Luxury real estate agents provide specialized marketing networks to attract potential luxury home buyers and find discerning buyers a home they want.
Often, selling a luxury property takes much longer than a standard one. These homes have price points upward of $1–2 million, and that price tag means a smaller buyer pool.
That’s why it’s smart to find a luxury real estate agent who can help you find the right buyer or seller faster. Make sure to vet how the agent meets your needs, not just the brand.
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What is a luxury real estate agent?
Luxury realtors tend to specialize in selling high-value homes in desirable locations. They also have networks of prospective buyers in the market for homes valued above $1 million with high-end amenities. These connections empower luxury sellers to close faster and at lucrative prices.
✨What does luxury mean?
Many luxury homes are in gated communities, competitive school districts, or exotic locales (such as waterfront properties). They may have also been built using high-end construction or materials. Think: Calacatta marble countertops, or an independent power grid.
However, what’s considered a “luxury” or “high-end” home depends on the local market — it doesn’t always come down to price. For example, a million-dollar house may be considered luxury in some areas but fairly standard in others, like California.
High-end real estate agents differ from traditional agents mainly in how they value and market luxury properties. Like all realtors, they create comparative market analysis (CMA) reports for their clients. They also provide specialized marketing services, which usually include:
- High-end or aerial photography
- Engaging, well-produced videos
- 3D virtual tours for an immersive experience
- Distinctive listing descriptions that highlight the property’s key features
- Excellent reputations with high-end client networks
While any real estate agent can buy or sell luxury properties, realtors can obtain certifications to enhance their skills and prove their expertise:
|Luxury Homes Certification (LHC) is a 13-hour certification course through the National Association of Realtors that provides realtors with invaluable information regarding luxury market research, pricing, and negotiation.||Certified Luxury Home Marketing Specialists must have closed on at least three luxury home transactions over the course of 2 years to be eligible for a CLHMS course through the Institute for Luxury Home Marketing.|
Do I have a luxury home?
How much does a luxury realtor cost?
Listing agents usually charge 5–6% of a home’s final sale price and split that with buyer’s agents. Buyers typically don’t pay out of pocket for a realtor.
That said, some luxury real estate agents will accept a lower commission rate because they’ll still earn a high commission on higher-priced properties.
Rates may also differ depending on various factors, such as the nature of the market, the home’s location, and the realtor’s experience and services. Generally speaking, if you’re selling, you could negotiate a lower rate in markets with strong buyer demand and low inventory of luxury homes.
Where to find luxury real estate agents
You can find luxury realtors at top-rated brokerages, such as:
- Christie’s International Real Estate
- Compass Luxury Homes
- Keller Williams Luxury International
- Sotheby’s International Realty
These brokerages have extensive marketing resources and budgets to effectively promote high-end properties. For example, they can probably afford to advertise a single property across many channels: not only on the MLS and social media, but also in magazines or with publicized open houses.
When choosing an agent, consider the firm’s available services and marketing resources. Just remember that the individual agent will matter much more than the brand in getting you what you need, so make sure they click before committing to one.
Using a service to find a realtor for you
Going through a service that matches you with realtors can save you a great deal of time. Rather than needing to contact multiple firms to find an agent, a company such as Clever Real Estate or Ideal Agent can handpick experienced realtors in your area based on your criteria.
These services usually start with a short questionnaire to learn what you need then connect you with a concierge to better understand your selling goals and match you with a few candidate agents. Make sure to request a realtor with specific local experience in marketing and selling luxury homes.
You can also ask for a realtor who’s certified in the luxury market, though availability will vary. CLHMS–designated realtors have proven experience in luxury properties.
How to compare luxury realtors
Some factors you should consider include:
Reputation and online presence
Check a realtor’s online reviews, website, and social media accounts to ensure they’re the right choice. Look at ratings, testimonials, and complaints from previous luxury clients. You can also see if the state real estate commission has ever taken disciplinary action against them.
Further, their websites and social media accounts should be active. Your agent’s social feed should reflect the kind of marketing you’d like to see for your own home (if you’re selling) or homes where you’d like to live (if you’re buying).
Ask realtors about their specific marketing tools. Some agents may offer professional photography, videos, 3D tours, and drone shots.
You can also discuss whether they’ll host appointment-only showings or open houses. If the realtor primarily does appointment-only showings, you can rest assured that only serious prospects enter and view your home.
Why it matters
During an open house, anyone can access and inspect your home. While this may draw in prospects, it also means that some people entering your home may not actually intend to make an offer.
Some sellers may not feel comfortable with individuals who aren’t serious buyers entering their homes, as this can pose a safety concern.
In addition to an agent’s commission percentage, ask about any additional fees, such as the costs of 3D tours or aerial photography.
Some standard questions to ask any realtor include:
- How many years of experience do you have buying or selling locally?
- How many transactions with luxury homes have you handled this year? How many total?
- What’s the typical value or square footage of the homes you’ve bought or sold?
A track record of selling luxury homes in a specific area indicates they understand that market well and can likely help you achieve your goals. There isn’t always a right or wrong answer, but these questions can help you figure out if a realtor can meet your needs — and if you can negotiate their commission or services.