Luxury Home Characteristics

by Karen Briscoe
August 7, 2014

What makes a home a luxury property? This is a question that I am asked frequently by both Buyers and Sellers of upper bracket homes. According to the Institute for Luxury Home Marketing it is those properties in the upper 10% of their metro area that have either sold, are under contract or are active on the market for the previous 12 months.   I earned the prestigious Certified Luxury Home Marketing Specialist (CLHMS) designation awarded by the Institute in September of 2009 and have continued to be a member since that date. The purpose of the Institute for Luxury Home Marketing is twofold. The Institute provides training, information and cutting edge tips for today’s market specifically geared for the upper bracket home market. Further the Institute creates connectivity amongst others in the industry across the United States and abroad, further expanding the marketing capabilities of its members.logo_clhms

The Certified Luxury Home Marketing Specialist (CLHMS) designation assures affluent Buyers and Sellers that the real estate agents who have earned it have the knowledge, expertise, competence, and confidence they require. It is recognized as the mark of  accomplishment in luxury markets around the world. In order to achieve the designation, agents are required to have settled on a minimum number of transactions in the upper 10% of their metro market area within the past 12 months. This assures that members are currently active in the luxury home marketplace. In addition to earning the CLHMS designation, I also continue to maintain the Million Dollar Guild status, awarded to those agents that have settled on a certain number of transactions in the $1 million plus market.

The book: Rich Buyer, Rich Seller by the Founder and CEO of CLHMS, Laurie Moore-Moore is insightful into this unique market niche. Properties in the upper brackets are often highly customized and determining value is different when there are not comparables available. Rather it is critical to know all of the relevant properties and what makes each unique.

As is true in all real estate, location is the first key. For example to claim top premium value in Northern Virginia almost always requires Potomac River views or access. Second is usually neighborhood and schools. Next in priority are lot size, typography of the land (i.e. in Northern Virginia flat tends to be more desirable than huge grade variations) and proximity to desirable locations. Final considerations are usually square footage, layout and features of the home. It is critical that the agent be intimately knowledgeable about all relevant properties in order to best serve the client.

If you are in the market to purchase a luxury home, wouldn’t you want to be represented by a Realtor@ that has this extensive knowledge and experience in this market niche? And if you are a Seller, you are best served by that same agent. This is just one other way that Karen Briscoe, Principal of the Huckaby Briscoe Conroy Realty Group is serving upper bracket clients in the Northern Virginia markets of McLean, Great Falls, Arlington, Vienna, Oakton, Alexandria and Falls Church, Virginia. Please contact via the means most convenient for you:, 703-734-0192,

Karen Briscoe is Principal of the Huckaby Briscoe Conroy Group (HBC) and author of "Real Estate Success in 5 Minutes a Day". She is an Associate Broker in Virginia, a Certified Luxury Home Market Specialist, and a member of the Women’s Council of Realtors. Karen began her real estate career developing residential lots with the Trammel Crow Company in Dallas, and in commercial real estate with The Staubach Company in the Washington, DC Metro area. Karen has a Masters Degree from Southern Methodist University and her BA from Stephens College in Columbia, Missouri – her hometown.
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