Real Estate

Go inside this record-setting transaction from listing to close

James LeBlanc and Scott Piercy of Engel & Völkers Vancouver Island recently set a new residential sales record in Victoria, BC with the sale of a renowned Saanich Peninsula estate for $22,750,000. The sale was facilitated entirely through the Engel & Völkers network, with Maggi Thornhill, Engel & Völkers Whistler, representing the buyer. From listing to close, the home was sold in less than three months.

We sat down with Scott and James for a behind the scenes look at the journey of this listing.

Tell us a bit about how you secured this listing.

Scott: Victoria is small. I’d known the seller for about five years prior to his decision to list this property. We stayed in touch over the years, about what was going on in the market and seeing each other at various functions around Victoria. Nurturing those community relationships over time is table stakes, but by no means a guarantee. This business is all about the long game. When the time came to list, I believe the seller actually interviewed about five different agents.

What ultimately influenced the seller to list with Engel & Völkers?

James: Client testimonials played a huge role. We represented the most expensive home sale in Victoria eight years prior to this listing. We also specialize in waterfront properties. Anthony Hitt (president and CEO of Engel & Völkers Americas) has long encouraged every advisor in our network to lean into a market specialization and become the absolute expert in that space. Certainly our market knowledge and experience transacting waterfront homes in Victoria at the multimillion dollar price point played a role in the seller’s decision to list with us.

Scott: The global exposure that being a part of the Engel & Völkers network brought was also extremely compelling for the seller — from public relations to social media to marketing. Over the past year we’ve seen people from all over the world view Canada as a safe haven and a place to cocoon with family, with both the space and abundant natural amenities to do so.

However, I think the power, reach, and prestige of Engel & Völkers Private Office network was what most appealed to our seller. And with good reason, as this is how we ultimately closed the deal.

Can you walk us through the sale and the role that Engel & Völkers Private Office played?

Scott: The Engel & Völkers Private Office is reserved for the company’s top real estate advisors across the globe and the relationships that exist within Private Office are truly incredible. This group intimately understands transacting at a certain price point and the nuances and logistics of servicing clientele at this level. Whether it’s mining our collective personal networks to find the right buyer for a listing or knowledge sharing based on experience, someone in the group can always add value. There’s a level of trust and comfort in working with individuals who share our business values, level of expertise, and approach to high-end, high-touch client service.

In this case, Maggi saw our listing in the Private Office newsletter and shared it with three of her clients. At the time, the buyer wasn’t even in the market for waterfront property but fell in love with the listing. Maggi came and did a virtual live tour of the property with her buyer and an offer followed shortly thereafter.

James: We like to say that there is one degree of separation between all members of Private Office. Referrals fly like crazy because someone always knows someone who knows someone, etc. In fact, after this listing was sold, a buyer referral came in through Engel & Völkers Barcelona. It’s a global network, but really just a small circle of tightly connected individuals.

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