Leslie Hutchison
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What I Do To Get Your Home Sold... LESLIE'S 26 POINT MARKETING PLAN

Selling a house in today's real estate market requires more than just a sign in the yard and an ad in the newspaper. With 85% of buyers now starting their home search on the Internet, you need a technology-based marketing approach designed to expose your home to the maximum number of qualified buyers. And, since over 87% of all qualified buyers work with a real estate agent, you need your property marketed to all the brokers and agents.

Here is the market plan I use to get homes sold fast and for top dollar, usually before any other homes in the neighborhood currently listed sell. My goal is the same as yours - to attain the highest price for your home in the shortest time and with the least inconvenience to you.

1. Preparing Your Home

To command a premium price, you must put your home in top condition prior to placing it on the market. We will spend several hours staging your home, and I will give you specific guidance on how to prepare your home, both prior to going on the market and before a showing so your home will sell itself. Just like going on a date, 1st impressions are most important – and we want to look our best!

2. Property Profile

Each property has its own personality. Typically, the same reason you fell in love with your home and bought it, and the way you live in it will be the same features that the next buyer falls in love with and how they want to live in a home too. I will create a Property Profile to analyze the strengths of your home and do specialized target marketing to attract the perfect buyer for the unique features of your home.

3. Pricing

Pricing your home is the single most important decision we will make as a team. I say “we” because it needs to be a mutual decision. I will have the best negotiating leverage to stay firm on your price with the potential of multiple offers and overbids if it has been on the market just 4 days at the 1st open house.

5. 500 to 1,000 Postcards Mailed Out

8-10% of all home buyers know someone who lives within two blocks of the house they buy. I present you with all of the data and information on the current market and prices – the same information that buyers will see from the agents representing their best interest. Together we will determine the best price so that a buyer and his or her agent will feel that your home is priced fairly compared to all the other homes they have seen. In choosing the agent to represent you in the sale of your home, you should choose the agent that you feel will do the best job to market your home and negotiate the best possible terms and price.

4. Timing

Most agents simply put a new listing on the market whenever it is signed, and then dribble out bits & pieces of marketing over the next few weeks and months.

I do the shotgun approach to marketing: Every piece of marketing material is sent out for a blitz campaign the very first week, blasting information on your home out to every potential buyer possible.

Ideally, I like to enter the home into the MLS and mail out postcards on a Thursday, then hold an open house the first Sunday. Agents will start emailing listings to their buyers on Thursday & Friday to review and choose which ones they want to see on the weekend. You will create interest in the surrounding neighborhood by mailing out “Just Listed - Open House Invitation” postcards. In the past few years, I sold 9 of my own listings to neighbors that weren't even looking for a home or planning on making a move, but came to the open house out of curiosity and fell in love.

Typically, "move-up" buyers purchase a home that costs 50% more than their current home. I will determine which neighborhoods would have owners or renters that may be interested in your home so I can make sure they are aware of your property. A direct mailing will be sent with information and photographs of your home, inviting them to the first open house.

6. Marketing To Agents 

I will have a flier personally delivered to 5,000 local agents inviting them to the Brokers Open house and update the Realtors to any changes in your property status, terms or pricing.

7. Broker's Open House

I will hold an open house (with catered lunch &/or cash or gift certificate drawings) for all agents in the area to tour your home on the Tuesday BEFORE your home goes into the MLS to generate excitement. We want to have as many agents as possible in to see your home that might not see it otherwise. They may have clients that are waiting for a home like yours to come on the market, and often times seeing a home that is right for a buyer they haven’t spoken to for some times leads to additional showings. This will also reduce the number of agents who will straggle through your home to preview it for prospective buyers.

8. Open House

Our first open house is the MOST important. I advertise in as many local publications as possible to generate the most traffic the first weekend, and place directional signs leading to your home from every possible access route. A sign will be placed on top of your yard sign early in the week announcing that the home will be open Sunday from 1 to 4 to bring the drive-by prospective buyers back.

9. Newspaper Advertising

I advertise ALL of my listings EVERY WEEK in the Falls Church Press, not just when it’s open or just listed. Open houses are advertised in the Washington Post print and online newspapers, as well as appropriate community papers and other publications as appropriate.

10. Email

I send out a weekly E-mail with photos & details of my listings and open houses to over 1,800 people: anyone that has ever visited an open house, called me about a home or asked to be on my email list, as well as to any agent that has ever shown any of my listings. I have a 24.2% open rate

11. Internet

Out-of-town buyers account for many home sales in Northern Virginia. The Internet promotes your property worldwide, 24 hours per day, 7 days per week. Your home will be featured on,,,,,,, other major real estate sites on the Internet, and all local Realtor search engines.

12. Digital Photography & 3D Virtual Tour

I hire a professional company to take 50 to 100 fusion photos and a 3D virtual tour of your property and the surrounding area for use with the Internet, e-mail, brochures and postcards. I upload 30 photos in the MLS and the photos & virtual tours on my website for each listing, allowing potential buyers the opportunity to do a full virtual walk through preview each room of your home right from their computer.

13. Custom Brochure

I will create a custom brochure including multiple color photos, plat maps and floor plans (I hire a company to do them if they you don’t have one), and a list of features to emphasize all of the best amenities of your home. The idea is to make the best possible impression so that after seeing dozens of homes, buyers will remember yours! Our in house graphic and marketing department allows me to design and print brochures within hours, not days or weeks like many other agents that have to send their brochures out for design & printing that takes weeks to get back.

14. Snack Basket

Many buyers and agents get hungry when out looking at homes. I provide a basket loaded with individually packaged snacks, offering a welcome treat. Since buyers won’t want to track crumbs through your home, they will linger while they eat, allowing them to get a better sense of what it would be like to live in the home.

15. Wall Signs

Wall signs will be strategically placed around your home, highlighting features that buyers should be aware of, such as new appliances, dates of remodeling and upgrades. These cards answer questions that the buyers don’t know they have.

16. Lock Box

The electronic lockbox provides state of the art security for your home while ensuring it is accessible for agents to bring their qualified clients. Statistically, you will get 40% more showings by using a lockbox. I receive daily updates with a list of the Realtors that have shown your home using the lockbox, allowing me to call them for feedback and answer any questions their buyers might have.

17. Agent Feedback

After each showing, I personally each agent, thank them for showing your home and ask for feedback from them and their client. This allows me to answer any questions they may have had and help overcome any obstacles that might have prevented them from writing a contract, and has resulted in many contracts on my listings. As an example, one buyer needed a 120 day settlement and had assumed that my seller wanted a quicker sale. By following up with the agent, I expressed my sellers desire for a longer settlement, and the buyer wrote an offer that was accepted. I will keep you informed of the status and level of interest of each buyer that views your home.

18. Multiple Listing Service

I will submit the details of your property along with up to 30 interior and exterior color photos to the Multiple Listing Service system. Information on your home will be available 24 hours per day to agents and buyers across the country.

19. Sign

My signs are REFLECTIVE, which light up at night when car headlights pass by. My direct phone number, not the office line, is on the sign in your yard, so I can personally answer buyer’s questions and schedule an appointment to show your home once they've been pre-approved by a reputable lender. Most companies have their office phone number answered by a non-licensed receptionist or a brand new agent sitting floor duty that most likely hasn’t even seen your home. Additionally, I display our webpage address for people to view the interior photos of your home online and riders announcing when the next open house is scheduled.

20. Brochure Box

A brochure box on the signpost in front of your home allows the drive-by buyer to pick up my FULL COLOR brochure that may excite them to call for a showing. Traditionally, if a buyer has driven through your neighborhood, has seen the flier with the price and details of the home, they are almost sold on your home when they call to see inside. I use durable hard plastic boxes with a spring loaded lid that snaps closed to keep the rain out.

21. Directional Signs

Arrow signs pointing the way to your home will be strategically placed at all crossroads leading to your home as allowed by local laws. As a courtesy to the property owners at each sign location, I always stop and ask permission, or leave a note with my contact information in the event they aren’t home and do not want a sign placed in their yard.

22. Status Reports

You will receive daily or weekly status reports that include any changes in market conditions, new properties listed or sold in your neighborhood, financing updates or trends in the real estate industry, current and upcoming advertising. This we can adjust the marketing strategy as necessary. You may choose whether you prefer the reports to be via telephone, mail, or e-mail.

23. Relocation Buyers

We work with thousands of real estate firms across the country to promote your property to buyers even before they arrive in town for their first house-hunting trip. I can also interview agents for you in the area you are moving to.

24. Negotiating

I am an expert at negotiating the best price, terms and conditions to meet your needs, and have been able to bring many contracts to successful settlement when others thought it would never happen.

25. Dual Agency

As a personal, ethical and moral choice, I do NOT represent buyers on my listings or perform dual agency. I do not feel that I can represent the best interest of my seller and negotiate strongly on your behalf if I also have to be fair and impartial to the buyer and look out for them as well.

26. Whatever it Takes

My “whatever it takes attitude and out of the box thinking” to sell your home blends unique marketing ideas and strategies with the best marketing program for your home. We will discuss all the possible creative financing options and marketing solutions available to us. In slower markets, I have completed many sales by using creative financing that worked for both parties. Think about what you want to do with the cash from the sale of your home. If you are moving up, buying a second home, beach or mountain property or looking to invest, we can promote whatever it is that you would consider taking in trade for the down payment, or carry the loan for monthly income. Ask, and you might just get it.

I am local...

I work and live in Falls Church, so I and am just a few minutes away from being able to show your home if a buyer calls me to see it.


                                     Keller Williams Realty Falls Church     105 W. Broad Street Suite 200     Falls Church, VA 22046