Luxury properties can attract interest for a number of different reasons. The only people who the Realtor and the seller want to attract are the serious buyers, but there may also be time wasters, journalists and even criminals who are attracted by the sale of a high-end property.
Some people may show an interest in a property that they have no intention of buying, and which they may in fact be unable to afford. When a luxury property comes on the market, some people will feel curious about what it is like inside and may try to convince the Realtor to show them the property simply in order to take a look at how a millionaire lives.
The Realtor needs to be careful about who they allow to view the property, in order to avoid wasting their time and the time of the owner, and to protect the privacy of the seller. It is also vital to avoid bringing people into the property who may be interested in it for criminal purposes. Open houses in luxury properties have on occasion been used by burglars to find their next target since it provides an opportunity to find items that can be stolen and to see what security is in place. Viewing of luxury properties should therefore always be private and they should only be offered to qualified buyers.
Journalists may also show an interest when a high-end property is put up for sale. This interest can be used to generate publicity about the sale, but it is important to ensure that the privacy of the seller is protected. If they are a public figure, then they may want to keep the sale and their home as private as possible. They may not want their name tied to the publicity about the sale, or for their reasons for selling to become widely known.
It will be important for the Realtor to make sure that they are dealing only with serious buyers. Selling a high-end property can be expensive. Potential buyers will need to be provided with high quality brochures and other marketing materials, and the Realtor will need to consider the expenses of bringing them to view the property, including travel costs and refreshments. The marketing costs of a national or international campaign targeting rich buyers will be high. Publishing adverts in national magazines targeted to the luxury market, for example, is expensive. The Realtor needs to pace their spending in order to avoid running out of money before the property is sold.
Realtors and sellers should only deal with serous, genuine buyers who have the means to buy the property and who are interested in buying it. The Realtor should screen potential buyers in order to determine how serious they are. This will need to be done in a discreet manner, in order to avoid offending the buyers. It is not usual, for example, to ask for a buyer to be pre-qualified for a mortgage as would be possible when selling a normal property. Many luxury homes are bought for cash, and rich buyers may be offended to be asked to provide proof of funding. Asking some subtle questions may be a better way of determining who is serious about buying the property. Finding out about the buyer’s business or performing an internet search may be a more effective way of finding out about their ability to buy the property. It should also be possible to tell whether a buyer is serious by talking about the property with them. Most Realtors will have the experience to tell when a buyer likes a property and is likely to make an offer. They may, for example, appear to have fallen in love with the property, talk eagerly about the next steps in the process or talk about what it will be like when they live there.
It will be necessary to ask more detailed questions later on in the process. A genuine buyer will be willing to answer these questions once they have decided that they are serious about the property, even if they do not expect to be asked such questions earlier in the process. The Realtor should determine how the buyer intends to pay and whether they will be able to do so. If they will be borrowing money, the Realtor should find out whether they have a lender, for example. The buyer may, however, be intending to pay cash.