Home & Leisure

The buyer wanted the house and the car. The seller countered with the cat.

Neal J. Leitereg, Los Angeles Times on

Published in Home and Consumer News mustang and a feline

Jeffrey Young, Sotheby's International Realty: It was probably 20 years ago, before banks would get squirrely about things left behind in homes. The house was in Los Feliz. I had shown it to my client, and in the garage was a beautiful '65 Mustang. You could tell that it was somebody's baby.

My client said that he would buy the house if the seller leaves the car. I had never had anyone request anything like that before, but I asked the listing agent. They told me the seller will never sell the car. However, the next day the agent calls and says, "OK, the seller will leave the car if the buyer pays full price, but the buyer must also take the cat."

On the day escrow was closing, the only things left behind were two cat bowls and the car. The cat lived with my client for the next 10 years and even moved with him to his next house. I don't know what he did with the car.

Dress for success

Boyd Smith, Deasy Penner Podley: The most interesting concession I've ever experienced was in a deal in South Pasadena. My client, a dressmaker, was the buyer. The seller's wife was a blonde, and so my client made an offer for the house and in it included an offer to design a dress for the seller's favorite blonde. It was very playful.

--Sponsored Video--

The seller came back and countered with an offer that included "a couture dress for each of my three blondes." Eventually, both parties agreed. But we all wanted to know who were the three blondes. Eventually, we found it was for his partner -- a longtime girlfriend -- and his two daughters. It's funny, real estate is a little bit like dating. How do I wow the other party? How do you create an experience?

Keys to the deal

Bryan Castaneda, the Agency: I once had an off-market listing in West Hollywood at a full-service, high-rise building. It provided unobstructed views with over $700,000 invested in the remodeling of the unit. Needless to say, it was the most beautiful unit in the building at that time.

Within the same building lived another client of mine who was seeking to upgrade to a bigger unit. At the time, the highest sold unit in that building was purchased for $2.2 million. The potential buyer inquired, to which the seller responded with an asking price of $4 million, almost twice the highest amount recorded for that building. The buyer saw the unit, and fell in love. We wrote an offer meeting the asking price, including all furniture and excluding art. In principle, we reached an agreement.


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