It’s the story…of a real estate sale gone wrong! 11222 Dilling Street in Studio City, California—also known as the Brady Bunch House—arrived on the market for the first time in almost 50 years. Although it lasted just 20 days on the market, the sale of the historic sitcom locale managed to create quite a bit of drama.
A Lovely Property?
Sitting on a 12,500 square foot lot, the property features a lush private yard and garden near the Los Angeles River. The home has two master suites—one on each floor—with a total of three beds and three baths. The interior is done up in wood paneling, wall-to-wall carpets, and plenty of tacky wallpaper. While most buyers would ordinarily be turned off by the dated, 1970s décor, this particular home is the nostalgia jackpot.
That’s because the house was used for the exteriors of the iconic TV show The Brady Bunch.
A Pop Star Makes an Offer
Although the home was originally offered at $1.3 million, the price quickly skyrocketed when Lance Bass of ‘N Sync fame entered the fray. He put in an offer “way over asking price” and felt secure that the home would be his. “This was a dream come true for me,” Bass shared on an Instagram post. “I spent the night celebrating amongst friends, family, and fans alike.”
The pop star claims that the listing agent, Ernie Carswell of the Douglass Elliman agency, told him he’d made the winning bid. But the story doesn’t stop there.
Bass claims that the next day, Carswell had bad news. It was time to say “bye bye bye” to his dream home. That’s because HGTV made an offer the agent apparently couldn’t refuse.
Bass once more took to Instagram to complain to his nearly half a million followers. “How is this fair or legal?? How can I compete with a billion dollar corporate entity? I truly believe I was used to drive up the price of the home knowing very well that this corporation intended on making their offer and it’s not a good feeling.”
Douglas Elliman issued this statement in response to the very public complaints: “While we appreciate Mr. Bass and his enthusiasm for the Dilling Street property, tremendous interest in the house required a sealed, best and final bid. Our fiduciary obligation is to the seller, who decided to go with the highest, most qualified buyer. We wish Mr. Bass the best of luck in future real estate endeavors.”
Don’t Count Your Chickens
So what went wrong? First, Bass shouldn’t have celebrated before the paperwork was signed. Under California law, a verbal agreement isn’t binding. The seller must sign the buyer’s offer and communicate that acceptance to the buyer in writing. If Bass didn’t have those documents in hand, then there was nothing shady about Carswell presenting a better offer to the seller even though the stated deadline had passed for bidding.
Technically, Bass could have told his real estate agent to match any offer for the home, but that’s not at all a common practice. The pop star might be disappointed, but unfortunately for him, it seems that everything was above board on this deal.