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Be Prepared

boy scout shirtBe prepared, is one of the Boy Scouts mottos. Over the years it has been shortened to B.-P. In the Scouts it means being prepared in mind and body to do your duty.

As a Realtor, it is important to B.-P. in any situation to full fill your duties as a Licensed professional Realtor.

Listing Presentations

Over the years I have found being prepared can mean the difference in getting the listing or the seller choosing someone else. There are many ways to be prepared for a listing presentation, these are only a few that have worked for me.

One of the most important for me is to send over prior to the first meeting with the sellers my Pre-Listing Questionnaire. In it I can determine how motivated they are to sell, what they owe, if they are willing to put money into staging, how many other Realtors they are interviewing, if there are any are friends or church members they would feel obligated to work with, and what their current financial state is.

Once I was referred to a family from a past client who was a builder, I had sold several of his homes over the years, including his personal home. I “assumed” I had the listing and didn’t send my pre-listing presentation. I found out later after I didn’t get the listing that the other side of the family also had a Realtor friend and since they lived locally that is who they went with.

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I could have found all of this out if I had sent the pre-listing questionnaire and not “assumed” because it was referred I had the listing.

Marketing Plan

Before I meet with the potential sellers I also send over my Marketing Plan. I asked them to check out everywhere their house will be seen, and read my blogs. When I am in their home, I can spend all my time getting to know THEM and not talking about me.

I do ask them if they reviewed the marketing plan and have any questions. Most do not.  However, I always point out two things that they may have overlooked: 1) I don’t do print advertising 2) I don’t do Open Houses.

My favorite quote

Here is my favorite quote I put in the Electronic Listing Presentation from Consumer Reports in 1990.

“ Beware that some devious agents will at first suggest a very handsome price. Then, after they have the listing and the house hasn’t sold they’ll come back a with a pitch to lower the price.”

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Know the Area

Most sellers are familiar to some extent on their neighborhood, subdivision or community. To be prepared we need to know it too. The past sales, the current inventory, and the absorption rate.

Social Media

One of the recent things I have added to my Pre-listing presentation is all the social media sites I engage in. Why? I think it is important they know you are in relationships with agents all over the country. That you are out there and that being out there engaging can bring in buyers for their home.

It goes without saying here on AG that a FaceBook page and Twitter Local has brought connections into your that can help in selling their home.

Being prepared can be the difference in the sellers choosing you or someone else. What do you do that shows you’re prepared to get that listing?

Photo Credit

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Written By

Written by Missy Caulk, Associate Broker at Keller Williams Ann Arbor. Missy is the author of Ann Arbor Real Estate Talk and Blog Ann Arbor, and is also the Director for the Ann Arbor Area Board of Realtors and Member of MLS and Grievance Committee's.



  1. Ken Brand

    September 7, 2009 at 6:08 pm

    Amen. The listing appointment is everything, planning and preparation are key.

    When showtime is about to begin, I’d pull my cell phone out and turn it off in front of them. It shows I’m completely focused on them, plus, If I’m in a competitive situation and the other agent answers their phone during their appointment, I look even better.

    Like you said, success is won one small victory at a time.


  2. Atlanta Real Estate

    September 7, 2009 at 6:25 pm

    Ken – like the cell phone gesture.

    Missy – if they answer in the Pre-Listing Questionnaire that there may be friends or church members they would feel obligated to work with, what happens next?

    In the last two years, I’ve had exactly four listings. In the environment we have been, I have been concentrating on buyers who are qualified and ready. Primarily people relocating to Atlanta.

    Thanks and good post,


  3. Doug Francis

    September 7, 2009 at 8:30 pm

    I agree, never assume that you are the only one they are talking to about selling their home.

    My best tip, be on time!

  4. JoeAndColleen

    September 8, 2009 at 8:06 am

    I love the Pre-Listing Questionnaire idea. We always screen the potential seller, but never thought to send a questionnaire, especially with some of the questions you pose. Thanks Missy.

  5. Joe Loomer

    September 8, 2009 at 8:57 am

    I think I’ll adopt the pre-listing questionaire myself ! Thanks Missy.

    I made a similar mistake on a referred listing – was not as prepared as I would normally be and consequently lost it to another agent.

    Market statistics are my bread and butter – they can’t argue with the numbers and it makes you a better agent anyway. Study, study, study – know the micro and macro levels of your area, use graphs and charts to make the numbers more visually understandable. I’ve had sellers pitch a royal fit when they find out what the market is ACTUALLY doing versus the rosy picture painted by local politicians and neighbors. Many are stunned to learn we have not seen any appreciation in value since 2006.

    Another agent in our firm – a succesful lister – shows up and makes the prospects get in her car and go to every other home on the market in their subdivision BEFORE she sits down for her listing appointment. Knowing the competition first-hand usually shows she is indeed the one to hire for their area.

    Navy Chief, Navy Pride

  6. Atlanta Real Estate

    September 8, 2009 at 9:02 am

    @Joe L

    I like the drive them through the neighborhood idea. How could anyone lose a listing after doing that!?

    That and the turn the cell phone off and the pre-listing qualification and we’ve got three unique game changers, only available here on AG!



  7. Matt Stigliano

    September 8, 2009 at 8:41 pm

    Cell phone off is a must, but putting it on the table and shutting down? What a way to show that this time is their time.

    I still haven’t really firmed up a solid listing presentation and it’s one of the next things for me to tackle (my list gets bigger everyday it seems). As always, Missy gives me a bit more insight into what it takes to be on top. Thanks Missy!

  8. Atlanta Real Estate

    September 8, 2009 at 8:43 pm


    No doubt, the list just grows and grows. And every time you check in and do some blogging, it grows again.

    Probably this will never change.


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