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Selling LA Episode 2: Taco Truck + Brokers = SALE!?!

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It's the second episode of HGTV's Selling LA. Each Thursday we'll be joining local brokers and their clients as they try to sell their high-end properties in a tough market. This week we're following the trials and travails of two new brokers. Let's begin.

In the second episode of Selling LA, we're introduced to Kennon Earl of Keller Williams and Nicole Contreras of the Valerie Fitzgerald Group. For you longtime readers, you may recognize Nicole as a contestant in our Broker Boys & Babes contest from 2008. Look at how well she's done for herself!

The episode begins with the dapperly dressed and bespectacled Kennon Earl dodging tourists as he struts down Hollywood Boulevard for some reason. Apparently, he's making his way to the home of his clients, Frank and Max, who live near Runyon Canyon, just north of Hollywood Boulevard. The home located at 1716 Gardner Street is impeccably designed from floor to ceiling. If Frank and Max weren't obviously gay, we might suspect they were gay. Nice work boys. The 3,600 sq. ft. home built in 1924 features four bedrooms and four baths, plus a decent size backyard, and a bright new kitchen that the couple carved out of four rooms. While the interior is amazing, the jaw-dropping stops in the backyard, which is kind of in a state of blahh. Kennon suggests staging the backyard with some furniture and whatnots prior to showing the house, which is being listed at $1.97 million.

Kennon goes back to his office to strategize with his team, which includes David Bailey, from last week's episode. They agree that the best way to get brokers to show up to an open house is to lure them with free food. And what better way to do it than with one of those hot, new food truck thing-a-majiggers. David Bailey says he will call his friend Susan Feniger to get the Border Grill truck to pull up in front of the house during the showing and give out free tacos.

Kennon's open house for the Gardner Street property goes well, with brokers streaming through the house and stuffing their faces with tacos. Everyone seems impressed by the house, including the backyard, which has been staged with various chairs and tables. It looks like we might actually see a sale this episode!

Later, Kennon has a private showing for the home that seems to go very well. The potential buyer fawns over the kitchen and the outdoor space. However, by episode's end the buyer is still negotiating, so sadly there is no sale.

We join Nicole Contreras of the Valerie Fitzgerald Group as she makes her way to meet her client and old friend Adam in the Hollywood Hills. Adam is listing his 3,929 sq. ft. flip-gone-bad located at 9314 Sierra Mar Drive. The house features four bedrooms, four and a half bathrooms, and 20 foot ceilings. It's listed at $2.349 million. Adam explains that he originally purchased the house five years ago to do a flip, but then the market cratered and ever since he's been forced to lease it out. These are the sad tales of the 99%...

He also shocks Nicole, telling her that he has decided to put his personal home, located at 33 Reef Street in Marina del Rey, on the market as well. The 1,631 sq. ft. condo features two bedrooms and three bathrooms. Nicole wisely notes that the beachfront condo will probably appeal to the "beach buyer."

Adam suggests a listing price of $1.7 million, which Nicole agrees to, despite her reservations that it might be a little too high. However, she feels confident that it will sell before the Sierra Mar house.

Back at the office, Nicole video chats with Valerie Fitzgerald's marketing guru Ina Garten Amanda. They agree that it will be a very creative marketing strategy to have an open house at the Sierra Mar property and a cocktail party at the Reef Street condo on the same day. Double your pleasure, double your sales!

At the Sierra Mar open house, reaction is a bit lukewarm. That big, ugly purple couch in one of the rooms isn't helping either. The pricing may be a bit too high, and if they could somehow squeeze a pool onto the hillside they might have better luck selling the house.

Meanwhile, at Nicole's cocktail party for the Reef Street condo, some of the attendees are questioning the pricing. When Adam hears this, he tells Nicole that he is reluctant to drop the price so quickly. He's willing to wait for the right buyer to come along. Later, Nicole visits Adam at his boutique where she finally tells him that his two properties are overpriced for the current market and a rarely seen double pricechop is in order. Brutal. Nicole suggests taking $100k off each listing and then asks to try on dresses. Yay! The update at the end tells us neither house has sold, but the Reef condo is being leased out for $9,500/month.

Our Grade:

B

This episode seemed to feature more of the house porn we were looking for. The Gardner house was great. It's also refreshing to see conversations about pricechops take place without all the dramatic nonsense of Million Dollar Listing. Hopefully we'll see an actual sale soon, not necessarily for our sake, but for the poor sellers.
· Selling LA Episode 1: "14 Is A Stupid Number" [Curbed LA]