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10 Steps to Help You Win the Listing — Every Time

When inventory is tight, it’s essential to have a plan when competing for a listing. Here are 10 tips that virtually guarantee they'll pick you as the Realtor to sell their house.

Have you ever lost a listing even though you knew you were the best person for the job? Half of the listings that you lose are often because you did not have a rapport with that customer. Below are 10 steps you can take to win the listing!

You’ve been working your sphere, marketing like crazy and you finally have a listing appointment. You think you’re well prepared, but you just aren’t connecting with the seller. You find out the next day they chose another Realtor®. Relationships are key to success in real estate, and just because someone is in your sphere of influence doesn’t mean they have a relationship with you.

You must first establish that relationship through contacts, phone calls, coffee meetings and more. Once you have that, the next 10 steps will be icing on the cake.

Here are 10 tips that can put you in a position to win the listing every time.

1. Listen carefully.

As you set the appointment, ask questions and listen to identify their personality style, assuming you don’t already know it from the previous contacts you’ve had with the prospect. To discover what your personality is, take the DISC assessment. By learning who you are, you’ll get a better grasp on what type of personality the prospective buyer is, which allows you to tailor your presentation.

2. Ask the right questions.

When you’re on the phone setting a listing appointment, ask, “What is your expectation of the sales professional you will hire?” Listen to what they tell you. Take notes because they’ve now told you what’s important to them. That means that you can have solutions to their problems when you go to the listing presentation.

3. Adapt your approach to match the seller’s personality style.

For example, if they are highly analytical, provide data, charts and spreadsheets to help them decide. Failure to pay attention to their preferences could lead to a lack of connection in the selling process.

4. Use assumptive language.

When speaking with the seller, use assumptive language such as, “When we decide to work together,” instead of, “If you choose me.”

5. The marketing begins at the curb.

When you get out of the car, take a couple of photos with your phone and take notes. You want them to see you nodding approvingly and, in a sense, already taking charge of the marketing.

6. During the home tour, take notes and ask questions.

Comment positively. Pay attention to the areas of the house that they are most proud of. Before giving any advice on how to sell, ask if they prefer to sell as is or make improvements. If they choose to make improvements, let them know you’ll be taking notes during the tour and that you can discuss the options after the tour.

7. Discuss pricing strategies with the seller.

Provide them with three pricing strategies. The first option would be to price the home below what the market might bear knowing that it may drive multiple bids and drive the price higher. Of course, this option only works in a low-inventory market. The second option is to price based on the current neighborhood data to allow for a reasonably quick sale and ensure they’ll achieve a full value appraisal. The third option is not preferred, but it’s the retail pricing strategy. Price the home above market value, knowing that if the market does not respond, a price adjustment may need to be made in the future. Ask them which strategy they prefer and where in the price range you give them, they want to begin. Be sure to explain the pros and cons of each option.

8. Reframe what work needs to be done on the house to sell.

Rather than tell the seller what is wrong with their house—which will surely put them on the defensive—ask them what a buyer might request they change or use against them in negotiations. Once they tell you, offer them work-around solutions, ideas and options.

9. Bring the listing agreement to the appointment.

Sure, you have it on your mobile and can fill it out from anywhere, but bring a paper copy with you. You want to have the seller sign on the spot and having that paper copy allows them to spend time reading it. Find a reason to spark urgency.

10. Explain how you market and communicate.

Spend 15-20 minutes discussing communication, expectations and progress. Review this with them every two weeks after listing the property.

Sure, today’s market can be tough for getting listings, but preparation is key. Go in with a plan, listen to what the prospective seller is telling you, and tailor your presentation to their needs and desires. Then, get the listing! 

Debbie De Grote is a coach, author and founder of Forward Coaching.