Photo: David Kramer’s website
“Money is not so much the object, it’s more about their happiness,” says David Kramer of Hyland & Hilton, the realtor responsible for the $85 million sale of Candy Spelling’s mansion to British heiress Petra Ecclestone this summer. “You really need to get into their head space to see what drives them.”Even though Ecclestone paid far less than the original $150 million asking price, the sale was still the third-largest recorded in the U.S. in 2011.
“The price of the house is the cost to extricate the seller, because they don’t need to sell,” Kramer explained. “We were there at the right time with the right buyer.”
Kramer, who began college as a business major, wasn’t initially drawn to real estate.
“I didn’t know exactly what I wanted to do,” he said.
But his dad owned a small real estate company in Beverly Hills, and the career immediately clicked for him. He began to take real estate law and real estate finance classes to help him in his future career.
In the case of the Spelling sale, Kramer had the right buyer, but had a pretty difficult time getting that buyer—who the world later found out was Ecclestone—into the house.
Everyone has their new home inspected before they move in, but we’re guessing most people don’t bring in an entire team of forensic scientists.
Kramer told us that Ecclestone hired a professor with an advanced degree to test for mould in the house. He used a team of forensic inspectors and set up a lab in the middle of the now-former Spelling mansion. They collected 95 samples and were able to get results immediately.
“Inspections at this level are very intrusive, or can be,” Kramer said. “That was the most fascinating thing we did. It was an interesting transaction.”
In such a high-profile sale, the results of the inspection are nearly as important as the person performing the inspection. Kramer said he screened every inspector who walked through the mega-mansion.
“On this particular sale, I could not have anything go wrong,” Kramer said. “I was not sleeping.”
Kramer said he knew of one inspector who was known as an expert, but couldn’t keep his mouth shut on the job, which meant he couldn’t work on the Spelling mansion.
“I needed extreme skill and accuracy without someone being a jerk,” Kramer said.
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