People delight in the failings of celebrities -- their rehab stints, their nanny-based infidelities, their bankruptcies, their cellulite -- so we weren't surprised to hear the recent reports about Mary J. Blige. Rumors are swirling that the Queen of Hip-Hop Soul is struggling with a big-time real estate challenge -- how to unload her multimillion-dollar New Jersey home.
Back in October, realtor.com reported on Blige's mansion in Saddle River, NJ, hitting the market for $13 million. And now, just a few months later, news has surfaced on NorthJersey.com about the "challenges" of selling the 26-room, 18,000-square-foot compound.
Meanwhile, NewJersey101.5 reports how Blige had tried to sell it in 2011 for $14 million, failed, slashed the price to $12.5 million, and when it didn't move then, she threw in the towel and took it off the market. In short, this Grammy-winning singer's home-selling efforts weren't exactly chart busters.
All of which begs the question: Are huge, honking mansions owned by celebs cursed when it comes time to sell?
Granted, sometimes stars' homes truly do seem like kryptonite that no one wants to touch (sorry 50 Cent and Michael Jordan). But in Blige's case, it turns out all this fear-mongering about how her home won't move may be full of hot air.
How do we know? Well, although a deal isn't said and done, we got the exclusive scoop that Blige's home has just received an offer.
"We are currently negotiating with one very high-profile buyer relocating to New York," Lisa Troyano-Ascolese at Engel & Vlkers Hoboken told realtor.com. While she can't say more due to a non-disclosure agreement, that seems like a pretty clear sign that this home isn't showing signs of distress -- especially given how long homes this size typically take to sell.
"Based on the current absorption rate, the home is perfectly in tune with present market conditions," Troyano-Ascolese continues. "According to the New Jersey Multiple Listing Service, there are 13 homes on the market north of $11 million in Bergen County. The average days on the market for those homes is in excess of 200 days. Ms. Blige's home has been on the market for only 147 days without a price reduction." What's more, "in the past year, only two properties priced north of $11 million have sold in Bergen County. Both of which were on the market longer than 150 days, one for 310 days."
In other words, if all goes well, Blige's home is moving at a perfectly respectable clip and should go down in the books as a success story. Take that, haters!
So what's the trick to selling a hip-hop diva's mega-crib? According to Troyano-Ascolese, it's all about striking a delicate balance between protecting the seller's privacy but getting the word out, quietly, through the right channels. And ideally, to reach out internationally -- which is how her agency's "extensive global network" in 39 countries worldwide came in handy.
Whatever their secret, we think the underlying message is that while it's understandable to fret when a home isn't deluged with bids as soon as it's listed, it doesn't mean you should pull the panic levers. For a reality check, see how long similarly priced homes in your area sat on the market before they sold. This could help you realize that a small wait is entirely fine, and it's probably just a matter of time -- for celebs' homes and otherwise. Let the drama end here!