U.S. News and World Report
Aug. 22, 2023
The "Barbie" movie brought to life more than just the doll we all played with as children. It also showed us Barbie’s worlds: her sister, Skipper; her hot pink C1 Corvette, which every little girl coveted, and, most epically, her iconic Barbie Dreamhouse.
As a toy, there were many iterations of that house. Some were two-story Victorians with Second Empire details. Others looked more colonial, featuring grand, columned entrances and stark white balconies. Most recently, it took on the look of an Instagram-worthy party house – complete with a pool, a multilevel water slide and the most open concept layout possible. (There weren’t even exterior walls!)
That latest version, which features just one bedroom and one bath, is the one Margot Robbie’s Barbie called home on the big screen. And according to real estate agents, it’s one that would sell for a pretty penny if it hit the Malibu market today.
“It’s extremely rare to find a one-bedroom house in Malibu right now,” says Phillip Salem, an agent with Compass in New York and Los Angeles. “People in L.A. love rarities.”
Just how much would people pay for that rarity, though, and what would selling a home like Barbie’s really take? Here’s what four pros had to say about it.
Barbie’s Going to be a Millionaire
Agents varied on where they’d price Barbie’s home, but one thing is certain: Barbie would rake in some serious dough if she were to sell her Dreamhouse today.
On the low end, the home would bring in $1.35 million, according to Kseniya Korneva, a real estate agent with Pineywoods Realty in Tampa, Florida.
Salem, on the other hand, would price the home slightly higher. While comparable one-bedrooms in Malibu are few and far between, he says, “They range anywhere from $1 million to $2.5 million, depending on the location and the condition of the home." Because of this, Salem says he’d price the home on the lower side of that range to draw in buyers and spark a bidding war.
“I think listing it somewhere like $1.588 million would be smart because it would just draw the listing up, and it would get a lot of attention,” Salem says. “But I do think that it would sell for over that. It would just get a lot of people to the house, and it would go into a bidding war.”
Rochelle Atlas Maize, an agent with Nourmand & Associates in Beverly Hills, thinks the house could sell for significantly more. She’d recommend Barbie list the home at a jaw-dropping $8.995 million.
“A property like that would be located on the beach in Malibu’s best location, which is the Colony – a guard-gated enclave that’s ideal for someone like Barbie with high visibility,” Maize says. “It’s even more valuable because of the cul-de-sac and its private block.”
Finding the Right Buyer
Despite their divergence on pricing, the agents agreed that Barbie's house comes with some unique selling challenges. First, there’s the problem of the home’s small space.
With only one bedroom and one bathroom, the home could hardly serve as a primary home for more than one or two people. It could, on the other hand, be the “ultimate bachelorette pad,” as Korneva puts it.
“Families and kids aren’t moving into Barbie’s Dreamhouse,” he says. “To me, it’s about targeting that young adult that lives in Beverly Hills or West Hollywood that wants to party. It might not even be somewhere that they sleep, but it's just somewhere to have parties and entertain, be in Malibu and be so close to the beach without spending hours in rush-hour traffic, driving back and forth.”
In the movie, Barbie’s Dreamhouse is just a stone’s throw from the others on her cul-de-sac – so close they can talk to each other, even from the third floor of their properties. With this in mind, Bianca D’Alessio, a real estate broker with Nest Seekers International in New York, says she would focus on the “community” aspect of the neighborhood – targeting groups of buyers who would want to go in on the Dreamhouse and its neighboring properties together.
“I think it would take marketing the cul-de-sac as a community development – selling the cul-de-sac versus just an individual parcel,” D’Alessio says.
A Creative Marketing Opportunity
The Dreamhouse lends itself to some pretty creative marketing opportunities (just check out the movie’s Airbnb stunt for proof), but for the real-life property, agents say they’d pull out the stops.
Korneva, for example, would create a video tour of the home, led by Barbie herself.
“There’d be a regular person dressed in casual clothes coming home from work, but then as soon as she enters the home, she transforms into Barbie,” Korneva says. “Then with each room she walked through, she would transform into a different Barbie – business executive Barbie, president Barbie, news anchor Barbie, architect Barbie, astronaut Barbie, etc.”
The video would culminate with Barbie sliding down the three-story slide, transforming into Realtor Barbie, and putting a “For Sale” sign in the yard.
“Mattel really missed out on making a Realtor Barbie,” Korneva says. “I bet it would be a hit these days.”
Salem would take a contest-meets-social-media approach to selling the home, using local influencers to gain visibility for the property – and benefit a local charity.
“The influencers would have to put together their best Barbie look,” Salem says. “Then they have a photo shoot in the house, post their looks, and the one with the most likes gets a $10,000 donation to their favorite charity.”
Maize, who has over 100,000 followers on Instagram, would use social media influencers, too, she says. She’d also bring in high-end designers to fill Barbie’s closet with signature outfits.
As she puts it, “The Dream Home would become a living gallery – an haute couture haven, hosting exclusive photoshoots and fashion shows.”