What to Ask Your Real Estate Agent When Purchasing a Luxury Home
Purchasing a new home is a major financial decision. Depending on your wants and needs, the market may not be flush with options. This is especially true for those who are interested in purchasing a luxury home. A luxury home is any residential property that’s considered more upscale than the general market. The specifics can vary between individuals, but typically these are homes that are located in prime locations, have a significant square footage, are built using premium materials, and have excellent curb appeal. These homes are constructed by luxury home builders who understand that material and labor determine the quality of the home itself. Due to additional features, these homes tend to be more expensive than traditional options with fewer properties to choose from. If you’re interested in purchasing a luxury home, here are a few questions to ask your real estate agent before getting started.
Popular Features in a Luxury Home
Amenities included in a luxury home tend to increase convenience, inspire innovation, and provide plenty of ways to relax. Some of the most popular features in a luxury home include open floor plans that create large, inviting spaces, modern technology that’s integrated into the build and smartphone compatible, and a fully stocked kitchen. The kitchens can have anything from warming drawers and wine cellars to hidden appliances and large, walk-in pantries. Many people who want to live in a luxury home find a suitable area of land and work with an architect or designer to build something that perfectly meets their needs. This explains the differences between many options on the market.
In addition to the basics, a lot of these types of homes boast beautiful outdoor pools or entertainment areas, game and theatre rooms, an exercise room or indoor gym, and more. Large master bathrooms with separate dressing rooms and spa-like bathrooms are also a common feature in luxury homes. Options vary and tend to depend on homeowner preference, but these types of homes are becoming increasingly popular in the housing market.
6 Questions to Ask Your Real Estate Agent When Purchasing a Luxury Home
If you’ve never owned a luxury home, navigating the market can seem a bit overwhelming. Many of these types of properties aren’t listed as openly as traditional homes and require inside knowledge to gain access to showings or make an offer. This is why it’s important to find a real estate agent that you can trust. To do that, ask some of the following questions regarding their experience with luxury homes.
1. What Type of Experience Do You Have with Luxury Homes?
The first question you should ask is about their experience level. Even the most seasoned real estate agent may not be involved in the luxury housing market, so finding this out upfront is important for a successful housing search. Since purchasing a luxury property requires a unique set of skills and extensive knowledge in communities with various options, you want to find someone who knows what they’re doing. Real estate agents that work with luxury homes may also have several traditional listings in their portfolio, so you won’t feel limited by your options.
When you’re interested in exploring everything available, prioritize experience level. Ask prospective agents when they began their career, what type of relationships they have in their network, and whether or not they work full- or part-time. Ask for their credentials, licensing, and if possible, references. This will help give you a more comprehensive overview of their skillset and dedication to the housing market.
2. What Are Your Fees? Do You Work with a Team?
When discussing personal qualifications, it’s also important to bring up compensation. Understanding what the fees will be upfront can help you compare budgetary restraints and avoid surprises. Your real estate agent should be able to provide you with an accurate estimate of fees based on services. While most traditional real estate agents charge about 5% to 6% commission, some luxury agents charge slightly more. This isn’t the standard practice, but it’s not unheard of.
If your real estate agent works with a team, this doesn’t mean that you’ll pay more. When your realtor works with a team, that means that you’ll be taken care of even if your agent is busy with someone else. This can make a huge difference on the overall buying or selling experience.
3. Do You Have Access to Silent Listings or Off-Market Homes?
Luxury homes aren’t always listed publicly. Due to the exclusiveness of this market, many sellers don’t publish their homes on multiple listing services (MLS). This can make finding a luxury property difficult. Rather than trying to navigate the fast-paced nature of word-of-mouth sales, ask your real estate agent if they have access to these types of silent listings or off-market homes. A great agent will have an extensive network that allows them to leverage their personal connections to get inside access to newly listed properties.
4. What is the Current Real Estate Market Like for Luxury Homes in This Area?
Since most luxury homes are sold off-market, it can be difficult for buyers to understand the availability of properties at any given moment. Ask your real estate agent about the current market for luxury homes in your desired area. This could include insight regarding property sales and purchases over the past year, in addition to the outlook for long-term appreciation. Since property values continue to rise, this is a good factor to consider when deciding between location, square footage, and amenities. Understanding the average number of available properties throughout the year will also give prospective buyers a better idea of when to list their current home, how long they should plan to wait, and how current market prices may change over time. The more informed you are, the better you can prepare.
5. Do You Sell Primarily Based on Imagery? Who Designed the Home?
It’s not uncommon for buyers looking for luxury options to make an offer based solely on online photographs or videos of the house. Therefore, some real estate agents only work like this. The problem is that if you’re making this type of investment without actually seeing the home in person, you could end up sorely disappointed. Interior space can be manipulated using angles, lighting, and staged furniture. Make sure that you work with a real estate agent who will physically take you to showings so that you can examine the details up close and get a feel for the property.
While there, ask about the designers and builders. Some luxury homes are designed by well-known architects or firms, which could be an important purchasing factor. You’ll also want to inquire about the builders. Luxury builders tend to have strong reputations as they use high-quality materials, excellent craftmanship, and provide comprehensive warranties on their work. Moving into a home that was built with sub-par materials could mean more maintenance and repairs down the line.
6. Is This Home Priced Correctly? Can You Negotiate?
Luxury homes have a higher price tag than traditional ones, so you want to find a real estate agent that understands fair market value. This allows you to determine whether or not a seller is asking for a good price or if it’s way over the baseline amount for similar homes on the market. The amenities that are included in a luxury home will increase the price and knowing the impact of these will help you set a budget based on your needs. While most prices are firm, some real estate agents have the capability to negotiate a favorable price. This isn’t always an option, so don’t weigh your decision too much on this, but it’s still good to know when you’re looking for your next home.
When you need a real estate agent to help you navigate the luxury home market, contact the professionals at First Star Realty. Our team of experienced individuals always put our clients first to better match their housing needs and wants with available properties. We always stay in communication with our clients to keep them fully informed throughout the entire buying or selling process and update them on any market changes or new availabilities. The team at First Star Realty believes that if you don’t have an amazing experience, we haven’t done our job. If you’re looking for a luxury home in Northwest Arkansas, we can help. Our highly seasoned real estate professionals are dedicated to providing exceptional, personalized service to all of our clients. Call us at 479-267-1600 or fill out a contact form today.