Marketing Plan For Sellers:
1. Establishing an Accurate Value - The most important thing that a Realtor can do for a seller is to properly evaluate the home's assets, the neighborhood, and the overall market in order to do the one thing that will result in the fastest sale...ESTABLISHING AN ACCURATE PRICE. At my firm, we go to great lengths to research the market and to give you an accurate opinion of your home's market value. This can be done in a number of ways. The most common practice for establishing a home's market value is to do a comparative market analysis, using data from the local multiple listing service. However, there is another way that we use whenever a client is willing to go the extra distance. We like to call it an "on the ground" comparative market analysis. Without going into too much detail, we like to have our clients become a member of the team and have them take a field trip with us to look at their competition. This approach, paired with local sales statistics provides the seller with the most realistic idea of what their home is worth at any given point in the market. If your home is properly priced, not only will days on market be reduced, but a quicker sale often translates into much more money in a seller's pocket.
2. Education - The second thing that we at Valley Realty Associates do is to educate the seller. By that, I mean we provide them with the information they need to prepare their home for sale. Nothing is off the table during these sessions, as our goal is to help a seller successfully sell their home for the most money and in the shortest period of time. We discuss potential repairs, cosmetic improvements, furniture placement, how to prepare the home for showings, what to expect when an offer is made, what we do when a home isn't selling, and anything we feel is important in assisting a seller in achieving their goals. By the way, a large part of our conversation is about the seller's goals. If we have a better understanding of their motivation for selling, it can be of tremendous value when offers are received.
3. Multiple Listing Services - After the listing is signed, we get your listing into the multiple listing service as quickly as possible. In doing this, we are putting the information about your home in front of other agents and potential buyers so that they consider your home as one of their choices. At Valley Realty Associates, we so strongly believe in marketing to our fellow realtors that we belong to not one, but three multiple listing services and are a part of a multiple listing alliance with the Charlottesville area MLS. Our listings are seen by agents belonging to the Harrisonburg Rockingham Association of Realtors as well as the Greater Augusta Association of Realtors and by members of one of the region's largest services; the Metropolitan Regional Information System which covers the Northern Virginia area. We believe that there can never be too much exposure when marketing a home. Our sellers deserve the best we can provide.
4. Internet Marketing - According to the National Association of Realtors, over 80% of home buyers begin their search for a home on the internet. Having purchased a home less than five years ago, I can attest to the fact that we did a tremendous amount of research using the internet before we bought our home. The days of giant MLS books being closely guarded by Realtors are quickly passing. Consumers want information and they want it now.
Property Web Sites - With achieving maximum exposure for your home in mind, Valley Realty Associates has adopted a policy of creating a website for everyone of our listings with links from the MLS and links from our company and agent sites. We believe that we can showcase your property on the internet in a variety of ways and provide the consumer with the most and best information about your home. Your property's website will consist of dozens of photographs designed to show the strongest features of your home and make the potential buyer want to see it in person. We use professional quality digital photography to create web galleries and virtual tours that are second to none. Our property sites also include floor plans when available, location maps, plat maps and any information that we feel will increase the chances of a potential buyer wanting to visit your home. Here are links to some of the property sites we have created for our clients. Coltsfoot Lane Kimball Springs Crossing Creeks
Realtor.com - We also showcase your listing on Realtor.com, the largest real estate website on the internet. We pay additional fees to make sure your home receives maximum exposure. Showcasing a listing allows us to display numerous photos of your home as opposed to the single photo that comes with a standard placement. It also gives us the option to highlight the listing with graphic design that makes it STAND OUT from other listings.
The Real Estate Book Internet Exposure - Even though The Real Estate Book is mainly a print form of advertising that we regularly utilize to improve our client's exposure, it is a little known fact that listings displayed in The Real Estate Book are syndicated to over twenty additional internet. This additional exposure gives your home even more potential for being seen by potential buyers. Click Here to view the quality sites that your home appears on when we put it in The Real Estate Book. In addition to this, we can provide your listing with a web ID that when entered on The Real Estate Book's website will take a potential buyer directly to your listing.
You tube and Craigs List - Just when you thought there was nothing else we could do to market your home on the internet, we have found some new and exciting ways to make your home stand out in the vast cyberspace of the internet. Each property is placed on YouTube and Craig's list. Properties placed on Craig's list are updated weekly to insure they stay near the top of the list for maximum exposure. For each property, we use a special software to create a video with property images and music and then place it on YouTube for the entire world to see.
5. Custom Brochures - Soon after our listings go into the multiple listing service, our graphic designer creates a colorful and informative brochure in an electronic format that is emailed to hundreds of professional Realtors just to provide them with more information and a gentle reminder of how wonderful your home is. In addition, detailed brochures are created specifically for your home so that your home's information is available each time it is shown to potential buyers. After visiting as many as a dozen homes in one day, it can be quite confusing for potential buyers and difficult for them to remember the details about each home. Having an informative and colorful brochure to take with them helps them to keep the memory of your home fresh in their mind. Click here to see a sample.
6. Print Advertising - Although more limited in its ability to expose your home to large numbers of buyers, we believe that it is still important in reaching those in the local market who may pick up a newspaper or a copy of The Real Estate Book. We regularly subscribe to The Showcase, a weekend insert in the Daily News Record and The Real Estate Book (previously discussed). Though not as widely seen, display ads in the local newspaper are also archived on the newspaper's website.
7. Home Warranty - Each one of our listings is automatically placed under a no cost (small decuctible applies if there is a loss) home warranty that runs the duration of the listing. For the seller, there is absolutely no up-front cost. If you don't have a claim resulting in a loss, you pay nothing; absolutely nothing. What this means to you is that you can rest assured that if anything covered under the warranty plan (too numerous to mention here) breaks, it will be repaired or replaced and only a small deductible wlll be charged. We have replaced everything from hot water heaters to garage door motors, to dishwashers, to heating and cooling equipment under our home warranties. You can also offer the home warranty to a potential buyer as an incentive to buy your home and pay for it at closing. Offering a home warranty gives the potential buyer a feeling of confidence, knowing that if anything breaks it will be repaired or replaced under the home warranty.
8. Feedback & Contact - If there is one thing that creates more stress for sellers it is the unknown. You have done everything asked of you to present your home in the best possible light for a showing, and you then enter the "ZONE OF SILENCE" where apparently the phone lines and cell towers cannot penetrate. At Valley Realty Associates, we realize how frustrating this can be and we understand your anxiety. We believe that we have a duty and responsibilty to provide you with feedback as soon as possible. The feedback may not always be what you want to hear, but nonetheless you need to hear it. Our administrative staff asks each agent that shows one of our properties to provide us with prompt feedback. To that end our staff has designed an electronic feedback form that we ask each agent to complete and return to us.
We also believe in staying in touch with our clients on at least a weekly basis, if not more often. You see, we like and appreciate our clients, and we never take for granted, the fact that their trust and confidence is being placed in our ability to do the best job possible. Our clients are our best source of new business through referral of their friends, family, and associates. Therefore, we must do the very best job possible in order for them to feel confident in giving us referrals. To date, over 90% of our business comes from client referrals. Oh, by the way, we are never too busy for any of your referrals.
9. We Answer the Phone - This may seem to be a strange thing to discuss, but if you have ever had your home listed with a Realtor, and could not reach them by phone immediately or at least in a reasonable period of time, you will understand why I am placing emphasis on this topic. Our cell phones are with us at all times and we believe in answering them. One never knows if the call is from a potential buyer or fellow Realtor wanting to see your home, or even better; write a contract on your home. Never underestimate the value of being able to reach your real estate agent. If you can't easily and quickly get in touch with your agent, there is a good possibility that neither can potential buyers. Note: We also answer our phones promptly in the evening and on weekends, and holidays.
10. Security & Privacy - There is nothing we take more seriously than the security of your home and the privacy of our client's information. We use the Sentrilock lock box which not only provides a secure place to protect the key to your home, but it also keep a record of who has shown your home and when. We educate our sellers to put away all valuables and important documents that might lead to stolen property or identity theft. For those clients who do not want a lock box used, we keep a copy of their key in a locked key cabinet in an undisclosed location in our office. When showing your home or any home, we take the time to double check doors and windows to make sure your home is secure.
11. Yard Signs - Our yard signs have been professionally designed to do one thing...attract the attention of a potential buyer. Their color and format is guaranteed to catch one's eye from a considerable distance and draw them to your home. Whenever appropriate, we also use directional signs to assist potential buyers in finding your home. Our signs work 24/7 to advertise your home in every kind of weather.
12. Teamwork - Each member of our staff and each of our agents work as a team to sell your home. Each agent and staff member understands the mission of Valley Realty Associates and knows that our clients are the most important people in the world. When one of our agents is not available to serve a client, another agent will step in to assist the client. We work harder because we depend on client referrals to grow our business.
13. Ethics - Every agent and staff member at Valley Realty Associates is committed to the Realtor Code of Ethics and each of us strive to treat our clients the way we would want to be treated. It's not complicated and it is just makes sense to be fair and respectful. If we fail to treat you fairly, you certainly won't be sending us referrals. Be ethical, fair, and professional makes good business sense. We placed this information here, not because it is least important, but because it is the most important element of our business and we want you to leave this site with that in mind.