We sincerely apologize for our error. An earlier version of this post implied that our interviewee, Casey Margenau, was the buyer agent representing Robert Griffin III. That honor belongs to Bill Davis. Casey Margenau worked on this sale on behalf of the builder, Apex Homes.
You may have heard that Robert Griffin III bought a house in Aldie, VA. The five bed, four bath cost almost $2.5M and is part of the Creighton Farms golfing community designed by Jack Nicklaus. MRIS was able to catch up with agent Casey Margenau who worked on this sale on behalf of the builder, Apex Homes, to find out how he made it happen.
How did you first make contact with Robert Griffin III?
I got clued in that RGIII was moving because I am currently listing the house that he was renting for the last year. So when I went to that house in River Creek I already knew that it was his house, but he had a Redskins helmet, a Baylor helmet, a Redskins helmet, and another Baylor helmet out in the open so it was obvious who lived there. I had already been talking to the builder of the Creighton Farms house and we thought it would be nice to get RGIII to take a look at the property. We put together a very nice letter saying we would love to build you a house and we would rent you a house while it was being built. We did send him listings of several properties that we thought he might be interested in, not just the one from Creighton Farms. We did look at a bigger house that was 4.5M but he said it was too big, so I mentioned another one that was smaller. It was, as Goldilocks said, just right.
Since he ended up buying a smaller house than he could have, what was it about this one that you think he liked?
It was a smaller house with high-end finishes, and was similar to the house that he was renting in River Creek. I’ve done a lot of business with people in the Redskins, Caps, and Wizards and most of the time those guys want some type of privacy. The other thing that works well is to be on a major thoroughfare. They’re on more drive-through streets, bigger lots, places where you can gate the property themselves so that gives them some privacy and home time.
What was it like to work with him?
The persona that is out there in the press is not always the persona that is behind the real human being. But through this process he was a gentlemen, he was awesome, nice, he was not pretentious. Just the fact that he didn’t like the $4.5M house, but he liked the $2.5M house that was more manageable. It is still high-quality, still probably more than most people could buy in a home, but it wasn’t over the top. It wasn’t “I need the big show-me house because I’m RGIII”.
The attorneys (there was two of them) and the mortgage bankers were all there at the closing. You don’t find all those people there in a normal transaction. After the business part was done, they all turned into nine year olds and wanted his autograph and pictures. It was hilarious and he was great about it.
Do you think having a video tour helped sell this house?
I do YouTube videos on every house I have since the end of 2006. Most of the customers that are coming into my listings know more about the house than the agent showing it to them because they got everything from me. The real estate business has changed and the market is more customer-centric. The buyers are the ones that find the houses that they want to buy. I’ve been telling agents since 2007 that they need to be doing this. Absolutely, it is more expensive, it takes more time. But if a picture says a thousand words, then what does video do? A million. It gives you an opportunity to talk about the house, the community, the schools. People don’t read anymore.
We can understand RGIII wanting a gated community, but he isn’t really known as a golfer. Is that a secret side to him?
The funny part is we moved him in to the property on a pre-settlement deal so that he could get in. The builder and I decided that we weren’t going to talk about the sale until it was completed. So that is why all this press is coming out now. So, I’m driving down the road and I hear a piece on WTOP that said “You know RGIII as quarterback, but how about RGIII the golfer?” And I thought, oh no, it leaked. But it turned out he had gone into a golfing store and bought a set of clubs and did a lesson. It was all about him buying these clubs and the natural swing that he has, so obviously he’s going to pick up the game. When he bought the property he wasn’t a golfer, but maybe we’re going to make him one.