Is ‘Big Little Lies” Madeline a Good Real Estate Agent?

updated Jun 14, 2019
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Credit: Merie W. Wallace/HBO

Spoilers for Season 2, Episode 1 of “Big Little Lies.”

Big Little Lies” is back, and with it are some updates on what our favorite women of Monterey, California have been up to—including some new career moves. Way back in the pilot, Madeline (Reese Witherspoon) lamented that she wanted a second chapter in life, since her kids were becoming more independent. At the start of season two, we see that she has made that happen for herself, in the form of a new career in real estate.

“Here in Monterey, it’s like printing money,” she brags. “I should have done this years ago.”

While Madeline has some traits that could make her an excellent agent (Determination! Attention to detail! She probably has a decent handle on the market!), she also has some other qualities that could jeopardize her stint: She’s a little backstabby, which is never great for business in a small town; she’s proven throughout the series to be very stubborn; and in one open house scene in the premiere, she blows off two prospective buyers to keep gossiping on her cell to a friend. This begs the question, is Madeline a good agent or not?

Lucky for us, real-life Monterey real estate agent Rachelle Razzeca had some insight to offer. We spoke to her on the phone while Razzeca was driving a shuttle for the US Open happening in the area.

Apartment Therapy: First of all, what is the role of a real estate agent?

Rachelle Razzeca: We act in both selling and buying. Our job is to help steer people in the right direction. Our knowledge extends to what is going on in the market, what has sold. For buyers, our goal is to help the client get a good deal for them and for sellers, it’s to not leave any money on the table.

AT: What qualities make a good agent?

RR: You need someone who listens, pays attention to their clients’ needs. Realtors need to know the area and the market. I don’t do business in San Jose because I don’t know San Jose. That’s a cool thing about Reese’s character, she IS local, and that’s a big deal. You need to have vendors ready for clients, know who’s good at construction, who to ask for help. You need somebody who is trustworthy. When I make a deal, those people become my friends and my family.

AT: How important is networking and maintaining good relations with those who live in the area you sell property in?

RR: Very important. I’ve been out here handing out business cards all day.

AT: How important is attention to detail?

RR: Extremely. When you’re walking through a property, you need to look through everything. You need to be able to see things clients don’t look at right away.

AT: In episode one of the new season, Maddie brushes off a couple of potential buyers so she can talk on her cell during an open house. Is this acceptable?

RR: No. When I’m at an open house, unless it’s an emergency, I am on point. I am greeting them, giving them information, answering anything about surrounding houses.

AT: Is the current real estate market in Monterey really as good as Madeline says on the show?

RR: Yes! Our average sales are about $750,000. In Monterey, you won’t find anything for under $700,000. You can go in the $1.4 and 1.5 million and even higher, and in Pebble Beach, there are $20 million houses.