Bernie Uechtritz promised a year ago to sell a big chunk of ranch land at the north end of Spring Gulch, land that had been on the market for a long time.
He said last week that he’s partway there.
More than 200 acres have been sold to a Texas buyer, and as much remaining acreage is likely to sell by year’s end, he said.
Uechtritz said two parcels, each of about 115 acres, went to “a great buyer, an out-of-state buyer, who is planning to build a home and live there with his family.”
Uechtritz, an Australian who lives in Texas and specializes in ranch sales, wouldn’t say who the new owner is.
It’s also no surprise that no price was disclosed, but Uechtritz acknowledged that the parcels had been advertised at one point at near $25 million.
A total of 580 acres owned by Jackson businessman John Tozzi had been marketed off and on for years without finding a buyer. Uechtritz took the listing in 2019 and guaranteed results, saying a sale was “not a matter of if, not a matter of when, but a matter of who and how much.”
In a phone interview from France, he said the deal turned out to “be in the top three to five most difficult assignments that I’ve had.”
Uechtritz originally thought he might sell the land in 60 to 90 days.
The land was historically part of the ranch of Cliff Hansen, son of Jackson pioneers and a Wyoming governor and U.S. senator. Hansen’s descendants, including Brad and Kate Mead, still ranch neighboring land. Tozzi bought the four agricultural parcels and two neighboring residential lots in the Bar BC subdivision intending the entire spread to be a home for his extended family. Before Uechtritz brought in his Icon Global Group team, attempts to sell the parcel were off and on and unsuccessful.
Uechtritz said he knew it was a challenge to take on marketing a big piece of valuable land that had for various reasons failed to find a buyer.
“When I took this assignment from Jackson Hole Real Estate Associates in the fall of last year, everyone told me, were smirking, told me I’d never get it done,” Uechtritz said. “The perception was that it wouldn’t be done, couldn’t be done. I wanted to prove that wrong.”
There was a lot of interest in the land from the start, Uechtritz said, including three shoppers interested in the entire offering and others who wanted one piece or a combination of parcels. Uechtritz said he felt a deal was close when COVID-19 arrived and some buyers left the field, and he decided to start over.
His approach, he said, is that “you have to have a clear strategy going in, and then you have to have the ability to pivot at some point at least once.”
Uechtritz believes the two unsold ag parcels are actually superior to those sold, and he predicted they will move by the end of the year to someone among a crowd of people he said are interested.
“The market is strong,” he said. “The product is not available anywhere else.”
Uechtritz also said there’s been interest in the two residential lots, one of 35 acres and one of 37.
Uechtritz is something of a celebrity in real estate. He’s best known for the 2016 sale of the 535,000-acre Waggoner Ranch in Texas, a deal worth $725 million. But he said his first deal in Jackson Hole was educational.
Though many local agents were welcoming and helpful, not everyone was happy to see a stranger swoop in. Jackson Hole, he said, is “a very competitive environment.”
“Listings are passed around, everyone in town has touched the same product,” he said. “When you have an outsider come in ... with a different style and different attitude, that can cut both ways. It can give the sellers an advantage, but it can ruffle feathers.”
Uechtritz said he learned that “there’s a lot more elbow room in Texas than there is in Jackson Hole.”