Want a Massage? Hit an Open House

Specifically, an open house for a luxury home in Southern California
By Kate Seamons,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 27, 2011 1:35 PM CDT
A buyer walks into a open house that is for sale in San Jose, Calif., on Sunday, Oct. 7, 2007.    (AP Photo/ Tony Avelar)

(Newser) – Lest you think the housing market is entirely in the crapper, know this: Some people are still buying luxury homes, but the competition for them is fierce. So they're being wooed, in part, by open houses that are pretty insanely over-the-top. How insane? Think open houses peppered with: male jugglers (bare-chested, of course), free cocktails, aerial showgirls, Thai foot massages, and Botox gift certificates, reports the Los Angeles Times. "Price is key, but it's the presentation that will sell the property," says one agent, who thinks her aerial showgirls may have helped her lease a property —for $22,500 a month.

One Beverly Hills agent spent $14,000 to rent a beach cabana in Ibiza ... where he tried to convince European jet-setters they needed a third (or fourth?) home on the West Coast. And it's working, he says: The effort returned two multimillion-dollar sales. Better still, that cabana—a marketing expense—is a tax write-off, he says. And the outrageous treatment isn't restricted to open houses. One agent rolls out the red carpet (literally), feeds client hors d'oeuvres, then shows them available properties via a helicopter tour. (Read more Luxury Living stories.)

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