Published by Kartik Subramaniam
A question I get frequently from first year real estate agents is “How should I prepare for a listing appointment?” A real listing appointment. Not your mom’s house or your best friend from college but a genuine listing appointment from someone you don’t really know.
I wanted to put together a quick guide that will help you as you move through the process of pitching your first seller client! While this is not exhaustive, it should get you closer to a signature than just winging it.
The first step to having a great listing presentation is to ensure that the person you're meeting with is in fact, the true owner of the property. As an agent, you don't want to be on the wrong side of real estate fraud. While you don't necessarily need to see a driver license on the first meeting, use common sense. If the person on title is a female, for example, and you're meeting with a male who says they're the representative of the owner, it's important to dig deep and ask additional questions. In that case, that person may have power of attorney over the recorded owner, but your title insurance company and escrow company will need those documents anyway so ask for them upfront.
The second step is to call your preferred title insurance company and have them pull title on the home to examine liens against the property. This is a prudent second step for a lot of reasons. First, you want to make sure that the market value of the home is greater than any existing liens. If not, this could turn into a short sale, which would trigger an additional set of documents and an entirely different process.
Additionally, a search of the title will reveal if there are any notices of default recorded on the property, which in many states will require a different purchase agreement. A title search is also important because it shows the owner that you were prepared for the listing appointment and are able to work with title to eliminate any liens that may be showing on the property in error.
The main reason that most properties expire out is an improper pricing strategy. A CMA will examine three aspects of the market:
1.The active listings
2.The expired listings
3.The recently sold listings.
Clearly the most important part of this research are the properties that have recently sold as they represent a willing buyer and a willing seller doing a deal with one another. However, the active properties are also important because it shows the seller what the competition in the area is. Finally, the expired listings indicate a warning as to where you should not be pricing the property.
All documents should be ready for the listing at the time of the listing. You should bring any state required forms you need to take a listing as well as a listing contract itself. The worst thing in the world is to have the seller say that they are ready to list, and you not have the appropriate documents.
Bring multiple copies of the listing contract with you incase you need to make notes or changes.
If the seller has experienced a loss in income or a layoff requiring them to sell the property, it's important to be empathetic to the needs of the seller and listen while working diligently to try to maximize the net proceeds to the seller.
Understand what your unique selling proposition is, have confidence that you and your company can get the property sold. And don't forget to smile. =)
It's quite likely that you'll face some objections when making your presentation. Invariably, you may get questions about whether you'll “do it for less”, “price it higher”, or “how many years you've been in the business”. It's important to research as many of these potential objections as possible, and have scripted and truthful responses to the seller’s concerns.
There are a ton of free resources online to help in this if your broker doesn’t provide enough training. There are YouTube videos, blogs, and articles that can help you wade through the sea of a dozen or so objections that are most common in our real estate business. Remember that proper prior planning can prevent poor performance and the more you prospect, role play, and rehearse the greater the likelihood of you taking every listing appointment that you go on.
Remember you have to list to last!
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