I approach marketing vigorously, intending to leave no stone unturned— utilizing lessons learned over 22 years of marketing and selling Arlington real estate.

Comprehensive Two-step Approach

When first contacted by a prospective seller, I like to make two appointments— one to have a quick meeting, chiefly to have a brief overview of the property— and the second (a couple days later) to have an in-depth conference with the seller to review marketing, staging and pricing strategies.

On our second meeting, the seller and I will review a detailed multi-page Marketing Proposal. We will talk about what I will provide:
  • Internet advertising with multiple Web sites
  • print advertising
  • high-quality marketing pieces with color photography
  • individually drawn floor plans of the seller's property
  • special flyers to other realtors
In addition, the seller and I will review the proprietary and exclusive elements of my Marketing Proposal— things that are part of my unique approach to marketing.

Staging the Property/Top Dollar

The immediate impression that a property makes— including the exterior and the front door— is critically important. As part of our in-depth conference, the seller and I will discuss what needs to be done to the property in order to get top dollar— from fixing up, to "editing," to staging.

When staging a property with a seller, it's important to regard the property not so much as a personal expression, but as a marketing "stage" on which to maximize the property's appeal and attraction to prospective buyers. The seller and I will look inside closets and cabinets that buyers will likely open; we'll consider clutter (let's face it, we all have clutter in our homes!) with the idea of "editing" to make spaces feel larger and more inviting; we'll consider decorating ideas such as setting the dining room table, utilizing plants and flowers, touching up paint— all to create the best impression and secure top dollar.

Marketing to Buyer's Agents

Because most sellers don't sell real estate too often (every six years on average), they sometimes have the mistaken impression that the seller's agent— the "listing agent"— will actually produce the buyer. While this does occasionally happen (a transaction with one realtor working with both the seller and the buyer), it is much more common to have two realtors involved— a listing agent representing the seller and a buyer's agent representing the purchaser. Consequently, I see my role not so much as producing the buyer, but as producing the realtor who already is working with the person who will want to buy my seller's property. Accordingly, a good bit of my marketing is directed at other realtors— one of whom may have the buyer for my listing.

Smart Marketing

At the beginning of a new listing, one of my first steps is to mail a flyer describing and promoting the listing to top realtors on my exclusive and proprietary mailing list so that they will immediately be aware of the property— in case it matches the needs of a one of their buyer clients. A next step is to enter the listing into the Multiple Listing Service so that it is available to all 11,000 realtors in our marketplace. Additionally, if after a couple weeks the listing is still on the market, I will deliver another flyer to 500 realtors— in an attempt to stimulate new interest.

My job is to get my seller's property sold, and bring the transaction to a speedy and profitable conclusion. Toward this end— through flyers and the Multiple Listing Service— I actively market and promote my listings to other realtors, and gladly share the commission paid by the seller.

Open Houses

It may not be widely known outside the real estate community, but open houses don't very often sell the property held open! More often than not, they provide a possibility for new clients for the realtor hosting the open house. Yes, it does sometimes happen that a person attending an open house will look around and say, "I want to buy this house," but usually it doesn't— the property isn't "the right one" for those attending the open house. Also, many people that go to open houses are nosy neighbors, tire kickers, and people seeking decorating ideas!

Having said this, let me explain that I have open houses— but I have them for two distinct reasons: 1) to provide an opportunity for that rare person who will walk in and say "This is the house I want to buy" and 2) to make it easy for other realtors, who are working with potential buyers, to send their buyer clients to the open house so that they can see if the property is right for them. (If they like it they can come back later with their realtor.) Again, this is smart marketing— my job is to get the property sold, not necessarily to sell it myself.

Speaking of Buyers: The Internet

Most buyers search the Web for properties and it is important that my inventory is there for buyers to see. As mentioned earlier, my listings appear on multiple Websites, including this one (www.dicknathan.com) where listings are accompanied by enhanced pictures and a virtual tour.

My listings are also found on other sites, including Preferred Vendors/Movers

Should work be needed at a listing of mine, I can supply the seller with quotes from competent, reliable workers— and I am available to oversee their activities, if needed— all as part of my vigorous marketing program.

Additionally, through Long & Foster's Home Service Connections Program I can put my seller in touch with several reliable moving companies (all on Long & Foster's approved list) who will give competitive quotes to make the move as smooth and economical as possible. Only moving companies who perform well for us can remain on the approved list— my sellers can feel confident that they are talking to moving companies who not only will give them competitive pricing, but will also provide careful and superlative service respectful of my seller's belongings.

Top Dollar

In a nutshell, what you've read here is a glimpse of a vigorous and thorough Marketing Proposal that I review with potential sellers at our second meeting. I hope you can sense that my intention is to "work smart" and in a comprehensive fashion— all designed to sell my seller's property in the least amount of time, with the least amount of inconvenience, and at the highest price… top dollar.

This is what I do, and I've been doing it in Arlington since 1983. I'd be delighted to do it for you!