Dan Snyder Couldn't Find a Buyer for His Home. Will a Charity Have More Luck?

Dan Snyder in 2019. Photograph by Flickr user Joe Glorioso/All-Pro Reels.

After unloading the Washington Commanders from his portfolio, Dan Snyder’s next move was to sell his Potomac estate, listing it at $49 million, a price that would have set a DC-area record. Yet there was no Josh Harris around the corner this time. After slashing the price to $34.9 million proved unfruitful, the erstwhile football tycoon donated the mansion to the American Cancer Society last week.

In a statement, a spokesperson for the nonprofit tells Washingtonian it plans to sell the estate and use the proceeds to “advance our mission of improving the lives of cancer patients and their families.” But will it be easier to find a buyer now that the property is in the hands of a charity—and not one of the most hated men in the area? And what’s in it for Snyder, who’s already several billion dollars richer after selling the team? Washingtonian spoke to a real-estate agent and a tax law professor to find out.

Daryl Judy, a Realtor with Washington Fine Properties who specializes in high-end homes, says the house’s long time on the market likely indicates that it was overvalued. “There’s just not a lot of homes that are selling for 20, 30, 40 million dollars in the DC region,” Judy says. “There’s not a lot of buyers in this upper echelon, and people buying at this price point have lots of consultants and are very wise with their money.”  Judy doesn’t think the house’s ownership history makes it less marketable. “In an area like we are, there’s a lot of people that are controversial,” he said. “When someone is spending millions and millions of dollars on a house, it’s a business decision; there’s no emotion involved.”

As for how the donation would affect Snyder’s bottom line, Roger Colinvaux, a law professor at Catholic University who specializes in tax code and nonprofits, says that if the charity is able to sell the home, Snyder could claim only a charitable deduction, which would max out at about a third of its appraised value, whereas if he sold the house, he would be able to take home all the post-tax proceeds. “It’s hard to see this as making him better off,” Colinvaux says. “I’d view this more as a gesture of charity.”

🏢 Daryl Judy – Associate Broker, Washington Fine Properties
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