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How to Define Luxury Real Estate in Today's Market

Tips on identifying high-end properties in a world where the term "luxury" has become cliché.

by Devon Thorsby

This post is a condensed version of an article featured in U.S. News & World Report. Click here for the full version.

If you say a word enough times, it starts to lose its meaning. And in real estate, where the right description can draw buyers to a home on the market, using the right terms is crucial. So when half the homes on the market are suddenly marketed as “luxury,” the definition of the word starts to melt away.

How can you interpret how luxury is defined in your area, and how can you leverage that information to better express your expectations as a homebuyer? Whether or not you fall into the real estate definition of luxury living, knowing how your market defines high-end properties will allow you to better understand the qualities you need and want in a home.

The Institute for Luxury Home Marketing, which specializes in training real estate professionals in high-end home sales, defines luxury agents as those performing in the top 10 percent of their given market. “It’s a way to flatten the country” and make markets more comparable to each other, says Diane Hartley, general manager of the Institute for Luxury Home Marketing.

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