How to qualify luxury home buyers
Luxury homes are different than the typical residential home, and can sometimes be a challenge to sell. Generally speaking, as the list price of a home increases, the pool of potential buyers decreases. One of the biggest frustrations of luxury home owners is the challenge of finding a real estate agent who has experience selling luxury homes, and understands the steps to take to pre-qualify buyers.
Since we deal with luxury and high-end homes on a regular basis, here are some of our tips for being sure your property is only being viewed by qualified buyers:
Work With Agents That Specialize in Luxury Properties
Whenever possible, work with a real estate agent who works with high-end buyers on a regular basis. This is a great way to ensure that people viewing your home are pre-vetted. These agents have built a list of clients looking for (and able to afford) luxury properties, and will not want to waste their own time showing homes to people who are unable to afford them. Asking your neighbors who they worked with to buy their home is a great way to identify professionals in the area who regularly work with luxury clients.
Ask Potential Listing Agents How They Market High-End Properties
A sign in the yard and a listing in the MLS is probably not enough to sell a luxury home quickly. In addition to having a list of high-end clients that are shopping for a home, an agent that specializes in premier properties should also have marketing that goes above-and-beyond to target high-end buyers. By focusing marketing towards people who can afford the property, you will reduce the number of ‘looky-loos’ that just want a peek inside your beautiful home.
Ask for a Broker Open House Instead Of the Traditional Open House
With a traditional open house in a luxury home, you have no way of knowing how many of the people there can actually afford the home and how many are just those ‘looky-loos’ we mentioned earlier. Add to that the potential of theft or people with ulterior motives that want to see what kind of security the home has, and we feel that traditional open houses are not effective enough to justify the time and risk.
Instead, we recommend trying a Broker Open House. These will be closed to the public and only available to brokers in the area. Generally, brokers won’t waste their time attending unless they have clients who are looking for a luxury home.
Lastly, Only Accept Offers From Buyers Already Pre-Qualified By Their Lender or Who Have Proof of Funds
One of the only ways to be sure a potential buyer is able to afford your luxury home is to let their bank do the work for you. Your agent can specify that you will only accept offers from people who have already been pre-qualified by a lender, which gives you the peace of mind that an offer is a legitimate one. Or, if the buyer is paying cash, be sure to ask for proof of funds, which is typically a letter from their financial institution, or a recent statement showing the amount of cash on hand.