Prepping a gated Portland luxury estate to sell at $3,650,000: Customized marketing and designer furnishings

Written by Desmond

January 15, 2022

A gated Portland estate has been viewed virtually by thousands of people online, and yet, since it has been listed for sale, only highly vetted, potential buyers have been allowed inside to walk past designer furniture, a plush movie theater and indoor basketball court.

But that was enough. An offer for the mansion, on 0.63-acres in Bethany, west of Forest Park, has been accepted, said listing agent Sunita Thaker with Premiere Property Group in Portland.

The asking price for 5390 N.W. Roanoke Lane: $3.65 million.

The journey to prepare an exclusive property to be sold is not a run-of-the-mill real estate transaction.

“Finding a buyer for a custom, luxury property is a challenge that not every real estate broker is ready to take on,” said Thaker after the estate entered escrow. “It’s a long process even in a hot real estate market.”

In the world of rarified real estate, sellers receive a customized sales plan to promote the luxe property locally and around the world. Exposure is derived through professional videos, targeted mailers and photo spreads in real estate publications and websites that only spotlight extravagant mansions.

“You can’t just take some pictures and throw them up online,” said Thaker. “For this listing, I worked with a title company to create a list of 400 homeowners who live in the metro Portland area in homes valued at a minimum of $2 million and mailed them a large listing postcard in the hope that they’re looking for an upgrade.”

As with most top-tier properties, there were no public open houses at the Bethany mansion.

Interested buyers touring the property, which is on a cul-de-sac in the Dogwood Park neighborhood, had to have an appointment, their real estate agent by their side and documents proving their financial qualifications.

Cash buyers needed to show proof of funds such as a bank or stock account statement, said Thaker.

Others needed to have a down payment that would be $730,000 if 20% was required by the lender, as well as a declaration from the lender that the buyer can afford around $15,500 a month for the mortgage, insurance and property taxes, which are more than $26,000 a year.

Marketing to target potential buyers alone costs thousands of dollars and the expenses for professional photographs, premium print marketing materials and ads in luxury magazines were paid for by the listing agent.

“Luckily, my brokerage has a full marketing team to help out,” Thaker said.

Fans of the Netflix series “Selling Sunset” and its years-long promotion to sell a $75 million Beverly Hills estate know it can take a long time to find the right qualified buyer.

“A luxury broker should have a network of high-end contacts, know the neighborhood well or preferably live in it, understand high-end home features, be able to relate to luxury buyers and show up looking professional and ready to give the sales pitch of a lifetime,” said Thaker.

In addition to her contacts, she reached out to brokers who specialize in luxury real estate to introduce them to the customized house with 7,000 square feet of living space.

A high-valued house on the market needs an aesthetic at the level seen in Architectural Digest.

Before the Bethany mansion was listed for sale, it already had midcentury light fixtures by name-droppable designers such as Joe Colombo.

Under the living room’s 20-foot-tall ceilings are stained glass panels by Washington-state artist Isaac Smith. And the fireplace tile work was created by Oregon sculptor and prop maker Scott Foster, who also contributed stop-motion puppets for Laika studio’s “The Boxtrolls.”

Even the home office sizzles with style: The 234-square-foot space has hand-painted, contemporary wallpaper and wood cabinets coated with Prescott Green by Benjamin Moore.

Walls in and around the infrared-heated sauna received a technicolored treatment, too.

There are five bedrooms, three bathrooms and a powder room with mesmerizing, yellow-line tile by famed British designer Tom Dixon. The finished daylight basement has living quarters for members of a multi-generation family or live-in staff.

French doors open to an outdoor kitchen and fireplace overlooking a heated pool with a waterslide and in-ground hot tub.

The work Thaker did behind-the-scenes such as making sure leaves were swept off the pool cover in the fall wasn’t always glamorous, but necessary, she said: “After all, it’s not every day that you get a multimillion-dollar listing.”

— Janet Eastman | 503-294-4072

jeastman@oregonian.com | @janeteastman

More on the Portland and Oregon real estate market:

Biggest Portland real estate bidding wars of 2021: Homes that sold up to $605,000 over asking price

Portland area’s housing market frustrated buyers with skyrocketing prices, few options in 2021

Most popular Oregon homes for sale in 2021: Oddball to oceanfront, teardowns to over-the-top mansions were most-viewed real estate listings this year

Analysis finds property owners in Portland’s most diverse, gentrifying areas hardest hit by code violation fines

First-time millennial home shoppers face cash-rich baby boomers: ‘Hang in there’

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