Tenn. Castle Listed at $28.5 Million Will Go to Highest Bidder

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The Crantzdorf Castle -- modeled after a palace in Spain that once housed the royal family -- will be auctioned to the highest bidder regardless of price on June 16. The castle, which includes a private race-car track, is located in the East Tennessee foothills and was originally listed for sale at $28.5 million. More recently the price was lowered to $19.5 million.

So what's up with that? Will the owners really take the highest bid, no matter what?

Yes they will, says Laura Brady, vice president of marketing for Concierge Auctions, the company handling this sale.

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Auctioning off unique high-end properties is nothing new, but selling to the highest bidder without a reserve certainly raises the ante. Auctions are sometimes used just as a marketing tool, another way to grab some attention for the property. Generally, the seller sets a reserve - a minimum amount for which the property must be sold. Buyers don't know what the reserve is, just that there is one.

But that's not the case here. This is a castle auction with no reserve.

"The Crantzdorf Castle is ideal for our auction process," said Brady. "Selling without reserve to the highest bidder, this auction presents an extraordinary opportunity to purchase a 'royal' lifestyle for your bid price."

Modeled after Spain's Palacio de la Magdalena, the Crantzdorf Castle sprawls across 13 acres, blending French, Spanish and classic English styling. The home has more than 20,000 square feet, which includes nine bedroom suites, a full home theater, and a pub and billiards room with an antique hand-carved wet bar. There's an indoor basketball court and a swimming pool with a lake view. The property sale includes six Italian race cars and a private racetrack - a 1/16th model of the Bristol Motor Speedway.

The owner personally handpicked each item from floor to ceiling, carefully outfitting a theme for each room. The grand fireplace stands 22 feet high. There are hand-cast crown moldings, oodles of stained glass windows, soaring cathedral ceilings and a suit of armor. Everything a castle should have.

The auction will be conducted live on June 16. Phone and internet bidding are available.
Loretta Trayer of Mountain Sotheby's International Realty is the listing agent.

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