Real estate agents know that repping a famous client comes with its fair share of pros and cons—but when the property itself is a celebrity in its own right, that’s a whole other story.
Just ask Juli Martin, the principal broker for Oregon-based boutique agency LUXE. Martin’s newest listing, a 5,400 square foot farmhouse on roughly 16-acres known as Roloff Farms, has served as a setting for the hit reality show Little People, Big World for more than 20 years.
Matt Roloff, star of the popular TLC series soon to be entering its 22nd season, is selling the five-bedroom, six-bathroom homestead where he and ex-wife, Amy Roloff, raised their four children.
“Part of the process is you have to be as transparent as possible to reduce the noise and clutter,” Martin says.
I recently sat down with the luxury specialist and former comedian to discuss Roloff Farms and the particulars of listing a famous property. Her responses have been edited for clarity.
What are some of the advantages of selling a well-known property?
I think people feel personally connected to this home, in a way that is different from just a property that they see as a piece of real estate. They feel like the house itself is a character that they’ve come to know over the 20-year history of this show—there’s already a heightened emotional connection that makes it feel like home because it’s been in people’s living rooms. They’ve been sipping hot chocolate and eating their popcorn, engaging with this property in a completely unique way.
Well, maybe the same thing. There’s all the associations in the show, of the inherent drama of television. Also people have watched the house’s evolution—they know every detail of every remodel. There’s no mystery. They can go back through the footage and find out exactly what was done and when. But I’m not sure if that’s a disadvantage or advantage.
Were any of the Roloff children interested in buying the farm?
The property was offered to the kids many times before it went to market. We worked with one of Matt’s kids for about a week to try to keep the sale of the property inside the family before moving forward with putting the house on the market. It just didn’t come together on the choice of said child, who went in another direction.
Do you think the prospective buyer will be a fan of the show?
It’s definitely possible. But the property is really so much more than just the setting for a TV show. I mean, it’s 16 acres of Oregon farm country—it’s gorgeous! Also, there’s so many angles to this place: it’s close to the Silicon Forest; it has TV production capabilities; it has a farm stand; it has play structures; and sculptural elements. [It fits] the profile of a wide range of buyers, from people in the tech industry to hobby agriculturalists to big families, and at this price point, for anyone coming out of a market like California, this is going to be a steal.
As an agent, did you have any reservations about taking on such a high-profile listing?
Actually, I feel the opposite. I feel like this is such a beautiful chance to be able to share something so specific and so unique, that, you know, it’s just really special. Also, I feel like there’s an opportunity to bring Matt’s genius and his artistic flair to a totally different audience than the folks who would watch the show, or who are aware of the show.