By Dan Foster We've all experienced the frustration and pain that comes from learning that a prospective seller has chosen to work with another agent. In my career I really dreaded getting this type of news. As a result, I developed a system to help me stop "whining" over listing presentations gone badly and instead start "winning" every listing presentation. The system is fairly easy to follow and has yielded great results for me and my team of sales leaders. The five steps are as follows:
Qualify the Seller – This seems like a no brainer but most agents have no idea what to ask a prospect when they first speak to them on the phone or in person. You must have a set of qualification questions that bring to the surface your client's:
- motives for selling
- primary needs and expectations
- understanding of the current market
I always setup a phone call with a prospective seller where I explain how I work and the system I follow for listing homes.
The 15-Minute Walk-Through – I use a fifteen minutes walk-through as an opportunity for me to see the home and neighborhood that I will be selling. This walk-through is not the time to discuss services, benefits, or pricing. It's a time to keep all your senses on high alert as you walk the home, yard, and neighborhood. Use this time to identify for special features of the home, evaluate the condition of the home and yard, and take notes on the overall livability of the home. The notes you take during this walk-through are very important. They will serve as a comparable guide as walk through other active listings in the neighborhood. During the walk-through leave a pre-listing packet for the seller. In this pre-listing packet you should include information on staging and showing the home, an in-depth explanation of the services you provide to the seller, your resume and the benefits of working with you. Leave the packet with them to read and evaluate in between your walk-through and the actual listing presentation. Remember use the walk-through as a time to view the home - not to explain your services, benefits, and pricing.
Viewing Comparable Homes – After the 15-minute walk-through it's time to start viewing other comparables homes in the area. You will want to walk-through as many actively listed homes that you can find around your potential new listing. Touring your competition is something that many agents do not take the time to do. It's unfortunate because most of the sellers I've worked with have already been through the homes in their neighborhood that are for sale and know how they stack up against their own. If you come back to present a price recommendation for the home and you have not viewed your competition, you run the risk of an embarrassing moment when the sellers realize they know more about the competition than you do. If you are not able to view pending and closed sales at least make a phone call to the listing agent and find out as much information you can about the condition of the home, how close they got to asking price, and any additional terms not disclosed in the multiple listing service report. You may need to adjust your market analysis report based on seller concessions or other terms you discuss with these agents. Finally, do a drive by of the pending and sold properties you are using for comparables and note the condition of the exterior of the home and surrounding area.
Presenting Your Strategy – When you've gathered all of your data on the subject property and viewed as many comparable homes in the area it's now time to meet with the seller to review a strategy for selling their home. I've broken my listing presentation down into three strategic areas: marketing, pricing, and commission. I spend almost all of my presentation time on these three strategic areas. First, outline the print and internet marketing avenues you will use to sell the home. Next, move on to a thorough discussion of the current market, your analysis from viewing comparable homes, and end this portion with giving a price recommendation. Finally, end with an explanation of your commission fee. This fee should be based on the level of service the seller needs and that you are willing to provide. I like to provide a menu of options for sellers and will show them a different array of services they can choose from at different commission levels. Remember the interaction with your seller is not a monologue. It must be a dialogue with the end result being a feeling of mutual trust and respect.
Close The Deal – Most brokers never actually ask for the order. I used to dread the last 5 minutes of my listing presentation because I never knew how to close the deal or ask for the order. After failing a few times I quickly learned that I simply needed to ASK! When you are done with the presentation look the seller in the eye and ask if they have any questions about what you've presented. Review any questions or concerns they may have. Tell them you're ready to sell (not list) their home and help them achieve their goals then ask them if they are ready to get started. It's that easy. Have all your listing paperwork pre-filled out and ready to sign with a pen in your hand.
That concludes my brief summary of the 5 step pre-listing and listing process that I've coached my team to use. If you'd like to learn more about this system or any other tools that my company provides, please contact me to setup a free one-on-one coaching session.
Make it a great day!