The goal:  Sell your Home in 30 Days or Less

My Marketing Plan has these primary objectives:

  • Net the highest price for your home
  • Sell as quickly as possible and desirable
  • Reduce uncertainty, hassle, and risk
  • Keep you informed, every step of the way

The plan offers many features and benefits which you won’t find in a typical real estate marketing plan, including:

Designed to Please: Your satisfaction and delight are crucially important to us.  Because of this, we are compelled to offer our clients several key advantages over typical real estate marketing plans.  These include a written variable commission, an “easy-out” clause (fire us at any time if you become unsatisfied), and a communication commitment (you’ll always know what’s going on with the marketing and sale of your home).

Home Inspection and Termite Inspection: Whether you decide to sell your home “as-is” or “as-repaired, move-in ready” – you’ll want to get a termite inspection and a home inspection before you put your house on the market. We’re such a big believer in getting these inspections done up front – because it’s one of the best ways to ensure you get maximum price for your home – that we will pay for these inspections out of the commission upon the successful close of sale.†

Concierge Services:  let’s face it:  selling a home is a lot of work.  We take the work off your shoulders – we’re the project manager, orchestrating everything you need help with.  Cleaning, de-cluttering, packing, repairs, staging – whatever your home needs, we make the arrangements for the work to be done and make sure it gets done right.

The Sneak Peek:  our goal is sell your home as quickly, and for the highest price possible.  Our unique Sneak Peek gets brokers and buyers in your door before the home ever hits the market – giving you critical feedback on pricing, condition, and staging.  In many cases, you’ll even have offers to review in just days, rather than weeks.

Active Marketing of your Property: Your property will be actively and aggressively marketed. Nearly all agents rely entirely on “passive” marketing:  putting your home on the MLS, a little light advertising, holding an open house or two, and passively waiting for the buyer to come.   The plan employs all the traditional passive methods of real estate marketing (and then some!) but crucially it includes active marketing of your home:  canvassing the neighborhood in person and by phone to inform neighbors the home is for sale, emailing and calling agents in the area to inform them of the listing, promoting your listing to the brokerage community at the weekly Tour meeting, and reverse prospecting.  The MLS allows me to see which agents have set up searches for buyers of homes that match your general criteria in terms of location, price, size, etc.  I am able to both email and call these agents to make sure they’ve seen the listing.

Build a complete disclosure package:  this is something few agents take the time to do, and it usually ends up costing the seller a ton of money, time, and stress.  Together, we’ll build a complete disclosure package and have it available for buyers on Day 1.  We do this to eliminate surprises, save time, increase certainty in the buyer’s eyes, and reduce friction on the way to a successful and quick closing.

Posting on the Multiple Listing Service: your property will be listed with the local Multiple Listing Service (MLS) – complete with professional photographs showing your home at its best. This is an invaluable service in the real estate business. The MLS system is used by every Realtor® in the five-county area (Santa Clara, Santa Cruz, San Benito, Monterey, and San Mateo), and over 11,000 Realtors have access to the system. When a Buyer’s Agent goes to look for properties to show a client, the MLS system is the first place to be checked.

Professional Photography:  Say no to dimly lit, blurry, amateurish photos!  For every listing, we hire a professional photographer to photograph your property so it really pops!  First class photography attracts more eyeballs – and buyers – to our listings.

Virtual Tour/Video:  We create a high-quality Virtual Tour or video of your home, to walk your buyers through, even if they’re on the other side of the world.  This tour will be linked from hundreds of real estate web sites, and will come up high in Google search results for your home. This is an invaluable sales tool, since the professionals that put these tours together showcase your home in the best possible light! It helps to get buyers interested in your home, calling to inquire, and then actually in through the front door!

Drone Video:  Drone video adds drama and perspective to a Virtual Tour in a way that hand-held video cameras never can.  Drone video footage is eye-catching and draws in viewers like nothing else.  While drone video is not appropriate for every listing, we employ drone video frequently and it yields high view rates.

Social Media Video:  Facebook and Instagram are where the eyeballs are – but not for a moment.  We create short-form videos, under 30 seconds, which are optimized for these platforms and “short attention span theater.”  These videos are used especially for advertising open houses and they work very well to get buyers in the door.

“For Sale” Sign: When we receive phone calls on listed properties, much of the time it is in response to someone having seen a “For Sale” sign posted on a lawn. With your approval, a sign will be posted on your property, telling the world 24/7 that it is on the market.  Unlike most “dumb” Realtor signs, ours are smart.  Each sign has a “smart rider” on it, which invites buyers to retrieve additional information about the property – or request a showing – via their mobile device using an SMS text message or QR code.

Property Flyers: The “For Sale” sign also includes a flyer box, and we will deliver to you an ample supply of flyers so you can refill the box the moment you see flyers are running low. We don’t list the price on the flyers – we want buyers to call or visit the web site to inquire, so we can work on getting the buyers in the door to see your property, which is the best way to get it home sold.

Print Advertising: even in these high tech times, print advertising can reach the eyes of some buyers that Internet marketing won’t. As indicated by the market and property, a coordinated print campaign may be employed to help market the home. The campaign may include any or all of the following elements:

  • Mailing “just listed” cards to closest neighbors
  • Mail “just listed” cards to buyers interested in such property
  • Full-color add in Coastal Homes and/or Homes Magazines
  • Advertise open houses in local Newspaper of Record

Electronic Key Box: No-hassle access to a property is crucial to getting it shown, and sold. With the owner’s approval, we will place an electronic key box on the property. This will make it much easier for other Realtors to show the property to prospective buyers – thereby increasing the number of showings. More showings will usually yield more offers, and more offers will often mean a greater price. A property without an electronic key box may mean that the right buyer never sees the property, because it could not be shown when the buyer was hot.

Internet Advertising: your home’s listing will be distributed to 800+ national web sites, including all of the top portals such as:

  • Zillow.com – the #1 Real Estate site on the Internet
  • Trulia.com – the #2 Real Estate Site on the Internet
  • Homes.yahoo.com – the #3 Real Estate Site on the Internet
  • Realtor.com – the #4 Real Estate Site on the Internet
  • Redfin.com – the #5 Real Estate Site on the Internet
  • Homes.com – the #6 Real Estate Site on the Internet
  • Mlslistings.com – the Multiple Listing Service serving Santa Clara, San Mateo, Santa Cruz, Monterey, and San Benito Counties
  • Craigslist.com – the #1 classified ads site on the Internet
  • SantaCruz.RealEstate – THE Site for Santa Cruz Real Estate!
  • HomeResearch.com – Realty World’s buyer portal

Dedicated Home Page:  each home receives its own custom web page showcasing it online.  This web page showcases your property – and only your property, and is designed for both desktop and mobile web browsers.  It includes a photo gallery, video, detailed description, neighborhood information, financing information, open house and showing information, and much much more.  Click here for an example.

Facebook:  We have several Facebook fan pages, and 1,100+ friends.  Using promoted posts and special offers we will drive traffic to your home’s listing on the internet, and from there to the open houses.

Craigslist:  all listings are advertised at least twice weekly on Craigslist to make sure the most eyeballs are on the property. Additionally, all open houses are advertised on Craigslist.

E-Mail our buyer database:  we maintain a database of approximately 2,000 buyers who have expressed an interest in purchasing a home.  We reach out to this database to let them know your home is on the market, and to alert them to the open house.

Craft a “Love Letter” for your house: We will help you create a “Love Letter” from you to your house which will be presented to the prospective buyers, helping them see and feel the best aspects of your home to connect with it on a personal, emotional level.

Schedule Multiple Listing Service tour: Also every week, local agents hold a “Broker’s Open Tour.” This is an opportunity for all the thousands of agents in the area to see your property, and be able to tell their buyers about it.

Open House: holding a house open is one of the best ways to meet the right buyer. We will ensure that the property is held open so that it can be appreciated first-hand by a large number of potential buyers. The property will be held open on the weekends, the time when many buyers are out looking at property.

Amazon Gift Card Contest:  to improve the quantity and quality of feedback from buyers, we hold a contest where visitors to an open house can win a $100 Amazon Gift Card by forecasting the ultimate sale price of the home.  This gives crucial feedback and helps gather legitimate contact data from the open house visitors to follow up with them after the open house.

Obtain buyer/agent feedback: We will solicit feedback from all agents who show the property as regards to pricing and the impressions the buyer and the agent had about the property, and communicate that feedback directly to you.

Keep you informed as to all neighborhood activity: The real estate market is very dynamic, and it is important to know what changes are happening in your neighborhood. We will set up an automated system to send you updates in near real time as new listings come on in your area, when properties go under contract, and when they sell.

The Strategy

The plain truth is that the best chance most sellers have to get maximum price for their property is to ignite a bidding war among buyers, and the way to get a bidding war going is to price the property correctly, prepare it for sale such that it has the widest possible appeal, and aggressively market the property as quickly as possible. The strategy to achieve this result is simple, and is as follows:

  1. Prepare the property for sale – using the steps outlined in the Guide to Preparing, Maintaining, and Showing your Home to Sell in Seconds. This includes getting inspections, doing repairs, cleaning, landscaping, and staging.
  2. Prepare all the marketing material – including virtual tour, web site, “love letter” to the house, postcards for the neighbors advising them the house will soon be for sale, etc. This includes placing a “For Sale” sign on the property.
  3. Put the home on the sale on the MLS towards the beginning of the week. A “just listed” e-mail is sent to hundreds of local brokers, alerting them of the new listing. During that week, agents from my office will come through the property to tour it. Also during that week, the Broker’s Open Tour will take place on Thursday, allowing brokers to preview the home for their clients.
  4. Hold an Open House, on either Saturday or Sunday, or both days, as is convenient for the homeowner.
  5. Review any offers on Tuesday after the Open House.
  6. If there are no offers at this point, hold a broker’s open house again that week, and another round of open houses on the weekend, with the expectation of reviewing offers the following Tuesday.

The key to this system is two-fold: set the right price for the property, and promote it with an aggressive marketing campaign. A well priced property, properly marketed, is sure to receive tremendous attention from the buying public, and is likely to receive multiple offers, assuming that there are no issues with access and sufficient buyers are able to tour the home preparatory to writing an offer.

The goal of the marketing campaign is to generate multiple offers, and sell over asking price. It is a far better situation to have multiple offers to chose from, and to work those buyers against each other to get the best price, than to have only one offer on the home – this puts the seller in a much weaker negotiating position than if there are other buyers clamoring for the property.

† Home and Termite Inspections: the listing agent will agree to credit the seller, from the listing agent’s commission at close of sale, the costs paid by the seller for the home and termite inspections obtained at seller’s expense, up to a maximum combined cost of $650. This money is to be credited back to the seller on the HUD-1 closing statement, and is contingent upon this being permitted under the terms of any short sale agreement, if applicable.