With the real estate market so blisteringly hot—particularly in L.A.—it makes sense that the personal drama on Season 5 of “Selling Sunset” is at a fever pitch, too.
Oppenheim Group co-founder Jason Oppenheim, for instance, must negotiate a tricky relationship with agent Chrishell Stause, which sends ripples of disapproval throughout the office, particularly for fellow agent Christine Quinn. Meanwhile, Mary Fitzgerald, who was promoted to a management position, tries to keep a tight rein on everything while selling properties herself. Good luck with that!
Believe it or not, business still gets done, so fans also get to see inside outrageously luxurious homes—and learn what it takes to get them sold. And while many of these properties hover in the $20 million price range, the same sales rules apply to a $200,000 home, too.
Curious about the nuggets of home-selling wisdom that might be hiding among these luxury homes and the agents responsible for them? Here are a few smart take-home lessons from Season 5 of the hit Netflix show—plus one surprising deal breaker that even these slick agents forget to fix.
Offer way over the asking price to seal the deal
Emma Hernan shows Stause the home she’s considering buying for her parents. It’s a slick four-bedroom, just down the street from Stause’s own home, priced at $2,995,000.
“I feel like this is the perfect house for my parents, and I feel like, really, I should put an offer in,” says Hernan. Stause advises her not to wait.
So Hernan writes a quick offer for $3.1 million, which is slightly over the asking price, and removes all contingencies. She’s confident the house will be hers, but she’s surprised when Fitzgerald announces to the office that her clients have purchased the house.
“I’m sorry, Emma,” Fitzgerald apologizes. “My clients offered $3.3 million.”
Hernan realizes she could have and should have offered more.
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Low-slung beds are a hot trend
Hunky developer and mescal promoter Micah McDonald has just finished and staged the hillside mansion he’s been working on, and he’s eager to give Hernan a tour.
Sparks have already been flying between these two since they met, but the chemistry amps up another notch when they hit the gorgeous primary suite, which is staged with a low-slung bed.
“I like the low-profile bed,” says Stause, who came along to chaperone, er, help consult on a possible listing price.
“I love low-profile beds! They’re very sexy,” responds Hernan.
It’s true that on “Selling Sunset” lately, just about every bedroom seems to sport a low-slung bed rather than your usual big, puffy crib with a thousand pillows. And given that luxury real estate often kicks off trends that ripple out to real estate at all price points, it sounds like low-profile beds might soon have a higher profile in home design today.
Bumpy stucco can kill a sale
Fitzgerald throws a brokers’ open house at a hillside property with absolutely killer views and the windows, patios, and balconies to take full advantage of them.
But as impressive as the views are, one agent can’t get past the bumpy, cottage cheese stucco on the exterior.
“Why do you have normal stucco on a $4.7 million house?” he asks her, telling her that his buyers would never go for it.
Fitzgerald acknowledges it.
“I totally encourage buyers to be picky, but the stucco? You could just restucco the house in smooth stucco, and you’d get way more on your investment,” she says.
In this case, the sellers might have benefited from doing that first.
Superb staging can swing a high asking price
Stause is under supreme pressure on a listing in Beverly Hills, because she’s working on it with her main squeeze’s twin brother, Brett Oppenhiem. He is nothing if not demanding, and he’s unwilling to cut her any slack just because she’s dating his brother.
He put her in charge of the staging, which she rocks. In fact, she’s done it so well that he wants to raise the listing price from the $9.5 million they’d originally estimated to a whopping $10.6 million!
“I’ve seen it even in a hot market,” Stause responds. “You overprice, and then you have to price reduce and price reduce and you miss that buzz that comes right when it hits the market.”
Brett is aware of this and agrees, so he tells her, “If this house is going to sell at or near full price, it’s going to be today. Because if it even sits on the market for a week or two, it’s not getting full price.”
Pressure’s on, Chrishell! But she needn’t have worried. Brett knew what he was doing. Stause did such a great job presenting the property at the open house that they got several offers over the $10.6 million asking price. That striking staging did the trick.
Nearby construction need not be a deal breaker
Chelsea Lazkani is showing her party-hard friend, a Skechers heiress, a home in Pacific Palisades that’s perfect for entertaining and has a fantastic view of the ocean. It’s priced at $9.5 million.
The only problem is that the city is building a giant public park on the land around the house. There’s noise, there’s dirt, and there’s construction junk everywhere.
“When I look at this and the construction, I’m like, ‘bloody hell, do I want to wake up to this construction?'” asks the client, who’s on the verge of ruling the property out.
Lazkani remarks that the construction is actually a good thing and will improve property value.
“It’s going to be done in 2023; you’re basically getting pre-construction prices,” she explains. “You can pick it up for $9.5 million; but when it’s done, it’s going to be, like, $14 million.”
Seeing that this investment logic holds water, the client decides to make an offer. Let this serve as hope to sellers everywhere that construction nearby doesn’t necessarily doom a sale!