Agents show Madoff's house, but keep his name out of it

The swimming pool at Bernard Madoff's house in The swimming pool at Bernard Madoff's house in Montuak overlooks the sea. Photo Credit: Karen Wiles Stabile

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Everyone knows by now that the beach house for sale at 216 Old Montauk Hwy. in Montauk once belonged to Bernard Madoff, but if you take a tour of the home, the agents will never refer to the financier felon by name, only that he's a "gentleman that built this house."

Why did he buy in rustic Montauk and not tonier Southampton? "The former owner of this house was a great sport and fishing person and had a boat," said Joan Hegner, the senior vice president at The Corcoran Group, which the U.S. Marshals Service selected, with her husband, Raymond, to list the house for $8.75 million.

"I'm not to refer to this property as his," she said.

A Corcoran spokeswoman explained that agents don't refer to properties by the owners' names. A spokesman for the U.S. Marshals Service did not return calls seeking comment.

Another sore topic: "We're not allowed to discuss commission," Hegner said. She nonetheless added that Corcoran would be forgoing its share; she said she has to take her share, but she would not say whether she plans to keep or donate it.

Read Real LI blog on Corcoran plan to donate commission.

But no one will be getting rich off this sale. The standard commission is between 4 and 6 percent, said Judy Desiderio of Town and Country Real Estate. "I would venture Corcoran took it even lower," she said. The hours spent getting the listing, showing the property, marketing the house and dealing with the media also will cut into profits.

The one thing Hegner won't be negotiating is property repairs: The house is being sold to a cash buyer as is, "subject to nothing," Hegner said.

The four-bedroom, three-bath house is a classic example of 1980s upscale postmodern architecture, with the original Formica built-ins and gray stucco walls untouched.

Updated or not, the property is generating a lot of interest. Corcoran got the listing Tuesday and started showing it Wednesday. Since then, there have been two offers and brokers have been flocking to tour the house. "It's heating up very quickly," Hegner said. "We very well may be seeing a bidding war."

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