Services for our Seller
To ensure that your property receives the maximum exposure to reach its intended audience, one that includes other real estate professionals as well as the farm and ranch buying public, requires a thorough and multi-faceted strategic marketing campaign with ongoing promotion that attracts serious buyer attention and continues until the property sells.
Our comprehensive and individualized country property-marketing plan consists of the following important and essential components:
Successful Sellers Price Right the First Time
Placing a value on your property can be a difficult task. Pricing your property correctly the first time is the key to selling it in a timely manner. Even a 15 to 20 percent increase over current value can cause a property to be “on the market” for weeks or months longer than necessary. Today’s buyers are savvy with comparative market information often right at their fingertips, making it easy for them to know a property is overpriced. Pricing country property is much more challenging and time consuming than pricing a property in the greater Houston area because no two pieces of property are alike.
Heritage Texas Country Properties shares the following insights and advice to help you be a successful seller.
- Many buyers will come visit your property during the initial listing period, but when they discover it is overpriced, they are likely to move on and you will have missed the first surge of “real” opportunity.
- Realtors® who know your property is overpriced may be reluctant to show your property to potential buyers.
- Property improvements, including cosmetic updates and routine maintenance work, can improve the marketability of your property, but will not necessarily increase the value.
- Don’t let your property help sell the other properties in the area because of price.
Things to consider when working with a Realtor® to price your property:
- Do not select a listing agent only because he or she quotes a higher listing price for your property. Ask a potential listing agent to support his or her opinion of value by providing factual information.
- Research your community. Pretend you are a buyer and thoroughly research the area in which you live. Compare your property to others in terms of amenities and ask yourself which one you would rather buy, and why.
- Your Realtor® should research properties that have sold in your area in the past year and use that information as a guide. Although the market may fluctuate from month to month, realizing what the trend has been gives you a feel for what buyers want.
- The appropriate listing price should be derived from a review of recent similar sales in the county. Your agent should provide an acceptable market range from which you can determine the appropriate price.
Your listing agent, agent assistant and/or a representative from the Heritage Texas Country Properties Marketing Department will tour your property to prepare a detailed summary of the interior and exterior areas of the property.
Our agents at Heritage Texas Country Properties are experts who work with buyers every day and know what to look for. Since first impressions are lasting, we can help put your property’s best face forward and “stage” it for quick sale.
We will suggest improvements to enhance the marketability of your property and help you prioritize a list of cost-effective improvements to make the most of your resources to ensure that your property will compete more favorably with the competition.
Buyers often fall in love with a piece of property simply because it fulfills their image of “dream country property.” The following is a list of some of our typical recommendations:
- Clean walls and windows, inside and out. Paint any part of the house that needs it.
- Cut and trim the lawn and get landscaping in top condition.
- Deodorize property of pet, smoking or cooking odors.
- Repair any plumbing leaks and repair or replace any unsightly caulking around tubs and sinks.
- Clean carpets and patch or replace if necessary. Wax floors where appropriate.
- Organize closets to show off storage space.
- Repair screens and windows so they show and work properly.
- Clean appliances and keep in good working condition.
- Keep exterior and interior in impressive condition.
- Make rooms appear larger by storing or removing excess furniture.
- Remove and replace any items that are of a permanent nature (i.e., light fixtures, etc.) but will not be a part of the sale.
- Clean garage and storage areas.
- Remove unnecessary items from kitchen cabinets to show off their spaciousness.
- Impress with a spotless and uncluttered kitchen.
- Make sure all light fixtures and lamps are working properly and replace bulbs as necessary. Lamplight is more soothing than harsh, overhead lighting, so turn on lamps.
- Open window coverings and turn on lights so no room is dark. Most people react favorably to a property that’s light and bright, so open those draperies and let the sunshine in.
- If you have a pool, make sure it sparkles.
- Show off all rooms, including the attic and storage space, to their best advantage.
- Keep all pets and children out of the way during showings.
- Remove unsightly and unnecessary objects scattered about the property
- Repair fences
- Clean out the outer buildings and barns
A marketing plan is developed by your agent and the Heritage Texas Country Properties Marketing Department and photos are taken when you and your agent deem the property ready to list. Consider that preparing the property and scheduling the photography will require some lead time. When all is ready, “For Sale” signs (where permitted) are put in place.
- A marketing plan is developed by your agent and the Heritage Texas Country Properties Marketing Department.
- Photos are taken when you and your agent deem the property is ready to list. Preparing the property and scheduling the photography will require lead time.
- “For Sale” signs (where permitted) are put in place.
Internet E-Marketing Program
Almost 80% of buyers begin their initial property search on the Internet. It is therefore essential that we develop an impressive online presence for your property.
At the outset, multiple color images of your property, accompanied by descriptive commentary and specific details, are entered into the Houston Multiple Listing Service (MLS®) and downloaded to the Houston Association of Realtors® web site, har.com, which offers exposure of your property to more than 23,000 Houston area Realtors® as well as all prospective buyers who visit the site. The HAR web site receives over 1.5 billion hits per month. Through the MLS Internet Data Exchange (IDX) program, your property appears on searches performed from any Houston real estate company property web site. Most of the country property brokers do not use MLS and will miss opportunities to market your property.
Our web site provides buyers and sellers from all over the world unlimited 24-hour access and is an invaluable tool when looking for a property in the areas we serve.
We’re connected! When you list with us, your information is automatically linked and featured on a over 575 web sites including www.txls.com, www.landsoftexas.com, www.loopnet.com as well as www.landandfarm.com.
Further, through our e-Marketing program, your property will be featured on the Heritage Texas Country Properties “New Listings,” e-mail broadcasts sent to our entire contact list and to the 400 Realtors® at Heritage Texas Properties in the Greater Houston area. Those 400 Realtors® have thousands of their own affluent contacts and they will help us reach out to potential clients just ready to find their weekend dream property or country home.
Likewise, your property will be sent to potential clients who have registered with our interactive web program.
- Responsive Website
There are over two hundred and twenty million wireless users in the United States. Seventy-five percent of handsets sold in the U.S. today have built-in browsers.
To utilize this vast resource, Heritage Texas Country Properties created a responsive website dedicated to enhancing a consumer’s real estate needs through the Internet, directly to their mobile phone. Simply stated, our responsive website allows real estate consumers to search a property and its details wirelessly from their phones or iPads
The property search feature is a direct link to the Houston Association of Realtors MLS database. If there is a “For Sale” sign in the front yard of a property, whether our sign or the sign of a competitor, we can provide the consumer with all of the listing information.
The process is as simple as logging on to our website and clicking on the appropriate link.
Prospective property buyers, real estate agents –- anyone interested in the property – can click on “property search,” enter the address, and immediately read a description about the listing, see photos, or even schedule a showing – all while sitting in front of the property.
Heritage Texas Country Property Subscribers
This interactive online program offers consumers the opportunity to do customized and ongoing searches for country properties, plus auto-notification of market changes.
Potential buyers can bookmark specific properties or neighborhoods from their search results or even schedule showings.
Once our visitors sign up for an account, it keeps consumers automatically informed on the newest listings as they come on the market. It allows one to save different searches — different communities, different price ranges, different property types, etc. as well as add, change or delete searches. New information is emailed to the consumer automatically when changes occur or open houses are scheduled. It starts working immediately and can be edited at any time. Those who choose not to be emailed may simply log into the program and view the information onscreen.
- E-Response Management System
These Internet and E-Marketing initiatives are designed to encourage interaction and real time responses from consumers via registration and e-mails. Because Heritage Texas Country Properties is fully committed to its success, investing in technology since, the company has an E-Response Management System. Its design allows us to respond to incoming consumer e-mails within hours of their receipt. Our goal is to provide timely response and answers to consumer inquiries as soon as possible, thereby developing more prospective buyers for our sellers.
Print Media Advertising
The most effective print media in which to advertise your property is determined. Ads are planned, written and placed. Your property may appear in one or more of the following regional and community periodicals:
- Houston Chronicle
- Open Fences
- Lands of Texas,
- Farm & Ranch,
- Round Top Register
- Banner Press
- Buyers Guide
- Fayette County Record
Marketing to Real Estate Professionals
Because statistics show that a large majority of property buyers facilitate their property search and ultimate purchase through the services of a real estate agent, it is important that we market your listing to as many of our fellow real estate professionals as possible.
In addition to entering detailed information, along with multiple color images of your property, into the Houston Multiple Listing Service (MLS®) and Houston Association of Realtors® web site, har.com, which offers exposure of your property to more than 23,000 Houston area Realtors®, there are a number of ways we alert our peers that your property has become available.
A special preview showing will be held to allow brokers and agents to personally tour the property in order to better present it to their own prospective purchasers. This affords brokers and agents the opportunity to visit with your listing agent to discuss specifics regarding your property.
Showing Your Property
Our professionally staffed appointment desk is open seven days a week to assist our fellow agents and brokers with showing arrangements and property inquiries. They are trained to cross-market similar properties.
In addition, Heritage Texas Country Properties agents are available at our Property Desk, seven days a week, to answer calls from consumers inquiring about properties seen online, in our print advertising, or noticed through one of our yard signs. They also make themselves available to show properties that are asked about.
Heritage Texas Country Properties’ appointment system affords an instant vehicle for Realtor® feedback and comments when our listings are shown. This allows an effective pipeline for Realtor® communication.
Your agent will contact each buyer’s agent and/or prospective buyer to discuss the interest level, answer any questions, address buyer concerns, and encourage scheduling a possible second showing of the property. Your agent can also determine what impression your property may have made on the buyer and/or agent and take action on any suggestions or recommendations that might better market your property.
We feel that frequent communication with you, the Seller, is critical to the overall success of our marketing program. You will be contacted with feedback and comments on a regular basis.
You will receive a periodic written or face-to-face market report that details all marketing and advertising efforts, including open houses and showing comments from prospective buyers and accompanying agents, along with neighborhood market activity that includes a list of comparable properties on the market, sales pending, or properties sold during your listing period and a summary of market trends.
We will share suggestions based upon this information and, as always, welcome your input regarding our marketing strategies at this time.
Legend has it that the first offer a seller receives is often the best offer. While that may or may not be true, contemplating any offer and its acceptability depends upon many factors. Sellers are not bound by a “first come, first served” requirement and should give equal weight to any and all offers, accepting or negotiating only those which they find satisfactory. Consideration should be given to:
- How does the offer relate to the asking price?
- Has the buyer included multiple costs to the seller within contract clauses and addenda?
- What are the alternatives? What are the costs incurred for mortgage payments, taxes and insurance if the property remains on the market for an extended period of time in months, while seller waits for a superior offer?
- Does the seller have sufficient time to wait for other offers?
- What if no other offers have been or are received?
- What if several offers are received? A buyer with preapproved financing but a lower offer may be preferable to a buyer with questionable finances who has offered more.
Your Heritage Texas Country Properties Sales Associate will help you review offers, consider marketplace options and determine whether an offer is acceptable or encourage you to make a “counteroffer.”
A counteroffer is a considered response to the other party’s previous offer. Either side may choose to accept, decline or make yet another counteroffer. This back-and-forth exchange is typical of the negotiation process and usually involves compromises by both sides.
Your Heritage Texas Country Properties Sales Associate can assist and help the parties reach an agreement on price and terms satisfactory to both sides.