Family feud forces sale of luxury home

UP FOR GRABS: The property at 44 Wrights Rd in Point Chevalier is in the middle of a bitter family feud.
UP FOR GRABS: The property at 44 Wrights Rd in Point Chevalier is in the middle of a bitter family feud.

A multi-million dollar property in an upmarket Auckland suburb is being auctioned off to settle an ongoing family feud over its price-tag.

The High Court at Auckland last month ordered the sale of the Point Chevalier property, with the unusual condition of banning family members from attending the open homes.

Wealthy property bidders could now go up against the current resident and part-owner of the  luxury, seafront home at the auction in a month's time.

The family rift set parents Ted and Sue Gregory against their son Michael Gregory and his wife Simone.

Michael Gregory, who currently lives at the property with his family, wants to purchase the house.

However, a ''high level of mistrust'' between the parents and their son meant a price couldn't be agreed upon, according to the court documents.

The family approached the High Court to seek a resolution.

Justice Kit Toogood ruled the reserve price would be set at $2.3 million, unless the family agreed on their own reserve up to five days before the auction.

If the property failed to sell at the reserve, Michael Gregory could  purchase the property for $2.3 million.

All the family members were also free to bid at the auction.

The property was owned by a number of trusts, of which the parents and their adult children were benefactors.

Ongoing arguments over the property - including disagreements over the maintenance and rental costs - highlighted a far from harmonious family relationship.

The rift threatened to spill over in to the sale of the property.

Each of the family member raised fears with the judge that the other person may interfere with the sale of the luxury property.

This included  concerns Michael Gregory would attempt to put prospective buyers off, or  the parents would try to delay the sale of the property.

The parents said their son may request an agent who under-markets the property so he has a greater chance of buying the property below reserve, according to the court documents.

The judge said the fears were unfounded, but ruled on a number of additional sales conditions to ensure everybody was in agreement.

This included specific instructions where the property would be advertised, the location of the auction and when open homes would be held.

The judge also selected the parents' preferred real estate agent.

Family members also agreed to have a gardener tidy the grounds, at a maximum cost of $500.

The marketing of the property is expected to begin on Monday.