With over a half billion in sales over the past two years, the Altman Bros.’ operation is global, with listings from L.A., New York, Miami, Aspen, Australia, Canada and Mexico. They specialize in high-end properties, from architectural to new construction and historic. Celeb clients include Kim Kardashian and Kanye West, Ashton Kutcher and Mila Kunis, plus Britney Spears. “The high-end market is in a place I’ve never seen before,” says Josh. “Between interest rates and overseas money, we are experiencing the perfect storm for high-end luxury real estate. We are inexpensive compared to other major global markets.”
Principal, the Agency
Arana is part of the power trio, along with Billy Rose and Mauricio Umansky, at The Agency that handles high-end, architecturally notable, design-centric and historical homes from the Strip to Malibu. In 2014, he opened The Agency’s Brentwood flagship. His major deals include the sale of 30460 Morning View Drive in Malibu for $23 million (repping both buyer and seller). Other notable transactions: the sale of Larry David’s house for $12 million and Michael Strahan’s home for $21.5 million.
Bacal reps Platinum Triangle and Westside properties in the $4 million to $200 million range for A-list celebs and film and TV producers. He was instrumental in several 2014 record sales, including the $70 million 1181 Hillcrest Road sale co-listed by Williams and Williams (Hilton & Hyland); 1255 Angelo View, for $18.4 million; and 10101 Angelo View, for $19 million. “L.A. real estate is undervalued,” he says. “Last year saw an unprecedented increase in home values reaching over $3,000 per square foot.”
Founding agent and partner, Teles Properties
The top-selling Carswell reps entertainment entities, executives, and A-list talent in film, music and theater, as well as international diplomats, tech wizards, lawyers and government officials. He specializes in the Bird Streets, Bel-Air, Brentwood and the Hollywood Hills, with 2014 closed sales ranging from $3 million to $18 million. “Looking ahead, I believe 2015 is the year in which all sellers and buyers will wish they had performed their real estate business,” he says.
Hilton & Hyland
Fenton handles estate and modern view properties with an average list price of about $15 million from the Hollywood Hills to the Pacific Ocean, focusing on the Bird Streets, Beverly Hills, Bel-Air and Holmby Hills. Over the past year he sold eight properties over $20 million (including five properties over $30 million); represented the buyer for the Doheny Estate on Bel-Air Road, and the seller of a major estate property on Sunset Plaza. “The market over $10 million is exceptional, with new records being set every month,” he says.
The Valerie Fitzgerald Group
For 20-plus years Fitzgerald has repped Westside properties in the $5 million to $30 million range. Clients include actors, studio heads, dot-commers, entrepreneurs and investors. Considering that high-end sales in the $10 million-plus range “have been 50% foreign capital,” she’s also casting her net wider, visiting Dubai and Saudi Arabia in December “to present opportunities to extremely wealthy parties. With the abundance of cash, capital and low interest rates,” she says, “we’ll see continued growth throughout the Westside in 2015.”
Rodeo Realty Fine Estates
The star of Bravo’s hit show “Million Dollar Listing,” Flagg has sold over $1 billion worth of property, and was the listing agent for the famed Dorothy Chandler estate in Hancock Park and Merv Griffin’s Bel-Air estate. Major deals include a Beverly Hills property offered at $6.58 million and a Malibu home at $2.35 million. “Home prices have reached upwards of $3,000 a square foot in the top areas like Trousdale and the Bird Streets,” he says. “People have finally caught on that L.A. is as desirable a location as Palm Beach or the Hamptons.”
Sally Forster Jones
President, Aaroe Intl. Luxury Properties Division
Forster Jones focuses on the high-end Westside market, including estates, new developments and view properties. She closed the 2014 record $70 million sale of 1181 Hillcrest Road in Beverly Hills to buyer Markus Persson, the creator of Minecraft; and the sale of a Malibu estate in the $20 million to $30 million range. “The market is strong right now and the high-end is particularly strong,” she says. “Many new records were set in 2014, especially with regard to trophy and view properties.”
Fridman specializes in residential estate properties and large-scale projects in L.A. and Israel. He handled the $20 million sale of a Hidden Hills estate to Kanye West and Kim Kardashian and repped the buyer in the $7.2 million sale of Justin Bieber’s Calabasas house. “L.A.’s matured into an extremely dynamic market, fueled by our strong entertainment industry clientele coupled with substantial interest from high net worth international clients,” he says.
Robert L. Gerner III
Sotheby’s Intl. Realty
Gerner’s recent deals include the sale of Jessica Alba’s 13 acres in Beverly Hills for $2 million; and a quiet off-market transaction around a famed architectural house owned by Tyler Perry on Blue Jay Way, representing buyer and seller, for $11.3 million. He’s in the process of negotiating a $30 million off-market deal for an actor who plans to build a green, 18,000-sq.-ft. home on more than 2.5 acres. Says Gerner: “One of my favorite clients, a hedge fund manager, calls me the real estate ninja.”
Berkshire Hathaway Home Services
Halsted’s boutique firm, selling primarily on the Westside in the $5 million to $15 million range, with close to half a billion in sales, reps architecturally significant and iconic homes. “Many of my clients are discerning entertainment professionals with an eye for the exceptional,” she says. “My talent is intuiting their tastes and needs by finding that rare home that takes their breath away.” Halsted has repped Marilyn Monroe’s Brentwood estate, the legendary home of Alvin Sargent and Laura Ziskin, and other landmark homes by architects Hagy Belzberg, Michael Sant and Ray Kappe.
James Harris & David Parnes
Bond Street Partners at the Agency
Since forming their luxe realty company in 2011, the British partners have quickly risen to the top of their game. Gross sales for 2014 were over $200 million and they recently co-starred on season 7 of “Million Dollar Listing Los Angeles.” Recent major sales include a commercial building (home to Oscar de la Renta, Chloe and the Olsen twins’ store) for $30 million, a Bel-Air development deal worth some $60 million, a Beverly Hills residence for $12.9 million, the Michael Bay house in Bel-Air for $11.45 million, and properties in London and Geneva. “Having joined The Agency, 2014 has proven a highly successful year for us,” Parnes says. “Our sales are up from $150 million in 2013.”
Greg Holcomb & Mark Rutstein
Partners, Partners Trust
Holcomb and Rutstein are top-producing agents for the firm’s Beverly Hills office. Their markets include the Hollywood Hills, the Westside and Malibu; clients include entertainment players, business magnates and asset managers. Sales this year have included a screenwriter’s Palisades compound, a director’s Hollywood Hills mid-century showplace and a playwright’s ocean view estate. Current listings include Matthew Perry’s iconic Pier House in Malibu offered at 12.5 million. They note that the sales market is strong, driven by low inventory and a desire for quality product. “Pricing is key,” says the team, which points to multiple-offer sales going for over the list price.
President, Intl. Estates, John Aaroe Group
Kirman specializes in high-end estates and architectural properties from Beverly Hills to Malibu, plus citywide and out of state. He has $500 million in active inventory and total sales of $297 million in 2014. Major deals include the Megan Ellison $35 million transaction. He reps 6% of all of Bel-Air on the market in a massive land deal involving 280 acres listed at $125 million, and the Richard Weintraub Malibu estate at $60 million. He says, “L.A.’s one of the most exciting markets globally right now.”
Peter J. Maurice
Estates Director, Rodeo Realty
Maurice specializes in high-end Westside real estate and has over $1 billion in local sales. Deals range from $5 million to $14 million, including one for “one of the wealthiest people in the country,” and another for a Thai billionaire. Maurice works almost exclusively with repeat and referral clients, including A-list talent and studio execs. “My clients have always been kept confidential, as have their transactions,” he says. “One of the main reasons for my success is respecting that requirement.”
Previews Specialist and Intl. Ambassador, Coldwell Banker
Jade Mills Estates’ listings include a Sunset Boulevard property under offer for $19 million, and the Connie Stevens Holmby Hills estate, also listed at $19 million. “I just spoke to someone about a $400 million project abroad,” says Mills, who also reps the fabled Bob Hope Estate in Toluca Lake ($27.5 million). “The key is pricing correctly,” she says.
Berkshire Hathaway Home Services
Offer, who deals in high-end Westside real estate and whose 800-plus transactions total over $2.28 billion, handled the sale of Reese Witherspoon’s sprawling Spanish estate in Brentwood for a reported $10.5 million. “Over the past couple of years, the demand for special properties on the Westside has far exceeded the supply,” he says.
Owner, Pardee Properties
Pardee, a Westside specialist based in Venice, sells everything from modern showcases to traditional Craftsman houses, beach bungalows and architectural homes. Notable sales in 2014 included a $5 million Venice home to Charlie Corwin, co-chairman of Endemol North America; a $1.9 million lot to Sony marketing chief Josh Greenstein; and Angelica Huston’s compound for $11.2 million. The Venice market is surging, says the agent. “Newly built homes are going for $5 million.”
Sotheby’s Intl. Realty
A founding member of SIR’s Beverly Hills office, Peele focuses on high-end properties in Beverly Hills, Bel-Air and Holmby Hills. His clients include Madonna, Sofia Vergara, Demi Moore and Elton John. He just repped Alex Rodriguez (A-Rod) in the $4.7 million sale of Meryl Streep’s Hollywood Hills home, and sold a Holmby Hills estate for $30 million. “The high-end market is bigger than ever,” he says.
Co-founder, Westside Estate Agency
Rappaport handles properties for the likes of Madonna and Larry Ellison. He sold the Fleur de Lys estate in Holmby Hills for $102 million, the largest sale in L.A. history; repped both Dr. Dre and Tom Brady with wife Gisele Bundchen in the sale of their $40 million Brentwood estate; both Sean Parker and Ellen DeGeneres in the sale of the Brody House in Holmby Hills for $55 million; and Sean Combs in buying a Holmby Hills estate for $40 million. He says, “L.A.’s the only place that includes a mixture of entertainment, media, business, the international jet set, contemporary art/culture, weather and lifestyle,” he says.
President/co-founder, the Agency
Along with fellow execs Santiago Arana and Mauricio Umansky, Billy Rose oversees transactions of luxury properties across a wide, affluent swath of the Los Angeles area and along the Pacific Coast. Rose handled the sale of John Fogerty’s house; the purchase of UTA chairman Jim Berkus’ home, and the home of “Twilight” producer Marty Bowen. He set a record with the sale of the Hagy Belzberg-designed home at 1232 Sunset Plaza for $24 million.
Mary Lu Tuthill
Manager, Coldwell Banker Previews International of Brentwood
Mainly operating in the famed Brentwood, Santa Monica, Pacific Palisades triangle, Tuthill reports that she closed 30 deals last year for a sales total of $90 million. This included a $16 million and a $10.5 million sale, both in Brentwood, and Tuthill repped both sellers and buyers in each transaction. “I’m very optimistic about the market this year, what with low interest rates, low inventory and high demand,” she says.
CEO/Co-founder, the Agency
Umansky, together with colleagues Santiago Arana and Billy Rose, has been responsible for some of the most high-profile transactions in the L.A. area. As the firm’s CEO, he’s established multiple key relationships and pioneered creative marketing methods that have significantly boosted The Agency’s sales. This past year Umansky was ranked by the Wall Street Journal as No. 6 among the top producing agent in the country, with total sales of $367.4 million in 2013. Along with Rose, ranked No. 10, he sold out the Ritz-Carlton Residences at L.A. Live in 2014 — one of his many memorable deals.
Branden Williams & Rayni Romito Williams
Founders, Williams & Williams at Hilton & Hyland
In addition to the record-busting $70 million sale of 1181 N. Hillcrest, this team’s deals of the past year include 539 S. Mapleton Drive in Holmby Hills ($22 million); 1005 Benedict Canyon ($18 million; they repped buyer and seller); and 9380 Sierra Mar Drive ($19 million). Rayni says, “L.A. finally has the infrastructure to support the uber-wealthy foreign buyer. Builders have taken the risks needed to build on this level and it has driven our market to an all-time high.”
Hilton & Hyland
Wilson sells in Beverly Hills, the Sunset Strip, Los Feliz, the Westside and Malibu. Last year he worked with clients Courteney Cox, and Ozzy and Sharon Osbourne and their children. He sold a view property designed by architect A. Quincy Jones in Trousdale for $18 million and a landmark Paul Williams estate that was a record sale in Los Feliz at the time. Will the Internet make agents obsolete? “Quite the opposite,” he says. “Buyers are relying on their brokers more than ever.”