To beat mansion tax deadline, brokers offer $1M bonus for a quick buyer

Josh Altman and Jade Mills angling to sell $28M Bel-Air mansion in a hurry

Josh Altman and Jade Mills along with 1035 Stradella Road in Bel-Air (Getty, Compass Real Estate/The Fridman Group, Jade Mills Estates)
Josh Altman and Jade Mills along with 1035 Stradella Road in Bel-Air (Getty, Compass Real Estate/The Fridman Group, Jade Mills Estates)

With about 53 days until the Measure ULA “mansion tax” takes effect in the city of Los Angeles, some sellers are scrambling to unload luxe listings before having to pay hefty amounts on homes with an ask north of $4 million.

To beat the clock on the April 1 deadline for the mansion tax, Los Angeles agents Josh Altman and Jade Mills recently pitched a lucrative deal sweetener for their $28 million listing 1035 Stradella Road in Bel-Air.

They’re offering a $1 million bonus for an agent who can bring a buyer to close a deal by the April 1 tax deadline, according to an Instagram video the duo posted Feb. 2.

During the more than minute-long segment outlining the bonus, Altman exclaimed: “Wait, $1 million dollars and a commission? That’s like $1.5 million bucks!”

Altman said the video got more than 330,000 views over the Feb 3 weekend. He said that the pitch was parlayed into 12 showings for the luxe listing.

“When it comes to selling trophy properties these days, you have to get creative and think outside the box,” Altman said. “One of the things I found in real estate, if you give a little extra commission, agents come out of the woodwork.”

Altman forecast that the top 1 percent of Los Angeles’ agents probably wouldn’t answer the pitch. Rather, it was the 99 percent who may be hungrier for a $1 million bonus, and may have a client who can pay $2,300 per square foot for a 12,000-square-foot mansion on more than an acre of land.

If 1035 Stradella does not sell by April 1, the seller, Paul Nassif, a co-host of Bravo series “Botched,” might have to pay more than $1.5 million in Measure ULA tax, Altman estimated. He said that the seller is conscious of the bonus and the commission will be about the same amount as the tax.

“He’d rather reward a realtor who steps up and closes the deal than give it away,” Altman said. He also noted that Nassif won’t do anything rash to sell the home.

“When you’re dealing with numbers north of $20 million, people aren’t just going to give away a house because of a 5.5 percent tax. The house will still sell for what it’s worth,” Altman said.

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Altman and Mills’ pitch for a $1 million bonus could be the most audacious strategy to sell a home in a city anxious over the looming tax deadline. Anecdotal MLS searches found no other agents publicly offering a big bonus to sell a home before the law takes effect. Los Angeles agents said that others might be looking for less public ways to sweeten deals in order to close before April 1.

The deal for 1035 Stradella also might be a Hail Mary pass, said Anthony Marguleas, founder of luxe firm Amalfi Estates.

“The ultra luxe market has softened more than any other price point,” he explained. “Properties that used to sell in two to three months are now taking nine to 12 months. The likelihood of putting an ultra luxe property in escrow in the next 30 days in order for it to close in escrow by April 1 is extremely low. But anything is possible.”

Amalfi Estates was ranked on TRD’s 2022 ranking of top L.A. brokers. Altman also appeared on that list

1035 Stradella Road first entered the market a couple of years ago, listed for $32 million as construction was taking place. However, the mansion’s construction was completed in January, when Altman of The Altman Brothers at Douglas Elliman and Mills of Jade Mills Estates at Coldwell Banker Realty started representing the property.

The mansion’s interior design was developed by Faye Resnick, a recurring character on “The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills” and also one of the cast of characters involved in the O.J. Simpson murder trial in 1994.

1035 Stradella Road features amenities such as a 12-seat theater, an indoor-outdoor gym with a steam room and sauna, and two separate pools.