New Marlboro – A 298-acre farm and community with an ultra-modern home as its centerpiece recently fetched $9.3 million, becoming the most expensive home ever sold in the Berkshires.
The Nov. 1 sale broke the previous record for a residential home sale by $1.3 million. The $8 million sale of a 2010-built Alford Tudor set the previous record for a home sale in Berkshire County on December 7, 2022.
For a sale of this size to happen, it took the right buyers, an experienced listing agent with an eye for high-end properties and an ideal grocery store not too far away.
The buyers of the New Marlboro property, Lynn and Mitchell Samberg, are empty-nesters who were initially looking to buy something out west, perhaps a farm, where Lynn, 56, said she wanted to have animals.
Then a friend suggested they look somewhere closer to home, so they looked within a 50-mile radius of Westchester County, where they raised their three children. A New Marlboro listing popped up on their radar.
When they first viewed the property in July, Lynn said the land “made our hearts beat so hard, I had butterflies in my stomach,” adding that they weren’t quite prepared for the move. “But when we saw it, we felt like you can’t unsee it, and something like this wouldn’t happen, you know, every day.”
Then there was this:
“My husband saw us there, he kind of fell in love,” she said of Mitchell Samberg, 57, CEO of Truman Capital, based in Armonk, New York.
The Sambergs are currently selling their home on Wakabuck Lake in South Salem, New York, and the property is marked pending and listed at just under $3.5 million. They plan to split their time between New Marlboro and Sarasota, Fla., where Lin’s parents live and Truman Capital has an office.
The Sambergs owned a restaurant for seven years in Westchester County, named Bedford 234 after their phone exchange. It was like “opening our personal kitchen,” Lin said. They care about food and Lynn enjoys cooking.
So, when they finished their first viewing in New Marlboro, her next question to the listing agent, Elle Villetto, was where to find the nearest grocery store. Felito drove them to Guido’s Fresh Marketplace in Great Barrington, 9 miles away.
“It’s the best grocery store I’ve ever seen,” Samberg said, piqued their interest. “I can live here because I love Guido’s house,” she recalled thinking.
The property at 2128 Canaan Southfield Road, owned by Vergelegen LLC, was initially listed for $15.5 million on March 24, 2022, with Elyse Harney Real Estate. Felito, of William Pitt Sotheby’s International Realty in Great Barrington, registered the offer on May 9 and set the price at $12 million, then dropped to $10 million on August 22.
“Cross a covered bridge over the Concabot River, pass a red barn and a makeshift shack, and follow the arc of the land as it rises through rolling green fields with fruit trees until you reach the top of the hill,” opens the description of the Fileto property. “Here, on 298 private acres, lies a contemporary masterpiece by world-renowned architect Tom Kundig. Collaborating with renowned landscape architect Tom Stewart-Smith, Kundig has created a bold, innovative and intimate home where line and form embrace light and landscape.
The property also has two guest cottages, an equestrian center and a secret garden, removed from the main house, as well as 7 miles of trails.
Prospective buyers responded from around the world and six made multiple visits during the 117 days that Velito represented the property.
“I was completely surprised by the interest, and I must commend Sotheby’s marketing team,” she said. The Kundig name attracted most of the attention, although this was not the case for the Samberg family.
Felito also deserves praise, said Stephanie McNair, director of brokerage at William Pitt Sotheby’s International Realty in Great Barrington.
“Our mission is to make real estate feel as expensive as it can be,” McNair said. “She really did a great job presenting the properties and is very skilled at relationships.”
McNair praised Filetto’s ability to hold the hand, an important part of closing a sale.
In 2022, Felito was the eighth-best single sales agent in the multiple listing region, which includes eastern New York, southern Vermont, northern Connecticut, Berkshire County and the hill towns. That year she was also the top selling seller at William Pitt Sotheby’s in Berkshire County.
This year it sold $30.5 million, the largest sales volume in the region for any individual agent.
Born in Great Barrington, Filetto, 47, graduated from Mount Everett High School in Sheffield. She attended Bard College in Simon’s Rock for one year, then transferred to Santa Fe University of Art and Design, where she studied art and film history. Her major was art history. Its branch was Computer Graphics and Computer Arts.
She then headed to Boulder, Colorado, where she worked as a buyer for an upscale boutique. I traveled from New York City to Las Vegas for this job. She later moved to Texas, where she opened women’s boutiques in greater Austin.
After returning to Berkshire, she decided to get her real estate license.
“When I first started, I went to Greylock Federal Credit Union and told them I wanted to handle their foreclosure,” she said, adding that all of those houses were dilapidated. “From there I met a gentleman who flipped houses and it became a great way to buy and sell.”
She, who has now been in the industry for 10 years, said real estate draws on all the skills she had previously developed, including marketing, sales and people skills, as well as her artistic eye for presentation and passion for interior design.
“It has to be relevant, it has to be interesting, especially with high-end products,” she said.
Felito said she would never turn down a drug and that she works seven days a week and responds quickly to phone calls.
“I accept anything and everything with gratitude and happiness and make the best of it,” she said. “And that’s the work ethic that my parents taught me.”
Samberg said she looks forward to owning the horses and playing at what she calls One Love Farm, hosting friends and family and adding her personal touches to the house to, as she put it, “warm it up a little bit.”
She’s also looking forward to getting to know her neighbors in Berkshire, including the people she meets in line at Guido’s.
“We’ve heard nothing but great things,” she said of the Berkshires. “We are so excited to embrace it and meet everyone.”