Melrose Plantation Real Estate, LLC.
V   I   R   G   I   N   I   A

While most companies would never make their marketing information available to the public,
we know that no other firm can replicate our service and caring for our clients who become our friends.
It's about relationships really, isn't it?

What we offer Sellers

Selling one of your most valuable investments is complex and competitive.


Real Estate is all about great communication. We are constantly available by multiple sources of communication -

Member of
        Northern Neck Association of Realtors & their MLS
        Chesapeake Bay & Rivers Association of Realtors & their MLS
        Virginia Historic Society
        Northern Neck Historic Society
        Lancaster County Chamber of Commerce
        Northern Neck Tourism Council

Market Evaluation

We strongly believe that market conditions dictate that seller’s “lead with their best punch,” meaning that the list price should be very close to the ultimate price that the seller would be willing to accept, and that the terms of the sale and condition of the property be as favorable as possible.  The reason is simply that we believe a more realistic list price is more likely to invite offers; if the offers are too low to be acceptable, the seller can always turn down the offer.  A list price that is too high discourages offers leaving the seller with no opportunity to even say no or yes, and sets up a possible downward spiral for reductions in the list price to generate interest in the property.  Remember that “Properly Priced is Practically Sold.”

What factors influence the sale of your property?

You cannot change the location of your property
 You cannot control the competing properties
  You cannot control market conditions

You can control decisions and actions concerning the listing price.
 You can control the condition of your property
  You can control who represents you in the marketing and sale of your property.

The actions you take on the issues that you can control will dictate

  1. How fast your property sells and
  2. How much you net from the sale of your property.

Determining the Sales Price of Your Property

 A comprehensive market analysis is essential to determine a realistic sales price for your property.  Location, characteristics of the property and the current market conditions are the key elements in determining value.  The market analysis also takes into account the sales price of recent comparable properties and the quality of properties currently on the market that will be in competition with your home.  The desired end result of the market analysis is to determine a probable selling price for your property and to help  you set a price that will attract a willing and able buyer in a reasonable time.

Sellers' thinking tends to be six months behind the market. So when prices are rising, they set theirs too low, and when prices are falling, they set theirs too high. So assess where the market is headed, not where it was.  Once the market value of your property has been determined, you can decide on an offering price that will achieve your goals.  Generally the price should not exceed the indicated market value by more than 5% or potential buyers may not even make you offers.  If you want to sell quickly, your asking price is critical and should be very near the market value.

Consider the following factors about the asking price of your property:

  1. Realistic pricing will achieve the maximum price in a reasonable length of time.  “Properly priced is practically sold.”
  2. Your cost or your desired profit should not drive the pricing decision; the market determines the value of your property.
  3. The cost of improvements is almost always more than the added value when the property is sold.  You should make these expensive improvements with the idea that they are for your sole pleasure.
  4. Properties that remain on the market for a long time do not get shown; they get “stale” on the market.
  5. A property that is priced right and properly prepared for the market will achieve the highest proceeds in the shortest period of time.
  6. If you bought at a high point in the market or have spent a fortune in changing the property to suit your needs, you must be aware that the market is not responsible for paying you back.  Holding on to unrealistic expectations will cause you to lose even more.  Cut your asking price and make the sale.
  7. Make a plan that accounts for worst-case scenarios.

Marketing Activities

There are several basic elements to a marketing plan that create the foundation of our efforts:

Place a reflective Melrose Plantation Real Estate sign on your property.  If you are waterfront, we would place a sign on the road side and on the waterfront side.   In some cases we will design a custom sign.   Almost one fifth of all buyers come from sign calls.

Technology advantage:  Place a “Talking House” broadcast from your property.  When a buyer stops by your yard sign, they can turn their radio to a station that is broadcasting a repeating loop about your property.  If you would like to, we will interview you about features of your home that your would like to highlight and let the buyer hear from you in this way.  Melrose Plantation Real Estate is the exclusive agent for the “Talking House” program in this region.

Technology advantage:  Take a digital virtual tour of your property and put it on our web site and the 2 MLS systems which cover this area.  Melrose Plantation is the only real estate firm in this region offering this service.  Buyers can take a “virtual tour” of your home on their computer and see your property from a 360 degree perspective.

Enter your property into both real estate association multiple listing systems (MLS).  The MLS in the Northern Neck and Middle Peninsula is the only system that covers from the Potomac, Rappahannock, Corrotoman, Piankatank and York Rivers and along the Chesapeake Bays.  It exposes your property to as many as 1,500 real estate agents who access the system, and is uploaded to, the site most buyers use to locate property,  only through a MLS.    The MLS is internet based for real-time information.  My clients automatically receive notification of your listing when it matches their search criteria.  Very few Realtors use an automatic notification system.

Showcase your property on  We are one of a handful of companies who pay a substantial amount more to have our seller's listings increased in presentation on  More than 70% of buyers today begin their search for real estate online.

Prepare a detailed, professional brochure.  We ardently believe that a prospective buyer should carry away from your home enough information to make your property memorable.  After looking at eight or ten homes in a day, many purchasers have a tough time remembering specifics about each home.  We want to be certain they remember yours.
Catherine or Sally will professionally, personally present your property to each buyer, even when accompanied by other real estate agents,  unless it is the rarest of situations.

Arrange an open house at your home for agents from other real estate companies.  Invitations are delivered by e-mail to approximately 200 agents who sell in our area.  Public open houses in the country are not well attended.

Distribute information to other agents who are active in the market area.  In addition to the exposure in the MLS, we send information like the brochure mentioned to the most active agents in the region, asking them to be sure they preview and show your property.

Follow up with agents after they have seen or shown your property to elicit their and their clients response to price, condition and other factors of your property.

Feature your home on our web site: that has  space for detailed promotion of your property, and on our MLS-based, searchable web site:


Advertising, of course, is an essential element of marketing a property.   There exists, however, a common misconception about the effectiveness of advertising.  Sellers understandably want their property to be advertised as often as possible, but in all candor, advertising a particular property results directly in the sale of that property in fewer than 10% of the cases, meaning that someone calls on an ad and buys the specific home they called about in very few instances.  If advertising alone resulted in properties selling the majority of the time, there would be no need to do any of the numerous marketing activities that we execute to achieve a prompt sale for you.

Our approach to advertising is to integrate where and how we advertise your property as part of our overall marketing activities.  You may be assured that your home will be properly advertised in the Rappahannock Record,  and The Real Estate Review monthly book.  In the Rappahannock Record, we use classified advertising because it is the only advertising that is available to online viewers around the world.  From the classified ad the buyer can click to our web site: and receive enormous detail about your property.  The larger ads are quite honestly meant to “buy” sellers by flattering them into thinking that it will attract a buyer.   It flatters a seller’s ego to see a large ad on their property even when there is no other activity.  Please remember that your property benefits from all of our Marketing Activities and we attempt to structure all our ads to make the phone ring and to generate sales.

Multiple Listing Service

Did you know that real estate agents are not required to belong to any association and many do not.  The fees for these associations are enormous, and I am in two!  And these two are the exact ones that cover the Northern Neck and Middle Peninsula from the Potomac River, Chesapeake Bay and Rappahannock Rivers down to the York River.  But it is only through these associations that your property may be entered into the Multiple Listing Service (MLS) of that association.  And even that is an additional fee beyond membership dues!  However, from the MLS your property is automatically uploaded to, the National Association of Realtor’s web site that attracts the most buyers in the world.

If another agent is in only one association, they are missing half the market.  The most important association for selling in the Northern Neck IS the Northern Neck Association of Realtors!  Please make certain that any agent you hire is a member of at least that association if your property is in the Northern Neck!  It does make a world, actually a region, of difference!

The Technology Edge

Real estate is very competitive.  Staying ahead of the competition requires a major investment in not only the time needed to show and market your property, but also to stay abreast of changing technology.  A fully equipped office is key to our success:

Telephones:  The single most important feature we offer is our any where, any time availability.  We have a toll-free phone number, fax line, and cellular phone, in addition to the main line.  All phones have voice mail and cross notification of messages.  When we are not in the office, we forward the phone to the cellular phone so your call is not missed.  Your call is always answered unless we are with a client, either on the phone or in person.

Fax machines:  We have three fax machines set up on two lines and have been known to fax out while receiving a fax!  Contracts today allow for faxed copies to be treated the same as originals.

Computers:  We have four new computers and color printers.

Copiers:  We have a color copier and a digital duplicator capable of printing 120 copies per minute.

Binding:  We have comb binding and hot glue binding, in addition to binders .

Talking House:  Real estate agents who offer the Talking House program have a big advantage over other agents: we offer all the usual services home sellers and home buyers expect and something new they don’t.  The Talking house is a powerful sales tool that essentially allows me to be present at your curbside 24 hours a day telling potential buyers why your property is special.

Virtual Tour:  Using our state of the art Sony digital DVD camera, we attach a lens that allows us to take a 360 degree photo of key rooms or even the outside areas of your property and put them on the internet for buyers to take a virtual tour of your property.  It benefits you as a seller because you get showings of buyers who have “done their homework.”  Internet buyers are three times more affluent than non-internet buyers and their pre-showing research reduces the time that an agent must invest to get them up to speed on assets of a particular property.

Working Toward the Sale

Assure that your property is shown effectively.

Promptly advise you of any changes in the market climate so that we can reposition your property in relation to others if necessary.

Cultivate showings with qualified buyers.

Analyze offers with your requirements and needs uppermost among considerations.

Negotiate the transaction on your behalf; assure that the contract protects your interests.

Work to satisfy any contract contingencies and solve problems so that the sale becomes a closing.

Follow Through to Closing...

Monitor the buyer’s financing: application, credit check, verifications, appraisal and underwriting.

Immediately advise you of any events that may threaten closing and work with you to resolve any potential conflicts.

Coordinate and monitor the closing process.

Maintain contact with the lawyers,  bankers, inspectors and other agents to assure a smooth, problem-free transaction: good problem solving skills are even more crucial at this stage.

Be present at your closing to assure that the settlement accurately represents the contract terms and that your interests are accurately reflected in the closing documents.

Maintain a detailed file throughout and after the sale.


This is our basic approach.  We will suggest through the course of marketing your home possible changes in strategy based on the feedback we get.  Most importantly we will keep you informed.  If, at any time during our listing term, you are dissatisfied with what we are doing and wish to withdraw the listing, you need only contact us. We are delighted to speak with you at any time.  So let’s get busy selling your property!

Find out more about our sales team.

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