How Stars Like Tom Hanks, Cameron Diaz Buy Unlisted, Multimillion-Dollar Properties


In real estate circles, "the list" is a record of top-end Los Angeles westside home sales, some of which were never made public. Coldwell Banker's Joyce Flaherty, who's been tracking the numbers for nine years, is the list's guardian.

"Many of these homes never go on the market," she says. "They're quietly shopped around to agents as a pocket listing or are negotiated directly between buyer and seller. The parties circumvent the brokers and instead use their attorneys and/or money managers to negotiate the transaction."

At these prices, buyers expect all the bells and whistles -- seven or eight bedrooms, gym, spa, screening room, wine cellar, library, cook's kitchen, tennis court, guest house, staff quarters, private driveway and land.

Five recent purchases:

* Talk-show host Phil McGraw bought a pocket listing for $29.5 million in the Beverly Hills Post Office area without first selling his nearby home, listed at $16.5 million.

* Tom Hanks paid $26 million for a Pacific Palisades sprawl on two acres, which he bought directly from producer and friend Kathleen Kennedy and her husband Frank Marshall.

* Sacha Baron Cohen quietly purchased a Mediterranean compound in the Sunset Strip area listed at $18.9 million. It is believed he paid $14 million for the gated property, set behind hedges on close to four wooded acres.

* Cameron Diaz is the owner of a BHPO Spanish hacienda whose former owners include Candice Bergen and Roger Moore. The three-acre compound, with a 5,000-square-foot main house and a 2,000-square-foot guest house, sold for $9.5 million. The asking price was $10.25 million.

* Kimora Lee Simmons paid the $5.9 million asking price for a newly built, nearly 6,000-square-foot home in Beverly Hills. Her new neighbor is Jessica Simpson.