Ask Eastside agent Elise Knepper of The Property Shop LA: How realistic is the stuff we see on Million Dollar Listing, etc.? Do you guys really meet each other on the side of the road to negotiate deals?
Today’s question comes to us from one of our clients who is just beginning their home search, and it is one we get more often than you might think. We’ve been helping folks buy and sell special homes in the neighborhood for over a decade, and I can’t say I’ve ever had a sale that was not made in the traditional way; that is, on a computer, signed, packaged with supporting documentation, and then emailed. With that said, I can often be spotted pulled over on Colorado verbally proposing various terms that would make my client happy, but the “handshake deals” you see on Bravo are not only exceedingly rare, but non-binding as well. I suppose structuring a written contract doesn’t make for great TV!
We also rarely see the drama and egos you see on those shows— granted, that may be a function of our more laid-back neighborhood, but thankfully most of us are pretty friendly and supportive of one another. We don’t crash each other’s open houses and jump in the pool, or vow to treat certain agents’ clients unfairly.
Speaking of open houses, and I know many of you have visited your fair share (!), but how many had trapeze artists and nymphs floating around in the pool? A high-end open house in our neighborhood will typically have music (streaming from an Ipod, not a mariachi band), and perhaps wine and cheese. The lavish open houses you see on Million Dollar Listing are no more effective in finding the right buyer for a home, but they certainly do help the agent showboat a little.
And while the Realtors on MDL tool around in their Lamborghinis and Cartier watches, that is not exactly the Eastside agent’s style. I should note that according to career site Simply Hired, the median income of a Los Angeles Realtor as of 2/14 is 69K (no benefits). Certainly respectable, but not a figure that enables most agents to slip away for the luxurious, mid-day massages we see on Bravo.
So, how many real million-dollar listings do we have in our humble ‘hood? Already in 2014, 13 homes have sold above the $1M mark, the most expensive being a 4,000 sq. ft. manse in the Los Feliz hills which sold for $6.375.
Bravo does a great job of making the world of real estate look very exciting and glamorous, which is no easy task. We absolutely love what we do, but the reality of our everyday life (termite inspections, waiting in line Downtown to research permits, negotiating the repair of cracked sewerlines) has pretty low entertainment value. I’d say Million Dollar Listing’s producers deserve one of those massages.
Send your real estate-related questions to firstname.lastname@example.org and we’ll do our best to answer them in our next post!
You can also visit us at www.thepropertyshopla.com to check out what we think are the best listings out there right now, and learn how we can help you sell or buy your perfect home in the neighborhood.