The Listing Appointment is an interview of sorts – for the Seller to understand what a particular Real Estate Agent has to offer and the firm that the Agent is associated with has to offer as well. The Agent is also interviewing the Seller to understand the Seller’s objectives.
I normally follow a two-step process. The first step normally entails a shorter visit where I view the property and also spend time talking about the market and the Sellers main objectives. The second visit – a few days to a week later – is where we sit down – discuss the marketing plan and discuss similar properties that have sold in the last few months (sold comparables) and the current competition (active comparables) and review a suggested listing price – I actually provide a range that gives the Seller some flexibility based on their objectives.
While I may well have an idea of the property value at that initial meeting, I prefer to sit down with pictures of sold and active comparables and talk through each comparable. I never pressure or even ask the Seller to sign a Listing Agreement at either meeting. I do ask the timeframe for when the Seller will be making a decision and what is important to them in making that decision. And, of course, I do tell the Seller, I would love to earn their business. I don’t use scripts or tactics to get a Seller to sign then and there. Too many Real Estate Agents are trained to never leave without a signed contract. Not my style. A Seller should feel they are making a fully informed decision when hiring a Real Estate Agent. Selling and Buying a home happens for most people only a handful of times during their lives and involves a sizeable asset. Your Real Estate Agent should treat that decision that way. Moment of honesty – do I have a contract ready to go? Yes. Where is it? Out in my car. I am prepared. If the Seller tells me they are ready to sign, I am ready as well.
While it is obvious that competence is critical when hiring a Realtor, it is also important that the “fit” between Seller and Agent is a good one. Selling a house is funny that way – you have an intense relationship with someone who may be a total stranger one day and then becomes a big part of your life the next. It is important that it feels right. It is also important that the Seller and Agent are up front and direct with each other. A home goes from being a home to a product on the market – so in a sense hiring a Realtor is a business decision.
When you hire an employee, you read resumes, interview at least once if not more, check references and more. You should be allowed and allow yourself the same due diligence when hiring a Real Estate Agent to sell your home.
Doug McNeilly is a REALTOR® with Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage in Wayland, Massachusetts. He specializes in Wayland, Sudbury, Natick, Framingham and the Greater Boston Metro West Area. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or www.dougmcneillyhomes.com