The choices and options for choosing a real estate agent in today‚Äôs market are nearly limitless. A quick internet search will yield hundreds, if not thousands of agents in the Los Angeles area alone. When making the decision to buy or sell a luxury home, however, knowing how to select the right luxury real estate agent that can provide the best service and assistance is very important because this is a market segment that requires special competencies. Quite simply, not all good agents can operate effectively in the upper-tier market. It is a combination of reach, positioning, and consistent execution.  Put even more simply, it is a function of being seen, and the right time, by the right people. Here are some general guidelines for choosing an agent to help you in the luxury real estate market.





Look for expansive market knowledge and exceptional real estate skills. Not only should your agent know the city or area you are interested in, he or she should be knowledgeable about the price range you've targeted. A luxury real estate agent should be able to discuss the precise amount of inventory available, the average number of days a property is on the market, the number of sales in the last 90 days, and the list to sales price ratio, all by price range. The more knowledgeable the agent is about the upper-tier market, the more valuable he or she can be as a resource for you. A solid track record of success is also a clear indicator of market savvy. Don't just choose an agent based on country club membership, the kind of car they drive, or similar factors.

Notice special luxury affiliations and designations and ask what they mean. To locate professionals specializing in the fine homes and estates market, look at an agent's memberships, designations, and if possible, talk with previous clients to learn of their experiences. Many real estate brands and companies also offer special recognition to their associates who work successfully in the luxury market. Some firms have special luxury marketing programs available to their agents. All these memberships, affiliations and credentials add credibility and may provide access to networks and marketing tools specifically designed for luxury properties and can provide global reach. Don't assume that the best marketing plan is always the most expensive. If the home is very expensive or the buyer is likely to come from outside the area, a luxury home magazine may be an important part of the plan. Recognize that the marketing plan in a fast-moving sellers' market will differ from the plan to be implemented in a slower buyers' market. A luxury real estate agent should effectively outline his or her proposed plan and explain it.

Look at the quality of the marketing pieces the agent has used in the past as part of the evaluation and selection process. An elite agent will have access to special luxury home marketing systems with special marketing pieces that add increased value to their toolkit. When selecting the best luxury real estate agent, making the investment to explore all of these factors will ensure that the biggest investment is also the best one.

This article was written by Shaun Magnuson, on behalf of Westside Estate Agency, matching your expectations. To know if you need a real estate agent, you may also visit About.com.

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