Over the years, I ask Realtors, “How much time do you invest pulling data for your listing interview?” Keeping in mind there are thousands of dollars at stake and a lifetime of referrals. Most of the agents answers are between 5 and 15 minutes. In other words, the thing that is most important to the seller is least important to the agent.
The second question I ask Realtors, “If your listing interview is about 1 hour, how do you divide your time between, the tour of the house, the general chit chat, the marketing presentation, the pricing presentation and the final paperwork? The #1 use of time was the marketing presentation, followed by 10-15 minutes to discuss pricing.
Why don’t Agents Win The Listing?
Much like dating, it was generally something that was said that was unappealing. It was sounding just like everyone else. It was talking about oneself vs the interests of the other person.
The listing interview has many components. The most important is price price price price price! Every facet of the interview process should be about “market momentum” and how it affects the price. From the first phone call, the first email, the tour, etc.
LAST THOUGHTS ON 1-STEP VS. 2-STEP INTERVIEW PROCESS
Whether you choose to do a 1-step interview, meaning sharing everything you know about the property in one meeting vs a 2-step where you save your opinion for when your rapport is higher and you have more insight. Keep in mind, if you are doing a 1-step, your competitor may be doing a 2-step. If they are, the other agent has the competitive edge. Like going on a date, the person that gets two dates has a better chance of continuing the relationship than the person with just one date.
DATA: Active Listings
Normally, agents go out to listings equipped with SOLD properties, however you will see that there is a gold mine of information in properties in other statuses. And, often this is the data that eliminates your competitor.
For example, the subject property is approximately $400,000. Let’s say another ACTIVE property is on the market with your least favorite competitor, at 100 days on market. It may be wise to say to the seller, “Here is a property on the market, the question is, is it not selling because of the marketing plan or would you think it is the asking price?” It is with xyz company, and they are a good firm.
Patience. Let the seller answer. They may say something unfavorable about the listing firm.
How many ACTIVE PROPERTIES do you need?
Ideally there are 2-4 for sale in less than two mile radius of the subject.
Ideally they are in the immediate subdivision however that is nut likely.
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
DATA : Pending / Under Contract Properties
Again ideally you can locate properties in a similar price point, similar style, similar area. Again, 2-4 under contracts would be great.
DATA : FAILED LISTINGS – Expireds, Withdrawn, Canceled, Etc.
Essentially, the listing agency did not sell the property. The listing came off the market unsuccessful. In any competition, there is contrast. Everybody is compared to everybody else. The best reactions from sellers, in order to get them to express their opinions, is done WHEN THEY REVIEW THE FAILED listings. Plus they get to see “contrast” in that your competitor has many of the failed properties.
You will see, it is wise to show these properties as “sellers get perspective.” Kind of a “huh, if that guy failed, that is a surprise.” “If they guy failed, maybe I will. ” It is humbling and insightful to home sellers to see “what did not work.”
DATA : SOLDS
Most agents believe this is where they will find the best indicators of value, based on PPSF.
Actually, and this goes against conventional thinking, SOLDS can be the weakest part of the pricing presentation.
This is because the seller has access to the solds. And the seller has often already come up with opinion of these properties.
Meaning, there home is superior, and most of the others are “dogs” or inferior.
When we get to the presentation phase, you will see, sold properties are the last to present, and in some cases you will not need them.
Asking the Seller about their most remarkable Features
Sellers have opinions. And those opinions often lead to over pricing and failed listings. For example, the seller has a finished basement and feel it is worth $60,000 because that’s what it cost. The new driveway was $12,000 and they feel they should get that added to the asking price. In order to conduct a pricing interview, it is important to know what misconceptions the seller has.
Is It Okay To Take An Overpriced Listing
It depends on 3 factors. Is the market hot, is the subject property above average and is the seller coachable? Here is how to conduct that conversation.