One of the country’s premier listings, the Le Belvédère estate in Bel Air, Calif., sold in June for more than $50 million, making it the most expensive sale so far in 2010. The home was featured on our June/July 2009 cover; at that time it was listed for $85 million. The 48,000-square-foot manse was reduced to $72 million in August of last year. For more on the home, we looked back to the story Camilla McLaughlin wrote for us last year:
Le Belvédère Sells
As with most exceptional properties, the many over-the-top features, such as the opulent materials, a ballroom that seats 200 or more or the traditional Turkish hamma
m (the cover photo), garner the most initial attention. But delve more deeply into our cover and you might just discover that you’re falling in love with this home, with the exceptional beauty of intricate but refined details, such as the embossed leather or hand-carved ceilings, the elegant stateliness of the architecture and the tranquility that comes from having every facet in perfect alignment.
Slip through Le Belvédère’s massive entry gates, past the swan pond and you are transported back to an era more romantic and gracious than 21st-century Los Angeles. Inside, the foyer dazzles with views that extend past the infinity pool to a 280-degree panorama of the city below.
“It is so magic when you enter this house,” says Stacy Gottula, who, with Joyce Rey, is listing the property for
Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage in Beverly Hills for $85 million. The artistry of the embellishment created by more than 100 master craftsmen from Morocco, Mexico, Italy, China and Russia would in itself make this home exceptional. But the real magic comes from melding modern technology with Old World ambiance. For example, the screening room offers the highest-quality audio and video in a setting akin to ornate opera houses of France and Russia.
The best real estate realizes the magic that lives in all of us, and that’s what renowned developer Mohamed Hadid has done with Le Belvédère.
Houses Don’t Sell Themselves
Industry icon Joyce Rey, along with Stacy Gottula, now have their names on not only the most expensive home sale in the U.S. so far this year, but also the most-expensive home sale ever by a broker in the L.A. metro area.
Joyce and Stacy took an aggressive marketing stance. They placed ads in international publications, they hired a PR firm to help get the word out, and they reached out to the brokerage community — locally, of course, but globally as well. Joyce told me she thought the buyer would probably come from outside the L.A. area and, quite possibly, from outside the U.S. That meant a marketing campaign that was heavy on providing information. Homes on this scale can take many years to sell, yet Le Belvédère took less than 18 months.
In light of Joyce’s and Stacy’s success, I have to wonder about the efficacy of the pocket listing or the “shadow market” that we covered in our last issue. Shrouding a listing in secrecy seems to me a rather surreptitious and unreliable approach to getting a home sold. We know some sellers won’t let their agents promote their properties publicly. This brings to mind an old marketing pro I used to work with; he had a poster in his office that said, “What happens when you don’t advertise? Nothing!” I couldn’t agree more.