Are you looking to get an edge on your next listing appointment? Listings are often times competitive and getting the listing or not can mean the difference of thousands of dollars in income. With my listing appointment checklist you'll ensure that you stand out among the competition and have the best chance at earning the business.
These next 13 tips have been compiled over the course of my real estate career and now wins me over 90% of the listing appointments that I go on. Incorporate these strategies into your next listing and you'll make a lasting impression and gain more business.
1. Get As Many Details Over The Phone
Before you're able to complete a thorough comparative market analysis (CMA), you'll need to ensure you've asked as many questions up-front as possible.
Much of the information you'll need related to the property can be found online. However, here are a few questions you should ask over the phone, before the listing appointment:
- What recent repairs and updates have you made to the property?
- Have you added/subtracted any square footage to the property since it last sold?
- Is anyone else on the title that will not be present at our meeting?
- Who else will you be meeting with before making your decision to list?
- How much do you believe your home is worth? How much do you currently owe?
- Why are you looking to sell?
- When do you wish to have your home listed?
The answers to the above questions help get a complete picture of what you'll be walking into during the listing appointment. These answers also help you complete your comparative market analysis in the next step.
2. Complete a Comparative Market Analysis
Once you have as many details about the home as possible, now is the time to whip out all of that ninth-grade algebra you've forgotten over the years, grab a calculator, and start digging into the numbers, just kidding.
You can find many valuable resources to help you complete a comparative market analysis. You don't have to be a finance major to make it happen. Check out my post for more information on how to do a CMA.
3. 'Preview' Other Neighborhood Listings
If you are new to real estate or haven't listed or sold a home in the neighborhood your listing appointment is coming up in, consider 'previewing' active listings.
Previewing listings allow you to familiarize yourself and see what other sellers are asking for homes within the neighborhood.
Additionally, when you show up for the appointment, you'll be more knowledgable about the neighborhood and current listings. You'll be able to speak specifically towards the competition and how they looked (and smelled).
Just be sure to let the agent know before your showing that you are only previewing the listing for potential buyers and that it's not an actual showing with clients. Most agents and sellers will not have an issue with this.
4. Ask 3 Other Agents to Give You A Valuation
Crowdsource the value of their listing. Ask three other agents to give you their opinion of the value of your listing. These values will help you gain insight and confidence when presenting the seller with their home's valuation.
Also, when you show up to the listing appointment, you can bring up these "independent" third-party agents' opinions as validation to the valuation you share with them.
5. Speak To 3 Other Agents That Recently Sold a Home in The Neighborhood
Sold listings give you the most significant insight into the formula for selling a home quickly and for top dollar. Agents that have recently sold homes in the neighborhood have information related to showing traffic, negative feedback, and marketing opportunities in the area.
Most agents that I call and speak with are usually an open book and are more than willing to share.
6. Drop Off Pre-Listing Package
Once you have completed your comparative market analysis, now's a good time to go drop off a pre-listing package (for occupied homes)
A pre-listing package is a "surprise" bonus and sets the stage for your appointment. I don't tell sellers I'm dropping off the pre-listing package until it's on their doorstep.
I include my marketing booklet (everything I do to market their property) along with my CMA and a page about the home selling process in the package. If you're looking for a good marketing booklet, check out Plan A Advertising. They create high-quality booklets at an affordable price.
This package accomplishes two things:
1. Paints a positive picture that you are prepared and go the extra mile to create a positive experience.
2. It allows the seller to be on the same page with you during your appointment so that it's not the first time seeing the material you are going to share. Being on the same page cuts the time you spend at a listing appointment down significantly since they've had time to consume most of the material already.
7. Create a "Buzz" Post on Social Media to Screenshot For Listing Presentation
I will typically post a "Who do you know" post on social media before my listing appointment even takes place.
In this "buzz" post, I ask my social media audience (and share to realtor groups) who would like added to a list for details on an upcoming listing. I supply the size, neighborhood, and price range but not the address or any exact information.
In your post, let people know that you'll reach out to those that wish to be added to the list as soon as you have further details and before the listing goes live.
Many agents will want to be added to the list, especially in this market, where inventory is low.
You can then screenshot the results and incorporate this into your listing presentation. Sellers like to see that you've taken the extra initiative and may already have an interest in their property before it's available.
8. Create Listing Presentation
I like to keep my listing presentation short and simple. I use Google Slides to create a quick slideshow. This slideshow is a guide to keep the listing appointment on track.
Many years ago, I heard about Guy Kawasaki's "10/20/30 Rule of Powerpoint". This method says that you should create ten slides with a 20-point font, which should take you 30 minutes to present. This method is based on a monologue and doesn't account for another party asking questions. Therefore, if you stick to this method in a listing appointment, you'll set yourself up for a 45 to a 60-minute listing appointment. This length of time is ideal.
9. Bring Paper Copies of Required Documents
I'm a huge proponent of technology, making our lives easier. However, I believe there's something to say about getting a seller to hand sign a document in front of you, especially the listing agreement.
This likely stems from my background in new home sales. I used to love running physical contracts into the main office Sunday night for Monday reporting. Either way, I love getting a physically signed listing agreement. Also, I believe it feels more substantial to a seller versus e-signatures. They genuinely feel like they've taken the next step.
I'll also have the seller fill out the seller disclosure while I'm at their home taking measurements and gathering other information I'll need to complete the MLS listing. (This all happens after we've agreed on the listing agreement.)
10. Call HOA For Any Rules and Restrictions
The next step in the listing appointment checklist is to call the homeowners association (HOA) to gather any unique rules and restrictions.
This step ensures that you show up to the listing appointment prepared. You can share any processes you need to take with the seller.
For example, I've listed homes that required different signs or no signs at all. Some have special rules about open houses. If the home is in a guarded community, you'll get information from the HOA on showing instructions.
11. Bring Sign & Lockbox To Install If Within 1 Week of Listing
I always take a sign and lockbox with me to my listing appointment. By taking a sign and lockbox with me, I can install either or both once the listing agreement is signed.
By placing a lockbox on the home early, it allows me to give access to a photographer or contractor without me needing to be there to let them in (with sellers approval).
If the listing is live within a week of signing the listing agreement, I'll install the yard sign. I do this to start fielding interest in the home. If the listing will be live after a week, then I just set a reminder to head back out closer to the time we go live.
12. Take Photos and Video At Appointment To "Put Feelers Out There"
Before I leave the listing appointment, I ask the seller if I can take photos and videos of the home for pre-listing.
I explain that these will not be the actual photos used when the listing goes live but that I'll use them to create a little extra interest before we go live.
If the seller hasn't signed the listing agreement or if they are still interviewing other agents, I assure them that I won't do anything with the media until they've given me the approval to do so.
Either way, this extra effort leaves a lasting impression on the seller and lets them know that you are willing to do everything possible to get their home sold as fast as possible.
13. Mail Thank-You Letter Day Of Appointment
Before I head to the listing appointment, I put a thank you card in the mail for the seller. Mailing the letter early guarantees that they receive it a day or two after the appointment.
Sending a handwritten letter is especially helpful if you are competing for the listing because most agents will not take this extra step. It can be the last impression that wins you the listing.
Because I don't know how the appointment is going to go, I keep the letter generic and short.
Listing Appointment Checklist Conclusion
I hope that my listing appointment checklist can help give you an edge on your next listing appointment. These are the very best tips that I picked up over the years that have made enough impact on my listing appointments that I now do them every time I have a new listing opportunity.
Watch The Video On My Listing Appointment Checklist
It's Your Turn
I'm curious to know, what are some items on your listing appointment checklist that aren't on mine? Or, what is your favorite thing on the list that you plan to implement on your next listing appointment? Let me know in the comments below.