Shopping for a luxury home can be a thrilling experience! Whether you are looking for an expansive mansion that overlooks the water, a massive home on a luscious golf course or a newly renovated modern condo in the best part of town, looking at luxury homes for sale is fun and offers a whole world of possibilities available only in the high-end market. As a buyer shopping for high end real estate in Brazos County, TX there are certain tips and strategies dedicated to the luxury market that are different from the typical home buying process. Familiarizing yourself with the real estate process, organizing your finances ahead of time and working with an experienced and professional real estate agent are all vital to enjoying a successful and stress-free purchase of a luxury property.
Work with the Right Agent
First things first – when you are looking for luxury homes for sale, you need to make sure that you don’t work with just any agent, you want to find and hire the right real estate professional. What does this mean? It means you want someone with experience in the luxury market – past performance matters. The luxury market is different from any average home sale, there are different terms and conditions, financing is not the same and you want someone who can really look out for you and will help you buy the best house at the best price. Take the time to ask for referrals and interview different agents until you find the person you want to work with. A good agent will be able to provide testimonials from past clients, is familiar with the specific area and neighborhood that you are interested in, will be able to make recommendations based on your wants and needs, can help you find homes available for purchase that are not publicly advertised, will be able to tap into a wide network of colleagues to help find you the perfect home and so much more. Working with the right agent will save you time and money in the long run, and ideally will help you find your dream luxury home.
Be Smart About the Search
Searching for a luxury property is a little different from looking for a regular home that is listed for sale – there are many luxury homes that go unlisted to protect a seller’s privacy and they oftentimes sell off market. These are known as pocket listings and the only way to gain access to a pocket listing is to work with a real estate professional because that is the only way you will know it is available for purchase. Agents who sell pocket listings will send the information about the home to other agents who can bring potential buyers for private showings. When searching for luxury homes for sale you need look beyond a basic online search and work with an agent well known in the luxury space who can help you find the perfect property at the right price. Additionally, in the luxury market you have the freedom to be pickier about the amenities you are looking for – things like expansive views, bonus rooms, wine cellars, custom finishes, high end appliances and more are all highly desirable when it comes to expansive luxury properties.
Do Your Due Diligence
Evaluating a luxury home is a more involved process than a typical home and something that shouldn’t be taken lightly, especially since you are investing a good chunk of money into it. Elements of a luxury home like distinct, custom features and recent renovations hold much more weight than it would with a lower-end property. Once you open escrow make sure to do your due diligence with reliable and experienced inspectors and professionals. Take the time to schedule a detailed property tour, which can take a couple of hours to review things like architectural highlights and construction methods, neighborhood features and more. You should also visit the property you are interested in multiple times and at different times of the day so you can really get a feel for the home and the neighborhood. If you have to buy a luxury property sight unseen – which happens often in this market – do work with an agent who can visit the home for you and offer unbiased and honest information so you can make an informed decision.
There’s Always Room to Negotiate
In the real estate industry, there is always room to negotiate, and that doesn’t necessarily mean bringing down the asking price. If a home is priced well and you can’t negotiate the price down, you can ask for credits after the home inspection, ask the seller to include certain furniture or items in the sale that were not originally included and more. If the luxury home you are interested in is actually listed on the MLS and it has been sitting on the market for a while, or if there have been a couple of price cuts, then you can definitely ask your agent to work hard to get you a really great deal – this can be easily achieved if your offer is realistic and the seller is extremely motivated.
Be Financially Prepared
Strict lending restrictions have not affected high-end buyers as much as the general population and there are large banks (Wells Fargo, JPMorgan Chase and Bank of America) who will issue jumbo mortgages to qualified individuals. Similar to the average home, lenders will ask for a down payment of at least 15 to 20 percent, but in the high-end luxury market we often see buyers put down as much as 35 to 50 percent. Before you identify the luxury property you want to purchase be prepared in advance and get all your paperwork in order and your finances organized. You should work with a trusted mortgage broker or lender to receive a pre-approval letter that shows how much you are eligible to receive and how much house you can afford. Apart from the standard bank statements and tax returns for the last few years, you will probably also have to provide proof of funds to show that you are a qualified buyer and that you have the means to purchase a high-end property. You can expect to go through a more in-depth review of your finances than other buyers and you will also want to ensure that you have enough reserves to cover at least two years of your mortgage, property taxes, insurance and other home related costs.
Be Smart About Who You Hire
Buying a luxury property is a hefty investment and it’s important to protect yourself and your money. This is why it is important to hire and work with the right people who will look out for your best interest, keep you informed and ultimately help you achieve your goal for a fair price. Starting with a good real estate agent, make sure you also work with a trustworthy lender, a respected financial planner, insurance broker, property inspector and any other professional you will need. If you need to include estate planners, tax advisors and attorneys make sure to get them involved in the process early on so they can guide you and offer assistance as necessary.
Think About the Future
Last but not least, you always want to consider the resale value of a luxury property that you are interested in. It’s important to remember that even if you plan on spending a lifetime in your new home, it will eventually be up for sale again in the future and you want to be able to recoup your investment or profit from the sale. Whether you choose to sell the home, rent it out or leave it to family members it’s a good idea to think about what the home will be worth in the future and invest in additional features, upgrades and renovations to keep the home looking good and desirable for future buyers.
Looking for luxury homes for sale and buying a high-end property is very different from a typical home sale, and the more prepared you are in advance the higher your chances are of enjoying a quick and easy buying experience. Time frames are different in the luxury market and it can often take between 30 and 60 days from start to finish. Wads of cash also doesn’t always guarantee that you will get what you want, and the actual home search strategy is different from the typical online MLS search. If you’re looking for luxury homes for sale in Bryan, TX or College Station, TX contact us so we can help you find the perfect property, in the right neighborhood and at the right price. We have more than 25 years of experience in the real estate industry and throughout this time we’ve established strong connections with other agents and professionals. Contact us to let us know what you are looking for and how we can help you achieve your real estate goals and find the home of your dreams.