Prepping for a successful listing presentation

Services for Real Estate Pros with Marte Cliff Copywriting

In today’s low-inventory climate, most real estate agents want listings – the more the better. You get them with good leads, combined with a successful listing presentation.

First come the leads. How do you get them?

a successful; listing presentatin requires work

  • In some cases, it’s through prospecting – sending a message that impresses a homeowner, so you are the agent who gets the call.
  • Sometimes your new listing lead comes from a referral – and is almost a sure thing.
  • It might be from the content on your website. Your bio, your community pages, your blog posts, and the way you present your listings have combined to convince a homeowner that you are – or might be – the agent for them.
  • Sometimes it’s the luck of the draw. You were the first one to answer the phone or respond to an on-line inquiry.

In all of these cases, you may be one of 2 or more agents who will be interviewed for the job.

That means you need a successful listing presentation, so you’d better be prepared.

You know all about the materials to take with you – the ones that show your expertise, market knowledge, etc. That part of preparation is not what today’s message is all about.

Today is about preparing to list (or not list) that specific house.

Did I really say “not list?” Yes, because your pre-preparation will help you decide whether you even want the listing in question.

If you’re a new agent with no listings, you may think that you want every listing you can get. But it isn’t so. Some listings will cost you time, money, and mental stress – and will not sell. If you have no other listings, your time would be better spent on prospecting.

I look back at my 19 years as an agent and see quite a few that should have made me run the other way.

So – onward.

Step one toward a successful listing presentation: the phone interview.

Yes. Instead of merely making an appointment, take time to talk with the seller. Note that it’s the seller you should speak with – not a family member.

Learn everything you can about:

  • Why they want to movemake that phone call to assure a successful listing presentation
  • When they want to move
  • Whether they have a pressing need – such as a pending foreclosure or a job move
  • Where they’re going when they sell
  • Whether they have pre-conceived notions about the price – and how they arrived at those notions
  • How they feel about staging and other aspects of getting the house ready to sell
  • How they feel about getting themselves and their pets out of the house for showings
  • Whether they’re going to put any restrictions on showings
  • What concerns they have about selling

The things you’ll learn in that conversation will tell you if you should “Just say no.”

I’m sure you saw some questions there whose answers cold be “red flags.” If they’re waving hard at you, then just decline. Thank the sellers for contacting you, and tell them that you don’t believe you’re a good fit for them. Then move on to the next lead.

On the other hand, some of their problems are issues you can help them with. For instance, if they’re concerned about selling before they can buy another home, you can introduce them to a lender who does bridge financing. If they fear having the house shown when they’re not there to protect it, you can explain how to secure their valuables and how lock boxes keep track of who enters their home.

Give those potential clients the opportunity to ask you questions.

Since some people need to be “primed” a bit before they get comfortable asking questions, you can tell them a bit about your experience in their neighborhood or with homes similar to theirs. Let them know that you can and will answer questions about getting the house ready to sell and you have a list of trusted people who could help with difficult tasks.

The second purpose of your phone call: building rapport

How many agents will take the time to call, listen attentively, answer questions, and give assurances?

This is your opportunity to let your friendly, helpful personality shine through. Instead of giving those homeowners a sales pitch, you’ll simply be getting acquainted and learning about them. Most people like to talk about themselves, their plans, their worries, their hopes, and even their families.

When you let them do so, you’ll be building trust. You’ll be saying “You matter.” You’ll also be giving assurance that you’ll pay attention to them once you have the listing.

Now do your research about the house.

Thanks to the Internet, you can learn a great deal even before you view the house and surrounding area.

Learn about:

  • When they purchased the house
  • What they paid
  • Names of everyone on title
  • Liens against the house
  • Other legal filings, if any
  • The taxes – and whether they have reduced rates for any reason
  • The special assessments
  • The HOA, if applicable
  • The school district
  • Previous listings, if any

If you’re already familiar with the neighborhood, wonderful. If not, it would benefit you to run a market report and the preliminaries for a comparative market analysis.

Again, the information you gain may tell you that you want to steer clear of this listing. It could be involved in a tangled legal dispute. It could even be co-owned (or fully owned) by someone who has no desire to sell.

I was once called to list a house by a man who wanted me to “Hurry up and sell this before my wife gets back from her vacation.” He was disappointed to learn that since it was her house, she would have to sign the listing. Yes, I did run away from that one!

If you’ve decided that yes, you want this listing…

Put an impressive package together for a successful listing presentation.

Show them that you know the values in their neighborhood. And, since your conversation told you what issues are most important to them, include materials that show your expertise and solutions in those areas. Include testimonials from people whose issues were similar to theirs.

The more you know, the more likely it is that you’ll have a successful listing presentation.

And… the more likely it is that you’ll walk away from a listing that will be nothing but trouble.


“The only place success comes before work is in the dictionary.”

— Vince Lombardi


Time to work courtesy of Stuart Miles @
Agent on the phone Image courtesy of imagerymajestic at

This first appeared first at:



Comments (3)

Ron and Alexandra Seigel
Napa Consultants - Carpinteria, CA
Luxury Real Estate Branding, Marketing & Strategy


There is no doubt that these are great suggestions from you for the listing process.  Our advice is that a listing presentation should be a listening presentation as well...Have a great weekend.

Apr 23, 2021 02:38 PM
Marte Cliff

Yes. I think a "listening presentation" is a fine name for a method that leads to success.

Apr 23, 2021 04:32 PM
Nina Hollander, Broker
Coldwell Banker Realty - Charlotte, NC
Your Greater Charlotte Realtor

Good morning, Marte... this is a great "primer" for those who are not experienced listing agents. And you're advice that you don't want every listing is spot on. I pick and choose carefully as to whom I will work with.

Apr 24, 2021 06:05 AM
Marte Cliff

Nina - some listings are really nothing but a drain on your time, energy, and money. It's wise to pick and choose - but recognizing them up front is a skill not eeryone has.

Apr 27, 2021 11:00 AM
Will Hamm
Hamm Homes - Aurora, CO
"Where There's a Will, There's a Way!"

Hello Marte and another excellent blog for us all to learn from.  Can I reblog this in a couple of weeks?


Apr 24, 2021 07:54 AM
Marte Cliff

Will - of course  you can.  You're always welcome to do so.

Apr 27, 2021 11:01 AM