20 Questions to Ask a Seller
Before You Go to See them
The most important part of the listing presentation happens before you even step foot in the prospective seller’s house. Here’s a list of questions that will help you wow the seller.
Remember that the sales associate who knows the most about the seller prior to the listing presentation wins the business.
That’s why I put together a list of questions to ask sellers so that you can arm yourself with the information that will give you an edge during a listing presentation.
It’s important to have a list of questions because sometimes adrenaline affects your ability to wing it. Even top-producing superstars need a crutch when under the pressure of a seller who’s “just thinking about listing.”
In the past 30 years, this checklist has evolved. And, I’m not embarrassed to tell the seller to hold on a moment while I grab my checklist. It shows you’re organized and thorough. People love to deal with an organized, consistent service giver and these questions will guarantee you of that fact. Of course, you don’t always have to ask every question and you may find that some questions just don’t work for you—that’s OK. Use this as a guide to formulating your own seller question checklist.
1. How did you hear of me/who referred you? This question will also help you track your advertising effectiveness.
2. Why do you want to sell?
3. Who else are you interviewing? Agent, Office, Appointment Date/Time
Try to be the last sales associate with whom the seller meets. Make this happen and reschedule if necessary. You can say, “Meeting with all the other brokers first will guarantee a maximum of questions. Then, I can better serve you if you have the maximum amount of questions available.”
4. If I answer all of your questions to your satisfaction, will you list your property with me right away?
5. Would it be possible for all decision makers to be present and meet with me on (Insert date/time)?
6. Is it possible to meet at my office? If not, then where?
7. Who will be present?
8. Do you own any other properties in the area? If yes, where?
9. To where are you moving?
10. Do you know a real estate professional there?
11. When do you need to sell?
12. What price do you want to list?
13. How much are your underlying loans? 1st $, 2nd $, 3rd $
14. Do you need a 1031 Tax Deferred Exchange?
15. What criteria are you going to use in hiring an agent?
16. We will be sending/delivering/offering on our Web site a little pre-meeting information packet. Will you please review it prior to your meeting with me?
17. May we ask that you wait to make a decision on hiring a sales associate until you meet with me?
18. Can we arrange some FREE time for you to consult with a CPA?
19. Tell me about your property?
Length of Lease
20. Any other amenities of property?
After the setting your appointment, you’re armed with enough information to impress them at your meeting. Don’t forget to put some of the information you gathered in a pre-listing confirmation package delivered to them via e-mail, snail mail or viewed on your Web site. That will add to the amount of information that you can use to impress your seller. Obtaining a listing in the face of today’s competition can be challenging. Knowing the most about the seller before you show up for the meeting will enable you to be the best at changing their financial future.
Walter Sanford was a sales associate for nearly 30 years before moving on to real estate training and coaching. He’s authored twelve systems and books on checklists, proactive lead generation, affiliate lead generation and more. For more information, go to www.waltersanford.com.