Seattle real estate is hitting record-high prices, with medians ranging from $300,000 to over $600,000 in every county of the Central Puget Sound region.
To those who might be priced out of the market, that is sour news; but for those with the means to afford luxury-level homes, it’s a sign they may have more options to choose from than ever.
But how does one thinking of moving to the Seattle Area go about locating that perfect piece of luxury real estate? Here are 5 key strategies to utilize:
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1 Use Online Real Estate Search Tools
One of the easiest ways to search for Seattle luxury homes is to make use of an online real estate search engine. There is a plethora of such search tools out there, but be sure to use one that focuses on luxury-level, residential, and Seattle Area properties. When you throw those parameters in, you will find that the options, tough much fewer, are much more effective at bringing up quickly various types of homes you are looking for.
2 Make a List and Gradually Whittle It Down
In order to conduct your luxury home search as effectively as possible, both online and offline, lists are indispensable. Not everyone is a “list person,” perhaps, but we should all temporarily become such when scanning the horizon for our new dream home.
Begin by listing the non-negotiables that you must have in your new home; then, list your preferences, things you would like to have. Search online using must-have criteria first, then whittle down your findings based on your should-haves. Begin the list as big as possible, but shrink it down from 5 to 10 hot prospects only.
3 Get Additional Prospects From a Local Realtor
It is commonplace for local realtors to have “inside information” on unlisted homes for sale in their locale. This is especially true in the luxury market, where many sellers wish to avoid unnecessary attention, even as they probe the market for prospective buyers.
Show your luxury realtor the list you already have and get his or her professional feedback. But also add good prospects to your list that your realtor lets you in on. Realize that realtors are often the first to know when a new luxury home is going up for sale in the area, and they will have intimate knowledge of the local market, which can help you avoid paying too much or making a mistake.
4 Take Your Search “On the Ground”
Pick out 3 to 5 of your top prospects and make arrangements to visit these homes in person. Luxury homes often don’t have open houses since sellers are worried they may become mere entertainment for people who wish to see “how the rich and famous live.” But your realtor can help you schedule a private viewing.
It’s important to realize that, with luxury real estate, you need to come to each viewing “fully prepared.” Sellers will not want to waste time with unqualified buyers, so you need to have proof of income/assets, pre-approval for the mortgage, and other pertinent documents. This also shows the owner you are serious and gives you flexibility to move quickly if you need to.
5 Look for Additional Leads in Less Conventional Places
Oftentimes, when owners of luxury homes are wishing to sell, they don’t even list their home at first, sometimes not at all. You might see it in a luxury real estate magazine, hear about the sale at a country club event, or tour an art expo at a luxury home only to find a brochure telling that the home it’s held at is for sale. You need to get as creative as the seller’s realtor and use personal and business connections to find leads.