We all do it at some point—one minute you’re checking out homes listed on REALTOR.ca and then you end up scrolling through magnificent properties that stretch way beyond your budget, but hey, it’s fun to dream big, right? Whether it’s a show-stopping oceanfront mansion or a sprawling penthouse with killer views, luxury real estate can seem like a whole other world. We asked an expert to help us peek inside that world to find out what buyers and sellers need to know about high-end properties.

 Luxury Real Estate

What is luxury real estate?

The definition of a luxury property has changed significantly in the past few years, says Colette Gerber, a REALTOR® and certified luxury home specialist at Heller Murch Realty in Vancouver, British Columbia.

“When I started in real estate 15 years ago, a luxury home was the top 10% of the market, but that doesn’t work anymore, especially in the most expensive real estate markets in the country,” explains Gerber. 

“In the Lower Mainland, for instance, the top 10% of the market would be 2,700 homes, with the bottom end of that at maybe $5 million—and that’s not a luxury home. In large markets like Toronto, Vancouver, San Francisco, New York. or Washington D.C., it’s the top 1% of the market for single-family homes, condos and townhouses.”

In Gerber’s market, luxury properties currently range in price from $7 million to $32 million. In addition to list price, other factors such as location, views, interior finishings, features and amenities determine this category, she adds. 

“There’s a $60 million home listed right now with its own pool, yoga room, media room, wine cellar, and panic room. It also has two kitchens, an outdoor kitchen, fire pits, and smart home features,” she notes.

The benefits of working with a luxury real estate agent

Why should you work with a certified luxury home specialist?

It’s important for buyers and sellers to work with an expert in this market segment, because most sellers are discreet and information can be scarce.

 “Someone selling a luxury home most likely wants privacy; they’re not going to have their interior pictures splashed all over the listing,” explains Gerber, adding this type of seller typically needs a REALTOR® to pre-qualify potential buyers. 

“For homes at higher price points, nobody’s getting in there unless they have a letter from their banker saying, ‘yes, these folks can afford the down payment and the mortgage’. If you’re a buyer, you need a REALTOR® who has access to these types of listings, who knows the REALTORS® on the seller side with luxury homes for sale.” 

Some REALTORS® create special information packages including videos, but only make them available to pre-qualified buyers.

Real Estate TV Shows

The truth about luxury real estate reality shows

There’s not much reality portrayed in popular television shows where multi-million dollar homes are shown by over-the-top agents, cautions Gerber.

“It’s television. Everything is going to be extreme—REALTORS® yelling at each other, cursing each other out. That does not happen. For the most part, REALTORS® want to create a deal. If I’ve got a buyer, I want to have a collegial relationship with the seller’s REALTOR® so we can work together,” she explains.

As for those extravagant, star-studded champagne parties on TV? Those are pretty rare, too.

“That doesn’t happen. While it’s possible your REALTOR® may have a small, intimate cocktail party, they’re bringing in other REALTORS® who deal in high-end property,” says Gerber. 

Luxury real estate can feel like a whole other world, which is why working with a certified luxury home specialist is in your best interest. When the price points are this high, you don’t want to be skimping on the details!

Check out these fantastic single family luxury listings here!

Courtesy: realtor.ca

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