7 Tips for Selling Your Luxury Home

Tony Buckwell
February 21, 2022

I have been privileged to market some of the premium addresses in my area during my career. I understand that these properties must appear to 'sell themselves' due to their quality and exclusivity – but this isn't the case.

When you manage the marketing for a home that sits in the top 1% of property values for the area, the real challenge is presenting it to the right potential buyers. 

Unlike 'entry-level' or 'mid-level' homes, the marketing strategy for a premium property can't be generic. This is because the buyer pool for the very top of the market is minimal. Hence, a well-conceived and bespoke marketing plan is essential to reaching every potential purchaser and achieving the best outcome possible. Here are my top seven strategy tips derived from my experience working in the upper tier of real estate marketing.

Tip 1: Property presentation is everything!

Before bringing your property to the market, a comprehensive assessment of its preparation and presentation is essential. 

Are there some outstanding maintenance items that buyers may notice? Do your furnishings and décor showcase the property to its best, or would professional home staging lift it to another level? Are the outdoor living areas looking inviting? Would a de-cluttering exercise enhance the home's photography, videography, and marketability? 

In my experience, the higher the price point of a home, the more discerning the buyers generally become. If the expectation from the seller is that buyers are going to be paying an absolute premium price, the flip side to that assumption is that the buyers expect the seller to present them with a well-maintained and immaculate property. 

The time and effort invested in preparing the property (pre-marketing) can yield an enhanced return many times over at the point of sale. Even if not considered purely in monetary terms (return on investment), the way the property is presented will be just as critical to maximising your chances of attracting and holding the interest of a potential buyer. 

Remember, a buyer considering your property will almost certainly be comparing it against other high-end offerings on the market at the same time.

Tip 2: Marketing - Identify the buyer demographic:

Before deciding where to focus your marketing efforts, it makes sense to assess the most probable buyers (your target audience) and what marketing assets you will need to reach them.

Tip 3: Marketing - Commit to a quality marketing campaign:

Before you sign on the dotted line of the sale and purchase agreement, the only way to have confidence that you have reached every potential buyer for your home is to commit to a high-quality and comprehensive marketing campaign. There are two critical elements to this;

  • The quality of the marketing material (photography, videography, site plans, print collateral design etc.)
  • The placement of the marketing material once it is produced. How will you get your message in front of the audience you have identified as your most likely buyers? 

Let's break that down a little more.

Quality marketing material:

This is where a top agent recognises the necessity to go the extra mile in terms of marketing design and preparation. For example, consider obtaining stunning dusk photography versus a standard daytime shoot (or both?).

What about a premium HD video to tell a story about your unique property? Would the production of a premium gloss marketing booklet stand out, rather than just the standard flyers & brochures buyers will have seen many times before? 

This high-end property I recently marketed had great video footage, and was very successful at auction: 


There are multiple areas where the look and feel of a campaign can be lifted to the next level. This creates a sense of exclusivity and sends subliminal messages to buyers that they are being presented with an offering at the premium end of the spectrum. 

These options require a more significant investment in time and creativity but are all essential contributors to a premium look for the end product.

Positioning your marketing assets to maximise exposure to your target audience:

The only way to ensure maximum exposure and the premium sale result possible is to cover the three key property marketing channels available;

  • Digital media (property websites)
  • Print media (property specific print publications)
  • Social media (utilising the power of social media platforms to maximise your reach)

There are many real estate marketing options available within these three areas. The critical strategic decisions will be around how to maximise your exposure whilst working within your budget. 

I am a firm believer in being smart with this strategy, rather than simply taking the "shotgun approach" (i.e., just marketing anywhere & everywhere and crossing your fingers). 

Strategic placement of your property marketing, particularly within the print & social media spaces, can draw in buyer interest from people who may not have been considering your location in their property search efforts. 

Tip 4: Create a sense of exclusivity within your viewing strategy:

Most homes are available to view via a combination of open houses and private viewings. My suggested strategy is to remove the open home option. 

Here's why:

  • If your property is one of the best in your area, you are very likely to have many locals curious to look through it as 'tourists', with absolutely no buying intention. Commonly referred to as 'tyre kickers', these viewing groups add no value whatsoever to your marketing efforts. If anything, they are counter-productive as they direct your agent's time and effort away from the genuine potential buyers.
  • Viewing by appointment allows the opportunity for your agent to qualify the buyer before offering them the chance to view. This is a quality over quantity strategy. 
  • The very fact that your property can only be viewed by appointment is sending a message to buyers that this is an exclusive property offering.  

Another proactive viewing strategy I have used successfully at 'high-end' property is to host a special viewing 'by invitation only' event in the final days before an auction. This is usually hosted in a dusk setting to give buyers a feel for the property after dark. Generally speaking, most first viewings are conducted during the day. The unique viewing event lets the owners present their property differently, utilising landscape lighting, pool lighting, outside fireplaces, city lights views etc. This is a fantastic opportunity to get the passion of buyers activated just before the big day! 

Tip 5: Know everything about the property I am marketing and ensure buyers do too!

Premium residences often have more special features than a 'standard spec' home. These may not be immediately obvious to the eye, but to include all of these details in the marketing collateral would clutter it up and potentially distract from the leading marketing messaging.

I have overcome this challenge in the past by collating all the unique features and specification information into a supplementary property information booklet. 

This is available to buyers after being attracted to the property via the primary marketing assets. This keeps the central marketing messaging 'clean and on point' whilst allowing the seller to fully communicate details of the quality and specification level within the property for sale.

Tip 6: Engage a real estate service provider with the capacity to reach every potential buyer for your home.

Barfoot & Thompson's non-franchised network of 68 Auckland branches and 1800 - 2000 agents is unequalled in the real estate sector. It is the only significant real estate company to offer this business model. This critical factor can't be matched by all the other franchised brands (virtually every other real estate brand you can think of) or small boutique operators. I believe that this is one of the reasons why Real Estate Institute of New Zealand reporting confirms Barfoot & Thompson as a market share leader in the $2,000,000 - $4,999,999, and the $5,000,000 and over price bands. REINZ has also awarded Barfoot & Thompson as New Zealand's Large Agency of the Year, All Disciplines for the 9th consecutive year.

Tip 7: Engage a marketing agent (salesperson) with experience designing & managing bespoke marketing.

Experience is critical when assessing the right mix of marketing assets and the appropriate strategy for a high-end property. In addition, your success will be influenced by the time, effort and creativity that your agent is willing and able to invest into your campaign.

Conclusion 

I hope you have found this blog to be valuable and informative. As you can see, achieving a premium result when selling high-end real estate is not simply a matter of placing a few photos and a fluffy description on a website and expecting the best quality buyers to find it. 

Feel free to continue to browse my website, and explore some of my previous high-end listings:

If you wish to discuss this topic in more detail, or anything else real estate, I welcome your contact anytime for a no-obligation chat.

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