Luxury real estate can be a complex and tedious industry, with many nooks and crannies that only an insider would know. In most places of the world, some people live in luxury or near-luxury homes for their entire lives; they will never have to worry about resale value, good schools, commute times, and price fluctuations. But for those who do not live in such homes, the luxury market is a complex one to navigate. Below are ten questions you should ask a luxury real estate agent.
1 – How will you advertise my home?
One thing that separates high-end real estate agents from their less expensive counterparts is their advertising plans. Truly luxury real estate should be marketed to differentiate it from all other properties. Some high-end agents will print and distribute their flyers (and even produce television commercials). In contrast, others work with local media outlets to get their listings on the airwaves or publish them in newspapers and magazines. This can vary from city to city and depend on the agent’s connections.
2 – What’s my luxury property worth?
Price is a slippery element when it comes to luxury homes, and when they’re selling, many different variables can drive prices up or down. In some country areas, swimming pools in a home will add a premium, while a fireplace might drive the price down. In most cases, a luxury home will sell for a higher price than its less luxurious counterparts, but since there is no clear formula for pricing high-end properties, it’s important to get an appraisal from someone who knows what they’re doing. Having nice tiles and floors from companies like Saturnia Travertini will surely increase the price!
3 – What kind of offers do I expect to receive?
Like with a normal home, there is a certain range of offers that a luxury home will receive. Although the property is priced high, it doesn’t mean that someone won’t see its value and offer the asking price. Especially with high-end properties, the number one thing to look for is not how many offers you have but which ones you have. In most cases, you’ll have a lot of tire-kickers, real buyers with interest, and competitive offers.
4 – Who are my luxury customers?
Every time someone buys an expensive property, they’re not just buying that home but all the homes in that area as well. This is why it’s important to work with people who understand your local market and sell your home to the people it’s right for. For example, knowing that elderly buyers make up a large part of your community will help you price and market your home in a way they understand and appreciate.
5 – How long is the selling process?
Aside from understanding how quickly luxury homes sell in general, you’ll want to know what the selling process is like with your agent. For example, some agents will let you sit on a listing for as long as you want while they wait for the perfect buyer. If this is not something you’re comfortable with, make sure to ask your agent how long they typically hold homes before they sell.
6 – What are the rules of the game?
As part of any successful business transaction, understand all your obligations and responsibilities to each other. This includes everything from being on time for meetings, going over offers, and making sure potential homebuyers have a clear picture of what they’re buying. In most cases, you won’t deal with these issues, but it pays to make sure everyone is on the same page when you’re dealing with luxury homes.
7 – What’s your usual customer like?
Knowing who typically buys in your area will give you a better understanding of what you should and shouldn’t do. For example, if your local customers are very price-sensitive, then putting a pool in your luxury home may seem like a waste of money – it will lower your asking price – and instead might make more sense to wait until you sell. On the other hand, showing potential buyers the ocean view from all angles is not important if most of your clients can’t enjoy it anyway.
8 – What kind of commissions do you get paid?
This is an important question because sometimes agents will try to make more money off a deal than you, the client, are willing to pay. For example, if your agent gets paid 3% on selling your property but also tries to upsell you on painting or other “additions” that cost thousands of dollars, then they’re going to make more money on the deal. In these cases, it’s always better to ask what services are included in a flat fee versus an hourly rate, so you know exactly what you’ll be paying for.
9 – What marketing materials do you have?
In this case, the description may not match reality, especially regarding luxury properties. For example, a beautiful home with perfect lighting and staging may look great in pictures but be too small for your family once you move in. In this case, your agent should have as many pictures as possible of the property both inside and outside so you can get a better idea of what it looks like on a day-to-day basis.
10 – How long have you been in business?
This is an important question because it will give you a much better idea of how credible your agent is. The more experience they have, the easier it’ll be for them to accurately price the value of your home and sell it fast without wasting any time or money.
When it’s time to sell your house, you want the best real estate agent for the job. When you’re dealing with luxury homes, it pays to understand your obligations and responsibilities, including how long the selling process takes, what marketing materials they have, and who normally buys in your area. A little research on the Internet can go a long way in finding out what works best for your local area and how long each step of the buying and selling process takes. These questions will help you know exactly what you’re getting into before you start dealing with a luxury real estate agent.