Selling a $3 million home gets special treatment: ‘There really isn’t a limit’

A home priced at $3 million and above is rare in Oregon, but when one comes on the market – there are currently about a dozen in Portland and Lake Oswego – you can be assured that both the seller and potential buyers are being treated royally.

“There really isn’t a limit, based on the clients’ needs, in regards to what we would do and how far we would go out of our way to make every moment simpler and easier for them,” says Terry Sprague of Luxe Christie’s International Real Estate in Lake Oswego.

Sprague and his team, who have nine exclusive listings for sale above $3 million across the state, will arrange transportation for people flying in to see a property, and treat them to dining and other experiences to “surprise and delight” them, he says.

“We want to make sure each client has an amazing emotional experience as well as a transactional experience” on par with other luxury shopping for art, cars or jewelry, he says. “We always want them to feel as though we’re in the sphere of brands like Tiffany.”

Sprague’s real estate business is connected to Christie’s auction house, which since 1766 has been conducting auctions and private sales of fine art, antiques, wine and watches.

Clients’ talking up an exceptional experience to friends creates referrals, “and that’s what our business really is built on,” he says.

Home more than $3 million

The 25-acre, gated riverfront estate at 36550 N.E. Wilsonville Road in Newberg priced at $7.8 million by Kendra Ratcliff with Lisa Marie Hamilton of Luxe Christie’s International Real Estate.Luxe Christie’s International Real Estate

One of Luxe Christie’s listings is a 25-acre, gated riverfront estate in Newberg priced at $7.8 million. Surrounding the Mediterranean mansion are landscaped grounds, ponds, a pool, tennis court, life-size treehouse and a barn with an indoor horse arena.

Although a traditional mortgage would not be involved in a multi-million dollar deal, with a 20 percent down payment of $1.5 million, the loan principal and interest at 3 percent could be about $26,300 a month for 30 years.

If you’re in the market to buy or sell a rarified luxury home, prepare to be pampered. Real estate companies geared up to appeal to upper-crust clients have created a category for your eyes only.

Some owners don’t want their properties to be seen in the multiple listing system or real estate databases. Instead, brokers whisper about these discreet “pocket listings” to their most affluent clients.

Most of the best properties, however, are promoted as being top of the market based on their location, construction and design quality, as well as architectural or historical significance.

Windermere Real Estate, which has long had its poshest homes in its Premier Properties division, recently introduced the W Collection to Oregon, a category of “ultra-luxury” residential properties priced around $3 million or more.

The entry price for the W Collection program, which has a dedicated WbyWindermere website, varies among communities in Oregon and in the state of Washington, where it started in 2016 in Seattle.

In addition to price, the properties selected must be exceptional, which in Oregon is determined by Windermere Realty Trust broker Blake Ellis, who is one of the Premier Properties executive directors.

The first Oregon W Collection listing was a 6,697-square-foot mansion on 0.28 acres in Northwest Portland’s Kings Heights neighborhood.

With special handling by Libby Benz and Drew McCulloch of Winderm­­­­ere Realty Trust, an offer of $3.9 million was accepted by out-of-town buyers and the estate sold Oct. 1 after 40 days on the market.

The original owner of the house, built in 1938, hired respected and prolific Portland architect Roscoe De Leur Hemenway to design it.

Hemenway was busy during his long career, which spanned from 1923 to 1959, even in the Depression, because he was famous for his stately designs, exacting details and the graceful way he position a house on the land.

The property was marketed around the world to elite buyers. Let
ters sent to Fortune 500 executives detailed the panoramic views of the city, Willamette River and mountains, plus the putting green and privacy.

Also primed to promote the property: Stories in tony magazines, social media campaigns, information posted on and, and translated for websites like Juwai in China.

“A property priced at $3 million seems high for Portland, but the number of ultra-luxury buyers is steadily increasing,” says Benz, who has been a licensed agent since 1990. “Many luxury buyers move to Oregon for many reasons, including our high-end market is about three time less than Seattle and six times less than San Francisco.”

Some of the perks involved with selling high-end properties include:

  • Sellers receive a customize sales plan to promote the property locally with catered special events and around the world with professional videos, targeted emails and photo spreads in real estate publications and websites that only spotlight top-tier mansions.
  • Brokers experienced in complex real estate transactions have a tight list of financial professionals they refer to their clients. They also recommend blue-chip design firms and remodeling companies.
  • Concierge-like service extends to packing, moving and resettling services.

— Janet Eastman | 503-294-4072

[email protected] | @janeteastman

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