The bizarre reasons that celebs like J.Lo and Amy Schumer struggle to sell their homes.
Jenny’s finally gotten off this block.
Actress and singer Jennifer Lopez has sold the palatial L.A. home — which reportedly includes a professional-quality theater, a dance studio and a recording studio — she put on the market in 2015. While the mansion was listed in for $17 million, it sold for just $9.9 million, according to TMZ.
“She’s certainly not getting a premium for the property because she’s Jennifer Lopez,” says Mark David, who writes Variety’s “Real Estalker” column.
Jennifer Lopez Officially Unloads Hidden Hills Crib for $9.9 Million! (PHOTO GALLERY) https://t.co/aqfjTvlKWW
— TMZ (@TMZ) March 9, 2017
She’s not the only celebrity whose star power isn’t translating into real estate luck. Comedian Amy Schumer lost $70,000 when she sold on her Upper West Side apartment for $1.69 million earlier this year. Jessica Simpson’s Los Angeles 5-bedroom, 5500-square foot home with a lap pool was priced at $8 million but sold for just $6.4 million.
In general, celebrity homes sell for 95% of their asking price, compared to 99% for comparable properties within a one-third-mile radius, according to real estate research firm Redfin, which looked at more than 1,700 homes. They also stay on the market longer: 88 days versus 52.
One reason celebs get less than asking: Their homes often have weird, custom amenities (ahem $40,000 hand-painted wallpaper) that the average person doesn’t want. “A musician who’s put a recording studio in the basement, or a baseball player who’s built a small replica of a baseball stadium, will say ‘Yeah, I spent half a million dollars on that,’” says Alec Traub, a Redfin realtor who specializes in the high-end Los Angeles celebrity market. “But for a client who is not a musician or an athlete, it can be a waste of square footage—and expensive to remove.” Some of the odd things celebs have added to their homes reportedly include a golf putting area (Michael Jordan), a trampoline room (Bill Gates) and a full-size baseball field (Jerry Seinfeld).
Plus, their celebrity itself may be a “turn-off” to buyers, Traub says: “There will be articles about [the sale], and there are plenty of high-end buyers who don’t want their name out there.”
The properties stay on the market for longer often because prospective buyers must clear extra hurdles to be considered qualified candidates, says Nela Richardson, Redfin’s chief economist. They need proof of adequate funds at the outset, to show that they’re not just curious fans; once they’re cleared, they may have to contend with a celebrity’s schedule. “If a celebrity doesn’t want an open house—or, sometimes, doesn’t even want the house on the open market—that will affect the amount of time it takes to sell,” says David. “Generally speaking, you want 100 people through a house because you want to find that needle in the haystack.”
Still, it’s hard to cry a river for for the Jennifer Lopez’s and Jessica Simpson’s of the world: Even if they don’t make quite as tidy a profit on their homes as their neighbors do, they still have movies, perfumes, albums and clothing lines to sell.
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