Selling a luxury home is not like selling a normal property. In most cases, they are owned by wealthy individuals and are being purchased by other wealthy individuals who have their own unique tastes. Therefore, it is important to have a good understanding of the market and work with a real estate agent who also understands what it takes to sell the home for as much as possible.
Getting your Luxury Home Ready
Staging a home is optional with most properties, but mandatory with luxury houses and condos. If a seller is expecting a buyer to pony up half-million dollars or more, we should not be expecting buyers to ‘use their imagination' or ‘look beyond the flaws'.
Home buyers in this price range expect and deserve to see your luxury property in it's best possible condition. Hiring a home stager is well worth the money. After the home is staged, make sure to finish up with a professional cleaning, to get the home ready for pictures for the MLS®.
Choosing the Right Real Estate Agent
It is almost mandatory that you work with a real estate agent when selling a house. Your agent should have a sphere of influence both offline and online that can be used to sell a luxury home for top dollar and in a reasonable amount of time.
Reality is that most homes are NOT sold by the listing agent, but are instead sold to buyers who have their own buyer agent. This means that extensive marketing is a luxury home sellers best friend. Your Listing Agent needs to go beyond the MLS® and advertise your home in a variety of places.
Here are some helpful questions to ask your prospective luxury home listing agent:
- Who do you use to take pictures of my home?
- In addition to the MLS®, will you market my home on social media (and where?)
- Will you create a virtual, interactive tour of my home?
- Will you advertise my home in printed media (newspapers, magazines)
- How do you plan to reach luxury home buyers outside of our province?
Choosing the right REALTOR® is an important step towards getting your luxury home sold quickly and for top dollar.
Consider Who Your Ideal Buyer Will Be
In Winnipeg, properties worth more than $500,000 can be considered luxury homes. Therefore, it is necessary to think about the types of people who have the money to make a realistic offer on that property. Furthermore, you need to consider the type of person who would want to make use of the property as it is currently constructed. By understanding who would be most interested in a luxury home, you know who your target market is.
Don’t Have an Open House
If you or your real estate agent wants to show the house, make sure that the showings are done by appointment only. Furthermore, be sure that a potential buyer has been vetted ahead of time. This ensures that the buyer is truly interested in the property and could make an offer on it.
Furthermore, keeping showings to a minimum keeps the risk of theft or other security issues to a minimum as well. By having an open house, you could have people showing up just because they are curious to see what the property looks like or how it compares to their home. While this may help gain exposure for the home, it won't necessarily increase the odds of getting an offer.
Know Why the House Is Worth Buying
Why would someone with millions of dollars to spend on any property available on the market want to buy your home? In some cases, the fact that your home is by a lake or other body of water could be a selling point. Pointing out that a famous actor or former political leader owned the home could make it even more unique than the other luxury properties available for sale.
Other selling points could include the fact that it comes with a private security staff or that it is close to exclusive schools for the buyer's children. By making the home seem special and exclusive, you are more likely to get offers in a timely manner, which will help the home sell as quickly as possible.
Have this discussion with your listing agent, so that he can relay this important information to any prospective buyers.
Let the Market Develop Organically
While you and your agent want to make it known that your home is available, you can't try to force a sale. Ideally, your agent will create a strategy that results in the home being put on the market during a desirable time of year. However, by being patient, you can find the right buyer and get the right price for your home in a short period of time. By trying to force the sale, it could diminish the appeal of the property, which could result in a lower offer or no offer at all.
What do we mean by ‘forcing a sale'? You may encounter buyers who are only interested in purchasing your home if it comes at a huge discount. 20% off the list price and include all the furniture…..that kind of thinking. Recognize that these may not be serious buyers, and trying to squeeze a deal together will leave the seller frustrated.
Selling luxury properties is a sophisticated process that is part art and part science. You have to be sure that you know why the property is valuable and who would possibly want to buy it. After you figure that out, it is up to your agent to do whatever it takes to stir up interest and get the house sold.
One last bit of advice: be patient and don't expect a quick sale. Winnipeg's market for example, shows that it takes an average of 30 days to sell a house. However luxury homes often take two, three or four times as long. Luxury Condos take even longer and require more effort from both the seller and their agent.
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