Paul Margolis Logo

Main Content

Value Added

One of my favorite things when I wake up every day is to get on the computer and do deep research about properties. Looking at property profiles. Looking at the numbers. Doing title searches. I love to learn the story behind the story when it comes to real estate.

And I love to take notes. I’m always writing on the back of envelopes and napkins.

This morning I found something that grabbed my attention: a $30 million mansion for sale in Beverly Hills.

The photos of the home were stunning. It looked huge. Palatial. A true dream house. Yet when I checked the property profile for square footage of the home’s living space, I was surprised to find the number listed as 0.


It’s a trick – not very effective, in my opinion – that some realtors use when listing certain high-end luxury homes, in an attempt to prevent potential buyers from easily making the price per square footage calculation. Because if they did, any buyer would quickly realize that the asking price for the property was insanely high – often as much as $2000 per square foot and sometimes even higher, as was the case for this particular Beverly Hills mansion.

In other words, virtually unsellable.

A closer look at the property profile revealed that the square footage of the home was quietly tucked away in the agent’s private remarks, which only Realtors (not buyers) can see. Along with an explanatory note that the square footage included the property’s six-car garage. Typically garages are not counted in square footage of living space, but the private remark got around this – or at least tried to – by referring to the garage as an “auto gallery” that could be “used as an entertainment space.”

Clearly the goal was to justify the home’s stratospheric price tag. Yet without the benefit of including the square footage of the garage – er, auto gallery – this property was being offered for even more than the already inflated price per square foot, bringing it to a number that only someone who doesn’t care about cost would consider – a mind-numbing $3500 ppsf.

It’s worth noting that only one home in the entire history of Beverly Hills real estate has ever sold for that much, a rare celebrity property on a two-acre lot.


But I love this stuff.

It’s just so interesting to see how everyone is selling out there these days.