I realize that you have a choice when hiring an agent to help you sell your home and truly appreciate the opportunity to present my proven approach and the results I’ve achieved for my clients.
I hope this guide helps you understand the home selling process, as well as all the steps you can take as a seller to ensure that your home is sold quickly and at the maximum price!
Part 1: About Us
About Paul Gunning
I specialize in the northern Virginia real estate market, am a multi-million dollar producer, and bring over 16 years of sales experience to help you navigate the home buying and selling process. I am passionate about what I do and like to think outside of the box when it comes to helping you achieve your goals. I have been a resident of northern Virginia for over 20 years and have resided in western Prince William County for over 10 of those years. I know the area communities very well and having school-aged children, am familiar with school boundaries and working with those as a search parameter.
I believe that buying a home is different for everyone and I strive to personalize the experience for each of my clients. I focus on understanding your wants and needs in order to recommend properties that will be of interest to you. This approach maximizes the use of your time in looking at homes and allows us to collectively act quickly in making an offer on your dream home. When it comes to selling your home, price and timing are everything. I bring first-hand appraisal experience to the table and am very skilled at competitively pricing your home. I utilize a robust marketing and social media approach that ensures your home is in the spotlight and is seen across a variety of home listing resources.
In all of my transactions, I bring loyalty and perseverance. I am flexible to work around your schedule and pride myself in going the extra mile to make sure you have a great experience. My sales background affords expertise in negotiation skills and you can rest assured that I always have my clients’ best interest in mind. I have extensive reach-back and a vast network of vendors that I can recommend to further differentiate your experience.
I currently reside in Haymarket, Virginia with my wife, two sons, and our daughter. I am a sports enthusiast and enjoy playing baseball, basketball, and golf and try to ski or snowboard when I can. I am active in the community and enjoy sharing the passion that my children have for the game of baseball.
I look forward to having the opportunity to work with you.
In our area, home listings sit on the market for 67 days on average.
My listings are only on the market an average of 39 days, meaning my client's homes sell 41% faster than average!
In my 6 years of real estate sales, I've helped over 100+ Virginia families achieve a successful sale of their home. My career sales exceed $30+ million.
By comparison, the typical agent with 7 years of experience has closed fewer than 30 sales.
“We Sold our first house with Paul and it was a great experience. We looked at many different agents before deciding on Paul. He was great, always willing to listen to our demands and thoughts. He guided us every step of the way and made the process of selling our home a very smooth one. He did everything he said he would do and the home sold in under 24 hrs! I would highly recommend Paul Gunning to anyone who needs their home sold quick and for top dollar!"
- Strawderman Family, Herndon VA
“Paul was recommended to me through a co worker and he came through with all of his promises. He helped us hire all the right people and contractors to help us get our home ready for the market and it paid off. Our home sold in 4 days and had multiple offers! He helped guide us through the different offers and pick the one that would help our family the best. I now tell any of friends and co workers about Paul whenever the talk of homes comes up. Thanks Paul!”
- R. Cummings Ashburn, VA
“I highly recommend working with Paul. He was very patient with us and never got frustrated even though it took us over 6 months to find a house. He always made himself available and was more than willing to show us houses whenever it was convenient for us. He also gave great advice about what to look for in a house, as it was our first home buying experience. He never pressured us into buying something more quickly, and even helped us back out of a house we decided was not right for us. I highly recommend working with Paul as he is easy to talk to and works hard to get you the right place!"
- K. Desai, Alexandria VA
“We met Paul at an open house for one of his listings and were very impressed right out of the gates. We then hired him to help us sell our condo and buy a new home that was large enough for our growing family. He was able to help us do both deals very smoothly and get us not only a great deal on the home we purchased, but also top dollar for the home we had to sell. We have bought and sold homes before with different agents, and dealing with Paul by far was the smoothest transaction we had ever done. Thanks again Paul!”
- The Dimitrov Family, Alexandria VA
“Not only has Paul been flexible with helping us purchase our first home! Looking at all times of the day, night, weekends, lunch breaks" he has always been friendly, professional and knowledgeable throughout the whole process! He made us feel as though we were his only clients! and he's a busy guy!
Our first home purchase experience was a breeze thanks to Paul! If you're looking for any real estate services, purchasing, selling, renting, Paul has the know how to knock it out of the park to get you what you need, what you want and make it an enjoyable and even fun experience!
- Kim Family, Fairfax VA
"Actually Paul was referred to me by my friend when I decided to buy a home.For a first time home buyer and someone that worries about things even when there is nothing to worry about, my mind was always at ease working with Paul. Any questions we had were answered in a matter of minutes. Honestly, in the 6 months working with Paul, we never waited any longer than 5 minutes for a response to an email or a phone call.He is a true honest professional and an absolute delight to work with. Paul was willing to negotiate and seemed ready and able to represent our best interests in this transaction. Our's being a new house, it took the builder around 6 months to finish the house after we signed the contract. Paul was very diligent in his follow ups with the builder and on occasions stopped by and performed home inspections on our behalf. I would definitely recommend him and use him in the future should a need arise. Thank you Paul, it's been a pleasure working with you."
- C Rane, Ashburn, VA
"My wife and I met Paul at an open house and were so glad that we did. He was by far the best real estate agent we have ever used. He was able to discuss realistic expectations for both buying a home and selling our home in this market. As many of you know the Northern Virginia market can be crazy at times with bidding wars, and people paying over list price to secure a new home. Paul understood that we would take our time and look for the best deal. There was never any pressure when working with Paul, which put us at ease for such a significant purchase. He was extremely responsive to all of our questions and facilitated discussions with the seller quickly and easily for the home we ended up purchasing. Paul was able to help us secure the home of our dreams while paying less than market value for that home!!! Paul was very accommodating for meeting us several properties at various times both during the week and on weekends. Paul was always well prepared and very knowledgable about each property."
- The Scott Family, Haymarket VA
“We bought our first house from Paul a few years ago. We looked at many different houses before deciding on one. Paul was great, always willing to take us to as many houses as we needed to see. What was most impressive was the follow up after each round of looking at houses. Paul would email us information about the neighborhoods we were looking in and what other houses in those neighborhoods sold for. We knew virtually nothing, and Paul guided us through the whole process. We ended up landing on a short sale. Paul helped us negotiate a great deal on a great house in a great neighborhood. It is clear he works full time at his job as a realtor and definitely has his clients best interest at heart. I would always recommend Paul to family or friends in need of a realtor.“
- J Everett, Gainesville VA
“I am so grateful for all the help and guidance Paul has provided me on such a big decision. Paul has been nothing short of professional, patient and trustworthy. As a first time homebuyer, I was nervous and full of lots of questions. He listened carefully and walked me through every step of the process. Throughout, he constantly kept me informed of all developments. His expert advice and quick response to my questions always put me at ease. If I ever have occasion to recommend a real estate agent to anyone in the Washington area, Paul will definitely be my first choice. He’s an absolute delight to work with.”
- A Servidio, Alexandria VA
“Paul works hard for his customers. We've trusted him with our last 2 homes and he's done a great job. We didn't know anything about the area and Paul did all the research and narrowed it down to a few homes that were perfect. He drove a hard bargain with the owners and ensured a smooth transaction. I would recommend him anytime.”
- D Nawroz, Fairfax VA
Part 2: How Homes Sell
Understanding How Buyers Evaluate Homes
The marketing I will do to promote your home has only one purpose - to increase awareness among potential buyers leading to in-person showings.
Once buyers reach your front door, the job of marketing is over. Your home must now compete with other homes in two areas; Features and Price.
If your home has more features that appeal to buyers - or your home is priced lower than comparable homes - your home will stand out as the better value.
Conversely, if your home lacks the features that potential buyers desire, your only option is to compete on price.
To be effective, your home should stand out as one of the top two to three best values in your immediate market place.
Pricing Your Home
Pricing Your Home for a Successful Sale
Pricing your home accurately is the most effective way to ensure a successful sale. Allow me to repeat that - pricing your home accurately is the most effective way to ensure a successful sale.
No amount of marketing can sell an overpriced home.
Many sellers are tempted to list their home with the agent who quotes the highest price.
Please keep in mind, the agent doesn’t set the price, the seller doesn’t set the price - the market will set the price, or value, for your home.
Factors that Influence Market Value:
- Supply & Demand
- Economic Conditions
- Asking & Selling Prices of Competing Homes
- Your Home's Condition
- Buyer's Perception of Your Home
Factors with Little or No Influence on Market Value:
- The Price the Seller Paid for the House
- The Seller's Expected Net Proceeds
- The Amount Spent on Improvements
Part 3: Condition
Preparing Your Home for a Successful Sale
With the typical agent, you only discover potential deal-killing repairs after you are already under contract - when the buyer hires a home inspector to scrutinize every aspect of your home.
I have the connections to the most experienced and top home inspectors in our market that can help you find possible inspection issues before listing and marketing your home.
Discovering and repairing problems early in the marketing process places you in control, eliminating the stress of making repairs on the buyer’s schedule. Having your house in move-in condition also helps you avoid delays to closing and demonstrates to buyers, agents and the buyer’s home inspector that your house has been very well maintained. We want buyers to focus on how they would live in your home - not what they would have to repair.
Additionally, your house will stand out from the competition as a better value and command a higher price.
I will also recommend trustworthy, professional contractors to address any repairs that are needed. The extent that these repairs are made will directly affect your listing price. You have the ability to command a higher asking price, and substantiate it, when your home is in top condition.
Once we have had your home inspected and made the necessary repairs we will focus on presentation. You will only get one opportunity to make a positive first impression with potential buyers. Well staged homes look better, photograph better, show better and sell faster than non-staged homes.
I have the connections to the area’s best and respected home stagers who can come in and make your home shine.
Home staging is not decorating. Decorating appeals to the person living in the house; staging is positioning the home to appeal to the psychological needs of buyers by creating a series of impressions that build an emotional connection to help buyers imagine living in the home. An AOL Money & Finance poll revealed that 87% of respondents said home presentation makes the difference in most sales.
Also, while many agents overlook the presentation of your home and push for price reductions, the problems, whether perceived or real, still exist.
Part 4: Marketing
Marketing Your Home for a Successful Sale
Your home is now priced accurately and looks great. Let’s show it off!
The marketing of your home will reflect an established history of how buyers search for, and purchase, homes.
- 95% of buyers use the Internet during their home search.
- 85% of all home sales in Northern Virginia are co-brokered. This means there is a listing agent who represents you, the seller, and another agent who represents the buyer of your home. As a result, marketing to Realtors® is our most productive activity.
- The most effective way to get the attention of productive agents and buyers is through accurate pricing and great photography.
After your home is ready for the market, I will pay to have your home photographed by a professional photographer.
With 95% of buyers using the Internet to search for homes, professional photography is essential to any comprehensive marketing plan.
More people will view your home online than will ever visit it personally. Getting, and holding, their attention online with professional photography is one way to increase the probability of an in-person showing.
“Buyers perceive homes with professional photography to be worth, on average, 12% more than the actual price.” - The Wall Street Journal
Full Motion Walk-Through Video Tour
In addition to professional photography, I will have a high-definition video of your home produced. A well produced video gives potential buyers a feel for what living in the house could be like - long before they make a personal visit.
Video enables us to “tell a story” about your home - why you loved living there - making an emotional connection for buyers. We are able to address the emotional needs for comfort, family, relaxation and more that photos alone cannot communicate.
While many agents create “video” slide shows with the pictures of your home, a walk through tour of the home in High Definition not only brings serious buyers to your door but will also help bring higher offers for your home.
A Market Within A Market
Your home will not only be marketed through universal channels such as the Internet, print advertising, the Multiple Listing Service and signage. I will also market internally to our highly collaborative Samson sales force of more than 1,000 agents - each with their own connections that forms a rich source of prospects, buyers and referrals.
This “market within a market” results in the most efficient transaction environment in Northern Virginia real estate. In fact, one out of every six transactions in the Northern Virginia area involves a Samson Properties agent.
Furthermore, Samson Properties has one of the highest market share’s in Northern Virginia for almost every price category.
Part 5: Internet Marketing
Your home will be prominently featured with a showcase listing on Realtor.com, the top real estate web site in the nation.
Features of your showcase listing include:
- Up to 25 oversized photos
- High-definition video tour
- Detailed descriptions of your home
- Interactive maps
- Open house notices
- Lead generation forms for potential buyers
Additionally, I will place your home on over 500 of the world’s leading real estate web sites for unmatched exposure.
Here are just a few of the sites where your home will be found:
- AOL Real Estate
- Assist 2 Sell
- Century 21
- Christie's International Real Estate
- CLR Search
- Front Door's Open House
- Home Winks
- HomePath by Fannie Mae
- Homes & Land Online
- Homes Database
- Houses for Sale
- Ideal Estate
- Land & Farm Online
- Lands of America
- Properties Online
- Realty Executives Online
- Redefy Real Estate
- Social Homes Online
- The Housing Pages
- The Real Estate Book Online
- The Wall Street Journal Real Estate Online
- The Washington Post Online
- Yahoo! Real Estate
...and thousands more sites managed by independent agents and brokers in our area, including featured placement on our Agent Appraiser site and our brokerage's Samson Properties site, where it can be seen by hundreds of local daily visitors.
Your home is also directly accessible by more than 600 Leading Real Estate Companies of the World affiliates with offices across the country and around the world.
Additionally, all open houses are promoted on our web site, increasing the exposure of your home.
Your home will also be marketed extensively on Facebook, the world’s leading social media site as well as LinkedIn, Pinterest, Twitter and any other relevant Social networking sites.
I will market your home using several proven approaches, including highly-targeted ads, video, photos and more.
Facebook represents an opportunity to reach tens of thousands of local Northern VA residents on a site where they already spend a lot of time.
Your home will also be marketed using the latest video email technology, enabling agents and potential buyers to watch a hi- definition video of your home directly from their email.
Sent to thousands of active real estate agents and area residents, these emails have generated a tremendous response for my clients - leading to increased awareness and showings!
Interactive Mobile Marketing
I will create a custom mobile web site for your home that can be accessed from any smart phone, replacing the need for paper flyers.
There are numerous advantages for you:
- Potential buyers are able to immediately access a detailed description of your home, along with beautiful photos and video. We can also make useful documents available such as your Seller’s Disclosure, Inspection Report and more.
- Unlike paper flyers, I receive an immediate notification with the potential buyer’s cell phone number, allowing me to follow up while the prospective buyer is still in your neighborhood. With a paper flyer, we have to wait until they call us - if they ever do.
- This technology is the flyer box that is never empty. Nothing is more frustrating to potential buyers - and sellers - than an empty flyer box!
Part 6: Service
What Else Can You Expect From the Agent Appraiser Team?
In addition to the services we’ve covered, you can expect me to provide the following:
- Attentive one-on-one service. The responsibility of managing the sale of your home is never passed off to other agents or assistants.
- Regular communications regarding every aspect of my efforts and the results of those efforts as well as any changes in the market, including new listings, price changes of competing homes, sales and how we should re-position your property to remain competitive.
- Assistance negotiating offers and preparing contracts.
- Attending the closing to ensure all contract provisions have been met and that you are fully satisfied with the results of your sale.
Thank you for the privilege and opportunity to work with you. As always, feel free to call me if you have any questions. I look forward to meeting with you and helping you achieve a successful sale!