- Episode 29 -
You’ve farmed your area. You’ve told everyone that you’re an agent. You sent out your mailers every other month. You do your handwritten cards. And then you wait – and you wait…until finally you get the call…
”We want to talk to you about listing our home for sale.”
If you’re a new agent and this is your first listing, you feel your heart in your throat as your hands begin to shake, taking down the information from the caller, trying to remember the questions to ask. The seller’s name and contract information along with the address is a great place to start. This should always be followed by details about the home: number of beds and baths, pool or other exterior features, and any updates that they have done.
If you’re a seasoned agent, then after hanging up the phone you are already preparing how to win the listing from the competitor that might also be interviewed by the seller. You can recite your listing presentation in your sleep and all you need are the notes from the seller on the features of this specific property and you are ready to go and score that listing.
Doing your research and comparing the home to others in the area is the “make or break” for any agent taking a listing. You prepare the Competitive Market Analysis (the famous “CMA”) showing all the recent sales in the area. You add in the active listings that are in direct competition to the property and highlight those that are pending and should close soon. On a side note, you’re ready to talk about the foreclosures and short sales and also prepare the assumptions as to why the expired listings didn’t sell. You add in other factors about the area such as the schools or proximity to restaurants and major highways and you have a sure fire listing presentation.
On “Listing Day” you show up a few minutes early, look around outside, and prepare yourself for the pitch that will hopefully win you the listing.
Once all the pleasantries are over, you tour the home with the seller adding or subtracting in your head, points that will either increase or decrease the price that you were ready to present. You snap a few photos to remember later on and you start discussing the details of your listing presentation. One of my favorite ice breaker questions to ask my sellers is “why did you purchase this home?” To which you will get a plethora of answers ranging anywhere from “we needed more space” or “we wanted to downsize after the kids all left” to “the kitchen sold me on it” or “when I first walked in, it had the ‘AHH’ factor and I knew I had to have it.”
This information is invaluable when it comes to writing about the property –you want to put the buyers in the property when they read it, and you want to stir up enough emotion for them to schedule a showing.
You also need to ask “why are you selling your home?” To which the cornucopia of answers will begin to flow – “We want to move to a warmer climate”, or “we just had a grandchild and we have to be closer to our family to help out.” This allows the seller the opportunity to tell you their motivation without even knowing it, allowing you to use it when presenting the price recommendation.
One of the first things they teach you in real estate is that you know you’ve made it in the business when you are working with more sellers than buyers, because sellers’ agents list the property and everyone else works hard to sell it for you. When you list it, the battle is won and the commission will come when it’s sold.
It’s sort of the only guarantee in the real estate world – or is it?? We will leave that discussion for next week…