When I first started in real estate I was not confident enough in my own experience and skills to properly set expectations at a listing appointment.  I often didn’t “win” the listing or ended up pricing it improperly at the sellers request.  Gaining that level of confidence is the most important thing a real estate agent can do, but it isn’t easy.

Some of the things I have learned and use in my appointments help set me apart from other real estate agents. Sellers have told me they selected me because I had a sense of confidence. That confidence was hard won from experience pure and simple.

Here are some of the things I do for all listing appointments:

  1. I do research. I run comparables and study them. I drive by the house before the appointment to help me get a sense of curb appeal.
  2. I check the previous records in the MLS and even pull any available public records to see when the current owner purchase it and what the mortgage situation might be.
  3. I preview any comparable properties in the same neighborhood that are also for sale. The seller will ask me about those when we review the active properties, I like to be able to answer the questions with authority.
  4. Discuss pricing. I also tell my potential clients what my pricing strategy, experience and theory is before we even discuss price. That seems to help them understand my reasoning and support it. But we decide together. I am not opposed to testing a price slightly higher than I recommend as long as the client is clear in understanding a review after 7-10 days is a must and quick adjustments might be necessary.
  5. I explain how I market the house. The websites I list on: where, how and why.  I explain the difference in some real estate sites in how they accumulate listings and information.
  6. I always discuss the “offer” process, reviewing what they will see and expect.  Including reviewing “Buyer Assistance” so they are prepared for it.

I often leave an appointment with the listing, but sometimes I leave with the expectation of hearing from the Seller at a future point. I often do and sometimes I don’t. I watch those houses I don’t list – especially when they had an unrealistic price expectation – and I watch the price drop while the days on market increase.

Do your best setting expectations and your job will be easier.  It pays off when there are market changes as your client is more willing to listen and trust you.

What do you do differently to set expectations at a listing appointment?