When it comes to pricing luxury properties, real estate agent Austin W. Bergman has seen it all. With over 21 years of experience selling in the real estate industry, Austin has spent the latter part of his career in Fort Lauderdale, Florida hyper-focused on the Luxury high-end market. Austin has mastered the art and science behind accurately pricing multimillion-dollar homes.
“Depreciation. It’s one key factor that keeps the rich continually getting richer,” says Austin. “When you purchase investment real estate, you can do a cost segregation study and depreciate a portion of that property in the first year, which directly reduces your taxes. As long as you can afford the mortgage payment, you can keep doing this year after year on multiple properties.”
But Austin’s expertise goes beyond fancy accounting tricks for the wealthy. He understands the psychology behind pricing any property, luxury or not.
“As the saying goes—everybody thinks their property is worth more than it actually is. But the hard truth is, a property is only worth what a buyer is willing to pay for it, bottom line,” he explains. “No matter how much a seller wants for their home, the market value is dictated by the buyer.”
This is why properly pricing your home from the start is so important when putting it on the market. Austin relies on appraising homes by comparing similar properties that have recently sold in the area.
“You have to compare apples to apples. When sellers get unrealistic with their pricing, homes inevitably sit on the market, getting ‘shop worn’ without any showings,” he says. “Just today, I had to let a client go because they refused to listen to my pricing guidance. I made the mistake of letting them take the lead, and of course, they were frustrated by the lack of interest.”
Austin remarks that this is a common scenario in the industry, but a tough lesson he continues learning along the way. More often than not, these stubborn sellers end up reducing their price to exactly what Austin originally suggested—and that’s the price it ultimately sells for.
“The sad part is, they could have saved themselves a lot of time, effort, and frustration by just listening to the market experts,” he notes.
After nearly 20 years selling high-end real estate and shepherding clients through the exciting yet stressful process, Austin has learned the hard way just how crucial smart pricing is when launching a property. He brings an artistic eye along with an analytical approach.
While the market dictates pricing, there is some wiggle room for staging, photography, and marketing. His white-glove service ensures he goes above and beyond to maximize a home’s value and marketability to prospective buyers. But Austin always stays firmly grounded in the realities of recent sales and appraisals.
“There’s creative art and science to this business,” says Austin. “And after doing this as long as I have—I’ve found the sweet spot between the two when valuing luxury homes.”
The market ebbs and flows, but Austin’s seasoned experience, relaying honest guidance to clients, remains unwavering no matter the shift. Sellers may resist at first, but his pricing expertise consistently proves reliable in the luxury Fort Lauderdale real estate scene and beyond.