The initial tour of the property.
The kitchen table presentation – going for yes!
The email recap of meeting.

There is only one opportunity for a first impression. You have conducted a great first phone call because you pulled pertinent data for that phone interview. You do your best because you are paid very well for a short term service contract. Each of us is in the service business. We never take for granted that our friends or referrals will choose us. We choose to be prepared, we anticipate resistance, we must do our very best to win.


Each of us in life, at all times, is in 1 of 4 states. We resist the ideas of others. We become open to others ideas. We are considering the other person’s idea, on a conditional basis, perhaps time, or something must occur. The fourth stage, is when we are ready to implement the idea. To succeed in life, to succeed in getting this listing, we must hone our skills to know “what state the potential client is in.”

    From your initial call with the seller, and your initial email that they may have responded to, what STAGE of READINESS would you say they are in? 

    Just like any relationship, if you do not know where people are in the process, the relationship may be strained. This is true of sellers, or even when dealing with family members, or other agents during the inspection phase. 

    Knowing when people are NOT READY to make decisions allows us to redirect polite, respectful, fact-finding questions. And in the case of listings, you will be the logical choice as you built a trustworthy relationship. Be patient. The sales person’s adage is, “Always be closing” when in fact it should be, “Always be assessing.” After all, who wants to be closed by a salesperson? 


    Why would the seller not say YES to hire you? 

    • They politely tell you they will think about it but have eliminated you.
    • They have other agents to interview.
    • The time period to move is weeks or months away and they are “not ready” to commit.
    • They need to determine something in their lives that is tied to the possible move.

    When it is logical and or recommended to do a “1-step” listing interview.  

    • The seller is in a rush and feels they have to or want to make a hiring decision in the next 72 hours 
    • You have high confidence that you “know what list price to recommend”
    • They have given strong indication that there are no more interviews after you
    When it is logical to NOT go for the listing at this juncture and convert the process to a “2-step interview.”  
    • You have only been in the home for an hour or so and you truly are not sure what to recommend as a list price 
    • One of both of the sellers is not objective and is determined to overprice the property
    • They are not ready to have showings for weeks or months 
    • You are not sure if they will select you
    • If there is more than one seller, only one was present

    The initial tour of the property with the prospective client 

    Part 1 of the interview process was the phone call, part 2 the recap email. The tour is part 3. Keep in mind, the interview is a process. The actual “listing interview” at the kitchen table is only a portion of a winning process to eliminate the competitor and price the property correctly. 

    • The tour is a time to build rapport – sellers usually let their guard down at this point – and put it up during the interview 
    • The tour with the seller allows you to determine if the seller “is objective” about the features and condition as it relates to price

      Items to Discovers on the Initial Tour

      • Are there issues with property that will cause a buyer to not make an offer 
      • Is the seller nonobjective about the condition of the property
      • Is the seller revealing things that indicate it may be difficult to show the property
      • Is the seller taking items from the home that will make it less attractive
      • The seller will often reveal projects they have yet to do – which reveals the time table to put the property on the market
      • The seller will often reveal problems with the property – deferred maintenance or things that don’t function properly

        Key Questions for the Initial Tour

        1. Can you share with me any capital improvements you have done in the last 2-3 years? 

        2. If you were to stay, and were not thinking of moving, would there be any projects that may need attention?

        3. What is the time frame when you would say you are ready for the house to be shown?

        4. (If there is a required seller inspection) Have you had a chance to order your (city, county) inspection? 

        5. Could I ask you, are you leaving any particular appliances, and or excluding anything in particular?

        If you will notice, many of the questions are a variation of the question you asked on your initial call to the seller. However, if there is a second party, spouse or other taking the tour with you, you will get a more detailed answer in which to prepare you for your presentation. 

        The tour is also very valuable in that it sets the tone for the sit-down interview that is about to occur. You asked the questions. You are in control. Often sellers will have “the 10 key questions to ask an agent during an interview.” You DON’T want them to ask you any of them. They are designed to disqualify you. 

        For training purposes, we are going to assume you are doing a 2-step interview. Meaning, that your first visit is to view the property so that you can determine it’s value. (The one-step is discussed in the final part of this training, part 4.)
        Now, perhaps you are extremely experienced and know the subject property floorplan, the area, the closed comps, the competing actives, the recent pending properties and have studied the recent failed / expired listings in the area and are confident in your price opinion. Plus the seller is reasonable and objective. If all those factors are in place, go for it! 
        If not, if you and the client would be better served by you reflecting on the comps, actives, pendings, expireds, then make it a 2-step. What would you want from your Realtor? For the agent to desperately go for the listing, or respectfully do the research on the price. 
        Personally, I have been on million dollar listing interviews and was uncertain in the house should be 1.4 or 1.2 list price. I had the data, but was uncertain. Thus the seller respected my request to complete my research and scheduled a 2nd interview. 
        Additionally, I was interviewing for a property at $2,000,000. It was an expired listing and the seller was interviewing at least 5 agents. My value, was $1,300,000. I know the seller was NOT READY to hear it. They were confused by so many different opinions. They did not know who to trust. Clearly, this was a 2-step interview. Much like therapy, a patient needs more than one session. 
        It was the largest price reduction in my career. I did get the listing with a $700,000 price drop. The seller said, “We would never have built our new home if we knew our current home was worth so little.” 
        Second interviews are like second dates. People are much more relaxed. Plus your probability of winning is much higher, and the decision could happen while you are there. 

        Hi [Seller],


        I truly appreciate the opportunity to view the property and share my initial market overview. Now that I have taken the tour of the home, I viewed it from both the buyer’s perspective as well an an appraiser’s viewpoint. 

        Pricing is a very important factor in marketing the home. My successes are in direct relation to my insights to buyer demand and “momentum in the market.” Here is what I will accomplish to summarize pricing.