Rich Stoop to "Open Mansions"

"How'd you get so rich?!"

Now Angelenos have a new reason to get off the sofa, onto the freeway, and ask that question. In an unusual move, Los Angeles real estate agents are hosting the mansion version of open houses, reports The Los Angeles Times. The public is free to come inside and see properties marketed at $10 million dollars or more.

Typically, houses in higher price points do not hold public open houses. The emphasis has been to keep exclusive listings exclusive. Until now.

The "open house" is familiar to most because it's the gold standard tool used by agents to raise interest in, and ultimately sell, homes. Now agents are courting an even larger market of people and passersby to build buzz. Traffic brought in by the merely curious can enhance the profile of listings from Beverly Hills to the Pacific Palisades.

The National Association of Realtors reports that nearly half of recent buyers used an open house to gather information on their home purchase. Realtors see these "open mansions" as a way to advertise their services to average people who come to tour the mansions out of curiosity.

So act now. It could be your opportunity to see the lives of the rich and fabulous up close, and, scope out a decent Realtor for use in the future.

When you've had your opulence fix retreat to the comfort of your apartment. You can tune into another episode of "How'd You Get So Rich?," a guilty pleasure you can enjoy without leaving your sofa. When you hear Joan Rivers ask that question in her gravelly, shrill voice, it can only mean one thing: bring it!

Bring on the ridiculous nouveau-riche lion statues. Bring on the OTT water features. Bring the popcorn! Compare it to what you've seen in person. A bad housing market won't last forever, and neither will your opportunity to see inside these mansions.

(Joan, meanwhile, should focus on selling her lavishly ridiculous penthouse.)
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