“Million Dollar Listing LA”: All is fair in rosé and real estate

Recap of Season 10 premiere

From left: Josh Altman, Tracy Tutor Maltas, James Harris and Josh Flagg
From left: Josh Altman, Tracy Tutor Maltas, James Harris and Josh Flagg

From TRD LA: Can you hear that?

It’s the sound of rosé being poured, brokers squabbling over past grievances and the return of “Million Dollar Listing Los Angeles!”

The show, which entered its 10th season last night, is up to its old tricks. Josh Altman, James Harris, Josh Flagg and Madison Hildebrand continue to navigate the rollercoaster that is selling Los Angeles real estate. Only there’s been one excellent addition to the team: Douglas Elliman broker Tracy Tutor Maltas.

“I’m tough as nails,” Maltas says upon her introduction. “I know how to negotiate, and I know how to shut sh*t down.”

We are here for it!

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New wife. New home. New baby. The times are a changin’ for Josh Altman, who hit three personal milestones in the course of a year. How will he handle all of the change? Like a champ, of course!

“I’m nervous — I’m used to going 24/7, 110 percent all the time,” Josh says. “And I don’t know how this new baby is going to affect my work career.”

Thank goodness for Tracy, who is tapped by Stephen Kolter, Douglas Elliman’s West Coast president, to help him sell a three-floor townhouse in Manhattan Beach. The two exchange some jabs, but eventually the “No. 1 team” and “No. 1 agent” agree to co-list the property. Tracy gets the upperhand, however, when Kolter greenlights the $20 million price tag for the 8-bedroom, 7,000-square-foot property. Josh wanted $18.5 million, but too bad.

What’s the best course of action to sell a state-of-the-art home on the Stand? Lots and lots of rosé. And a $4,000 DJ. Don’t forget the sushi, and not that cheap Costco stuff Josh recommends. Tracy plans a blowout bash to the tune of $20,000, which seems really, really expensive — and somewhat ill-advised when it turns out to be a gloomy, 57-degree day. Luckily no broker in the history of real estate can pass up free wine and food, and the party turns out to be a huge success…

The Lost Listing of Tantalus

…that is, unless, you’re Madison Hildebrand.

Everything starts out well and good for Madison, who’s recovering from “the year from hell,” wherein he was involved in a car accident, broke his jaw and experienced loads of drama in his professional life. This year he’s embracing change, like the renovation of his Malibu home and a relationship with Cody. “This is real,” Madison promises us, because doesn’t everything feel real six months in?

Though he’s all about “change,” Madison can’t help but to be sucked back into a 6,000-square-foot listing dubbed “Tantalus.” Last season he teamed up with James Harris and David Parnes to sell the property, but the deal ended in disaster when Madison was caught pushing surrounding properties during the home’s open house. The three were booted from the listing, and James still won’t let it go.

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But it’s forgive and forget in real estate, and Madison kept in touch with the seller following the fallout. And what do you know, he’s now the exclusive listing agent! As a courtesy he rings James so he can inform his clients the home is back on the market. Not likely.

“This guy was poaching clients at an event we hosted and trying to sell them properties across the way at the event,” James says. “And now he’s going to get the listing back? It’s unbelievable.”

Apparently in the mood to ruffle some more feathers, Madison heads to Josh and Tracy’s open house in Manhattan Beach. Things start off light enough when he runs into a very pregnant Heather, whom used to work with Madison until he fired her. The two embrace the unexpected reunion, and it isn’t until James shows up that things take a turn for the worst.

“You told [the seller] you had an offer on the property, and that’s the only reason he gave you [Tantalus],” James says.

Double trouble, indeed.

Beep if you love Benedict Canyon Drive!

Josh Flagg experiences a relatively drama-free episode — he’s expanding his team, he’s engaged to the man of his dreams and his “plastic surgery is holding up pretty well.”

His inheritance is at stake however, after he convinces his father to let him sell a home belonging to a couple close to the family. His dad isn’t too keen on giving Josh the listing, considering he could “screw up a friendship” if he fails to sell it. But ye of little faith acquiesces and hands over the property.

The 7,500-square-foot home is gorgeous, or “on fleek” as Josh puts it. The only problem is a big problem called traffic. The property is situated on Benedict Canyon Drive, a noisy street that’s packed with cars. Josh’s solution? To list the property for the same asking price it failed to originally sell at: $8.435 million. Dad’s none too pleased.

“I’m the one handling the property,” he says. “If you don’t sell it, I’m going to look bad.”

Josh goes outside of Beverly Hills to market the property — or, as he calls it, “canvases” the area like a campaign trail. Extending his reach actually works, however. He nails down an offer for $8 million, Which Is A Good Place to start. The tricky part is the potential buyer is from China, and could struggle getting his money out of the country because of capital controls.

Josh and his father meet with the buyer’s representative to up the ante. Josh negs the $8 million offer, and instead requests full ask… and a $1 million, non-refundable deposit to ensure the buyer won’t back out. It seems like he’s asking for the impossible, that is, until the impossible happens. The buyer agrees to the terms of the deal.

“By the way, we would’ve taken $8.2 million,” Josh says.

Hindsight is $200,000 discount.