The keys to selling luxury real estate

Want to know the best way to sell high-end luxury real estate? Follow these tips and you are on your way. These tips work for condos, townhomes, and single family residences.


Do

Do prepare the property for showings

First and foremost, you need to get the property ready for showings. These techniques can improve a property's value by anywhere from 5 to over 20 percent. You should start with a thorough cleaning and organizing the space. When people come to see the property, it should look white-glove perfect. Closets should look like a Nordstrom’s department store, bookshelves should be as neat as those at the public library, toys should be put away, the floors should be spotless, and the windows should sparkle.

If you own a house with a yard, the grass should be cut, hedges trimmed, and the overall landscaping should look immaculate. The next step is staging and minor renovations. While doing these things cost money, the improvements will increase the value of your property and make it sell much faster.

Staging of luxury properties involves creating a magnificent theme and look. Hiring a professional staging company can really help. The staging company will bring in items such as furniture, lighting, artwork, plants, and all the accents. Staging will transform a boring or vacant empty house into an interesting and stylish home that appeals to the luxury buyer.  High end buyers are visual, so a clean, well-organized, staged home will attract them in droves and help them to envision themselves living in the space.

Do photograph and film your property

When selling a luxury property, you absolutely must have it photographed by a professional. The photos should be an accurate depiction of what the space looks like, but they should accentuate the positive. What constitutes a great photo is subjective, so you should ask multiple people what they feel are the best shots of your home. A beautiful property is like a piece of art and the right photos will capture the spirit of the space. Remember, when a buyer is searching for properties online, the photos are the first impression of your home and determines if the buyer will choose to see it or simply pass on it.

In some cases, you may want to create a video tour of the property as well. This is different than a virtual tour. A video tour is basically a short film with or without narration on the property. Usually, the video takes the buyer on a short tour of the property. It should provide a feel for what the property is really like. Finally, you should post a floor plan or multiple floor plans so people can see the size and layout of the rooms. Floor plans provide buyers with a context of what changes could be possible, such as adding a bedroom or increasing the size of a living room.

Do advertise your property

Advertising your home is critical to successfully selling a luxury property. The ad in the printed brochures and online needs to be well written. The ad needs to not only convey the facts of your home, but also describe the luxurious features, amenities, and unique aspects of the property.

The property should definitely be advertised on your local MLS, Streeteasy, Trulia, Zillow, and other local real estate magazines and online sites that specialize in luxurious properties. Luxury properties should also be advertised in international publications and websites. There are wealthy people all over the world who buy in the US. In NYC, 25 to 30 percent of condo buyers are foreign. Getting the word out to them is very important. A good brokerage firm will also employ search engine optimization techniques to ensure your listing is highly ranked in Google Search and other Internet sites so that potential buyers can easily find the property online.

Do engage with brokers and friends

Enlist the help of your friends, clients, colleagues, and brokers to help promote the sale of your home. Having a top flight broker and/or client party at the property will get to word out to the influential people who can help promote it. Try to invite every top-level broker and high-level socialite that you can. The intent is that they will come, see the property, and tell their clients and friends about it. There are a million themes you can use for the party, but the idea is to create a buzz by having a sensational look and atmosphere.  A final note, the more exclusive you can make the party feel, the better. You don’t want to be pretentious, but you do want all the guests to feel they are special. And by the way, they are!

Do show the property

How you show your home is critical to selling it. If it takes 50, 100, or even 200 showings to sell a property, you want to get to that number with qualified buyers as soon as possible. To a large degree it is numbers game. The more you show it, the better your odds are of selling it.

Every time a prospective broker or buyer calls, you should try to accommodate their schedule. Of course, as the seller you should try to provide reasonable parameters with the scheduling of appointments (e.g. no showings after 10 pm), but your Hampton’s beach schedule is not as important as a showing that could sell your house. To accomplish this, you generally need more than one person to help with showings. So, if a particular broker can accommodate 100 showings in 2 months and another broker takes 4 months for the same amount of showings, theoretically, the flexible broker can sell the property twice as fast. In showing luxury property, your brokers should dress well, be on time, and act in friendly manner to all parties involved. Be sure to interview, check references, and choose a broker who has experience in selling luxury properties.


Don't

Do not ever be rude

Never be rude to anyone during the process. Selling high-end real estate can be a stressful and emotional process for buyers, sellers, and brokers. You must try to be the calming force during the entire process, since an emotional reaction can often kill the deal.

Do not talk too much

Listen. Simply put, don’t oversell. Buyers and their brokers want to express their viewpoints and are not always interested in your opinion. If you are asked a direct question, respond to it, but be concise. Do not go on and on as it has a tendency to turn people off.

Do not be disingenuous

It is wrong to be disingenuous and when you get caught you will feel foolish and will probably lose the sale. Be honest - it will pay dividends. People do business with those they trust.

Do not be inconsiderate

To sell your home as quickly as possible for the price you desire, you need to be consistently punctual for showings and meetings. Never make a client or broker feel awkward, even if they are late, rude, or difficult. Don’t talk about how you are having a bad day, but listen to them if they are having a tough one. Keep the property “white glove” clean throughout the selling process. If something breaks, fix it. Especially replace the small things, such as a burned out light bulb, the washer, or a leaky tap. Work hard and be consistent, as that is half the battle. 


Summary
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There are many techniques that you can employ when selling luxury real estate and simple things to avoid when selling a high-end property. These ideas can yield a substantially higher sales price and make the transaction pleasant for all who are involved.


More expert advice about Selling Real Estate

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Edward E. LongleyCEO, The Hollingsworth Group

A resident of Manhattan since 1998, Edward Longley has an outstanding record of achievement in real estate sales and consulting. He worked as a financial adviser for 12 years and has been a real estate consultant since 2000. A consistently high ...

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