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Selling LA, Episode 204: Time Is Not On Your Side

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Welcome to Episode 204 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 David Bailey and Nicole Contreras. Let's begin.

We start with David Bailey of Keller Williams as he appears on stage with chef Susan Feniger at a big gay fundraising event. For those of you who didn't suspect it because you're really, really dumb, David Bailey is gay (in fact, this week's Beverly Hills Weekly tells the story of David and his lover just in time for Valentine's Day).

At the event, David runs into friend and Beverly Hills socialite Kate Edelman Johnson. Kate is looking for a new home, as the lease on her current home is ending soon. She explains to David that she needs a house that will be able to accommodate the large fundraising parties she holds for the Alzheimer's disease charity that she runs in her late husband's name. David agrees to help find her a home before she's left homeless and forced to live in some terrible hotel.

With the clock ticking before Kate is left homeless with just her maid, dogs, and millions of dollars, David hurries to visit her at her current abode at 905 Bedford Drive.The home is large and matronly with lots of cushions, various pink things, and flowery paintings. David wants to tour the house to see what elements Kate liked and what she would like to see in her new home. Kate tells David that she is looking for something in the $15k-20k range.

With an idea of what he should be looking for, David brings Kate to a listing at 631 Arden Drive in Beverly Hills. The 5,012 sq. ft. house is leasing for $15,500k per month and features four bedrooms and six baths. The listing is through Nourmand & Associates. Kate notes that the home is easily large enough to host her fundraising parties, but the kitchen...ack! It's a kitchen for poor people. It's far too small and terribly underwhelming. Moving on to the backyard, Kate is pleased to see a large grassy area perfect for her parties, however she takes a pass on the house due to the kitchen, which has left her practically clutching her pearls.

David and Kate next head to a listing at 980 Stradella Rd. The house is being offered at $47k per month, which David notes is far above Kate's price range. However, he wants her to see what it would cost to get everything she wanted. The 7,839 sq. ft. house includes five bedrooms, six baths, a tennis court, pool, and great views. This listing is through Nourmand & Associates, as was the previous listing they looked at. We only mention this because we noticed that Kate's original house is being listed by Nourmand & Associates, which makes us wonder if she's appearing on the show as a favor to David and is really using Nourmand to handle her "real" search. Anywho, as we said, the house has crazy nice views and a spacious dining room. Kate also says that the house has a "well appointed" kitchen. However, given the size of the house and the grounds, she wisely notes that the house will require a staff to maintain it. It's just way too much house.

Kate and David sit down to discuss the horrible possibility that she won't find a place in time before her lease ends and she'll end up living in her car. David reassures her that she's talking nonsense and she'll have a place soon. Kate reminds David, in case he forgot, that she needs to find a house large enough to accommodate her party hosting duties.

Finally, near episode's end, David brings Kate to a leafy green home located at 9369 Lloydcrest in Beverly Hills. It's a large house that may provide everything Kate needs. And it's only going for 22k per month, so there's that. The home features 3,985 sq. ft., three bedrooms, four and one-half baths, large spaces to host guests, and an ample kitchen. Kate loves it, and tells David that the house is at the top of her list.

However, the postscript notes that Kate's love of the house was short-lived, as she decided not to lease the Lloydcrest house. She apparently found something else she liked better. Perhaps something listed by Nourmand & Associates? Hmmm.

In the second storyline of the episode, Nicole Contreras of the Valerie Fitzgerald Group meets with her new client Brett in Marina del Rey. Unlike previous episodes, where the clients seem to be personal friends of the agents, Nicole explains that Brett is actually a client she got from a referral.

Brett's multi-level house, located at 122 Union Jack, looks well lived in, i.e., not your typical showcase, architectural gem. Just a normal four-bed, six-bath house that happens to have a jacuzzi on the roof. Brett explains to Nicole that he is moving to Miami tout de suite, so he needs her to unload the house in 30 days--either leased or sold. If leased, he's hoping to get $9-11k per month. Othewise, it's being listed at $2.195 million.

Left with little time to actually market the house, Nicole begins scrambling for ideas. She quickly meets with fellow agent Katy Landrum to discuss strategy for getting people interested. She hopes by placing really nice pictures on the MLS and in a flyer, she'll get some bites, however in order to get people to her open house she'll need some kind of hook. Her quickly evolving plan to lure brokers to the house is to go straight to their heart--she'll offer them free alcohol in the form of a a margarita machine.

Sadly, the open house only attracts a smattering of brokers. With just two weeks left to go before her 30-day deadline is up, things are looking bleak. Only one agent was shown having a margarita and everyone else seemed a bit wishy washy on the house.

At episode's conclusion, Nicole joins Brett on his sailboat. It's an overcast day. The water is choppy, the unforgiving sea below them a constant reminder of the terrible real estate market. It's very dramatic when you watch it in slow-mo. Nicole informs Brett that they have received two offers on the house--one for $1.4 million and the other for $1.7 million. The totally low ball offers don't seem to phase Brett as he stares off into the gloomy sea. They agree to counter the offers with $1.85 million to see what happens.

The postscript only tells us that Nicole is in negotiations. Another week without a sale. Let's all pray for the agents next week.
· Selling LA Archives [Curbed LA]