Christie Realty: What Buyers Look For In Luxury Homes

panoramic view of lake sherwood in westlake village, california, with mountains in the background
Christie Realty, the top real estate brokerage in Ventura County, California, shares some of the most important elements of a luxury home in today's market.

Ask luxury home sellers in Southern California about buyers’ willingness to spend and you’ll likely get a similar response: well above the sale price.

In Ventura County’s Westlake Village, the average home price was almost $2.6 million in November 2021. That amount represented a 14.2% growth year over year, records show.

Christie Realty Group, a leading brokerage in Ventura County, said that buyers have spent “a little over [the] asking” prices of properties. This trend has been exasperated during the pandemic, with many willing to pay top dollar to live in a house that has it all.

What exactly do buyers want in a prime residential property? Christie Realty shares some of the most important elements of a luxury home.

Like lights, shades and audio-video systems, smart appliances can be controlled by phone or tablet.

Smart Features

Luxury has become synonymous with convenience, something that’s mostly possible with smart technology. A global luxury home report in 2020 showed that buyers want home automation more than any other feature.

How many home listings in your area advertise properties with modern features? Several potential buyers have become sticklers for home amenities that can be controlled from their fingertips.

Smart home technology has allowed luxury property residents to control indoor temperature, lighting and security. There’s even an electronic system for adjusting window shades.

Keep in mind that size is subjective when it come to luxury homebuyers. Square footage won’t matter when it’s difficult to imagine a comfortable life in a huge property.

For this reason, it’s best to consult a design professional for smart home retrofits. Good architectural layouts play a key role in smart living spaces.

fully stacked contemporary kitchen

It’s ideal to invest in a smart kitchen, but luxury property buyers also prefer an updated appliances and new design details.

Kitchen Appliances

It’s ideal to invest in a smart kitchen, but luxury property buyers also prefer an updated appliances and new design details.

While size is important, functionality plays an equally important role. You should consider kitchen retrofits that include commercial appliances.

Christie Realty advises homeowners to focus on the pantry’s size as well. Some luxury properties even have a butler’s pantry that separates the dining room and kitchen.

Tip: While a remodeled bathroom uplifts your property’s resale value, don’t spend more than 10% of the purchase price for this upgrade.

Spa-Like Bathrooms

Certain buyers will imagine how your home’s bathroom can live up to their experience of staying in a luxury hotel.

An upgraded bathroom should at least feature a spacious walk-in shower and resort-style tub. Like kitchen renovations, buyers often consider bathroom improvements to be non-negotiable.

home office of the future with walls of glass and open space

The pandemic has changed the way we work forever, including the evolution of the home office.

Home Office

Remote work transitioned from a fad into a common trend during the Covid-19 pandemic. Unlike bathrooms and kitchens, buyers might be lenient on a home office that isn’t updated.

You should, however, make sure that the room is conducive enough for actual work. Expect younger buyers to look for a home office, as the Great Relocation spurs inbound migration within the U.S.

In Nashville, for example, most prospective buyers belong to the younger generation.

lounge chairs sit in the foreground of a swimming pool

Outdoor spaces are one of the top features requested by homebuyers in today’s luxury market.

Outdoor Living Spaces

An extensive backyard has become a must-have feature in a luxury home, especially after all the required social distancing due to the pandemic.

Think of an outdoor kitchen with gas grills or a patio adjoining the living room. A swimming pool also completes the ideal look of a luxurious outdoor area.

The key reason for functional outdoor areas: buyers want a place to relax when they aren’t working inside the house.

westlake village promenade fountain with bridge and shops in the background

Westlake Village and Thousand Oaks are two communities filled with charming homes and residents.

Unique Character

A luxury home’s character seems subjective because buyers have different tastes. Christie Realty believes that luxury properties must feature something that grabs the buyer’s attention right away.

It can be a grand foyer or floor-to-ceiling windows. A luxury house with a full open-floor layout can also beckon the buyer to explore more of the house.

Think of character as one that allows your home to stand out among its peers. While ultra-rich buyers prioritize luxury, they take pride in owning unique assets as well.

Ready to list your home? The first step begins with knowing your property’s true worth. Click here for a fast and free evaluation from Christie Realty.


Randolf Santos has covered different segments of the real estate industry since 2014. He worked at S&P Global Market Intelligence before joining Forbes Global Properties as a contributor.