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

A Rolls-Royce or artwork are not unusual bonus items

October 30, 2017 12:00 PM
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.

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

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