Here in the final installment of this three-part blog series, we’re going to take you from the listing presentation into the home stretch to discuss pricing and then get your paperwork signed.
Once you’ve gotten into you listing presentation, you need to be looking for two specific things: 1) signs that your seller prospects are tracking with you and 2) buying signals letting you know it’s time to stop your listing presentation and move on to pricing and paperwork.
By paying attention to these important clues, you can make sure that you have smooth transitions from your listing presentation and close at the right time to put yourself in position to successfully get the listing paperwork signed.
Here are the final parts in our complete strategy to nail your listing appointments.
The Listing Presentation and Transition
An English professor was once asked by his students how many pages he wanted their next essay to be.
His answer was simple: “As long as it needs to be for you to say what you need to say.”
It’s much the same for you in making your listing presentation; you only need to give as much of it as necessary to get your point across and gain commitment from your sellers that you’re the right person for the job of getting their home sold.
And - and this is a big AND - if you’ve done what you’re supposed to do from parts one and two of this blog post, you really shouldn’t have to do a full “dog and pony show” listing appointment.
Now, that’s not to say you don’t need to do a listing presentation, because you always need to cover at least the basic elements of what you do to justify your commission when it comes to pricing and fees.
However, once you get the sense that your sellers are on board based upon the agreement you’re getting from them, the questions they are asking and/or the non-verbal and body language cues you are seeing.
Once you feel that the seller is on board, it’s time to transition to pricing. A good script you can use to do that is this: “Mr. and Mrs. Seller, what do you like the most about what I’ve covered here? [Listen] Great. Thanks for sharing. Based upon what you’ve seen so far, are you as confident as I am that we’re the best company to help you get your home sold or do you need more information?”
If they say they need more information, continue with the presentation and use the same close at a later part of the presentation in an effort to gain their confidence in you.
If they say that you’re the right person for the job, use this script: “Great. Let me ask: ‘Assuming we can agree on price and the numbers make sense, are you open to listing your home with me?”
If they say yes, then move on to pricing.
If they say no, check in with them on what they need to be open to it. In many cases, it might just be the price that will help them make the decision. Often times when you ask that question you’ll hear: “We like you, but we want to see what price you recommend first.”
This is all a good thing. Run with it and move on to pricing.
The single most important factor in selling a house is pricing it properly.
And, while nobody has a crystal ball, pricing the house to sell in the seller’s time frame is the goal you need to achieve every time.
You don't want to overprice the house because statistically, speaking after 21 days, demand and interest dwindle significantly. As well, homeowners can lose as much as 1.2% of their home’s value for every month the home stays on the market longer than it should.
Conversely, pricing it too low shouldn’t be a concern because competitively priced homes can create a multiple offer situation that can then drive up the price to market.
In the end, pricing is all about supply and demand. The better the home is priced and the more demand you can create for it, the faster it will sell.
Now, since you covered the market in detail as we discussed in part one of this series, covering pricing and getting agreement with your sellers should be a little easier at this point.
The ideal thing to do is to bring 8 to 10 comparable sales with you and use five of them. It’s okay to use actives, expireds and pendings to strengthen your pricing strategy, but sold listings are what you need to use to get the property priced properly.
Once you’re ready to cover pricing, take out a sheet of paper and set it up like this.
Start at the bottom of the page and list the pertinent data for the comparable sale that would be the lowest price at which you would list the home.
From there, work your way up the page until you list the data for the comparable that would be the actual price (or very close to the price) at which you would list the home.
After you’ve done all of this, ask the seller: “Based upon what you see here, where would you like to price your home?”.
Here’s where the fun begins.
If they’re smart, they’ll give you a price in the range you laid out for them. When that happens, confirm the price is good and then move on to your net sheet.
If they say: “That’s why you’re here. We want you to give us the price”, then your reply is: “I’m confident that your home will sell in the range I’ve presented for you here. It’s your home and as a result of that, it’s important you choose the price at which you’d like it to sell. Where would you like to price your home based up on what I’ve shared here?”
Close for the price and move on to the net sheet.
If they say they wanted a higher price, ask them: “How did you arrive at a higher price based upon what I’ve shown you here?”. In this situation, they will likely compare their home to other homes in the neighborhood.
To combat this, always be sure to email yourself the pictures of the listings you use for comparables. That way, you can bring them up on your tablet or laptop and show them what they need to see in order to justify the price range you’re recommending..
The important thing here in any pricing scenario is to get your seller prospects to focus on what you’re showing them and to price the home within the range - or not too much higher if it’s a seller’s market - so that it will sell in their time frame.
To help get them focused on pricing it properly, always do a net sheet. That way, you’re drilling down to what’s most important to them: what they’re walking away with.
When you do a net sheet, you’re talking real dollars and sense and about a number that they are likely going to see when all is said and done. Most people can’t comprehend what $250,000 on the price of home means, but they can understand what $35,000 in net proceeds can mean to them.
As well, once you get them focused on the bottom line, you can show them that getting another $1,000 or $2,000 in their proceeds check might require them to add $5,000 to their sales price, effectively knocking them out of their price range.
Always, always, always do a net sheet. It will serve you well.
In his speech at that famous scene in Glengarry Glen Ross, Alec Baldwin’s character, Blake, put the job of making sales like this: “...only one thing counts in this life: get them to sign on the line which is dotted”.
This example is a little extreme, but it brings home the point well: if you don’t get the listing agreement signed, you don’t get the listing.
And to that point, after all the work you’ve done to get to the point where you slide the paperwork across the kitchen table and ask for their signatures, you must finish the job and ask your prospect for their business.
At this point in the process, if you’ve followed the process properly and been paying attention to the signals your prospects have been sending you, it should pretty much be a done deal.
That said, you can’t take anything for granted.
The best way to get the listing agreement signed at this point is to start with the least threatening piece of paperwork and work your way up to the listing agreement.
If you can get them to fill out your state’s explanation of agency relationships, the seller’s disclosure and tell you, in writing, what they love about their home...you’re pretty much home free.
If, for some reason, they balk at signing the listing agreement, find out what the limiting step is and close from there.
At the worst, offer them a no-hassle cancellation guarantee that lets them get out of their listing agreement at any time and you should be able to get the listing agreement signed.
Market Maker Leads.