Bid on Britney Spears' Rental -- But Not Too Low

Obviously some people think that the best way to market a property is to maximize the fact that someone famous -- in this case Britney Spears -- once lived here. For the record, she leased this place for about two years ending earlier this year, but never owned it.

And equally obviously, some people think that the best way to get some mojo going about a house being sold is to put it up for auction. This isn't a sheriff's auction on the courthouse steps. This is a marketing tool.

Time for a little class in Auctioning 101: There are two kinds of auctions. In an absolute auction, the house will be sold to the highest bidder that day -- no ifs, ands and buts about it. This is not an absolute auction; the good ones rarely are.

This is a reserve auction, which means that the seller has a secret price in mind (the reserve) and if nobody bids that high, the house doesn't get sold. For a high-profile example of this, look no further than what happened in Malibu last month when a home once unrealistically listed at $65 million was "auctioned" with an opening bid of $22 million. The reserve was not met, the house not sold, and the property is back on the market at $35 million. Case closed.

What does get accomplished by the celebrity name-dropping and scheduling an auction is that a home listing can get some nice free publicity. Being the obliging sorts, here's the deal:

The auction, to take place at 11:11 a.m. on 11/11/11 (nobody ever said they weren't clever), is for a 10,000-square-foot house in the gated community of The Oaks in Calabasas, Calif. The home was originally listed at $10.8 million, thus allowing the marketing folks to boast that the starting bid of $4,499,000 is a whooping 58 percent reduction -- which it is, except the current listing price is $7,499,000.

Spears (pictured above) was a renter in the home, but the pop diva left behind her personal touch. According to a report in the New York Daily News, she spent about $700,000 on property upgrades including furniture, artwork and electronics, but also Venetian plaster walls and luxurious bathroom fixtures. The report was confirmed by the home's owner.

See Britney Spears' (Temporary) Calabasas Chateau
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Bid on Britney Spears' Rental -- But Not Too Low

The home was built in 2007 and is designed around an interior courtyard with French terracotta pavers, an imported antique European limestone fountain and a cast-stone fireplace. There is a glass mosaic pool, a below-ground garage with two hydraulic auto lifts and an outdoor entertainment area. It sits on more than an acre.

The auction is being handled by Tony Fitzgerald of Premiere Estates Auction Company.

Click on the images below to view other homes for sale in the vicinity of Calabasas, Calif.:

See more homes for sale in Calabasasand other celebrity real estate, on AOL Real Estate.

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