Why Work With Ray Wedell?

Why Work With Ray Wedell and the Ray Max Team? 

The listing and sale of real estate nationally, and in Northern Virginia, has been undergoing a massive transformation in the past few years. The transforming technology and need for a more financially savvy representation has driven buyers and sellers away from many of the traditional approaches and practitioners. Much of the information buyers need to follow listings in any given neighborhood is readily available to them online. In many cases, the prospective buyer might be more sophisticated than many of the local Realtors in a given neighborhood. Vertically integrated large firms, offering soup to nuts representation in a monolithic, one-size-fits-all, fashion are becoming relics.

For Buyers – In this dynamic new world, buyers look to real estate agents as a source of on-the-ground intelligence. One can garner a great deal of data and opinions from knowledgeable sources; however, it is more critical than ever for buyers to engage with a representative/partner who is financially savvy, nimble, quick to respond, technologically savvy, and most importantly, who knows the ins and outs of the communities in which the buyer has significant interest. We all know the saying that, a little knowledge is a dangerous thing. My adjunct to this is that significant knowledge can be a more dangerous thing. As a buyer, the depth of intelligence and research you bring allows an agent to truly zero in on quality offerings, many of which will not remain available for long. Neither you nor your representative should have weeks and months of wasted time and effort playing the old school game of trying to see 8 to 10 listings in one day, weekend after weekend. In this virtual age, such a strategy is not only no longer necessary, it is inefficient and unlikely to result in you buying the home you really want at the best possible price/terms to you.

For Sellers – When listing your home, it is important to understand the new era in which we live. There remains a mentality in many places to list with your “neighborhood specialist” or person who you see at the local market regularly just because, “he/she knows my neighborhood well and has sold many houses in here.” This can be an injurious financial strategy, and one which is fast becoming obsolete in many areas. Today it is critical for you to hire a partner who will diligently work every lead from wherever it surfaces; someone who can position your home in its most positive light at all times, and have your listing be a virtual magnet among the many other alternatives a qualified buyer may encounter in his/her search.

The buyer for your home is not likely to be someone from your neighborhood. Rather than focusing on choosing someone who “knows your neighborhood very well,” you should be focused on someone who can best attract potential buyers from the outside to your neighborhood.

This is not a simple, formula-driven monolithic selling strategy. Rather, it becomes a flexible and individually-designed marketing and sales strategy which will work best for your home and your neighborhood. This usually involves a mix of tried-and-true old school disciplines, combined with the most effective technological and virtual enhancements available which make sense for you. And the most valuable piece of all is to partner with someone who convince the prospective buyer or buyer agent that the home which they have been attracted to, i.e. your home, is indeed the one they must own. I could build a highway from here to Los Angeles with all the money which has been left on the table by sellers/listing agents who yield ground in order to get a quick sale or simply because the buyer/buyer’s agent was more sophisticated in their approach. Don’t let this happen to you.



The Ray MAX brand means that you will get maximum service and value when using the Ray Wedell team at Samson Properties. A privately-owned and operation franchise of experienced professionals, Samson allows the latitude to use our own unique skills to maximize our ability to serve a large range of clients. Working under Samson, rather than one of the “traditional brokerage firms” provides the perfect platform for my approach to real estate sales, which I term the “Ray Max” or “Ray Max Team” approach.

By partnering with a full time real estate professional, you will always receive a high level of marketing skill, combined with financial acumen, detailed knowledge of your market and the overall real estate industry, an industrious work ethic, and the negotiating skills necessary to assure you maintain a strong price level with a buyer and buyer agent who will be equally motivated to close the sale on time and in a stress-free manner. Do not underestimate the difficulty in achieving all of the above.

The Ray Max Team takes great pride in working with the best talent available in all areas when preparing and marketing your listing, including:

  • Quality construction and home improvement contractors who can ready your home for sale without requiring that you donate an arm and a leg in the process.
  • Professional photography at the highest level, geared to the best presentation of real estate and specializing in having your home show perfectly on-line.
  • Highest quality graphics design in production of stellar brochures, web advertising, and promotional materials to be mail or posted, as appropriate.
  • If appropriate, home staging assistance to assure that your home not only shows well to visitors, but which shines to the burgeoning on-line viewing public.
  • Intelligent and affable support staff, when necessary.

There is no compromise on any of the above, at any time. Short cuts on quality are never an option.


Although marketing and presenting your home in the most favorable light involves some customized approaches, there are many consistent approaches which the Ray Max Team will provide on every listing. These are bedrock approaches which will not be compromised.

Open Houses  I have frequently been told that open houses don’t matter. I hear that open houses are treated as an obligation by listing agents, as an ineffective sales tool allowing neighbors, curiosity-seekers, and people with nothing better to do on a Sunday afternoon, to trample through your house.

Remember this: if an agent is skilled at discussing your home with visitors through an open house, this remains one of the most effective ways to sell your home. In fact, in today’s digital age in which prospective buyers search the internet for open homes to examine at their own pace without time limitations or buyer agent pressure, I have seen a renaissance in the open house as a primary means of attracting quality buyers.

I expect to work on Sundays. I like open houses. They represent a great opportunity to meet and greet prospective buyers who are choosing to come see you, most likely with a reason. Will there be nosy neighbors? Of course, and the more the merrier. Seeing a crowded home with enthusiastic neighborhood people speaking positive words about the house and neighborhood is nothing but a positive. The fact is, in today’s world, many buyers will seek open houses as a means of doing their own shopping. They may bring an agent into the transaction later. But in a virtual world, only a fool would ignore the power in an open house, conducted by an enthusiastic and knowledgeable listing agent.

Extensive Internet Marketing – Many agents and firms will regale you with commentary about their wide spread reach on the internet. The truth is, no matter who you list with, your home will be broadcast on the internet in over 100 places. The major sources of real estate information to buyers will all have an “IDX link” which will allow you to view homes the same way an agent can in the MLS system. So don’t be fooled by ridiculous claims of web outreach superiority. So don’t be fooled by many claiming they have “web superiority” when they truly do not.

What is important is HOW your listing shows on the internet. Ray Max uses only the top professional photographers in the field, photographers who understand how to present a home visually. It is common for us to delve through 300 or so pictures to select and organize the proper 30 to appear in an MLS search. Your home will glisten when shown on line; a disjointed combination of iphone pictures assembled and placed on the MLS is never an option on a Ray Max listing. The pictures will be perfect; the lighting will be just right; the organization of them will tell the proper story. The cost of photography is absorbed as a cost of doing business by the Ray Max Team, so you will not be charged for this effort.

Outreach to Potential Buyers  The Ray Max Team maintains an extensive list of prospective buyers for properties in your neighborhood. Whether someone is responding to an internet viewing, working in a local business office nearby, or someone who has been searching in the past in your neighborhood, there is a bevy of potential buyers always seeking to be the first to see a quality new listing. Many of these people transform into real buyers.

Extensive Internet Marketing – Many agents and firms will regale you with commentary about their wide spread “reach” on the internet. The truth is, no matter who you list with, your home will be broadcast

Direct E-mail Marketing to Real Estate Agents  Your home will be broadcast with appropriate text and superior photographs to over 10,000 agents in Northern Virginia. Generally, this campaign will be centered initially around a Broker’s Open House with the intent to attract those real estate agents who may have buyers with immediate interest in your neighborhood. The Broker’s Open House and open house tours are becoming less popular as a means of exposing your home to agents. However, announcing a Brokers Open as also an open house available to the public generally attracts some direct buyer interest from individuals who see the open advertised on-line. The Ray Max Team never underestimates the power of any opportunity to meet real qualified buyers, no matter what the advertising medium.

Virtual Tours  Many people will promote the power in their virtual tours. They will cite their wiz-bang technology in extensive panoramas, 360 degree rotations, 100s of photos, and multiple slide shows.

It all sounds great. But the Ray Max Team sees this as over-promotion of techniques and technologies which may actually have diminishing returns. Too many photos simply confuse buyers, and do not present your home in its best, most-focused light. We may start with 300 photos, but we always break it down to the best 30. This is actually a more time-consuming and difficult method for us than to shotgun in 50 or more photos adjust because if you choose, this can and will be done; however, it is not recommended. Given today’s advanced technologies, a presentation of 30 sharp, well positioned photos will tell your story well.

This can be blended into a sharp and coherent virtual tour which best sells your home.

One area in which the Ray Max Team intends to maximize the virtual tour philosophy is in the use of personalized video of your home. Once again, this is a tricky situation, and we will not put up a video just to say we have one. The goal is a two minute maximum presentation which sells your house, not the agent. A video which highlight what needs to be highlighted, in ways a sharp professional can better highlight. We will enter this arena with more caution than some, and using only the top available players in the video presentation field. We do not believe that a bad video is better than no video, and much of what is out there is better left on the shelf.

Integration of Commonly Used Consumer Social Media Sites – It is important to have your listing promoted well and aggressively through various well-known social media outlets. This is true not simply to have people view them in their own rights on these sites, but to enhance the interrelationship and cross-linking among social media portals. Important social media outlets for this purpose include, but are not limited to: Facebook; Twitter; Instagram; LinkedIn; and Pinterest. This is an evolving area which will become more effective, more perfected, and more utilized over time.

Brochures  We will stack up our brochures against any in the industry, including those promoting mega million dollar properties. Nobody enters your home and leaves with anything less than a Ray Max brochure which tells the complete story in sharp, succint form. It will be produced in the highest quality color materials, whether your home is listed at $100,000 or $10,000,000. This is an area in which we do not compromise, and we use the best and most innovative graphics design teams as our partner.

Post Cards and Direct Mail  Many real estate firms and agents have gone totally away from this form of advertising. It is relatively expensive, and agents seek less costly online alternatives, if any at all.

With the Ray Max Team, you will see an adherence to targeted direct mail, especially post cards, most of the oversized variety. Given the reduction in overall use of such marketing in many industries, people receive much less junk mail these days, and a beautifully constructed card on high quality stock will attract attention quickly. In many ways, this is a more effective technique than it was in the past, and announcing a new listing or first open house by direct mail is a benchmark quiver among the arrows the Ray Max Team uses to promote your home.

Word of Mouth Advertising  Think about it: when has this ever NOT been effective? We discuss your listing at every opportunity, and encourage you and friends to do the same. Enthusiastically promoting a home in a face-to-face situation may or may not sell your home to the other person; but it may encourage that person to pass the word on to someone in his family or office. Hand that person a top quality post card advertising the home to pass on adds to its effectiveness. The Ray Max Team has not forgotten the many old school techniques which take little time and effort, but often strike pay dirt.


I look forward to discussing any of this material with you. When the time comes, I hope you allow me to roll up my sleeves, and put the Ray Max Team to work on selling your home.

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