Tips for Selling Luxury Real Estate

(Note: The Institute for Luxury Home Marketing defines ‘Luxury’ as the top 10% of a market. For Flagstaff, this is $525k. We manage properties less than this as well.)

What It Takes to Sell a Luxury Home

Considering the value of luxury homes, it is understandable that sellers would want to get things right. These homes are substantial investments, often worth millions of dollars. There are fewer luxury homes out there, which makes it even more important that the seller put forward a positive image of the home.

You must attract the right buyer, know how to make the buyer understand what makes the home worth the money, and be able to negotiate effectively when selling some of the highest-priced homes available. Having the right list price and the best real estate agent are two vital cogs in the sale of a luxury home.

Keep reading, and you will see how to sell a luxury home in the least amount of time for the most money possible. These luxury home selling tips will allow you to maximize both with less stress!

Create a Psychological profile of the buyer.

It may seem strange to start off a list of the best luxury home selling tips with creating a psychological profile of the end buyer but it’s not. First and foremost, you want to know who you will be marketing to when trying to draw in a high-end clientele.

With a luxury home sale, you are not casting the widest net but trying to appeal to a certain audience. Of course, the buyer needs to be able to comfortably afford the home. The last thing you want to be targeting is those who are marginally qualified.

But what exactly are you selling? Beyond the magnificent architecture of your property are you selling proximity to a major city, an award-winning school system, the top neighborhood in the area or the best restaurants and shops within walking distance? These are just a few examples. There could be many more that apply to your specific home.

You and your real estate agent need to have a strong grasp of what separates your home from other luxury properties in the area and market to those strengths.

Price it correctly.

One of the most important tips for selling a luxury home is pricing it at the right price from day one. Pricing any home correctly is challenging. Knowing how to look at a home, measure its strengths and weaknesses, compare it to similar homes, examine the surrounding market and price it to both sell in a timely manner and for a good price – these are skills that Realtors take years to master.

Luxury homes add another layer of difficulty when it comes to pricing. There are less comparable homes to reference, and each luxury home tends to have unique features that only some buyers will value. A luxury home tends to have unique features that tend to make it harder to price.

Some inexperienced agents will try to use rudimentary price per square foot. This is a sure-fire way to get a luxury home priced wrong! There are significantly more challenges to pricing a luxury home. The price, however, needs to be spot on if you want to get top dollar.

Price a home too high, and it will sit on the market for months without selling. Eventually, it will develop a stigma – buyers will assume there is something wrong with it.

This is especially true with luxury homes, because with such a smaller supply, buyers and their agents are unlikely to forget about the home. They will recognize it, even if it pops up a year later at a lower price.

Pricing the home correctly is one of the biggest reasons to hire an agent familiar with luxury properties. The agent should understand the difference that location plays in the comparable sales data and how one neighborhood differs from the next. The neighborhood in which a property is located can have a huge influence on value.

A skilled luxury real estate agent understands all the factors of a home. Great agents know that comparable sold properties are vital to establishing true market value. They don’t waste a lot of time looking at homes sitting on the market that have not sold. Knowing how to sell a luxury home starts with accurate pricing.

Good timing.

Flagstaff can be very seasonal. Additionally, the vacation home market is huge in the upper price ranges. What does this mean? Many buyers are looking to get away from the Valleys heat. We also see buyers from Las Vegas and California looking for that perfect home in the perfect environment. Our task, create it.

Effective marketing.

Finding the right buyer requires getting the word out about the property for sale. Today the primary marketing channel is the internet but putting up a listing on the multiple listing service (MLS) is not enough to sell a luxury property – or any home, for that matter.

In addition to pricing a home, a reputable Realtor will have many marketing options for your luxury home. The first will be online, but the most pervasive will often be the network he or she has with other Realtors, past clients and other people involved in high-end real estate.

The best buyers may be found through the internet, or they may be found through a contact of the real estate agents. The point is to work with someone who can reach buyers who will want what you are offering.

Top real estate agents understand the best marketing routes for selling a home and they take advantage of them all. Exceptional agents leave no stone uncovered when selling a high-end home.

The real estate agent you select to sell your luxury home should have a dominant internet presence. Use Google as a tool to seek out and find luxury market real estate agents in your area.

You can try searching for “Luxury Flagstaff Homes” or “Flagstaff Luxury Realtor” to locate an exceptional agent. Typically, agents that come up high in searches such as this tend to have a great understanding of real estate marketing.

A highly visible real estate agent will be knowledgeable in both search engine optimization (SEO) along with terrific social media skills. Let’s face it, more and more people spend a ton of time on their smart phones.  

Using high-end photography and video.

Whether a buyer finds your home online, or through contacts of your real estate agent, most people are going to want to look at the listing before they schedule a viewing. A quality listing will contain pictures and a video tour of the property. Just as a good portrait photographer can bring out the best ­in a person, a skilled home photographer can make any home look its best. You want pictures that attract buyers, which requires working with a professional.

Luxury homes deserve exceptional professional photography. This is one of the most important aspects of selling a luxury home. When someone asks how to do you sell a luxury home, photography will be at the top of the list! 

Video is becoming as important as photos when selling real estate today – especially when you are selling a luxury home. Buyers may be coming from across the country to view your home. Even if they are coming from next door, a video tour can give them a good idea of what living in the home would be like and convey what makes your home special. Filming a quality video tour may cost a little bit of money, but it can be considered an investment. The better the video looks, the more likely you are to attract the right kind of buyer.

Effective offline marketing.

While online marketing is a critical part of selling a luxury home so is your print marketing material. There should be additional money invested into marketing material when marketing a high-end home. Perception is everything when it comes to marketing to buyers who are purchasing an expensive home. Brochures should be of the high-end glossy variety.

The marketing material should tell a story both about the home as well as the city or town the property is located in. Selling such things as the neighborhood or outstanding education are all part of the puzzle.

Often you are selling a lifestyle, and this should be conveyed in the marketing material. Keep in mind that many luxury home buyers look for well-known luxury brands. This should be reflected in your marketing.

For example, in the kitchen, high end appliances include a Sub-Zero fridge, a Wolfe or Viking stove, a Thermador oven, a Miele or Bosch dishwasher. Luxury buyers look for these brands. When marketing the home these things should be emphasized. The kitchen is the most important room in the house so extra time should be spent featuring it.

Traits of Luxury Home Real Estate Agents

When marketing and selling a luxury home the agent you select becomes even more critical. The agent you hire will be your voice in getting the word out about how magnificent your property happens to be. Some of the most important traits of a luxury real estate agent include:

  • Very effective communicators.
  • Extremely detailed oriented.
  • Understand market preparation.
  • Understand the local market inside and out.
  • Expert marketers.
  • Have a good sphere of influence.
  • Skilled in problem-solving.

These skill sets are valuable when selling a high-end property. Keep in mind your real estate agent plays a vital role in the sale from start to finish. Each aspect of the transaction is important whether it is communicating with you, the other agent or potentially solving a problem that comes up in the sale. Selling a high-end home is not just about marketing! Selecting the best real estate agent is one of the most important tips when selling a luxury home.

This is just the beginning.

For much more on luxury home branding, contact us today for a free consultation.

This content is not the product of the National Association of REALTORS®, and may not reflect NAR's viewpoint or position on these topics and NAR does not verify the accuracy of the content.