With the Netflix reality series “Selling Sunset” a dazzling success, it’s no surprise that its spinoff might be even more glamorous than the original.
“Selling the OC” premieres Wednesday and follows “Selling Sunset” regular Jason Oppenheim as he opens a new office in Orange County.
“My brokerage The Oppenheim Group has had so much success in L.A. that we’re opening up a second office in one of the most affluent parts of California,” he explains in his characteristic cool, understated way. “After spending a year building out this office, I’ve hired a full staff of talented agents, and we’re officially opening the doors to The Oppenheim group in the OC.”
And while fans will likely tune in for the catfights and megamillion-dollar mansions, they’ll also learn plenty of handy tips about buying and selling any old house, no matter how humble it may be.
In fact, the first episode, “Paradise Comes With a Price,” contains plenty of surprisingly practical advice. Below, check out some highlights of what you’ll learn, and be sure to tune in to embrace the full, bold, brazen beauty of the series.
A real estate commission is always negotiable
And this turns out to be a big plus for Oppenheim agents Alex Hall, Brandi Marshall, and Gio Helou, who learn that the owner of an outrageously beautiful, 18,000-square-foot mansion on the Laguna Riviera listed at $106 million is offering a 3% commission. Do the math, and that amounts to a fee of a whopping $3,180,000! The agents agree that’s very unusual, in a good way.
“I’ve never heard of that,” says Hall. “Even on a $20 million [property], it’s usually, like, 1%. But I guess the seller’s motivated.”
Take note: If you’re motivated to sell quickly, you might offer your agent more than the industry standard, too.
Certain amenities are selling points if they’re rare for the area
As the agents hear about the many luxe features of their new $106 million listing—private beach access, the only private tennis court in Laguna, a fitness room with a waterfall—they seem even more blown away by a more practical feature: plenty of parking. The fact that 25 cars can easily fit on this property stops them cold—and for good reason. In Laguna, parking is a real premium—if you can find any whatsoever—so that there’s a lot of it here is a big deal and a surprising selling point.
It’s a good reminder that certain amenities can make a huge difference if they’re hard to come by in the area.
Don’t skimp on landscaping
In addition to their Laguna property, Hall takes colleague Kayla Cardona on a tour of her $3 million beach-view listing. As they make their way into the stark, white three-bedroom, two-bath home, Hall looks to her right and says, with obvious disappointment, “Oh, they cut the shrubs. That’s what happens when you don’t micromanage everything.”
Indeed, there are only sad, stunted remains of what could have been distinguished landscaping brightening up the entry. Lush green snake grass or colorful lantanas could have gone a long way in making a positive first impression on buyers.
Reface cabinets with a soft-close feature for an extra luxe vibe
As Hall and Cardona step inside the home, they note that the kitchen’s honey blond oak cabinets look a little dated, compared with the gleaming white kitchens that are so popular today. But they’re still nice cabinets, so they don’t need to be removed entirely.
“You don’t have to replace the cabinets. You just have to reface them,” Hall says, adding that all white would make a big difference.
Cardona suggests that, while they’re at it, they should add a soft-close feature so the doors make a soft sigh when they shut rather than a harsh slam. Hall agrees that this small upgrade can make a big difference in how serene and luxurious a kitchen looks and sounds.
Nearby construction can be a good sign rather than bad
Stepping onto the balcony, Cardona is concerned when she notices noisy construction going on down the hill, between the home they’re visiting and the ocean. But Hall is unfazed.
“Every buyer in Laguna is always worried about, like, ‘Is it going to obstruct my view?’ But I’m not worried about it,” she says. Pointing toward a roofline that is far below them, she explains, “They aren’t allowed to go past that roof.”
As such, this new house will in no way detract from the ocean view.
“Everyone always thinks that construction is a terrible thing, but probably not,” Hall continues. “It’s just a sign that people are still investing in that area. It’s going to mean property values are going up, and the construction period is only temporary.”
Watch: Behind the Scenes of ‘Selling the Hamptons’ With Bianca D’Alessio