RE/MAX Agents Rep Buyer, Seller in Record-Breaking $35 Million Sale

No. 1 RE/MAX agent Jordan Cohen and buyer’s agent Bryan Bumbarger add luster to The RE/MAX Collection in California

By Kellee Katagi | Sep 11, 2019
Jordan Cohen

At $35 million, the sale of a Westlake Village estate was the highest-ever recorded in California’s Ventura County and the Conejo Valley, near Los Angeles. The listing agent was Jordan Cohen, the No. 1 RE/MAX agent in the world and the Realtor of choice for more than 75 professional athletes and celebrities over the years.

The agent who brought the buyer to the table does business right within the walls of RE/MAX One, the same Westlake Village brokerage where Cohen has worked for 29 years. Bryan Bumbarger, a Conejo Valley native who has been licensed for nine years and with RE/MAX for five, represented the buyer.

“This is a big deal, to have a RE/MAX agent represent both sides of this transaction,” Cohen says. “There are so many competitors out here, but this shows without a doubt that RE/MAX can hold its own with companies known only for the luxury market.”

Cohen and Bumbarger had worked together on luxury deals in the past, so after Cohen first listed the property in early 2018, it didn’t take long for the two to connect about a potential buyer. Even though the price tag was higher than what the buyer was originally seeking, they arranged a showing for the 33-acre, French Romantic estate.

“Seeing the property was one of those ‘wow’ moments for all of us – it blew our minds,” Bumbarger says. “After that, it was never far from my client’s thoughts.”

1. Create your own personal brand. “Make sure it’s very clean,” Cohen says. “Start with the very highest-quality promotional materials: photography, direct mailers, print ads for local publication. Invest real money to make sure they’re the absolute best quality.”

1. Create your own personal brand. “Make sure it’s very clean,” Cohen says. “Start with the very highest-quality promotional materials: photography, direct mailers, print ads for local publication. Invest real money to make sure they’re the absolute best quality.”

2. Perfect your listing presentation. “It has to be powerful, polished, unbeatable,” Cohen says. “Practice until you can do it with flawless effort and confidence. This is the key to longevity in the luxury market.”

2. Perfect your listing presentation. “It has to be powerful, polished, unbeatable,” Cohen says. “Practice until you can do it with flawless effort and confidence. This is the key to longevity in the luxury market.”

3. Be patient. “Big deals don’t happen overnight,” Bumbarger says. “You’ve got to take your time. The clients make their own decisions, and you can’t rush that.”

3. Be patient. “Big deals don’t happen overnight,” Bumbarger says. “You’ve got to take your time. The clients make their own decisions, and you can’t rush that.”

4. Build relationships. “Don’t do it for just the payday of each sale,” Bumbarger advises. “Often, you’re building lifelong clients who can propel you in all different avenues. You have to accommodate them—whatever time they call you, you answer the phone. If they choose you, you make yourself always available and do whatever you can to help them.”

4. Build relationships. “Don’t do it for just the payday of each sale,” Bumbarger advises. “Often, you’re building lifelong clients who can propel you in all different avenues. You have to accommodate them—whatever time they call you, you answer the phone. If they choose you, you make yourself always available and do whatever you can to help them.”

5. Embrace Instagram. Both Cohen and Bumbarger build followings on Instagram, because its visual emphasis makes it ideal for highlighting luxury properties. Cohen boasts 271,000-plus followers and closes multiple deals each year with clients garnered through Instagram. Read Jordan's tips on developing an Instagram following.

5. Embrace Instagram. Both Cohen and Bumbarger build followings on Instagram, because its visual emphasis makes it ideal for highlighting luxury properties. Cohen boasts 271,000-plus followers and closes multiple deals each year with clients garnered through Instagram. Read Jordan's tips on developing an Instagram following.

What You Need to Know to Conquer the Luxury Market
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Getting the Job Done

Over the next 14 months – a time frame that is not unusual for the luxury market – Cohen and Bumbarger brought the buyer back for multiple showings and continued to hammer out the transaction details.

“The biggest challenge was understanding how much attention a property of that magnitude needs,” Bumbarger says. “Understanding the inner workings of the property was a full time job in itself.”

“Bryan [Bumbarger] is a great, up-and-coming agent, and I’m excited for him to be able to be on the other side of the deal. He’s an awesome young man with a bright future.”-Jordan Cohen

In the meantime, Cohen came close to selling the property to a number of celebrities – “as big of names as they come,” he says – but in the end, the 40-mile commute to downtown Los Angeles proved to be a deal-breaker for the typical Beverly Hills buyers.

When the transaction did come together, it was under what Cohen calls “the ultimate dream terms”: no inspections and no contingencies, which led to an escrow period of merely a week.

“We called our escrow agent [Michael Kendrick of Landmark Escrow] probably 50 times a day for updates that week,” Bumbarger says. “He absolutely killed it – he made everyone comfortable and held this whole thing together.”

The historic sale was $15.8 million higher than the previous Ventura County record, which Cohen had set in 2013 while representing this transaction’s seller in acquiring a portion of this same property (the seller pieced together three tracts of land to assemble and develop the current 33-acre estate).

Bryan Bumbarger

Building on the Momentum

For both Cohen and Bumbarger, this record-busting sale is not just the pinnacle of their achievement to this point but also a launchpad for even greater success in the future. 

“I’m so grateful to work with people like Jordan and this company, and I see this as just the start,” Bumbarger says. “It would be very, very crazy to break this record, but that is my goal.”

Leverage from the transaction will extend far beyond their personal careers, Cohen says. “This brings a lot of momentum to the whole brand.”

RE/MAX One owner Keith Meyers agrees.

“I see it as proof of concept that we absolutely have the agents to service the luxury market.”

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