Everyone wants to sell their home fast, whether in the luxury market or the general market.
But it’s easier said than done. And, if we’re being honest with ourselves. When most homes are taking 1-3 months to sell and luxury homes even longer, is there really much you could do to sell faster?
In short, yes.
Let’s talk about it.
There’s a Series of Steps Involved
As a seller, you have ultimate control over the transaction. You decide who the real estate agent to sell the home will be, you set a price with the advice of the agent, you make the decision to stage or not, and you call the shots when a buyer puts an offer in.
With all of these steps in the equation, it can be intimidating. Let’s break it down step by step to make it a little more clear.
1. Select a Good Real Estate Agent
Of course, you’re going to select a good real estate agent. But do you have any idea of what you’re looking for?
I’ve been a major advocate for real estate agents adopting modern marketing methods to sell their listings. This ideology came directly from my experience with the luxury real estate market.
When a market is slow-moving, or really, any industry that has slow-moving parts. There’s always a way to fix it.
Because luxury sales are generally slower and fewer. It’s important for real estate agents to think outside the box and not simply throw “for sale” signs in the yard and wait for a phone call.
When you select a luxury agent, make sure you’re picking one with a modern marketing plan that’s built on digital media and advertising.
The questions you need to ask your potential agents are:
- Do you have a website?
- Do you post content on that website?
- Do you use social media ads and Google Ads to market listings?
- Do you conduct property tour videos?
- What’s happening in my real estate market?
- What do you know about home staging?
You’ll be able to come up with more on your own, but those questions should give you a good indication of whether that real estate agent will be right for the job.
2. Consider Staging
I’ve talked about the importance of staging before.
When trying to sell a home fast, deciding to stage or not might be one of your most crucial decisions.
Staging is where you rent furniture and have professional designers come to your home and set the “stage” for the potential buyers.
The idea is that if you can use furniture to showcase a particular lifestyle that resonates with the correct buyer, then the odds of selling increase dramatically.
Staging is super important in the luxury real estate market because it’s all about selling lifestyles. People tend to care less about the price tag and more about what they’re getting.
Your stagers and real estate agent should advise you on the lifestyle your home can portray the best, and they’ll stage accordingly.
At the time of writing this article (February 2020), the common desires of luxury buyers are:
- Ecofriendly homes.
- Quality over size.
- Health and wellness.
- Strong technology job markets.
While you can’t control the final item, you can use staging to make your home fit the other three and greatly increase the odds of a fast sale.
3. Pricing Competitively
If you want to sell super-fast, you can price at about 80% of your local market and trust me, your house will be off the market soon.
The problem with that sort of strategy is that you’ll lose a lot of equity that could have been salvaged if you played the pricing game.
Pricing luxury homes is an art form. Contrary to popular belief, luxury homes require more than a simple comparable sales report of the local market where your agent picks a price in the middle of a few homes that look like yours.
Luxury real estate requires fluid, open-minded pricing.
Yes, the local market still plays a huge role. You can’t just price at $2.2 million in a $1.3 million neighborhood.
But there’s more flexibility in luxury sales. I tend to look at the larger market, usually the whole city, and compare the various luxury markets together.
For instance, in my market of Asheville, I compare Biltmore Park with Biltmore Forest. While the markets don’t run the exact same, they were built by the same builder, Biltmore Farms.
Because I know that most of their homes are built cottage-style or traditional, I can compare values across markets.
If I can get a comparable home in one market and bring that price to my client’s market, then I know with my well-crafted marketing strategy, I can pull off the sale.
Little secret. The goal with luxury buyers is to just get them in the door. Their agent may tell them that they can find better pricing elsewhere. But if they love the home. It won’t matter.
4. Let Your Agent Put Their Marketing Plan into Action
This is my favorite part. There’s nothing more fulfilling than putting on a huge campaign to sell something and watch it work.
I’ve spent a lot of time developing my marketing strategies. I rely on a lot of online tools to get the most exposure possible. You can read my latest marketing tips here.
Marketing is such an important part of the luxury real estate market. Let alone when you’re trying to sell as fast as possible.
The best way your agent can start giving your home visibility is by using social media and Google Ads. I won’t go into depth with these services, but it can put your property in front of a lot of eyes in a short amount of time.
Below you can see a couple of my Facebook campaigns that I’ve run. Take a look at the impressions (amount of people who saw my ad) and the clicks (the amount of people interested).
Ads can make a huge difference between a long sale and a fast sale. The problem is that some agents are unwilling to learn or spend the marketing dollars on it. That’s why you need to pay attention to who you’re hiring.
5. To Hold an Open House, or Not to Hold an Open House?
That is the question.
I’ll admit, despite my ardent support for open houses, there’s a lot of reasons why you shouldn’t host one in the luxury market.
The biggest issue is that when people hear about an open house at a beautiful Hollywood-level property, they’re more than happy to go check it out, whether they are looking for a house or not, let alone being able to afford it.
That means you get a lot of people who are “just-looking”.
I don’t blame them either. Luxury homes are awesome!
But when I’m trying to sell a house, and I’m one of those agents that try to stay connected with the buyer and actually “sell” the house. It doesn’t do me any good having unserious buyers walking through and it distracts me from helping the buyers who are actually looking to buy.
The solution to this issue can be a broker open.
Broker opens are where you host an open house but it’s exclusive to real estate agents.
The hope is that the agents will know a potential buyer or they’re working with one already and the home happens to fit their search.
There is the chance that the broker open will lead to a bunch of real estate agents socializing about their lives over a glass of wine and delicious cheese. But this is still probably better than having an open house where people can just walk in without any way of vetting their eligibility to buy it.
Talk with your agent about this topic and see what they recommend.
6. Be Flexible
As a seller trying to unload your luxury home fast, you must be willing to bend a little bit.
This is not the best time to be stringent about things. If your agent procures a buyer within a week (that means they’re really good) but the only caveat is that the buyer wants to reduce your price by $100,000.
If you reject that, then you leave yourself and your agent with no idea of where the next buyer will come from and when.
Another topic where you might need to bend to sell fast will be during the negotiations for repairs. While sure, luxury homes are not commonly in need of repair, they certainly aren’t exempt from the possibility.
If you land a buyer and accept their offer, but the inspections came back and they demand you fix the roof or they back out.
Are you fixing the roof for a $1,000 or letting them walk?
Fast sales generally require flexibility.
Selling a luxury home can be a challenge in the first place. Selling fast is a whole other level.
But, with a good real estate agent, correct pricing, solid marketing strategy, communication, and flexibility. You’re putting your best foot forward.
Now you just have to listen the market’s reaction.