The Most Fascinating Real Estate Agent in Texas: How Bernie Uechtritz Sold the Waggoner Ranch

Robbie and Bernie

Robbie Briggs and Bernie before the Adria Martinez painting hanging in the Waggoner room at the Red River Valley Museum in Vernon prior to a celebration of the closing with the Waggoner family and Stan Kroenke, the buyer

Bernie Uechtritz is a Texan cowboy with an Australian accent who cut his real estate teeth in the wilds of colonial Papua, New Guinea. Which would end up being very, very helpful in his future real estate career. Way before he sold the Waggoner Ranch, Uechtritz listed and sold the Calabasas estate belonging to the Menendez family, landing him the reputation of a real estate agent who can make even the most impossible deals work.

The Waggoner deal may have netted him a commission of $7.25 to 10 million. He told an Australian reporter he “cut a deal that was a little less than his usual 10 per cent, but was still pretty good.”

He loves polo and claims a ‘colourful background’, and like most successful agents I have known, when Bernard Uechtritz was in school, his teachers didn’t quite know what to do with him.

Bernie (what his friends call him) grew up in Queensland, Australia, and at age 17 he was managing a Papua New Guinea palm oil and coconut plantation.

Bernie U Cooley Ranch

Today, of course, he is the Briggs Freeman Sotheby’s International Realty star agent who sold the most expensive ranch in the U.S. to one of the wealthiest families in the U.S: Stan Kroenke and his wife, billionaire Ann Walton Kroenke, a niece of Wal-Mart founder Sam Walton and heir to the Walton family fortune.

Bernie, as everyone calls him, was quick to spread the honor among the buyer’s agents and the other “robust marketing layers” who all helped get this deal done when I spoke with him last week.

Bernie offices out of Briggs Freeman Sotheby’s McKinney Avenue office (when he’s not in Vernon, Texas, in the Waggoner Ranch “War Room”). But his stature and experience in the real estate business rises far over Uptown. He has rubbed shoulders with Hollywood celebs, spends holidays in Aspen, and his face has even been perched on a digital billboard at New York City’s Times Square.

According to an interview with the Daily Telegraph Australia, Bernie spent regular stints in school detention and thus graduated early from the place, ostensibly just to get out. He was also born into a very large family: Bernie was the eighth of 11 children born to Alfred and Mary Lou Uechtritz, one of Papua New Guinea’s great pioneering families:

4 Comment

  • Dear Candy . While I appreciate the interest in my colorful background and the Waggoner, I would like to point out, and would ask you to also give equal recognition to the other two brokers who worked every bit as hard if not harder and who helped all of us make the deal. ; “Sam Middleton” from Chas S Middleton and Son in Lubbock, was my very able and legendary partner , and “Joel Leadbetter” of Hall and Hall brokerage in Montana who represented the buyer and has done so for many years . Both brokers not only were as much or more integral to this deal then me , but moreover are first class professionals and great human beings , who have been at this game a long , long time. No deal this big and this complicated gets done without a lot of really , smart , experienced and well intentioned people in the room all working as a team , and working in good faith . There were , and are, no superstars nor hero’s – everyone including many lawyers and teams and family member’s all worked together in good faith to help make this historic deal happen ….sincerely Bernie

  • PS – I never listed the Elm drive property in BH . I listed and sold the Calabasas estate belonging to the Menendez family .