family compound on Oconomowoc Lake are taking an unconventional method to sell their property.

Paul and Andrea Clarkson have engaged the firm of Fine & Company WI, LLC, to auction the two-parcel property on Oct. 12.

The 6.25-acre compound, visible only from the lake or by air, will be available for a final viewing from noon to 2 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 8. A detailed Bidder's Information Packet has been assembled and contains property specific information, the auction and the terms of sale. The $40 purchase of the packet is required to bid at the auction and will be available for sale at all viewing opportunities, Michael Fine explained.

"The property may be purchased in either two separate parcels or in its entirety," he added.

A tree-lined private driveway off Sawyer Road leads visitors to the two residences on approximately 400 feet of shoreline.

The first parcel is a 4,700-square-foot waterfront French country manor that offers formal and informal entertaining areas. Highlights include a gourmet kitchen with professional appliances, two boat docks, and an elegant "motorcar pavilion" or artist studio.

The manor home has received several awards for its remodeling and extensive landscaping including: The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel's Gold Award to Johnson Design, Inc Architects/Builders for complementing and preserving the original sense of scale and surrounding landscape of the lake property and Wisconsin Landscape Contractors Association Gold Award 2011.

The second parcel, a guest residence, that offers more than 3,100 square feet is also a waterfront home with nine rooms, three bedrooms, including master suite, three full bathrooms, wet bar, fireplace and deck.

"This is an estate which must be seen by prospective buyers to fully realize the visual artistry of this very singular, very special place located in a highly exclusive enclave where business moguls, and many other 'boldfaced names' have chosen to locate," said Renee Jones, Chief Operating Officer of Fine & Company, LLC and International Champion Auctioneer.

Fine said that the auction process allows buyers the option of purchasing either one or both parcels, and provides the buyer with the ability to see which is the most advantageous to them.

The firm will use a written bidding process and on Oct. 12, bidders will submit their offers, along with a cashier's check for anywhere between $40,000 and $120,000, depending on how they bid.

The auction process is "very often favored by sellers for trophy homes and other level homes as well. It creates a deadline to sell the property.

"Sellers are choosing auctions over conventional listings because they provide finality, and motivate buyers to act now," he explained. "Sellers prefer this because it provides an absolute timeline and they can plan the next chapter of their lives."

Very often, the owners of prime properties are more comfortable with the auction experience, Fine said, using it to buy and sell valuable assets such as cars, wine, art and jewelry.

Paul Clarkson is a car collector who has experience buying and selling high value collectibles.

"The auction process is the most expeditious means to accomplish our family's goals. With such a unique property we feel fortunate that the auction process allows the bidders to bid their price and that we are not encumbered by a minimum or maximum asking price, nor do we need to decide now if we should sell the property as one or as two separate homes, it will be up to the bidders," he explained.

"It is a very rare occasion when an estate is offered for ownership transfer on Oconomowoc Lake. Typically they are passed on to succeeding generations through estate plan trust agreements.

"Our family has chosen to relocate geographically. With such a special and truly unique property, we wanted to be sure that everyone knows that it is for sale and that they have an opportunity to buy and enjoy," he added.

The couple is relocating to be move closer to their grown children.

"After raising our family and creating fond memories on Oconomowoc Lake, we have decided to move closer to our children and grandchildren. We wanted a marketing plan that could ensure that we can be moved into our new home by the holidays and the auction method proved to be the solution we were searching for," Andrea Clarkson said.

Fine would not provide an estimate on how much the property could sell for or how many bids he expected the couple would receive.

"We're not really appraisers. The pricing will be generated by the market," he explained.

"It's very difficult to predict, but we're seeing quite a bit of activity on the property," he added.

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As Published in Crains