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The Ottawa Citizen

Selling luxury

When the prices are high and the buyers are scarce it’s all about making connections

BY DANIEL DROLET, THE OTTAWA CITIZEN     DECEMBER 9, 2011

Daniel Drolet writes about exclusive open houses for high-end properties in which just agents and a few of their high-end buyers are invited. This $1.6 million condo is for sale.
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...Real estate veteran Marilyn Wilson started her own firm, Dream Properties, this year.

She also operates RockcliffePark.com. Selling million-dollar properties is nothing new to her. In fact, she says she sold the most expensive house ever sold in the city, for $8.25 million.

How does she do it? By connecting people.

“You are not selling a house, you are selling a lifestyle,” she says.

“You have to be intuitive about what your clients want.

“I have a background in design. I love people. I love houses. And I love matching people to houses.”

She makes the connections through an extensive database of clients built up over years in the business.

That database includes international investors — Wilson and others say there are more and more of them in Ottawa — as well as traditional clients like embassies.

Wilson says a luxury deal is a harder one to put together, in part because high-end sellers are often in no hurry to off-load their property.

“They all say, ‘I don’t need to sell right away, I’m not in a hurry.’ That’s a mantra we hear.”

But she says that when they do decide to buy, they won’t be put off by things that can be changed, like paint or the configuration of the kitchen.

In fact, buyers in the high-end market often spend a lot of money personalizing a space.

“The luxury buyer has no problem in dealing with cosmetics,” she says, if the basic criteria such as location, light and quality are met.

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