Selling a true luxury home is a different experience. Agents that work in the luxury home world have to think creatively, respond very well under pressure, and know that there is no substitute for results. Mass-market appeals for buyers, bulk advertising and standard marketing techniques will not get the best price for the home, if they work at all. Now that the housing market is beginning to approach a more ‘normal’ state, proven luxury home marketing practices are back in vogue. And what are those practices?
Let’s define the luxury-home market as the top 10% of home listings by price, or homes listed above $500,000 in the Valley. What sets the sales of luxury homes apart is that each property requires its own marketing plan. Depending on the neighborhood the buyer may very likely be a neighbor looking to move up or down. Neighborhoods such as Arcadia and Paradise Valley fall into this category. On the other hand, for very high-end homes, the buyer may be from out of state, or out of country. Luxury homes typically have custom features that will require special staging to attract a new buyer – both in the marketing photography and for showing the home itself. Luxury homes are often advertised through private networks before they are listed in the MLS. Luxury home realtors meet and exchange listing information at organizations such at the Luxury Home Tour. Through these groups the homes may be visited by several dozens of realtors before being listed on the MLS. Further, the listing broker must be sure perspective buyers are qualified – this task is made easier if the buyer is represented by a known luxury realtor.
Staging is not optional
Staging a luxury home requires a professional with the assets to accent the best points of the home. Professional stagers have the furniture, wall coverings and other accent pieces that fit the home and make it easier for the buyer to imagine living there. Furthermore, a good stager knows how to make a home appeal to people with a number of different lifestyles.
A picture is worth…
The saying that a picture is worth a thousand words should be changed to a picture is worth $100,000 when marketing a luxury home. The staged home should be photographed to take advantage of the natural light and environment. Professional photographers are able to bring out the best in a home with quality cameras, various lenses and certain tricks of the trade that make a tremendous difference in how the home is portrayed. Pictures are used in brochures and are often the first aspect of the home viewed by home shoppers.
Once the buyers are interested in a home, the negotiations required to bring the deal to a successful conclusion are often complex and intense. Added to the emotion of a normal home purchase, luxury home deals often include more complex appraisals, unorthodox financing, big egos and lawyers around every corner. Luxury home Realtors are experienced in thinking strategically, responding quickly, and having a network of professionals (lawyers, repairmen, mortgage brokers, etc.) that are also experienced in working in the ‘big leagues’.