Appearances can be deceiving when it comes to luxury homes in the Golden Isles.
Location is always a selling point and curb appeal is important, but it’s what’s inside that convinces a buyer to spend millions of dollars for the perfect home.
Dana Hill, a Realtor with Georgia Coast Realty, said some luxury homes have features not seen in typical homes, such as wine cellars, humidors and safes.
Spa-like bathrooms with massive walk-in showers, head-to-toe shower jets and huge soaker tubs are common. An exercise room in a luxury home typically has plenty of room for weights and equipment, along with built-in wireless speakers, a TV and sauna, Hill said.
High-tech gadgets are also a big selling point, she said.
“Buyers are looking for wireless home automation devices,” Hill said. “Literally, with a touch of a button on one device or a voice command you can control your home’s climate, control your lights, lock your doors and control your alarm system from anywhere in the world. With today’s technology you can also have a state of the art home theater.”
When it comes to kitchens, luxury homes typically contain restaurant-quality appliances including wine refrigerators, warming drawers and plenty of space, including walk-in pantries.
“Today’s luxury kitchen also incorporates technology like a refrigerator that will alert you when groceries are needed,” Hill said.
Another must-have feature in a luxury home is a home office.
“You want a sophisticated space that is secluded from distractions,” she said.
Not everything in a luxury home helps seal the deal, Hill said.
Custom window treatments and a personal paint palette may not appeal to potential buyers. Hill recommends staying neutral when it comes to color schemes. On the exterior, water features such as fountains and koi ponds may not appeal to potential buyers.
There are, however, exterior improvements that help convince a potential buyer.
Luxury outdoor retreats that offer resort-style pools, gourmet kitchens, built-in gas grills, sinks with stainless steel food prep areas and small fridges are popular. And there needs to be plenty of patio seating for that alfresco dining experience, Hill said.
Hill has some advice for owners of luxury homes who are considering putting theirs on the market.
“Bring your home up-to-date,” Hill said. “Luxury buyers are looking for move-in ready. Not bringing your home up-to-date could cause your house to linger on the market longer. Also, hiring a professional stager will help to sell your home more quickly.”
Bradley Randall, an associate broker with Signature Properties Group, said size, open floor plans, and upgraded kitchens and baths are among the features buyers of luxury homes seek.
Unique features have included courtyards, putting greens, game rooms, home theaters and outdoor kitchens, complete with pizza ovens.
Randall said a typical luxury home is anywhere from 6,000 square feet to more than 10,000 square feet in size.
He said large, ornate fireplaces, indoor pools, metal windows and doors that can leak, home theaters, high-end sound systems, and marble floors and countertops, which can create maintenance issues, are not selling points.
There are other ways owners of luxury homes can prepare when it’s time to put their home on the market.
“Make sure all systems have updated maintenance and records – air conditioning, roof, plumbing, septic, leaking doors and windows,” he said. “Issues with systems and other exterior items will turn off buyers, or sellers should be prepared for price negotiations. Power wash the house and roof and clean windows. Simple things like this make a difference with first impressions.”