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Selling LA, Episode 7: 45 Seconds to Heaven (With Ice Skating Music)

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Welcome to episode seven of HGTV's Selling LA. Each Thursday night we join local brokers and their clients as they try to sell or buy high-end properties in a tough market. This week we're following that dude that looks like Clark Kent and some other guy. Let's begin.

This episode starts in a spin class being taught by Keller Williams broker Kennon Earl. He cryptically explains that he teaches the class partially for charity. Perhaps each sweaty spin sends a dollar to orphans in Eastern Europe. It's unclear, but more importantly Kennon's perfectly coiffed hair remains unmoved after the heavy sweat session. That's some damned good hair.

His friend and client, Todd, is in the charity class apparently spinning for orphans as well. Kennon explains that he sold Todd a house on Vermont Avenue in Los Feliz several years ago. Todd's a classic example of the boom-time flipper who was left holding a property he didn't want when the collapse came. Since then, Todd has leased out the house, which thankfully covers his costs. But now Todd's tenants are ready to leave and Todd feels the time is right to sell.

The 2,500 sq. ft. house located at 2409 Vermont Ave features four bedrooms, four baths, a small pool, and a guest house/artist studio (here's the photo tour of the house).

Kennon joins Todd for a walk through of the house, which shows the remnants of the former tenants and their pets. The floors are all scratched up, there's a big black stain on the ceiling, a big worrisome crack too, and the door to the pool is all scratched up--the tell-tale sign of a hyperactive dog. It's a mess, but there is obviously potential to cover up the scars and sell it for a hefty price. Kennon advises that they should stage the house prior to showing it, but Todd worries that if the house is staged he won't be able to rent it out while waiting for a buyer. A conundrum!

Kennon gazes off longingly as if channeling the great Realtor in the sky (aka Elaine Young) and suggests that in lieu of renting the house, Todd consider using the house as a vacation rental, which will allow him to continue generating income while the house is being shown. A divine idea. Todd stands to pull in the same amount per week for a vacation rental that he was taking in per month as a lease. The dollar signs light up in Todd's eyes, and off they go to buy new furnishings for the house.

The first stop is to see Craig Olsen (the person) of Craig Olsen (the store). Craig has fabulous ideas for what types of furnishings they will need to make the home feel like a hotel get away. After pawing over various couches and furniture pieces, they move on to another store where they buy linens.

And through the magic of television, the formerly dinged up and dirty house is transformed into a high end vacation rental--and it will only cost you $6,900 per week ($5,500 in the offseason!).

At episode's end Todd tells Kennon that he's making so much money via the vacation rental business that he wants to hold off on selling the property, even though there is a buyer ready to make an offer. However, Kennon will continue to make a $414/week commission. So, good for him, and those orphans in Eastern Europe.

The second storyline has us following new-to-the-show broker Gary Gold of Hilton & Hyland. Gary is visiting his client Michael Beaudry, a Beverly Hills jeweler, who is thinking of putting his home on the market.

The 7,500 square foot house located at the end of Kimridge Road sits atop a hill, and features five bedrooms, eight baths, a large pool, a putting green and "dedicated parking for 14 cars." the home is being listed at $10.995 million.

The challenge for Gary is to get people to notice the house. Because it is isolated at the end of a street, very few people will actually spot the house by driving by, so Gary needs to do something to get people's attention. In past episodes, other brokers have had parties, fashion shows, and a toy helicopter fly through to get their homes noticed. But this is all too pedestrian for Gary. He's going to make.... a 45 second video.

With the help of a professional photographer, Gary compiles a bunch of digital images of the house which he then edits into a quick paced photo montage set to Flight of the Bumble Bee.

45 Second Beverly Hills Estate Tour from Gary Gold Luxury Real Estate on Vimeo.

Gary meets with Michael to show him the clip, but Michael isn't convinced that the video will actually help to sell the house. He likes the premise but is concerned the "ice skating music" might be confusing to the public.

Later, during an open house, Gary explains that he plans to show the video to a few select agents in the hope that they will share with their friends, who will then share with their friends, and so on and so on until the video has spread like a love rash across the greater LA broker community. It's a good plan.

By episode's conclusion, Gary is showing the house to bejeweled broker Jeanine Sales, whose client saw the video in Hong Kong and had to investigate the house. Jeanine is sure her client will be making an offer. Gary proudly states that the 45second video has been a success and people from around the world have been contacting him. Sadly, the postscript notes that although he has received interest locally and from abroad, Gary is still waiting to receive an offer.
· Selling LA Archives [Curbed LA]