Market Your NOVA Home | Virginia Residential and Small Office Real Estate | Jeff Shearer

Jeff Shearer

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"I would recommend Jeff to anyone looking to buy or sell a home. He works tirelessly to ensure that your goal to buy or sell a home is as smooth a process as possible and he will fight for your best interest. If we ever sell our home or need to purchase another one, we will certainly utilize Jeff again!"


Market Your NOVA Home

Thank you for giving me an opportunity to sell your home. If you haven't already, please read the first two in my series for home sellers, Prepare To Sell Your NOVA Home, andPrice Your NOVA Home.

This article talks about the second product to come out of our second meeting, Your Marketing Plan to Sell Your NOVA Home Quickly. My intention is to leave the meeting with the listing agreement signed, ready for the broker's signature.

Remember, our goal is to generate multiple offers to put you into the best negotiating position possible regarding contract terms, inspection releases, and the buyers' lender appraisal reputation.

Marketing your northern Virginia home for sale is a combination of old-school and information age activities. In the following paragraphs I give you my preferences. However, during our second meeting our goal is to develop a marketing plan that meets your wants and needs.

Signs – The day after the broker signs the listing agreement, I will be working to put a sign on your property that says, "Coming Soon." Once the listing is active I will change the rider to "For Sale."

I'd like to place directional signs on the cross street after the listing is active and around the neighborhood for open houses.

Lockbox – I am a big fan of the realtors' lockbox. It allows the seller to stipulate and to change showing times and to see what kind of traffic is coming in to view the house. On the other hand, I recommend using a combination box to provide access to contractors before the listing is activated in the MLS. Combination boxes do not have the scheduling and monitoring capability but they allow folks like many contractors in who do not have a realtor's key.

Pictures – The need for quality pictures cannot be understated in today's world of online real estate searches. Gone are the days of curb appeal. Now it is screen appeal. I always recommend completing professional photographs before we publish the listing.

Pre Listing Clean – Before the listing is published, your home should be cleaned. Not only vacuumed, washed, etc., but prescription drugs, weapons, expensive jewelry and collectibles, small electronics, and financial documents should be cleared out of the house. Please download my Free Open House Prep List.

Publish Listing – I recommend publishing the listing on a Wednesday before 5 PM. My analysis shows that any later and the listing may not make out to the smaller home search sites in time for the Sunday open house. The listing will include the public and brokers' open house announcements.

Enhanced Listings – Once your listing is published it propagates to other well-known search sites including Zillow,, and I am a premier agent on these sites do your listing becomes an enhanced listing.

On Site Marketing – Once the listing is published, the importance of on-site marketing sky rockets. All lights, inside and outside should be kept on. Draperies and blinds open to allow maximum light into the home.

If you are living in the house while it is being marketed, you need to get up earlier to clean and straighten up. I will put brochures and small signs pointing out certain features in the house. If you have vacated the house, I will give it a touch up visit on Friday night and early Sunday morning every week.

Social Media – On the same day that the listing goes active, I like to publish social media ads announcing your home is for sale.

Realtors' Mass Email – On the same day that the listing goes active, I send every Realtor in northern Virginia an email announcing the active listing. This is an email brochure using the same pictures in the listing.

Post Cards – On the day the listing goes active, I will mail 500 post cards. Generally the target are nearby renters. However, if there are not enough renters, I mail the remainder to home owners on the outskirts of the 1 mile radius. My thinking is they might miss the signs.

Sellers Not Present – It is important that the sellers of the home are not present during open houses, inspections, and whenever a potential buyer or buyers' agent visits the home. Too often sellers inadvertently provide information that gives the buyers an advantage in negotiations.

Public Open House – On the Friday morning after the listing goes active, I will publish a public open house announcement in social media for the following Sunday. I will be hosting the open house. Hosting agents are not trying to sell your house. They are trying to sell themselves.

By the way, to my knowledge there is no independent organization that certifies open house agents. Yes, a brokerage or team may have a specialized training class and as a result "certifies" their hosting agents.

Brokers' Open House – The Tuesday following the listing going active, I will host a Broker's open with food for the agents to entice them to come see your home. Again, I use a mass email to northern Virginia realtors and I will be hosting the open house.

Now is the time to Monitor Your Marketing Program.

I decided to become a Senior Real Estate Specialist® to help ease the challenges faced by other seniors when they want to downsize or no longer want to be a homeowner.

The challenges can become crippling right at the time when we most need to make important decisions in our life. For example, I have a customer who previously put her home on the market and then withdrew it two years in a row. Then she started to try again, but changed her mind before listing her home.

The challenges can be different for each of us, but I have found the emotional attachment to our homes to be the most significant. Our homes provide us shelter, hold our treasure of memories, and were acquired often through many years of blood, sweat, and sacrifice. Our homes become intimently tied to our identities.

The challenges may also include the need for trusted partners to hold an estate sale, complete repairs, carefully move our belongings, and provide the options to finance our change.

I can provide solutions to these challenges and more when you decide to downsize or you no longer want to be a homeowner.