The exterior of the Gloria Crest Estate in Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey.

LuxQue Media / Mike Aghachi

A mansion was once hailed as one of the most expensive homes for sale in New Jersey, and the price fell like a ton of bricks.

In 2013, the 28-room property at 83 North Woodland St. in Englewood, New Jersey known as the Gloria Crest Estate went on sale at $ 39 million. The property’s name dates back to its original owners in the 1920s, but shortly after construction, the extravagant ivory-colored house was referred to as the Englewood White House.

The gilded entrance area includes ornate columns, golden moldings and a double staircase.

LuxQue Media / Mike Aghachi

In the eight years after its $ 39 million debut, the nearly 100-year-old mansion in Bergen County’s jumbo price was slashed to size in a series of massive price cuts, according to public records.

In 2014, after a year on the market, the price was lowered to $ 25 million. The price reductions continued over the next few years and dropped to $ 17 million by 2017. Then, in February 2018, court records show the property was foreclosed when the owners defaulted on a $ 7.3 million mortgage from the U.S. bank.

It was temporarily withdrawn from the market until it went on sale again in June 2018, this time for $ 12 million under a new listing agent. From 2019 to 2021, the listing was represented by another broker and the price was hacked six more times, falling from $ 9.99 million to $ 5.99 million.

The owner’s suite includes a spiral staircase that leads to an office one level up.

LuxQue Media / Mike Aghachi

In those eight years, the property went through at least four brokers. The youngest real estate agent to represent the house was Michelle Pais, the CEO of Signature Realty NJ. It was Pais’ listing of the last six price cuts – before she finally sold it.

“A home is worth what a buyer is willing to pay for it,” Pais told CNBC. “What a buyer wants and what an appraiser says is irrelevant, and that goes for every home.”

Last month, a buyer Pais is not allowed to name was willing to pay $ 4.6 million for the mansion and the nearly five acres it stands on. The closing price was a whopping 88% discount on the original offer price and wasn’t even enough to cover the 2018 loan default.

A sitting area and a stone fireplace in one of the 28 rooms in the house.

LuxQue Media / Mike Aghachi

According to floor plans, the home has approximately 15,000 square feet of interior space across four levels, which makes the mansion price about $ 300 per square foot. That’s 34% less than the average price of $ 436 per square foot reported in Englewood Cliffs’ August property sales data, according to Redfin.

So why did the price of the fancy White House fall? Pais offers her insight. While she appreciated the history of the home and its architecture, which dates back to 1926, some potential buyers didn’t. And for those who were fans of the Mediterranean villa-inspired exterior of the house and the ornate details inside, there were other issues.

The large entrance area includes ornate moldings and double-high ceilings.

LuxQue Media / Mike Aghachi

“A tax bill for $ 163,000 and the place was in need of renovation,” Pais said.

For some potential buyers, the $ 13,653 monthly property tax was a tough pill, and the cost of renovating a home this size didn’t help. Pais sets the budget for the upgrade at $ 3 million to $ 5 million.

A look into one of the 14 bathrooms in the house.

LuxQue Media / Mike Aghachi

“We have brought athletes and CEOs from all over the country,” she said. During the pandemic, Pais said she held both face-to-face and virtual screenings.

“Ultimately, it was the renovation. It took too much updating for these people,” said Pais.

And it wasn’t just the money that had to be spent to fix it. It was also the time it took to finish.

A living area with beamed ceilings and one of the house’s five fireplaces

LuxQue Media / Mike Aghachi

There was also a property issue that made it difficult to get a deal close.

“It wasn’t a traditional sale or seller. This was company owned and there were multiple makers,” Pais said. “To get it [an offer] voted by all decision makers who had to be on the same page. “

She had an earlier offer of more than $ 4.6 million, but the homeowners turned it down, she said.

A recently updated kitchen includes colorful stained glass built into the ceiling.

LuxQue Media / Mike Aghachi

“When you’re first putting a home on the market, it’s not uncommon for you to try to get as close to the asking price as you can,” she explained.

Pais said customers wanted to hold out and see if they could get a better deal that was closer to the asking price.

It’s a common strategy that many of their customers will try, but it’s risky.

“Sometimes the first offer is the best offer and sometimes it is not,” she said.

In this case, the earlier offer was the better offer, but that wasn’t clear until months later. By then, the ability to sell at a higher price had vanished, leaving sellers with a $ 4.6 million deal.

The house has a projection room.

LuxQue Media / Mike Aghachi

Interestingly, after all these price adjustments, the old White House closed at almost the same price it was trading for 21 years ago. Public records show the property sold for $ 4.67 million in 2000.