Austin icon
icon Austin icon
Real estate tips for buying and selling homes today from the rich
May 26, 2023
Real estate tips for buying and selling homes today from the rich Austin
By   Lisa Johnson Mandell
  • City News
  • Property Tips
  • Residential
  • Property
Abstract: The Netflix hit 'Selling the Sunset' is famous for its lavish panoramas of Los Angeles real estate that few of us can own. However, the actual mechanics of buying and selling these homes are the same rules that we mere mortals deal with every day - and now that the US real estate market has slowed to a near standstill, everyone can learn from the best, right?

When it comes to homes, it's no secret that there's a shortage of inventory. Even the wealthiest buyers are more inclined to keep the luxury properties they bought during the COVID-19 pandemic of record low interest rates rather than try to sell and upgrade to a more expensive home at today's high rates.


The lovely Oppenheim Group agents at 'Sell the Sunset' are well aware of this tightening inventory and are finding themselves having to work harder than ever to secure new properties for their clients. And, being the competitive cadre that they are, they have some clever strategies up their designer sleeves to help not only the rich but the rest of us too.

Here are some clever negotiating strategies and techniques hidden beneath the notorious posturing and bickering of these agents on how to buy or sell property of any size in today's challenging market. Look, see and learn.


In the episode "TBD on Bre", Chelsea Lazcani, Mary Fitzgerald and Nicole Young are touring a luxury Santa Monica mansion with a full-size basketball court. It's not on the market yet, but you can tell it will cost well over $20 million.


Young was shocked when Lazcani said the owner was considering listing the house with her and an agent from another agency. If Razcani agreed, it would mean she would be handing over a large chunk of the commission to someone else.

 Real estate tips for buying and selling homes today from the rich

But Razkarni was fine with the plan because she knew her client had committed to the other agent beforehand. She also realised that 50% of something was better than 100% of something that she might have got if she had insisted on exclusive representation and her client had decided to go with another agent.


What we ordinary sellers can take away from this story is that if there were two agents from two different agencies, the property would be exposed to twice as many buyers and we would have two competitive agents working on the sale.


Emma Hernan has a gorgeous, 5,840 square foot home overlooking a wonderful view of Los Angeles, and she allowed her colleague Lazkarni to bring her investment clients in to see the house before it was officially listed in the multiple listing service for $5,495,000.


This house is perfect for an investor because, says Hernan, he can collect at least $35,000 a month in rent! Best of all, this buyer didn't have to fend off other offers because few people knew it was for sale.


The lesson here is that if your realtor is well connected, like all the stars of the "Sunset for Sale" show, he or she can find out about a home for sale before it goes on the market.


Last year, when properties received multiple bids, it was unthinkable to sell a home before it went on the market. But today, when homes are languishing on the market longer and often for less than the list price, sellers are more interested in selling their property quickly.


While the clients who visited this house kind of liked this gorilla statue by the pool, the 'sell the sunset' agents knew that it was a dangerous ornament to put in the house they were trying to sell.


A few years ago, these statues were all the rage, associated with what the cryptocurrency czars thought was raw power and brave investment ability. Today, however, with scandals plaguing the industry and investors forced to re-evaluate their cryptocurrency strategies, that giant gorilla seems outdated and sad for those in the know.


While most homeowners may not have a gorilla by their pool, they may have other 'artefacts' worth hiding. Family photos and religious artefacts should be put away because you want buyers to see themselves in your home.

 Real estate tips for buying and selling homes today from the rich

Thank goodness the trend of painting houses black seems to be on the decline, but black accents can really add a touch of chic sophistication to a house.


"I love that everyone is bringing that black into it," says jet-black novice Bre Tiesi, who toured an elegant modern home with Heather Rae El Moussa for a whopping $22 million." They did a good job without being too masculine, so it still appealed to families, which I really liked."


Indeed, the house has plenty of wood trim and greenery to warm the soul. Floor-to-ceiling windows bring in sunlight, as well as the blue of the sky and the pool.


The advantages of the sturdy and attractive handrails on either side of the staircase were not lost on El Moussa, who is pregnant, and Tiesi, who recently gave birth, during their visit to the black-based home. Both women were wearing skyscraper heels.


"I love that they have this handrail," El Moussa said as she and Ironsi rose." That's what you get in a $4 million or $5 million house. They didn't take that into account."


"That's so true," Tiesi agrees." I'm always clutching at the walls."


Sounds familiar, right? Stairs with weak or even non-existent handrails are clearly a safety hazard and not up to code. Yet, surprisingly, builders in all price ranges try to get away with this, sacrificing safety for aesthetics.

Buyers of all levels should beware of homes without handrails on the stairs, because who knows - they may have cut corners elsewhere too.

icon icon
Real estate tips for buying and selling homes today from the rich