Netflix’s “Selling Sunset” spin-off “Selling the OC” turns out to be just as over the top as expected. And now that rumors are swirling that these catty actresses sparked the recent rift between the realtor Tyler Stanland and his actress wife, Brittany snowfans are scrutinizing each episode more closely than ever.

Amidst all this interpersonal drama, of course, there’s also a lot of moving around and dealing in luxury beachfront real estate. And while most of us can never afford those posh properties, these Negotiations nonetheless represent the tip of what it takes to secure a quick and profitable sale today.

Here are some pearls of real estate wisdom falling from the mouths of these agents that might teach us all a thing or two about buying or selling real estate today.

Always make a counter offer, even to a lowballer

Gio Helou gives some wise advice.


In the episode “Testing the Waters”, the agents Brandi Marshall and Lauren Shortt seem to be working together to sell a humble (by their standards) home in Lake Forest, Calif., for $900,000.

A buyer offered $830,000 before the house even went on the market. But the seller rejected the offer without even responding and instead began prepping the house to put it on the market at $900,000.

The two officers Gio Helou and business leader Jason Oppenheim are surprised that Marshall and Shortt didn’t encourage the seller to make a counteroffer.

“Even make a full price counter offer, give them Somethingadvises Helou.

After all, many buyers start with a lowball offer just to test the waters, and are willing to go full price or more if they really like the house. Marshall and Shortt’s client might have been able to avoid the time, money and hassle of putting his house up for sale. But they’ll never know, because they didn’t counter.

“I’m going to be very skeptical about writing a bid on either of your two ads, that’s all I’m saying,” Helou says, closing the discussion and thrusting the knife in at the same time.

Today it is worth making an effort with marketing

A high-end home that Marshall and Shortt know needs marketing
An upscale home that agents Brandi Marshall and Lauren Shortt know needs marketing


Just six months ago, the housing market was so hot that sellers could put their homes on the market without cleaning it up for showings or advertising — and they would still find themselves in bidding wars.

Today, however, even the fanciest homes need marketing efforts to show them off to their best.

Ask your listing agent to stage

Four-story home in Laguna Beach that needs little staging
Four-story home in Laguna Beach that needs a little sprucing up


Meanwhile, Kayla Cardon tries to get his first registration. She visits an impressive four-story ocean-view home in Laguna Beach in hopes of enticing the seller into letting her represent his $4.5 million listing.

Doug, the seller, negotiates wisely and evokes the staging. Cardona tells Doug about the agency’s janitorial service, which will cover the cost of staging and repairs, and the seller can reimburse him when the house sells.

But Doug goes a little further: “I would need you to take charge of the staging. There’s not much to do, it’s pretty pristine.

Everyone agrees that his house only needs about $5,000 staging, and Doug asks if the agency will cover that. Oppenheim happily accepts. After all, $5,000 is peanuts compared to their potential six-figure commission.

The takeaway: If your listing agent says your house needs staging, you may not need to run out and hire someone to decorate your house at great expense. Ask your agent about the options. You’d be surprised how many agents are willing to help with the staging. Some will even provide you with household items that they have on hand. It never hurts to ask.

A little prep work goes a long way

Brandi Marshall discusses the importance of upgrades
Marshall discusses the importance of upgrades.


It wasn’t that long ago that sellers were discouraged from doing too much work to their homes because they thought buyers would come in and make their own improvements.

But with rising interest rates, fewer buyers can afford higher payments, and those who can are more demanding.

Marshall won’t even put a client’s house on the market until she paints the whole place and puts new flooring everywhere. The seller arranges with pleasure for this quickly.

“So that’s good,” says Marshall, knowing that in this market, the sooner a seller puts an attractive, well-maintained home up for sale, the better.

Jason Oppenheim, Alexandra Rose and Alexandra Jarvis talk to a client about permitting delays.
Jason Oppenheim, Alexandra Rose and Alexandra Jarvis talk to a client about how long it takes for permits.


Meanwhile, officers Alexandra Rose and Alexandra Jarvis meet a seller who has rebuilt a tiny house into a magnificent mansion worth eight figures.

The problem, however, is that he had to wait an entire year before he could obtain the necessary permits to even begin construction. In the meantime, he estimates he spent around $100,000 a month for three years before the mansion was finished.

This seller’s story reminds us that homeowners should always be aware of how long permission may take if they are planning to renovate. The wait can be long and can end up being expensive – in renovation costs, interest and taxes – before you sell (and hopefully still make a profit).