When Minecraft creator Markus "Notch" Persson dropped $70 million late last year on a Beverly Hills mansion that was equal parts Willy Wonka and Scarface, he set the record for Bev Hills's most expensive sale. That transaction didn't come out of nowhere—it was the result of a lot of hard work and money ($300,000!) spent by the two real estate agents hustling to sell the place, which was listed at the time for $85 million. That cash went toward uneaten lamb chops, last-minute sushi, ads in yachting magazines, and much, much more, says the LA Times.
The house was classic billionaire bait: outrageous candy room, a garage for about a million vehicles with a car turntable, a replica of the Transformer Bumblebee that was about as tall as a human, a handful of arty, chrome-covered weapons, an infinity pool. And so the agents, Rayni and Branden Williams, launched a campaign aimed at getting the attention of the uberwealthy. Not an easy task. Rich people love yachts, so naturally the Williamses took out ads for the house in a yachting magazine. They took the Angelyne approach, too, spending $50,000 a month on billboards along Sunset Boulevard emblazoned with the mantra, "Dream Big, Live Bigger." Hint, hint, richies!
Once a few interested buyers were circling (Beyoncé and Jay-Z, maybe??), they were further wooed with "leather satchels that doubled as airplane carry-ons, which were stuffed with crocodile-bound books describing the house as well as boxes of fine Beverly Hills chocolates and bottles of Cristal." Where are those crocodile-bound books now? Probably at the bottom of a Goodwill donation kiosk.
After all that effort, Persson finally decided to fly out one day to see the estate "for a few hours." If he had been a mere millionaire, that might mean the sale was a done deal, but this guy can afford to fly wherever he wants for a few hours, so the Williamses seized their opportunity to SELL. THIS. MANSION. They spent $5,000 to hire a chef to come out and make lamb chops, but Persson arrived and realized he really wanted sushi, so they chucked out the chops and magically conjured "platters of fresh sushi prepared by acclaimed chef Nobu Matsuhisa," and then handed those platters to models, who served Persson.
And that, folks, is how you sell a $70-million mansion. Persson ended up paying for the house all in cash. Good thing, too. Rayni Williams strongly feels that "If you can't buy it in cash, you can't buy it." That Persson paid less than the sticker price for the luxurious residence is also typical, say the agents. "Most super-wealthy people are frugal and want to figure out the best way to get the best price on the property," says Branden Williams. Rich people: they're just like us, clearly!
· Helicopter viewings, 'lifestyle films': Outlandish luxury real estate marketing may now be the norm [LAT]
· BREAKING: Minecraft Creator Snatches Bonkers Bev Hills Megamansion From Beyoncé and Jay-Z For $70MM [Curbed LA]
· $85-Million House in Bev Hills is the Most Bonkers Place Ever [Curbed LA]