The strategy of listing or purchasing a luxury property in Winnipeg can vary from that of the traditional home purchase or sale route. Associating yourself with a Realtor that specializes in this market, is paramount to your success.
First, we should really begin by discussing what is considered a luxury property in Winnipeg. At the time of writing this blog, the average home price in Winnipeg was hovering around $375,000 – and oftentimes a luxury home in any Canadian market is considered double that amount (so around $750,000). To be honest, I wouldn’t personally classify homes in Winnipeg priced for under $1,000,000 as luxury homes – but you can still purchase VERY nice homes from that $750,000 - $1,000,000 range. For instance, you can purchase a new construction, custom-built home in some of the newer developments such as Sage Creek, Bridgwater, East St Paul, Headingley, Ridgewood West, for under $1,000,000 and you might even have some lakefront options at that! The square footage for these homes would typically be around 2000 square feet. The majority of these homes are often listed on the MLS system and are easily discoverable.
Where I find the market changes is once you start to get over that $1 million dollar mark. The market in Manitoba for homes in the price point is much more exclusive and becomes even more exclusive as you travel upwards on price. I can tell you that of all the listings or buyers that I represented within the last year that transacted in home purchases over $1.5 million, every single one of them was never listed on the MLS system. And there is a reason for this!
When you are transacting in this luxury price point, you are often dealing with many high-profile clients. Oftentimes, these clients appreciate absolute discretion and value their privacy. Exclusive listings allow a listing agent to shop the property out to fellow agents with known clients, it also allows them greater control over who tours the property. I have had a number of extremely private sellers that just did not want everybody able to view their home online, or to try and book showings if they weren’t qualified. And I can absolutely appreciate that!
In theory, the overall process for selling a luxury property doesn’t vary greatly from a typical home, what often changes is the type of marketing, ad copy, and digital assets that are developed for the luxury property. Oftentimes, the timeline for preparing the marketing also needs to be extended. However, there are still some key factors that cannot be overlooked:
- Pricing is still paramount – and oftentimes the comparable property sales are not in abundance. Having an agent that has toured the competition, is willing to call their fellow agents to get details, and spend hours upon hours of massaging the data is a key to pricing properly. So be certain your agent is well connected in the luxury home market.
- Staging is of utmost importance. A lot of people seem to think that if they are listing their home exclusively, it saves them from the prospect of staging, etc. However, it is just the opposite in our opinion. Proper preparation of your home allows you to show the home in its best light, minimize its flaws, improve upon overall flow of the property, and sell the actual lifestyle that owning your home would bring.
- Marketing is so vital. If you are planning on listing the exclusive route, you still need to reach the right people. Having a strategic marketing that includes solid ad copy, pictures in a variety of lights and stages through the day, as well as virtual tours is a top priority.
- Timing is important too! There are a variety of factors impacting any market, and having a strategy that will take advantage of seasonality for your home is another key consideration.
We have developed a strategy that involves a two-phased approach to maximizing dollar for our seller clients. It first begins with an exclusive listing strategy in which we send targeted ad-copy to our peers and client database, we often invite them to a Broker’s Open House, and then allow for private showings. There is obviously a lot more that goes into this strategy, but in essence we keep a small, yet qualified, group of individuals in the know about the property. These individuals are able to submit their offers prior to the listing ever going into the MLS system. Should no offers be forthcoming that the seller finds acceptable, then the next phase is to enter the listing into the MLS system and offer the property to the more general public and holding an offer date.
We have sold a number of waterfront homes this past year, and as a result are often being contacted by buyers to see if we have anything else coming up. This buyer pool is able to act quickly, and also understands the scarcity that exists in our luxury market. Oftentimes they are quite willing and comfortable in bidding on property even if that means adding $100,000’s of thousands of dollars to their offer.
I’ll tell you this though: In 2021, we had a number of luxury listings that never hit the market. ALL sold prior to ever hitting the MLS system. ALL sold at or above list price, too. There is something to be said for an exclusive listing strategy when used properly.
Here is a video from one of our more recent luxury realtor open houses. This house ended up receiving 4 offers after this Broker’s Open House and a price $150,000 over the list price.
For our luxury home buyers, rest assured – there will be a number of options “popping up” in 2022. And by “popping up” I don’t mean the MLS system. In fact, the majority of luxury homes selling over a certain price point in Winnipeg sell off the MLS. So be certain that you are getting a Luxury Realtor that is well connected, has experience dealing in luxury listings in Winnipeg, and is happy to educate and advise throughout the process. There are also additional qualifications to investigate. Are they a member of the Luxury Home Institute? This qualification requires them to have established a track record of selling a certain number of luxury homes every year, and has also put them through rigorous testing process. The RE/MAX Collection set of Agents is another association in which membership is only granted if you have enough listings over a certain price point within your market. I happen to be a member Realtor in both of these associations and would be happy to help in your journey should you need representation. Reach out and we can have a quick consult. If you are looking for a Luxury Realtor in another market, please reach out as I likely know someone that can be trusted and can make that connection for you!
And finally, if you are buying or selling a luxury home in Winnipeg, congrats to you and best wishes for your continued success!
Phone: (204) 797-7945