Home owners listing luxe homes face pressure to throw in extra perks

A Rolls-Royce or artwork are not unusual bonus items

Photo illustration by Jhila Farzaneh for The Real Deal (Credit: Getty Images)
Photo illustration by Jhila Farzaneh for The Real Deal (Credit: Getty Images)

“You’re not buying a property, you’re buying a piece of history,” an agent once said.

Home owners are increasingly turning to big-ticket items as a way to lure prospective buyers, the Wall Street Journal reported. In Los Angeles, that includes adding Hollywood artifacts.

Max Ember, screenwriter and art collector, sold his three-bedroom 1936 Streamline Moderne estate in the Hollywood Hills for $2.4 million in September. Included in that price tag was a fountain once owned by Argentinian icon Eva Peron and metal “clouds” from Hollywood’s well-known Cocoanut Grove nightclub.

His agent, Ben Belack of the Agency, urged him to go for that “aspirational price” due to the historical items that came with the unique home.

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Ember isn’t the only one playing this game.

Scott Gillen recently threw in a super-charged Range Rover and $1.5 million worth of art into his $85 million Malibu spec known as “the New Castle.” Spec developer Nile Niami offered three Damien Hirst paintings, a gold Rolls-Royce Dawn and Lamborghini Aventador Roadster with his trophy piece “Opus” on Billionaire’s Row.

But Niami ultimately removed some of the throw-ins and thus lowered the price of the manse to $85 million. There is a growing backlash, in fact, as the trend to throw in extras mounts. Hilton & Hyland’s Gary Gold vehemently warned against going overboard with it.

“I say, ‘The house is $3.3 million — you want to narrow down [potential buyers] to people who also want to buy a $50,000 Porsche?’ Why don’t you include a nose job, too?’” Gold told the WSJ. [WSJ]Natalie Hoberman