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How to Sell a Frank Lloyd Wright House

It's not easy to swing a real estate deal when a particular piece of property is considered a work of art. There are a couple of dozen houses in far-flung places across the U.S. that stand out from their neighbors because they were designed by Frank Lloyd Wright. The homes are innovative, beautiful, and historic, but they aren't easy to sell. Who wants to pay millions of dollars for a house that has only one bathroom? That's not the only reason the houses are hard to sell, as Mental Floss explains

A commemoration of the 150th anniversary of Wright's birth is expected to bring a horde of his fans to New York City next month, and many of them will make a pilgrimage to Tirranna, a Wright house in New Canaan, Connecticut. It's on the market, but few visitors will be equipped to purchase it.  

For brokers like Mr. Milne, marketing these houses offers unique challenges, including the need to become a Wright expert, to devise a strategy for separating potential buyers from sightseers, and to develop a convincing argument for why someone should pay a premium to live in a house with small bedrooms and a snug kitchen, cinder-block walls, cement floors, narrow doorways, a carport instead of a garage and, quite likely, no air-conditioning.

For potential buyers, it means becoming the steward of a legacy, which includes instant membership in an exclusive, sometimes intrusive, society of Wright enthusiasts.  

The New York Times tells the stories of five Wright houses that are on the market our have been sold in recent years. Pictured is the Penfield House in Willoughby Hills, Ohio, which has been on the market for three years.  

(Image credit: Marykeiran)


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