HGTV’s strategy in its purchase of the iconic home used for the exterior shots on the Brady Bunch TV series has been revealed by the purchaser’s real estate agent. The network’s strategy against competitors essentially “blew those buyers out of the water” with its bid, according to the agent.
The strategy, detailed in Forbes by real estate writer Ellen Paris, claims that the network so wanted the iconic home (which was the outside view on the television show – the interiors were shot on a soundstage) that it flew in Marc Graboff, president, global and legal affairs at Discovery Inc. to tour the house and handle details.
The home ultimately sold to HGTV for $3.5 million. It is located at 11888 Dilling Street in Studio City, Calif. The purchase was revealed on an earnings conference call.
Graboff found a home that was a ’70s “time warp,” according to Danny Brown, a real estate agent and partner at The Agency in Beverly Hills who worked with HGTV on its winning bid. The home featured an “all-pink” bedroom as one highlight.
The house initially drew mulitple offers above the $1.885 million listing price, including one from Lance Bass, the singer who reports indicate believed he had submitted the winning bid. That was not to be.
HGTV’s initial offer was in the mid-$2 million range, according to Forbes. “As soon as the home came on the market, HGTV wanted it. We created a war room, strategizing on the best approach to get the property. I worked directly with Marc Graboff, president, global and legal affairs at Discovery Inc. [which owns HGTV], and the law firm of Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher,” said Brown.
Ultimately, the HGTV deal strategy was to offer all cash, well above asking price, with a no-contingencies contract. “Our attorneys reviewed all the title documents and disclosures prior to writing our offer,” Brown told Forbes.
The first showing of the home was July 21. Initial offers were submitted July 30, final offers on August 3. HGTV’s bid was accepted the next day, with an August 11 closing.
“Initially the sellers received multiple offers and came back with a multiple counter offer to around eight of the buyers. We then blew those buyers out of the water with our counter, which we upped considerably,” Brown said.
It came down to Bass and HGTV as the two remaining bidders. HGTV then increased its bid to the $3.5 million sales price.
“We found out later that Lance Bass had a similar strategy,” said Brown. “I showed the property twice, once to HGTV and once to a high-profile actress. Cars were constantly driving by while people were lined up outside snapping photos. Even though there was security, it was a circus with so many viewing the house, though they were only letting in qualified brokers and buyers.”
HGTV wanted the home because of “The potential revenue streams and the branding opportunities for the network were obvious,” Brown said. “My understanding is that begins with HGTV’s restoration of the home to ’70s perfection.”