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How to sell the most ‘luxury’ home in the neighborhood


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It can be lonely at the top. But in the world of luxury real estate, it’s not uncommon for there to be a single home that stands apart from its peers, whether in the finish of its interiors, the character of its architecture, or the quality of its views and vantage points. The top home in a neighborhood isn’t lonely: it’s an opportunity.

Because the value of a home isn’t always apparent from looking at the house or counting the square footage, agents often need to stretch outside their usual patterns to sell these premium properties. That process has been top-of-mind for my own team, as we’ve focused our efforts not only on luxury beachfront homes in Florida, but on selling the top echelon within that market. After four years of honing this craft, here are a few of my favorite takeaways.

Tell a compelling story

Luxury home with pool

Scenic Sotheby’s International Realty

When agents and clients look at a home, they don’t always see the same thing. Homebuyers can tend to focus on factors like cost: they may very well wonder why the house next door is on the market for $1,000 per square foot, while your listing is $2,500 per square foot. It’s your job as the agent to convey how a home’s design, construction, and view corridor set it apart.

That’s why it’s essential for us to speak the same language as our clients, know their tastes, and live their lifestyle. Buyers will be more receptive to an agent that speaks to them as a friend or colleague from the same community, rather than a real estate insider talking technicalities to an outsider. By being a connoisseur of luxury in your own life and sharing commonalities with your clients, you can help them better appreciate what makes your listing so unique, and why its price is right.

It’s really about telling the whole story, so that you not only craft a memorable and meaningful experience for your client but generate an emotional response. When we buy, we go with our gut as often as we trust our logic.

Bring them back to the property at sunset with a bottle of wine; let them see what it’s like to live in the home. By sharing the story of the property, you’re helping clients see past the cost, and to truly feel the magical moments they can create there with their family in the years to come.

Surpass expectations

Personalizing the homebuying experience is a hallmark of luxury real estate, and that’s even truer when presenting a property that outpaces its neighbors. That’s why I work with a team of interior designers who help ensure the homes I sell are tailored to my clients’ expectations and preferences.

Beyond staging a home, it can be just as effective for me to invite my designers along when I take my clients for a tour so that we can have a dialogue in real time about what each room could look like. That really builds excitement for buyers and helps them start to imagine the home, positioning themselves in it and thinking about it as if it’s already theirs.

Right now, the interior designers I work with are decorating a vacation home for one of my long-time clients, so that it feels festive when the family visits at Christmas. This is something I do for my prospects as well: Florida is very much a second-home market where people are looking for a place to spend the holidays. I make sure we do seasonal decorations in an authentic way to show them what they can look forward to when this home-away-from-home is theirs.

Cultivate patience

luxury home interior

Scenic Sotheby’s International Realty

Connecting the right client with the right property can be a process. You’re working with an exclusive buyer pool who oftentimes are not locals. Expect your prospects to scope you out online for a long time before they actually begin their homebuying journey in earnest.

Like any luxury agent today, online marketing channels are a major focus for me and my team, to make sure that our properties can be viewed from anywhere, anytime. We invest in high-quality video to bring buyers closer to the listing — but we also like to hold back a bit. We’re very conscious about not showing potential buyers everything, so that even when they’ve read our content and watched our videos, they’re still excited to visit the home and complete their experience.

Finally, remember that luxury real estate is always a long play. Finding the right buyer takes time and effort, but once it happens, you’ll be building and nurturing that relationship for years. You become a trusted advisor, an on-call expert, a luxury concierge. In our market, it may take a while to close a sale, but when it happens, that’s not the end — it’s only beginning. And that may be my favorite thing about this business.

C.J. Adams, Scenic Sotheby’s International Realty

After graduating from Belmont University in Nashville, Tennessee with a BBA in Entrepreneurship, C.J. returned to his home state of Alabama and began a successful career in real estate development. In this position, he worked closely with builders, investors, and clients for several years before moving on as a marketing consultant for various architects and interior designers throughout the Southeast. In 2016, Adams made the switch to real estate sales throughout Walton County, Florida, using his wealth of knowledge and experience in all aspects regarding the housing market to bring a well-rounded understanding of current trends in the real estate industry to his clients. The CJ Adams Team has eagerly grown their production within the niche communities they serve, and currently sit in the top 1% of agents in their market area.

About Sotheby’s International Realty

Sotheby’s International Realty was founded in 1976 as a real estate service for discerning clients of Sotheby’s auction house. Today, the company’s global footprint spans 990 offices located in 72 countries and territories worldwide, including 43 company-owned brokerage offices in key metropolitan and resort markets. In February 2004, Realogy entered into a long-term strategic alliance with Sotheby’s, the operator of the auction house. The agreement provided for the licensing of the Sotheby’s International Realty name and the development of a franchise system. The franchise system is comprised of an affiliate network, where each office is independently owned and operated. Sotheby’s International Realty supports its affiliates and agents with a host of operational, marketing, recruiting, educational and business development resources. Affiliates and agents also benefit from an association with the venerable Sotheby’s auction house, established in 1744. For more information, visit

The affiliate network is operated by Sotheby’s International Realty Affiliates LLC, and the company owned brokerages are operated by Sotheby’s International Realty, Inc. Both entities are subsidiaries of Realogy Holdings Corp. (NYSE: RLGY) a global leader in real estate franchising and provider of real estate brokerage, relocation and settlement services. Sotheby’s International Realty Affiliates LLC and Sotheby’s International Realty Inc., both fully support the principles of the Fair Housing Act and the Equal Opportunity Act.

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