Luxury real estate buyers may have numerous options when it comes to choosing a home, but that doesn’t make their search any simpler. Here’s how most high-end clients weigh their property options. When working with high-net-worth buyers, look beyond price to these four key value drivers.
Luxury buyers don’t want strangers clamoring for details about their home. In cities, that might mean purchasing a condo with a direct elevator entrance but in more suburban areas like Napa Valley, buyers may seek acres of space or gates and hedges. But guaranteeing privacy goes far beyond the property’s features. For high-profile clients, anonymity is a treasured amenity. In order to shield our celebrity clients. We often keep the sale out of the local MLS and/or ask our escrow officer to instruct Napa County Tax Assessor to hide the price in their public records. Other high-end Wine Country real estate buyers set up trusts without client names on the public record to try and protect their confidentiality. A lot of our clients don’t care to draw attention to the major purchases they make. We value and respect our client relationships so we will do whatever we can to maintain their anonymity. We often prioritize anonymity by seeking out off-market properties. Through our network of agents and knowledge of the market, we often find high-end buyers unique properties before they’re officially listed. All buyers like to buy something no one else knows about or jump on a listing before it goes into the MLS. When we find an “off-market” property for our high-end buyers, it’s much easier to keep the sale anonymous.
Every home buyer cares about location — that’s not unique to high-end buyers. But larger budgets allow these buyers to prioritize location over price. Location is key in Napa Valley. We don’t worry about our high-end buyers buying the best house in the worst neighborhood since they only want the best house in the best neighborhood. Many of our high-end buyers insist on having a big vineyard view but they don’t want to be too far from shops, restaurants, grocery stores & they don’t want to hear traffic. Our job is to explain to them why it’s not that easy to find a big vineyard view that’s convenient to shopping and doesn’t have road noise. We live in a valley. Both Hwy 29 and the Silverado Trail run almost parallel to each other up and down the valley. Big views are found on estates in the hills. Road noise travels up. Our job is to search for one of several little valleys within Napa Valley where Napa real estate buyers can enjoy complete privacy, not be too far from town and have their vineyard view. Meeting high standards can be a challenge — but the work is always fun.
Even wine country real estate buyers fall head-over-heels for unexpected properties. We like to write down our high-end buyer’s list of wants & needs before we begin searching. After they purchase an estate, we often show them the list. More often than not, their list of wants & needs doesn’t end up matching what they purchased. Because of this, we like to think outside the box. Even though we never disregard our client’s requirements, if we see a truly special property, we’ll send it to them. Napa Valley is an agricultural county and there are very specific ordinances most buyers aren’t aware of when they start looking at properties. It’s difficult for buyers to understand how 160 acres in AW (agricultural watershed) zoning can be substantially less than a 3 acre valley floor parcel in AP (agricultural preserve) zoning. The minimum lot size in AW zoning is now 160 acres and in AP zoning it’s 40 acres. Every parcel is one building site. This concept is very difficult for some buyers to understand.
Our Napa Valley real estate buyers may have a large budget or no budget at all, but they always care about value. No one buys a $100 million property simply because they can. They almost always turn to their financial advisors to make sure they are making a wise investment. We help our clients realize their vision and eliminate any headaches that might crop up between house-hunting and success. Working with luxury buyers requires creativity, years of experience and excellent knowledge of the local market.
Our luxury real estate buyers want to fall in love with the perfect home. St. Helena Real Estate is a boutique privately owned and operated company with a team of only five full time brokers and agents, three of us have 31+ years in this business. Our connections, confidence, knowledge and extensive resources all help make our luxury buyer’s dreams come true.