How to Ace Real Estate Listing Presentation Questions
By Matthew Bushery
About Agent Basics
No matter how much you script the conversation for your listing presentations, though, they won’t always go exactly to plan. Sellers will have questions for you regarding everything from your experience as a real estate agent to what sets you apart from the competition.
The following questions are the most common ones to expect during and after your sales pitch, along with the optimal answer for each. Check them out so you’ll be ready to ace your listing presentations and win customers.
“What are your credentials? What makes you the right person to sell my home?”
Off the bat, sellers will want to know if your qualifications meet their standards for representation. So, present all certifications and designations you have as a real estate agent. Realtors who’ve earned accreditations through the National Association of REALTORS® should make that known. Sellers may not be familiar with each official title, but your position establishes you as dedicated and knowledgeable.
Regarding your sales history, reveal how many homes you’ve sold in previous months and years, the average sales price of each property type, and other statistical data that sellers will find impressive. Though past sales aren’t always necessarily indicative of future sales, a thorough explanation of your sales history and big “wins” as an agent can help your standing with leads.
Additionally, let sellers know during your listing presentation if you work part-time or full-time as a real estate agent. Being a full-time agent often carries more weight with prospective clients, as you show complete dedication to the job and don’t have any other responsibilities that can take away from helping sellers market their properties.
If you work part-time, spin the positives of your situation. For instance, share tidbits about your work ethic. Even get former employers to provide testimonials regarding your work to show prospective clients you’re serious about meeting your commitments.
Moreover, if real estate isn’t the only job you have, then explain that even though you’re only working part-time, you can still focus all of your attention on client needs. In either case, explain how you stay in touch with clients and your standards for timely responses to communications.
“How are you better than other local agents? What makes you different?”
First off, don’t use the word “better” during real estate listing presentations. In fact, don’t compare yourself to other agents at all. Saying you’re a step above the competition can come off as arrogant. While you should be confident in your own work as an agent, it’s not worth positioning yourself as above other real estate pros by disparaging them to prop yourself up.
The best way to highlight your abilities as an agent is simply explaining why you’re passionate about real estate. Listing presentations that show your enthusiasm for the day-to-day work that comes along with being an agent instill faith in sellers. Share some background info on how you got started in the industry, how you delight your clients, and items on your track record that reflect your go-getter attitude.
Some characteristics of your work and personality to share with leads should include your:
- Ability to build relationships and relate to others: Knowing you can make good impressions on buyers will impress sellers, so be as amiable and engaging during your listing presentation as possible to show your personality.
- Savviness with the latest real estate technology: It’s the 21st century. Knowing what apps, tools, gadgets, and tech resources to use in your real estate marketing gives you a leg up on agents stuck in the 20th century.
- Enjoyment in helping people sell and find homes: You got into real estate to help people, right? Then share the satisfaction you get in helping buyers and sellers close deals and achieve their goals.
“What experience do you have with my local market? Have you sold homes here before?”
When mentioning past clientele, segue into your history of selling in your local real estate market. The more established you are as an agent in your community, the more trust you earn from leads. Outline specific, memorable deals you closed — perhaps a home that’s similar in style, age, or price as the residence of those you’re pitching to.
Then, demonstrate the knowledge you have about the local market, like its history, the quality of its school system and economy, and any favorite spots you have nearby (restaurants, retail, movie theaters, parks, etc.). This shows you are an expert about the area and, in turn, know how to pitch local properties to buyers.
The best listing presentation is the one where you show you know the most about a specific real estate market, so no fact or note is too small to share with leads. A great way to ensure you convey your knowledge about the market is to create listing presentations using graphic creation tools. With these resources, you can visually represent local market data, like average closing prices of homes for sale, to persuade sellers about your abilities.a
“What do you think of my home? How would you change it to help sell it better?”
This question requires arguably the most spontaneous answer, given that up until your listing presentation, you likely haven’t had the chance to examine the property thoroughly. So, use this as an opportunity to get the grand tour of their residence and property. Take note of specific features you want to highlight and how the seller can make their home more desirable to buyers.
There’s a flipside to that coin, though: Be careful not to insult sellers when pointing out areas of their home that need cleaning, adjusting, or improving. Providing constructive criticism is one thing — telling sellers they need to change most things in their home to help it sell better can lead to a quick exit from your listing presentation.
You won’t be able to provide all of your detailed thoughts on sellers’ homes on the spot, so let them know you’d love to give them a more thorough analysis via email after the presentation is over. This allows you to nurture the lead after pitching them and stay top-of-mind with them during their agent selection process.
“What do you think is an ideal list price for my home? I think it’s $_____.”
Before jumping in with your recommendation, let sellers know what comparable homes in their area have sold for in the past year, along with where the local real estate market is headed in terms of demand and supply. Sellers aren’t always cognizant of the factors that go into crafting the right list price, so explaining these to your leads can help them better understand your suggested price.
Some sellers have unrealistic prices in mind and they’re unwilling to budge. This could be a sign the leads aren’t worth representing, so watch out for any red-flag statements, like “I’m not willing to go under $_____” or “My home is definitely worth $_____.” Conversely, those who are willing to adjust their price if needed and negotiate with buyers will be more rewarding as customers. Representing flexible sellers instead of inflexible ones means a better chance of a quick and fair commission (as well as fewer headaches).
“What sales and marketing strategies do you employ for clients’ homes?”
Now it’s time to really get down to business and put your agent hat on. Getting into the nitty-gritty of your business methods — like where you promote listings and how you attract potential buyers — is what really displays your prowess as an agent. Specifically, explain the core real estate marketing and sales tactics you use, including how you:
- Conduct showings and open houses: We don’t just mean when you schedule showings and open houses, but how you work with walk-ins and buyer leads. Share how you sell specific features of a home (the lifestyle, the comfort, the utility, etc.) to show you’re an adept salesperson.
- Market clients’ homes for sale online: Divulge how you make clients’ listings appear attractive online, like taking aesthetically appealing photos, creating cutting-edge tour videos, and developing rich, detailed copy about listings.
- Leverage connections for buyer leads: Regarding offline marketing strategies, also relay how you use other agents, friends, family members, previous clients, and other connections to seek out potential buyers.
All of this information should be shared in a timeline format to give sellers a sense of how the process will go — from the moment you sign your agreement to closing.
“How do you communicate with clients regarding offers, showings, and other key info?”
Constant communication with sellers (without annoying or overwhelming them) is essential — as is explaining to seller leads how you will keep them in the loop during the sales process. During a listing presentation, real estate agents can sometimes gloss over this important aspect, so be sure to detail a clear-cut communication plan with prospective clients. Ask how they prefer to be contacted to discuss sales progress and how to relay bids on their property.
Some sellers will be very particular about what times work for them. Given that last-minute showing requests tend to pop up, also ask sellers when it would be okay to enter to give tours. Remember their personal space is important, so be respectful, but be sure you’ll have the access you need.
“What’s your workload like? Would I be your only client or are you working with other clients?”
Don’t be scared of this question. Some clients may prefer their agent focus solely on selling their home and not others’, but when it comes down to it, you have to make a living. If leads don’t understand you have to work on multiple home deals at once, then they’re just not the right clients for you. You can avoid this issue during your vetting process before the listing presentation.
Having said that, many people are understanding of a real estate agent’s need to take on multiple sellers. In fact, many probably prefer to see their agent busy, since it’s indicative of a quality business. So, the more clients you take on, the better it can look in the eyes of prospects.
“What are the typical terms of your listing agreements with other clients?”
If you start talking contracts, then you’re doing well in your listing presentation. However, you can ruin the mood quickly by providing a laundry list of contract terms you request of sellers. Instead, tell sellers you simply want to make them comfortable with any listing agreement they sign with you. Explain to them the core items generally included in statements, like duties you’ll perform as their agent, and ask them for their thoughts on terms they’d like to include.
From there, create an agreement based on both your preferences and those of sellers, send it to them after the listing presentation, and let them know you’ll be waiting to hear from them regarding a final answer (hopefully with good news).
“If I hire you to sell my home, will you represent just my interests or the buyer’s too?”
Dual agency is something countless home sellers are fuzzy on, but many are wising up to the practice. If you can and do practice dual agency, be 110% upfront with your leads about it. Gauge their comfort level with knowing you may end up representing both them and buyer to see if they’re okay with it. As pointed out by recent Redfin research, sellers tend to lose financially in dual agency deals, so tread carefully. The last thing you want to do is favor one party at the expense of the other.
Of course, if you solely represent the sellers, you’ve got nothing to explain — except that you’re devoted to helping them sell their home for the best price and fast. You could even point out why this may be more favorable than representation by those who act as dual agents, given you have only their interests at heart.
Published on December 11, 2014
Written by Matthew Bushery
I'm the Sr. Content Creator for Placester, where I educate real estate professionals about modern marketing and, in turn, help agents and brokers make the most of their online presence, earn more traffic, and generate more leads and business.