The transaction was brokered by luxury real estate specialist Joseph Montanaro. While Montanaro said he could not share details of the sale in order to protect the privacy of his clients, he did confirm that the sale took place privately without the house being listed on the MLS system, and that he represented both buyer and seller.
According to a report by the Journal of Montréal, the bill of sale indicates that the new owner is Pinar Cetin, spouse of 39-year-old Rami Atallah, CEO and co-founder of the Montreal-based online luxury store Ssense. The company was founded 18 years ago by Atallah and his brothers Firas and Bassel in their parents’ Montreal basement. In June, the company announced a financing deal with Silicon Valley investment firm Sequoia Capital that valued Ssense at over $5 billion.
“It’s no secret the international (buyer) market has dried up,” he said. “It’s been mostly local buyers. But the encouraging part is that people feel comfortable to spend these sums of money in Montreal. Money’s being earned here in Quebec and being invested in real estate and in the greater economy. That’s a very positive sign.”
Although publicizing a home listing on MLS can increase the visibility of a home, which in turn may increase the final sale price, Montanaro said some high-end sellers prefer to protect their privacy by signing an exclusive brokerage contract that does not include a public listing. By doing this, the sellers can avoid posting photos of the interior of their home online and restrict visits only to qualified buyers with the means to finalize a deal. This style of sale relies heavily on the broker’s networking ability to find a buyer — a much easier task in today’s tight market.
“I have tons of buyers that I’ve been working with for years and there’s still not enough product for these buyers to buy,” he said. “I think as long as there’s a lack of product, as long as supply remains low, there’s going to be room for price increases.”
As impressive as it is, the Sunnyside Ave. home is far from the most expensive home for sale right now in Montreal. At the time of writing, there were at least five homes on the island of Montreal asking even more. The most expensive Montreal home on Centris, an eight-bedroom, 15-bathroom property, was also represented by Montanaro, who described it as “24,000 square feet of luxury.”
The $35-million home has had two offers so far, but none the seller was willing to accept.