From Hartford to Litchfield County, Connecticut is known for its stately homes with picturesque landscapes. These dream homes often boast unusual amenities that may appeal only to a limited number of buyers, making it challenging to sell when it’s time to move on. Bobbi Mathues, experienced broker and owner of Realty World Hometown in Simsbury, recognized that traditional sales techniques don’t work for today’s luxury properties. This insight led her to train as a Premier Luxury Marketing Consultant, a designation only held by 1% of Realtors nationwide.
“When selling a luxury home you can’t focus on the standard assets like bedrooms, bathrooms and location,” explains Mathues. “Instead we have to narrowly target the ideal buyer who may want a 12 car garage, indoor NBA size basketball court or disco with a DJ booth.”
To earn the Premier Luxury Marketing Consultant (PLMC) designation Mathues had to complete an intense training program to learn how to highlight the unique amenities that makes a home one-of-a-kind. This marketing approach can find the most opportune buyer for whom the property is a perfect fit. By finding that targeted buyer, the home can sell for a much higher price and yield a higher profit. She then had to pass a post-training exam to become certified.
“The process of selling a luxury home is definitely more involved than selling a moderately priced home,” said Mathues. “The PLMC accreditation should be one of the most sought after criteria to look for when looking for a real estate agent to represent your luxury home.”
Mathues notes that according to standard calculations, homes that are appraised over $625,000 are considered luxury. However, she has always considered homes worth $500,000 and up to be in that elite category, with prices varying from town to town, as well as what is considered “luxury”.
In addition to a large square footage, features of high-end homes can include au pair quarters, guest house, gated entrance, 2 story foyer, outside kitchen, office/library, beautiful moldings, butler’s pantry, upscale location, high ceilings, hardwood floors, Master Bedroom Suite, home theater, updated kitchen with granite, and beautiful views.
To increase visibility for a listed home, Mathues now offers a mobile app that allows direct access to the Connecticut Multiple Listing Service (MLS). Potential buyers can instantly view information about a property as they drive by, such as price, description, open houses, comparable homes and even rentals. To download the FREE app, text RWHOMESBobbi to 87778 to receive a link to download or visit http://app.realtyworldhometown.com/rwhomesbobbi.
Mathues shares the top 5 things every homeowner should do prior to putting their house on the market:
· Declutter, declutter, declutter! Rent a storage unit and put the clutter in there. Less is more in the house.
· Hire a Home Stager (a service that Mathues provides) There are some stats that show that staged homes sell for approximately 5% more.
· Have a pre-listing home inspection and fix whatever problems there are before the house goes on the market.
· The house should be neutral so that buyers can envision their furniture in the house. Paint is the best home improvement investment. It is inexpensive and can really make a difference. Paint wood trim white, as dark wood trim really dates the house. Remove any wallpaper.
· Hire a professional photographer take the pictures just before the house is going on the market. The photos can make a huge difference. There are statistics that show that 93% of buyers start their home search on the internet. If there are lousy pictures of the house, they blow right past that house. Mathues also provides a professional photographer as part of her service to her clients.
Luxury home sellers should also avoid the pitfalls of trying to sell the home themselves. According to statistics from the National Association of Realtors, For-Sale-By-Owner home sales are generally 16% lower than homes sold by a Realtor. Mathues explains that buyers see that the house is a FSBO so they automatically deduct 6% off the asking price and then make an even lower offer than that. Most sellers are not as well versed in negotiating with the buyers or other agents and tend to make unnecessary concessions. Many agents do not want to show a FSBO because they do not want to deal directly with the owner; they prefer to work with another agent who is not emotionally involved.
“Owners tend to love their houses and because they are not objective, it can cost them,” said Mathues. “For buyers, they have to negotiate with the seller and it isn’t always easy. Buyers should also hire a Realtor to represent them in the transaction and do the negotiation for them.”