Qestions to Ask Before You List Your Luxury Home

Selling a luxury home may not be rocket science, but it must meld science, math and art into an effective marketing trio. Let’s explore the science of selling a luxury home first.

Science is defined by Dictionary.com as knowledge, as of facts or principles; knowledge gained by systematic study.  When science is applied to real estate it boils down to know the market or as I like to say, comps don’t lie.

I consider myself a student of the local real estate market.  I review new listings and sales daily.  We preview new listing on Tuesdays (Palos Verdes) and Fridays (Manhattan Beach and Hermosa Beach).  We post monthly market updates for 30 neighborhoods in Palos Verdes and the Beach Cities on this website.   It’s a guess, but I think an accurate one to say I do an equal number of market analyses on individual homes at the request of my clients each month.

Question 1:  Are you familiar with real estate activity in my neighborhood?

Let’s move on to the often dreaded math factor in selling luxury real estate.  Here’s a hot tip.  If the agent has mastered the science of the market the math is easy as the foundation is already in place.  Let’s presume the agent knows the neighborhood and what is selling.  It is time to move from buildings and neighborhoods to play with the numbers to see what they tell us.  For this helps us determine value, not necessarily price.  It is time to review comparable sales, days on market, price per square foot and other hard-core real estate statistics.

Question 2:  How will you determine the value of my home?

Books have been written about the art of selling.  The canvas (property) must be properly prepared before placing it on the market.  First impressions are lasting impressions.  A tailor-made marketing program must be in place and it must reach the far corners of the globe as well as the corner coffee shop.   For a current luxury listing  our marketing includes both micro and macro targets including Digs Magazine (local), The Wall St. Journal (national) and Chinese newspapers (international). It was also featured in  Coastal Living Magazine (national) and my award-winning real estate blog and website.

Pricing involves science, math and art.  Being familiar the current and past competition helps.  The Seller’s motivation is often a factor.  Other market nuances must be considered such as desirability of the area, view, condition and even the architectural style of the home can impact price and help determine the marketing plan path.

Question 3:  What is your marketing plan for my property?

As a prospective Seller you need to be satisfied your luxury agent is familiar with real estate activity in your neighborhood and demonstrates knowledge and understanding of market statistics used to determine value.  The marketing plan should include impressive Internet exposure (via personal website, blogs and real estate sites) as well as local coverage on the Multiple Listing Service and local media.  The goal is to market to not only the neighbor next door but to reach the luxury buyer living a world away.