Selling Multimillion-Dollar Homes On A Smartphone
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Selling Multimillion-Dollar Homes On A Smartphone

These agents explain what it’s like to close high-end deals virtually.

By AMY GAMERMAN
Wed, Jun 2, 2021 12:01pmGrey Clock 3 min

Q. What is it like to do a remote transaction with a client on a multimillion-dollar property?

Ryan Flair

Partner, ranch broker at Hall & Hall in Bozeman, Mont.

I had been working with this client for close to 18 months, so I had a general sense of what he was looking for. Then Covid kind of creeps up and puts us in a situation. We were all in lockdown and couldn’t do much. No one was flying commercially, you had to quarantine for 14 days if you came in from outside the state. My client wasn’t inclined to travel.

One of my partners had a client with a really beautiful property that hadn’t been on the market in a long time—a 20,000-plus-acre ranch. He let us know it was going to come on the market.

I was texting with my client and he said, “I’m very interested, let’s learn more.” We had a tour of the property—five brokers in five trucks—with the ranch manager in his truck. I’m taking photos with my smartphone, and video and panoramas and narrating them, and as soon as I get back service, I’m sending them to him. I went back a separate time and spent six hours there, going around the ranch taking videos on my phone and geo-marking them on a map so the client could see where they were.

One of the most challenging things about the property is access. I had to video myself driving—“Hey look, this road isn’t great, you need to understand you’re not going to drive a motor home on it.” He does have a motor home—one of those super high-end ones.

We put in an offer. This wasn’t a couple-million-dollar deal, it was a very large price tag. My client knew it was one of those rare ranches that don’t come along often. Once we got the ranch under contract, we hired a helicopter. I did the same thing with my iPhone—taking video and narrating from the helicopter.

The sale closed before my client saw it. There were a lot of sleepless nights for me. The first people to see it were his family members and friends—so, hey, no pressure. But he loved it. The guy ended up with a great ranch. It was one of our biggest sales that year.

Jeremy Stein

Associate broker, the Stein Team at Sotheby’s International Realty, New York City

We were approached by clients—friends more than clients—who wanted to sell this absolutely spectacular townhouse in the heart of Greenwich Village. They owned homes in different parts of the country and had thought about living a different way. Then when Covid hit, it made the decision a lot easier for them.

We put it on the market for US$28.5 million. We created a very high-end video of the property, and we did a 3-D Matterport scan, which allows you to tour every nook and cranny. We had a number of virtual showings over the summer, where agents would come and FaceTime with their client in the Hamptons or Jackson Hole or Europe or wherever. We got an offer in the mid-$20 millions. Then an agent I know called and said, “I have a client who is not in New York. They’d like me to come and take a look at it and maybe FaceTime.”

So we did a FaceTime tour. I walked them through the house, just as if they were behind me, as their broker held the phone. I pride myself on reading buyers. Some don’t want to be talked to at all, and some are like, “Show me every drawer.”

I didn’t have that ability to see how the people were reacting. I did see her face to say hello, and from time to time the camera may have gotten turned so we were looking at each other.

These buyers wanted to know about the air conditioning. Maybe a few times they wanted to see what the view was like. If we went to the window, she was, “Oh, can you tilt up? What does the sky look like?” To this day, I don’t know who they are.

Soon after, I got a call from their agent, who said they’d like to make an offer: $27 million. She said, “But we want you to not show the house and not to entertain new offers, we really want exclusivity.”

My clients said, “We’ll do that, but it’s going to cost $1 million.” So we said $28 million. They accepted and we went to the contract stage. It closed last year in November. A few months after the closing they still hadn’t seen it.



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11 ACRES ROAD, KELLYVILLE, NSW

This stylish family home combines a classic palette and finishes with a flexible floorplan

35 North Street Windsor

Just 55 minutes from Sydney, make this your creative getaway located in the majestic Hawkesbury region.

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It’s a slam dunk as a covetable $2m KDR site complete with basketball court hits the market in the Hills District

The ball is in the buyer’s court with this knockdown/rebuild opportunity

By KANEBRIDGE NEWS
Tue, Apr 18, 2023 2 min

Glenhaven in Sydney’s Hills District is one of those areas that locals tend to keep to themselves. Leafy with large blocks on offer, the suburb takes its name from its valley location, with the northern end originally known as the Glen and the southern end called the Haven. 

En route from Parramatta to the Hunter, Glenhaven has become an ideal place for growing families in search of a little more space, or even room to house several generations under one roof.

The challenge is finding properties that tick all the right boxes.

As demand for trades and supply chain issues continue to ease, now could be the right time for a knockdown/rebuild project for would-be buyers looking to create their dream home.

Fairmont Homes specialises in knockdown/rebuild projects in Sydney. General manager at Fairmont Homes, Daniel Logue, said there are key features to look for when choosing a knockdown/rebuild site.

“The key items we look for are the site falling to the street, not to the rear, to help with stormwater drainage as well as access to the site,” he said. “Neighbouring property front setbacks are also important. In some older areas, the older houses are set closer to the street, meaning your new home will have to be set to suit.

“Value for money and the return on the end sale price of the home is another issue.”

If possible, he said designing a home that meets the criteria of the Complying Development legislation will speed up approvals considerably.

While suitable knockdown/rebuild sites can be hard to find in Glenhaven, there are still hidden opportunities if you know where to look.

One block at 158 Gilbert Road, Glenhaven is ideally suited for rejuvenation. With almost 850sqm to play with, it slopes down to the street and sits between neighbouring properties that have already been stylishly updated.

 

 

An existing basketball court at the rear could provide the perfect teen backdrop to a family home, or it could make way for a larger house with landscaped gardens and pool. Alternatively, it could be the perfect position for a cabana or granny flat to serve as in-law accommodation or a source of secondary income.

With recent sales of completed homes in nearby streets reaching well above $5 million, it’s a great opportunity to make a slam dunk of a buy into one of Sydney’s best kept secrets.

Address: 158 Gilbert Road, Glenhaven
Price guide: $1.8 million
Inspection: By appointment only
Contact: William Brush, LJ Hooker Dural 9651 1566 

 

MOST POPULAR
11 ACRES ROAD, KELLYVILLE, NSW

This stylish family home combines a classic palette and finishes with a flexible floorplan

35 North Street Windsor

Just 55 minutes from Sydney, make this your creative getaway located in the majestic Hawkesbury region.

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