Hollywood's Top 25 Real Estate Agents

Simon Berlyn

The town's brokers are flying high as home sale prices hit records, a megamansion goes for $102 million (L.A.'s biggest trade ever), Michael Strahan and Megan Ellison snap up pricey pads, and Jeremy Renner makes a killing

This story first appeared in the Oct. 3 issue of The Hollywood Reporter magazine.

Los Angeles' luxury home market on fire, stoked by megasales from the town's mega-agents. Among the eye-popping deals, the Versailles-inspired mansion Fleur de Lys in Holmby Hills sold for $102 million, beating the previous L.A. record for a residential sale by $8 million, and an ultra-luxe home just hit the market in Trousdale Estates for $85 million, the highest-ever listed there. "It's been a very strong year," says agent Richard Stearns of Partners Trust, one of THR's top agents of 2014. They were chosen not just for their big sales but also their famed clients. Another sign that the L.A. market (where an estimated 44 percent of luxury home transfers are all cash) is roaring: A trio of areas around town held the top three spots for highest average sales prices in the country so far this year, according to Redfin. The average in Beverly Glen (around Beverly Glen Boulevard north of Sunset) hit $11.9 million, with Holmby Hills and Malibu Road at $9.9 million and $9.5 million, respectively.

Read more:

Hollywood's Top Realtors: Meet the $3 Billion Agent

Wacky Real Estate Tales: Tom Cruise Arrived to a Showing in a Car Trunk (and 3 Other True Stories)

Farrah Aldjufrie and Jay Harris
The Agency
NOTABLE DEALS These 20-somethings are coming up quickly at The Agency. Aldjufrie, stepdaughter of Agency co-founder Mauricio Umansky, closed her first sale, a $36 million property in Beverly Hills. Harris helped close the $74 million Carolwood Estate in Holmby Hills and has the listing for Faye Dunaway's 2,400-square-foot house in West Hollywood for $1.75 million. "Three years ago, I was working in boxing promotions," says Harris. "I haven't looked back."
PERSONAL RESIDENCES Harris lives in a '20s townhouse in the Beverly Hills flats, and Aldjufrie has a townhome in the city.

Josh and Matt Altman
Hilton & Hyland
NOTABLE DEALS Matt, a former talent agent, and Josh are brothers seen on Bravo's Million Dollar Listing. Sales include Mila Kunis' Hollywood Hills pad for $3.8 million and the Dorothy Chandler estate in Hancock Park for $10.6 million.
PERSONAL RESIDENCES Josh lives in a Bird Streets contemporary house, while Matt has a contemporary in the Hills. It's for sale for $3 million; he paid $2.3 million for it and rebuilt it. "We flip a lot of homes," says Matt.

Cindy Ambuehl
Partners Trust
NOTABLE DEALS The former actress (Wings, Seinfeld) sold Sarah Michelle Gellar and Freddie Prinze Jr.'s home for nearly $5 million and is listing late actress Virginia Bruce's Pacific Palisades traditional for $14 million. She started investing in real estate while acting: "When I was 24, I started buying rental property homes in Orange County. My co-stars were buying matching motorcycles."
PERSONAL RESIDENCE A Mediterranean in Santa Monica Canyon.

Santiago Arana
The Agency
NOTABLE DEALS Arana, who came to the U.S. from Bolivia at 23 with virtually nothing, sold Larry David's Palisades home for $12 million and a $16 million Brentwood estate to Michael Strahan. He is listing a 6-acre estate at Zuma Beach for almost $25 million.
PERSONAL RESIDENCE A Cape Cod-style Palisades home.

Joe Babajian
Rodeo Realty
NOTABLE DEALS He sold the late James Coburn's one-time 1927 Spanish home in Beverly Hills for $60 million and is listing Jack Black's home in the Hills for $2.9 million.
PERSONAL RESIDENCE A contemporary in Beverly Hills.

Fred Bernstein
Westside Estate Agency
NOTABLE DEAL Bernstein, who also is Michael Milken's son-in-law, represented the unnamed European buyer of the $102 million Fleur de Lys mansion.
PERSONAL RESIDENCE A modern home in Trousdale Estates.

Ernie Carswell
Teles Properties
NOTABLE DEALS The agency co-founder sold Katy Perry's home near the Sunset Strip for $5.6 million and is listing Bela Lugosi's former Beachwood Canyon Tudor for $3.895 million.
PERSONAL RESIDENCE An Italian Mediterranean home in the Bird Streets.

Andrew Clark and Barry Peele
Sotheby's International Realty
NOTABLE DEALS This one-time team split up last year but still comes together now and then to do a big deal. They repped Alex Rodriguez when he bought Meryl Streep's Hollywood Hills home for $4.8 million. Clark represented the buyer of Fendi Casa for $65 million. Peele, also a photo­grapher who has shot Madonna and Demi Moore, has two homes for more than $20 million. He sold Madonna's estate for $19.5 million last year on Sunset, and the pop star has used some of his photos during her concerts. "It was really amazing to see my photos playing larger than life on screens over her," he says.
PERSONAL RESIDENCES Clark lives in a high-rise in West Hollywood. Peele has a midcentury in Beverly Hills.

Chris Cortazzo
Coldwell Banker Previews International
NOTABLE DEAL The Malibu native, who appears on Million Dollar Listing, is listing David and Yolanda Foster's $25 million Malibu abode, seen on Real Housewives of Beverly Hills. Cortazzo says Malibu is having a banner year. "Now we have the best restaurants -- Mastro's, Nobu and Mr Chow. People come here to eat and that's a whole new concept."
PERSONAL RESIDENCE A Caribbean- and Balinese-inspired home in Malibu that he often rents for the summer.

Drew Fenton
Hilton & Hyland
NOTABLE DEALS Fenton represented the buyer in the purchase of the $33 million Doheny Estate in Bel-Air as well as the buyer in Dole Food Co. billionaire David Murdock's sale of his 12,435-square-foot Bel-Air home for $24 million.
PERSONAL RESIDENCE A contemporary with traditional touches in the Hills.

Sally Forster Jones
John Aaroe Group
NOTABLE DEALS Jones, who sold Spelling Manor in 2011 for $85 million, says she has closed more than 100 deals this year. A 35-year veteran, she left Coldwell Banker this year to become president of Aaroe's International Luxury Properties division. She recently sold Kate Bosworth's Hollywood Hills home to Vince Vaughn for $2.4 million and Ronald Reagan's former Palisades home last year for $5.2 million.
PERSONAL RESIDENCE A colonial home in Holmby Hills.

Rick Hilton and Jeff Hyland
Hilton & Hyland
NOTABLE DEALS Hilton (father of Paris Hilton) and Hyland founded the agency 21 years ago -- they now have 130 agents -- and still hit the streets to sell homes. Together, they sold the Doheny Estate in Bel-Air for more than $30 million, the largest sale there ever. Hyland holds L.A.'s most expensive listing right now, the $135 million Beverly House, once owned by William Randolph Hearst.
PERSONAL RESIDENCES Hyland is in a redone 1960s home in Trousdale, while Hilton lives in a French country-style home in Bel-Air.

Aaron Kirman
John Aaroe Group
NOTABLE DEALS Kirman, who focuses on architectural homes, sold a $30 million house in Mount Olympus to Megan Ellison and is listing the iconic 1926 Sowden House in Los Feliz for $4.9 million. He also is selling 260 developable acres in Bel-Air for $125 million. "That's 6 percent of Bel-Air," he says.
PERSONAL RESIDENCE A high-rise building in West Hollywood.

Jade Mills
Coldwell Banker (read about the $3 billion agent here)

Myra Nourmand
Nourmand & Associates
NOTABLE DEALS Nourmand has sales figures pushing $200 million this year and is listing Sheryl Crow's home in the Hills for $15 million.
PERSONAL RESIDENCE A 1928 Med in Beverly Hills.

David Offer
Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices
NOTABLE DEALS Offer is on fire in Brentwood and was named his firm's No. 1 agent last year. This year, he has sold 35 homes, many for eight figures.
PERSONAL RESIDENCE A New England-style house in Brentwood.

Tami Pardee
Pardee Properties
NOTABLE DEALS This Venice-based dynamo sold Anjelica Huston's Venice compound for $11 million, while Snapchat founder Bobby Murphy scooped up another one of her listings this year for $2.1 million. Pardee, who has about two- dozen homes in escrow, also has worked with screenwriter Mark Boal and CAA agent Roeg Sutherland.
PERSONAL RESIDENCE A traditional home in Venice.

Kurt Rappaport
Westside Estate Agency
NOTABLE DEALS Rappaport knocked it out of the park this year when he represented the seller of Fleur de Lys, which had been sitting on the market on and off since 2007. He's the latest agent to hold the listing for a Coldwater Canyon estate owned by Peninsula Beverly Hills Hotel co-developer Bo Zarnegin, which is on the market for $24 million. That's a steep drop from the clearly overambitious $55 million it was listed for when it hit the market in 2011.
PERSONAL RESIDENCES Modern homes in Beverly Hills and Malibu; the latter was featured in June's Architectural Digest.

Joyce Rey and Stacy Gottula
Coldwell Banker
NOTABLE DEALS Gottula and Rey (who got her start by selling Sonny and Cher's mansion for $4.2 million in 1978), sold a Beverly Hills property from luxury spec-home builder Mohamed Hadid known as Le Palais for $58 million, the highest sale in that city this year. Other clients have included Jennifer Lopez, Helen Mirren and Renee Zellweger.
PERSONAL RESIDENCES Rey lives in a midcentury home in Benedict Canyon, and Gottula lives in a midcentury in the Hills.

Billy Rose
The Agency
NOTABLE DEALS A former talent agent and entertainment lawyer, Rose uses his experience in the industry to negotiate. He closed out the sale of 224 condos -- totaling about $375 million in sales -- at downtown's Ritz-Carlton Residences at L.A. Live, where inhabitants include Mary Hart and Burt Sugarman.
PERSONAL RESIDENCE A Streamline Moderne in Westwood.

Stephen Shapiro
Westside Estate Agency
NOTABLE DEALS Shapiro, a real estate power player since the 1980s, sold Tom Brady and Gisele Bundchen's Brentwood home for $40 million. Other clients include Irving Azoff and Steve Tisch (with whom he inveterately lunches at e.baldi restaurant). He's listing clothing manufacturer Charles Perez and wife Danica's $15.9 million home in Beverly Hills.
PERSONAL RESIDENCES A ranch home in Bel-Air and a Cape Cod-style home in Malibu.

Richard Stearns
Partners Trust
NOTABLE DEALS One of the agency's founders, Stearns sold the Brentwood home of screenwriter Stephan Gaghan and his wife, designer Minnie Mortimer, for more than $5 million. "On one listing in Beverly Hills, we ended up with 13 offers, most all-cash." He also has repped Carol Burnett and Bob Dylan.
PERSONAL RESIDENCE A 1920s English country-style home in Santa Monica.

Mauricio Umansky
The Agency
NOTABLE DEALS The Mexico City native sold a house on Sunset Plaza for approximately $23 million and the former Walt Disney property known as the Carolwood Estate (now home to a 35,000-square-foot mansion built in 2001) in Holmby Hills for $90 million. He's also known as the husband of Real Housewives of Beverly Hills star Kyle Richards.
PERSONAL RESIDENCE A 7,000-square-foot traditional home in Bel-Air.

Rayni Romito Williams and Branden Williams
Hilton & Hyland
NOTABLE DEALS The husband-and-wife team is listing accessories mogul Bruce Makowsky's tricked-out $85 million spec home in Trousdale that includes a $200,000 candy-dispensing wall and a 2,500-bottle glass-walled wine room stocked with Dom Perignon. Last year, the pair sold a 10,000-square-foot Holmby Hills home known as the Reserve for $25 million, which netted its flippers -- Jeremy Renner and Kristoffer Winters -- a nearly 50 percent profit.
PERSONAL RESIDENCE A renovated 1962 Jack Charney-designed estate in Trousdale.

Jonah Wilson
Hilton & Hyland
NOTABLE DEAL Wilson, who is reported to represent Ozzy and Sharon Osbourne, sold a renovated vintage Spanish home in Los Feliz for a neighborhood record of $8.1 million. "I'm pretty proud of that," he says. "It was so pretty, a big Spanish home. It was one of the trophy houses of Los Feliz."
PERSONAL RESIDENCE A contemporary high-rise in West Hollywood.

comments powered by Disqus