Audiences in the UK have been absorbing the glamour of the luxurious LA property market in Netflix’s lockdown hit Selling Sunset. So how completely different is it from the property race right here?
“Plain and simple doesn’t get the house full. I’m here to go over the top,” says high-end actual property agent Christine Quinn, as she plans a “burgers and Botox” open home at her newest multi-million greenback property in the Hollywood Hills.
There are issues from her co-agent that this may give consumers the mistaken impression. To this, Christine, of supermodel stature with a powerful platinum blonde ponytail, quips: “I’d love to live in a Botox house!”
This is Selling Sunset, which follows the lives of actual property brokers – “realtors” – working for the Oppenheim Group in Los Angeles, California.
Away from Botox events, there are “twilight” home viewings, immaculately furnished properties, movie star purchasers, sweeping views of the sun-kissed LA hills, and fierce confrontations over offers and workplace gossip.
It is worlds away from British property TV, which could see Kirstie Allsopp and Phil Spencer have interaction in some mild banter over flattening a partition wall.
But simply how reasonable is the present?
“[Selling Sunset] is definitely amplified, but not totally fictitious. It is quite a glamorous business over here,” says Jonathan Nash, a British actual property agent based mostly in LA, who represents the identical areas because the Oppenheim Group.
“It’s a wonderful life and totally incomparable to being an agent the UK,” he tells the BBC.
However, he does stress that actuality exhibits “dramatize” the trade.
“Some of the interactions that we have day-to-day are akin to what you see on the shows, but the producers prod and push, drama sells.”
Jonathan, 41, works with Stephen Resnick at Hilton & Hyland – a Beverly Hills actual property agency, after making a “last minute” resolution to maneuver to LA from St John’s Wood, west London, in 2013. He had at all times wished to reside in the US, and had mates working in actual property in LA.
He has since sold properties for as much as $56m (£43.7m), and represented consumers for gross sales together with TV host Elle DeGeneres’ Beverley Hills home, and an opulent estate constructed for property developer Mohamed Hadid – dad of supermodels Gigi and Bella.
“There’s always a Hollywood story when you’re in prime LA, it’s always the former home of [someone],” he says, noting one other sale final 12 months that had been beforehand owned by each Gwen Stefani and J Lo.
“In England, it’s all about kings and queens, royalty, whereas here the historic figures are the who’s who of film, music [and] entertainment.”
However, Jonathan does recall the “pleasure” of working with homes in London that had “centuries of history and fabulous old world architecture which does not exist en masse in LA”.
While he has solely dipped his toe in the world of US property TV, making appearances on Bravo’s Million Dollar Listing and NBC’s Open House, Jonathan says such exhibits usually kind a part of the job in LA.
“A certain segment of the client base absolutely love that and want to be involved in it,” he explains. “Because on the finish of the day – it is Hollywood.
“It’s one of the many factors that makes LA real estate desirable and exciting.”
In the UK, Jonathan labored for central London property company Aston Chase, earlier than establishing his personal actual property growth and property public sale corporations.
Comparing the actual property trade in the 2 international locations, he says their basic variations are in the regulation – brokers in the US are professionally certified, in distinction to the UK – and the incomes potential.
An agent in LA may earn fee of about $1m for promoting a $40m dwelling, says Jonathan. This comes from a typical fee of 5%, cut up in half equally between the brokers representing the consumers and sellers of the property.
In the UK, property brokers cost between 1 and three% of the agreed promoting value for a house.
There are additionally some variations in the best way homes are sold, with networking and residential furnishings each taking part in a key function in LA.
Tuesday mornings in LA are reserved for open homes, the place brokers are invited by brokers to view new listings throughout town, after which there’s “a lot of lunches and dinners” with purchasers.
“It’s a social business,” says Jonathan.
Homes may also want “staging” – furnishing. “We get to set-design the house if you will,” says Jonathan. “It really helps to promote actual property.
“Showing vacant houses with no furniture does happen [in London] and it doesn’t show a home in the best light.”
There are two predominant staging firms in LA, Meridith Baer and Vesta, that every have a “signature look”, he provides.
“A lot of the homes do end up with the same pieces in them, but it’s as much about creating the right sort of look as it is creating warmth in the house.”
‘Learn one thing’
Mary Beeton, head of gross sales at British agency Hamptons, says the UK may take observe from some elements of the LA trade, observing that she would not be stunned if extra individuals began asking for his or her homes to be sold the LA method.
There are similarities in the best way homes are sold on the high finish of the market, says Mary, significantly in London boroughs like Kensington and Chelsea and Knightsbridge, the place Hamptons launches properties with lavish occasions.
But she tells the BBC extra homes in the UK could possibly be sold this fashion.
“In the States they tend to showcase all of their properties and I think we can learn something from that,” she says. “Presenting it in the best possible way and launching it with an event, wouldn’t that be better than putting it on a website?”
Jonathan’s suggestions for promoting your private home the LA method
- Find the proper agent with “a track record of selling similar properties”, and “trust their advice”
- Pricing is “everything” – individuals know when one thing’s too costly
- “Staging is very important, candles are very important, flower arrangements are very important”
- Landscaping can also be key. “Those that pay as much detail and put the same money into the landscape really benefit from it on the back end”
- And be sure to’re not at dwelling for viewings. “Agents are employed to keep an arm’s length between buyer and seller”
However, Mary notes the best way negotiations are offered in Selling Sunset could be very “direct”. “The British, I feel, would recoil from the brashness. We are most likely a bit extra conventional in our strategy.
“I really hope there aren’t estate agents in London who work like that – competitively against each other,” she provides.
And she says there’s a “huge pressure” on brokers to community and socialise in the US, as actual property brokers are self-employed in the US. “Here it’s about your brand, they come to you because they have heard of Hamptons,” she says.
For Jonathan, the US method of working and the approach to life in LA is the promoting level.
“I really feel that I’m in one of the best businesses to be in because we’re all self-employed. Our days are so varied. We’re running around town meeting great people,” he says.
There’s additionally quite a bit to do off-duty in town, he provides. “We’re very fortunate in LA as a result of, in one route, we have now mountains and in the opposite route we have now the ocean.
“In in the future, I’ve gone from snowboarding in the mountains to having Nobu [a Japanese restaurant] by the ocean.
“It’s a great life out here.”
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