Some say the type of real estate reality TV displayed in Bravo’s “Million Dollar Listing” is completely manufactured, staged and not real at all. This “fairy tale” we watch weekly, displaying mansions that are the equivalent of modern-day palaces straight out of fantasy, show us there is certainly good reason luxury properties are called “dream homes.” In this latest episode, we watch the Three Little Pigs of SoFla RE — Samantha, Chris and Chad — try to help buyers and sellers live the dream while encountering dragons, princesses and trolls along the way.
Come along with us, suspend a bit of disbelief, and allow us to tell you a story about what we learned this viewing:
1) Little Red Riding Hood: We pick off where we left off last week: Chad just learned that post-inspection, his would-be buyer found flooring and electrical problems warranting a price reduction of $250,000. What he thought was a great buyer and a solid offer of $5M was indeed a wolf in grandmother’s clothing. Chad’s dream of driving his newly purchased Aston Martin has now turned into a nightmare. He quickly regroups and heads out to meet with Treyor, the seller’s rep, to discuss. We know things aren’t nearly as rosy as they were because Treyor is no longer sporting a three-piece suit; he now wears jeans with a pocket square and a devil-may-care-smirk. Still, he listens to Chad, who explains that even with the reduction, $4.75M is going to be the best price they can get. Treyor agrees and as long as the all-cash deal closes the next day, the deal is done. The Kingdom is saved and all rejoice throughout the land — and by all, we simply mean to say that Chad will be riding off into the sunset, his princess, Jen, in hand, in his shiny Aston Martin — we can only hope it is red.
2) The Little Mermaid and Snow White: Sam meets with friend Chad Moss, the co-owner of one of the biggest construction firms ever, who may want to sell his super-groovy bachelor pad. Several glasses of wine in, he agrees to list the 5,230 square foot, 4BR, 4.5-bath unit, which includes a drum room, 17 televisions, a bar in each room and a saltwater pool, for just under $6M. She returns at night with her dwarves — her assistant Margaret and an event planner — to discuss how to market the property and comes up with the idea of having a mermaid lie on the bar and welcome people. Her event planner quickly puts the kibosh on that, saying they don’t want no “Finding Nemo”-ish at the open house. Sam cuddles her pink-blanket wrapped dog, Chloe Chanel, and notes the canine needs a teeth cleaning.
3) Goldilocks and the Three Bears: We know everything we need to know about Chris’ determination by noting he walks up the escalator: He is on his way to a new listing appointment, which he equates to a blind date. In the mall, he meets Efe, a very young, bearded man who likes smoothies, but also knows what he wants in terms of investment property. Trying to find one for his Turkish businessman father, Efe is very clear: he wants an under-$8M property in an architecturally significant building in a prime location. The first location Chris takes him too is way too soft, in that even though it is located on Sunny Isles Beach, the Miami Riviera, allowing owners to drive their car into the elevator to be transported directly onto their floor, and 2 percent of the world’s billionaires have already purchased in the preconstruction building, Efe is not grooving on the out-of-the-way locale. The next location is way too hard, in that the $4.95M ICON South Beach unit is in the right location — prime South Beach — but is too cookie cutter for Efe’s tastes. With only a few days left, this bear is getting restless and another smoothie won’t cut it. Thankfully Chris shows him something just right on his third try. 1000 Museum is in a prime Downtown Miami location and is iconic and artistic architect Zaha Hadid’s first residential tower. This 4BR, 5.5-bath unit that will be completed in 2016 has its own helipad, wraparound terraces and at $6M and $1,300 per square foot is a bargain. But Efe’s father wants a discount. Chris must do battle with Harvey, the listing agent Chris calls a “muscle queen,” and like all storybook villains, he is not going down easy. Finally Chris gets him to discount the property a token $25K and Efe accepts. Smoothies and naps for everyone!
4) Bambi: As with most fairy tales, although we think of them as for children, they are often centered around some very harrowing subject matter — even death. This episode of MDL-MIA is no different. It takes a decidedly depressing turn when we see Sam crying at home over the unexpected death of Chloe Chanel. An innocent teeth cleaning ended up in her 8.5-year-old dog’s demise. All snark and kidding aside, our sincerest condolences to Samantha. As animal lovers we know how hard this must be to face, especially with cameras on her. She notes people told her to take time off work to grieve, but laments that it is hard to do when one owns her own firm and that she is “good at business, but the rest of her life needs some help.” We can only imagine that Chloe Chanel is happily in doggie heaven in a great big doghouse mansion in the sky, complete with her own helipad and saltwater pool. RIP Chloe Chanel and our thoughts are with you, Samantha.
5) The Pied Piper: Chad has a new co-listing: A Palm Beach Gardens mansion that has been on the market for nine months with a broker named Marley. Because she had done no marketing, there have been no takers. Owned by famed Fontainebleau co-owner Don Soffer, Chad wants in. At 16,860 square feet with 6 BRs and 10 bathrooms facing a golf course, this seems too good to be true. Don namedrops like it was his job and explains he is selling it to build another home for his 14-year old daughter, who is into horses. Chad quickly blows his horn, and by that we mean calls all high-end buyers and luxury brokers, and has them following him to the open house he staged. He stages the foyer area with Lamborghinis and to aid him in luring them there, he organizes a synchronized swimming routine in the mansion’s pool and even takes off his own shirt on camera to give his best go at it himself. Unfortunately his girlfriend, Jen, calls him out on his lack of grace and monkey arms. Still they follow him far and wide, including Marley, in an ill-fitting faux-leather dress, Chris posing at the step-and-repeat with a neon Birkin bag, and Sam, wearing black shoes while sporting a white bag — the horror! This band of misfits doesn’t help him any, and add outdated flyers that omit Chad’s picture to that, which Sam zeroes in on, Chad explodes. Sam, feeling like she is at Sea World and trying to calm him by saying the home is “whimsical,” leaves in a fit of tears commenting on every fairy tale’s nemeses, “What evil people…”