- Look for Lenders that cater to the affluent – A buyer looking as a $4 Million home doesn’t go to Lending Tree for a loan. You need a mortgage company with a history of upper bracket real estate.
- Shop on the Internet, but don’t look at a home without a Realtor – The Internet is real estate’s most versatile tool and is a great way to browse for luxury homes and narrow down your choices. Look for a real estate agent that specializes in upper bracket homes and be honest with them about your purchasing power.
- If you call on a listing, talk to the Listing Agent of the property – The best number to call is the agent’s cell phone, or better yet, email them. If you do have to call the office, leave a message for the listing agent. Often buyers who call about a home will only get the floor duty agent, who is always new.
- Use an Agent that is an expert in the market and works the Luxury listings – Great agents are great agents, but if they don’t work specifically in your target price range in your target location they will not be as valuable a resource an agent who does.
- Special properties need special agents – Ranches, waterfront, equestrian estates, all require specialized knowledge. Buyers will not know the zoning laws and potential problems associated with specialty properties, but your agent working in that arena will. An agent who does not normally work with Luxury homes could be a liability to you.
- Know who handles the closing – How homes are bought and sold varies by state, county and region. Attorneys might handle the sale in some states and a title company in others.
- Get an Estimate on Closing Costs – Closing costs vary by state. You also need to know if property taxes are prorated and if the state levies taxes off the purchase price or mortgage. These can be pricey when buying an expensive home.
- Ask Questions about the local Luxury Market – Get to know the purchase documents before hand and it will help you make a better offer. Good agents educate you about the market, what is selling or not selling, and guide you through the buying process. Remember, there are no dumb questions!
Look for my next two installments of this series in the upcoming weeks!