Posted by JanL December 22, 2015
As promised, here is part 2 of our guide to selling luxury real estate, straight from our mountain luxury real estate professionals. But these tips and tricks aren’t limited to properties in the high country. Let these insights aid in your home-selling process whether it be in the mountains, on the beach or by the lake. If you have any questions or comment, please don’t hesitate to contact us!
There is much debate on whether or not open houses for luxury properties help to sell homes. Of course, it depends on a myriad of factors from market climate to location. There is however, a strong school of thought suggesting that public open houses don’t aid in selling homes. Often times, such events only draw in people interested in seeing how “the other half” lives.
This is where the expertise of your real estate agent becomes crucial. An agent with powerful real estate affiliations and a background in marketing tactics will help you conduct an effective open house that will garner results.
A broker open house is an event that utilizes real estate networking among brokers and agents to bring in serious potential buyers to an open house, rather than anyone who just wants to see a pretty home. Talk to your agent about the best way to go about an open house in order to increase the probability of having a client for the property.
It goes without saying that private showings are crucial. However, much like the downsides that come with open houses, a personal showing can be a big waste of time for you, your agent and potential buyer if the particular person cannot afford the home.
A reputable real estate agent should be qualifying all prospective buyers that ask to view your property. This typically means obtaining proof of funds or loan status as well as verifying serious interest in the particular market. If you’re a first time seller, this may seem a bit aggressive and a likely way to scare off buyers. Keep in mind that a qualified buyer will have no motives other than to purchase your home, and will have nothing to hide in this process.
In addition to qualifying possible candidates, promotion of your luxury property is essential. Unlike traditional housing markets, your pool of potential buyers will be smaller; yet will cover a wider radius.
Many of my Breckenridge real estate clients are buyers from out of state looking for a second vacation home. That’s the thing about luxury properties – they attract buyers from all over the globe. This doesn’t mean distributing promotional materials in all 50 states, but it does mean tailoring your marketing efforts to an outside demographic.
Many of your potential buyers don’t know anything more than you’re selling a big home in a beautiful place. Your agent should fuel that fire of intrigue to get them to an in-person showing. This is where factors such as the MLS and other online outreach efforts come in.
Open houses and private showings brings us to perhaps the most important rule when it comes to selling luxury real estate: prepare your property.
Selling a luxury home guarantees a higher caliber of potential buyers. Basically, if someone is going to spend a large amount of money on something, they’re going to want proof of return on investment. A luxury home with a crumbling foundation, outdated amenities and leaking plumbing system is just a money pit.
If you’re planning on selling your luxury property, take the time to run a few inspections – it will be well worth the money spent. If your home has any serious constructional issues or otherwise, take care of them; a potential buyer will inevitably discover such problems in his or her own background-checking process. More often than not, this results in a would-be-buyer walking, and you losing money.
Additionally, take care of all the little details before showing your home to make sure it’s in pristine condition. This means de-cluttering and staging your home in a way that allows prospective candidates to seriously envision themselves living in it.
Yet another reason to search for agents who are local experts: While luxury homes are considered to be luxurious for their immaculate and detailed interiors, you’d be hard pressed to find such a property in a dilapidated, run-down neighborhood. In addition to their structural amenities, luxury homes are often deemed as such because of the location and lifestyle they offer.
For my Breckenridge real estate clients, sellers have the benefit of promoting a world-class ski resort and quaint, upscale historical Colorado mountain town. Often times these properties even come with unparalleled ski-in, ski-out access, accompanied with endless mountain vistas. For prospective buyers of Breckenridge real estate, this is the sort of lifestyle they are looking for. If they weren’t, they’d be looking for properties elsewhere.
This is what makes selling luxury homes so much fun. Ordinary properties typically attract buyers who are looking for a reasonable purchase – whereas someone considering your beachside mansion is interested in more than just its high ceilings and gourmet kitchen. What sort of atmosphere does the community offer? Figure out what it is your selling, and work with your agent to incorporate the lifestyle, community and amenities of your area into virtual tours, open houses and showings.
This isn’t mandatory, but throwing in extra incentives can help to bridge the gap between an ambivalent buyer and finally closing the deal. After all, this is part of what the luxury real estate market has to offer over traditional markets.
Do you have any antique furniture or valuable heirlooms you’re willing to leave behind? You’d be surprised how often a furnished home entices buyers into paying the asking price with no reluctance. This could be as simple as including with the home some pieces of art you no longer care for, or extravagant as throwing in a car you were planning on selling.
Throwing in extra incentives is sort of an in-the-moment marketing tactic. Before your agent conducts any showings, determine ways in which you’d be willing to “sweeten the deal.” If you find the ideal buyer but they show hesitation, the extra incentive is a way to pull out all stops, foster the buyer-seller relationship and get those papers signed!
It comes down to simple math. There are more buyers who can’t afford to purchase your luxury home than there are buyers who can. This equals patience on your part.
This equation also reflects the number of luxury homes entering the real estate market on a daily basis. There are more median-priced homes purchased because there are more people who can afford them, and therefor more median-pried homes are sold on a daily basis.
This is why everything we’ve mentioned in parts 1 and 2 of this guide is so important. Selling a luxury home can be a painstaking process, but it doesn’t have to be. With a great real estate agent by your side and a little bit of patience, a buyer will surface before you know it.
Slifer, Smith & Frampton
Real Estate Agent