The secret to selling a luxury home: ‘Stay positive’ and price it well

Publish Date: August 07, 2023

Written by Andrea V. Brambila

- Originally published at Inman News - Andrea V. Brambila

Panelists Joyce Rey and Paul Benson at Inman Luxury Connect in Las Vegas Aug. 7, shared how they make deals happen in a transitioning market.

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In some luxury markets, sales volume is down by as much as 50 percent, so pricing a home well is key to getting it off the market and into new hands, according to panelists at Inman Luxury Connect in Las Vegas on Monday.

Panelist Joyce Rey, a Beverly Hills-based luxury real estate agent with Coldwell Banker, noted that many would-be sellers in her market don’t want to move because they would lose their low mortgage interest rate, so that’s keeping both inventory and sales volume low.

“It’s a vicious circle,” she said.

Still, after 50 years in the industry, Rey knows what works.

“Listings are exciting if they’re well-priced,” Rey said. “That has always been the key in our business.”

“A careful, careful analysis of every aspect of the houses you’re comparing to, knowing the market inside and out, convincing yourself to do the right thing and price correctly is the one thing that’s gonna save you in this market, as well as your attitude,” she added.

“You’ve got to stay positive. There’s nothing more important in life or in business than staying positive.”

Fellow panelist Paul Benson, a Park City, Utah-based luxury agent with Engel & Völkers, agreed. His market is also seeing tight inventory and prices starting to decline, though still “substantially” higher than where they were pre-pandemic. Moving properties now comes down to a bit of luck, he said, but also how the home is positioned.

“If it’s priced right and it’s the right home with the right message and you’re taking the time to be specific with that message, the buyers are still out there,” Benson said.

Slower markets aren’t all bad, according to Benson. He noted that his “big jumpstart” in his career was when Lehman Brothers crashed.

“It gave us more time,” Benson said. “It’s more time to focus on the client, more time to find the right property, more time to message the property, more time to focus on pictures. Right now that message is to listen more than we were able to do last year when we were busy [and] find the right property.”

This is also the time to build relationships that will determine the future of your business, according to Benson.

“No matter how good you are at selling luxury homes, there’s peaks and valleys,” Benson said.

“So really taking the valleys as an opportunity to build a relationship, to communicate, to build on trust. Trust is the keyword right now because everyone has a question. What’s my home worth? Should they sell today? Should they not? Are interest rates going up or down? None of us know so we can’t fake it. Trust is key.”

When a seller asks how much their home is worth, the best thing to do is give them a range, according to Rey.

“Nobody can know exactly what the house is worth,” she said. “Sometimes you get lucky. Sometimes houses are sold for 25 percent more than the market statistics show. Sometimes that house is well-priced, but it’s simply not selling.

“You just have to explain that evaluating houses is an inexact science because every one is so individual.”

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