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Madison Valley luxury ranch to sell at absolute auction

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Ponderosa Ranch exemplifies new trending sales technique in high end real estate, Big Sky realtor says

By Emily Stifler Managing Editor

CAMERON – A Madison Valley gentleman’s ranch with luxury amenities will be sold at absolute auction next month through New York City-based Concierge Auctions.

The 180-acre Ponderosa Ranch will be auctioned on Sept. 13 in cooperation with Martha Johnson of Montana Living ~ Big Sky Real Estate. This is the first time the property has ever been offered for sale.

“It’s more of a recreational ranch,” Johnson said. “There are much larger acreages [in the Madison], but this has every toy under the sun.” Set atop a hill on Raynold’s Pass, 50 miles south of Ennis, the property abuts forest service on two sides—one Idaho and one Montana.

An absolute auction means there is no minimum bid or reserve price, so the property will sell to the highest bidder on auction day, according to Laura Brady, vice president of marketing for Concierge Auctions. So while Ponderosa Ranch is listed at $6 million, ultimately the bidders will determine the sale price.

The sellers are “savvy business people,” Brady said. “They did not have the ranch on the market for sale prior to approaching us for auction, and chose the auction route in order to effectuate a sale in short order. They understand the value is not what the property cost to construct or what it is listed for sale, but rather whatever the market determines through competition on auction day.”

They’re fully committed to finding a new owner on Sept. 13 so they can move on to other opportunities, Brady added.

Johnson said she and Concierge together have more than 700 leads already—these are qualified buyers that have requested information on the property. The auction is Sept. 13, and between Johnson and a Concierge representative, they’ve been showing the property nearly every day.

“It’s a successful combination, with the auction company, a real estate agent and the seller,” Johnson said. “It moves properties a lot faster.”

Some interested parties have flow into West Yellowstone, and others were already Big Sky homeowners looking for a place to compliment their resort property, Johnson said. Most have been couples looking for a generational family compound or a legacy property.

“It’s a very cool, fun property, great for family and friends to congregate, think tanks or corporate retreats,” Johnson said.

Ponderosa Ranch is located in Cameron, an unincorporated community in Madison County, Montana. The main building is 9,000 square feet, and the guest house is 6,000. Both have panoramic views, vaulted ceilings, granite fireplaces and radiant floor heat. There is also a salt water pool, a slide, exercise facilities and a game room with a full arcade, Johnson said.

There’s hunting, fishing, snowmobiling, four-wheeling and hiking on the property. The Madison River is nearby, as is Henry’s Lake. Also on the property is a caretaker’s cottage with two bedrooms, three bathrooms and two-and-a-half-car garage.

The same family is also auctioning Paintbrush Ranch, a similar-caliber property in Jackson, Wyo., the week prior through Concierge. A retreat once owned by the artist Connie Schwiering, Paintbrush is in a valley at the base of Shadow Mountain, literally up against Grand Teton National Park. That property will sell to the highest bidder on Sept. 8 in cooperation with Ryan Block of RE/MAX Obsidian Real Estate.

A 3 percent commission is offered to the buyers’ representing brokers with both sales and 10 percent of the purchase price will be paid to Concierge.

Concierge Auctions has executed auctions for high-end homes and ranches nationwide and has a database of more than 100,000 luxury real estate buyers and agents from all 50 states and 38 countries and territories. According to a press release from Concierge, it uses an accelerated marketing process to obtain fair market value for the properties in 60 days. The company’s principals have been involved in the transfer of more than $2 billion in luxury real estate sales over the past 10 years.

For more information on the Ponderosa Ranch, visit or call (406) 995-6333.

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