How to Sell Your Luxury Mountain Home

Written by Posted On Wednesday, 01 November 2017 10:12

Over the last decade, there’s been a definite rise in luxury home options for the discriminating home buyer all around the High Country in Boone, Blowing Rock and Banner Elk. In fact, right now there are over 100 homes actively on the market with price tags ranging from $1 - $10 million.

For an area with a full-time population under 20K, that means there’s a significant and growing demand for luxury living that’s beginning to help define our area’s home market now and for the future.

However, despite big upscale interest in our beautiful little corner of the Blue Ridge Mountains, there can be real challenges for luxury homeowners wanting to sell their primary, second or vacation homes to all these interested buyers.

In other words, a strong market doesn’t also mean an easy time selling a home that’s priced over $1M.

Traditionally, luxury listings take much longer to sell than other homes. In fact, according to the latest annual luxury market report from Christie's International, the average luxury property takes almost a year to sell. That’s about 4-5 times longer than non-luxury homes on the market here in the High Country.

So how can the luxury homeowner help themselves sell faster and for more value? Take a look at these tips.

Know Your Market & Customer

Simply put, the luxury market is just different than the regular home market. When selling non-luxury homes, knowing a little about your specific location and its home buying and selling trends can help you decide fairly quickly on your price and timing. With luxury homes, most all of that goes out the window. You have to know what kind of market you are:

  • Are you primarily a primary residence, vacation market, second-home destination or attractive to retirees?
  • What kinds of buyers are buying luxury homes in your area? Where are they from? What professions?
  • What kinds of homes sell for the list price or higher? Which ones don't?
  • Which home features are most desired in your area? What amenities?
  • What are the most popular types of homes? Are older or newer homes selling better?
  • What's your neighborhood's track record versus other luxury locales? What new construction are you competing with?
  • and literally dozens more!

Being able to profile your home and determine where it sits versus all the above can help you begin to understand whether it's a strong candidate or if you'll need to overcome challenges. A certified luxury agent can give you all the data you need to measure your chances right out of the gate.

Set Your Price Right

Most luxury home sellers who don't FIRST sufficiently analyze their local luxury market make the same, fatal mistake: they set their home's price wrong from the outset. This can lead to:

  • A long wait time to sell
  • Stigmatizing your property against competition
  • Forcing desperate price reductions
  • Giving buyers and unnecessary advantage

When selling a luxury home, many different things matter to your audience that do not matter to non-luxury buyers. Things like high-end appliances, out-of-the-ordinary features such as heated garages or elevators, and in-home theater systems. Plus, things specific to your home's location are a very big deal. For example, here in the High Country, you may have a beautiful luxury home with all the trimmings, but no view. A competing home that's similar to yours but that has an unobstructed view of Yadkin Valley will likely be a buyer's choice if all else is roughly equal to your home. How do you gain an advantage and score a faster deal? Pricing strategy. Nothing is more important than how you price it and you can't price it without a firm understanding of what's going on in your market. A real luxury agent can also crunch, analyze the data for you so your home stands out.

Know When to Sell

Second only to price in determining whether your home lingers on the market or not is the timing of your listing. If you know what kind of market you're in, you can analyze the numbers and figure out what times of year luxury home buyers are most active. This matters, especially in home markets that are primarily vacation-driven or are big second home markets (like here in the High Country!). Seasons do of course matter, but it's not always logical. For the most part, real estate patterns are very predictable in general. That said, for luxury homes, marketing a home because it's Spring and Summer is around the corner may seem logical, but you have to get much more specific when targeted a time to go out on the market. Competition, local events, the national economy, the market and trends in outside areas that typically drive the most luxury buyers and more considerations can all matter much more for the sale of your home than any "seat of the pants" logic. A good luxury agent knows that selling a luxury home depends on dozens of factors most sellers never think to take into account.

Effective Digital Marketing

Today, nothing is more vital to the sale of a luxury property than effective, robust and powerful digital marketing. The trouble is, almost no real estate broker can do it effectively. Digital marketing techniques are very complex, they change daily and are, for most other industries, a full-time job staffed with professionals who have degrees in marketing, PR, software engineering and data analysis. It simply isn't something you usually find at your local real estate office. Simply putting your luxury property in MLS, up on a website, onto Zillow and printing brochures is really like "spitting in the wind" in today's tech-driven world. With Millennials set to seize most of the nation's wealth soon, marketing your home online through highly-complex, targeted and effective ads and exposure means everything. Don't settle for a luxury agent that can't prove their expertise in digital marketing. If you do, guess what? Your home's getting the same treatment as a $100,000 home is. Nothing more. Wasted time = wasted money for you.

Stage Your Home

Staging is important for just about every home sale, but it's critical for the sale of a luxury home. Luxury consumers as a group have similar buying habits in everything they buy. When they're in a luxury home, the need to find evidence that someone "like them" also bought this home and they need to feel "at home." In other words, they need to see the same kinds of things they'd buy and have in their own luxury homes. Nothing delivers that feeling of connection more quickly than showing a home that's tastefully appointed, very clean, well lit and well-maintained. Most of all, let your sense of style come through. Luxury buyers as a whole prefer the creative as opposed to an empty home.

High-Quality Video and Photos

Effectively marketing your home on the web, mobile and on social media will need eye-catching and high-definition imagery and video. Luxury buyers expect things to look, well, luxury. Skimp on the photography and video and it will undercut your agent's entire digital marketing campaign. Drone video fly-arounds, live broadcast walk-thrus and virtual floorplans are all hitting big with the luxury buyer, so be sure to get an agent that not only knows of these things but knows which ones will work best in - you guessed it - your market.

Get a Luxury Agent

Can you sell your home without hiring a certified, luxury broker? Sure. Is it likely to take longer to sell and sell for less money if you do? Absolutely. A good luxury agent can mean the difference between months and years, as well as 10s or even 100s of thousands of dollars. What should you look for?

  • Certified luxury home marketer
  • Expert with digital marketing technologies
  • Highly-effective communicator
  • Has the tools and data to expertly analyze the local market
  • Great problem solver
  • Knows money and numbers like a CPA
  • Fully-transparent, agile strategist

Lastly, it's not a bad tactic to look for an agent who has bought and sold luxury homes in the local market - for themselves. Luxury homes often present challenges that non-luxury homes do not. Find an agent who has lived the problem. It will pay off big-time.

More Resources for You

Luxury Home Marketing Checklist (Test your agent!) -

5 Trends that Will Shape the 2017 Housing Market -

Get a Certified Luxury Agent in Boone, Blowing Rock and Banner Elk

Understanding Luxury Buyers and How to Reach Them

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Rebekah Polancich

My Career Experience is Your Secret Weapon

Having spent over two decades working in software engineering and as an intelligence operative for the U.S. Intelligence Community and Department of Defense, I have a keen sense of what it takes to get an important, complex job done right – the first time.

As a successful serial entrepreneur and businesswoman, I also know that providing top-notch customer service and the highest quality product possible are the keys to business success over the long term.

Now, serving as a High Country REALTOR for Boone, Blowing Rock, Banner Elk and the surrounding areas, my sole aim is to provide a better brand of real estate services for local and outside buyers and sellers in the area I call home.

As a buyer and seller myself many times over, I became frustrated with what is typically a frustrating, error-prone, inefficient and impersonal experience. Buying or selling a home just doesn’t have to be so bad.

This is why, after building and selling businesses at the highest levels, serving as corporate CFO several times and with deep software expertise, it’s now my focus to offer a better kind of real estate experience. One that’s personal, friendly, and family-oriented with a big emphasis on efficiency, accuracy, professionalism and – most of all – value for my clients.

Get in touch today and find out what a good real estate experience feels like.

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