Selling Your Listing: Treat it like a job interview

Real Estate Agent with Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices New England Properties

Remember practicing for those dreaded SAT analogy questions?   You know, the ones where they give you a set of words and ask you to pick out a pair that have a similar relationship.  Teaching us to find the correct answer was not only meant to help us score better on standardized tests, but was also meant to sharpen our thinking skills.  Here's an example:  (note: I cheated a bit and used phrases as well as single words)

Choose a lettered pair that best matches the relationship of the original pair.


a) real estate agent : homeowner
b) listing : buyer
c) house for sale : sales price
d) buyer : real estate ad

The correct answer is b. When you fill out and submit a job application, you are hoping the prospective employer will select it, giving you a chance to compete for the job.  Similarly, when a listing is presented to a prospective buyer, you are hoping they will consider your home, as one they might purchase. 

Taking it to the next step, perhaps the skill set employed in the job interview, can also be applied to getting your listing sold.  There are three basic steps recommended in most job interview guides. 

First, do your homework.  This includes finding out everything about the company and its competitors, thinking of questions that may be asked and knowing the answers, and checking the salary ranges for similar jobs, in the same city.

Second, do the paperwork.  Prepare a complete and professional looking resume.  If applicable, compile a portfolio of your work, as an example of why you are the best candidate for the job.

Third, make a great first impression.  Put your best foot forward by presenting a neat appearance and dressing for success.  Don't do all the talking.  Listen before you respond.  Be prepared to emphasize your assets and turn negatives into positives. 


First, do your homework. Start with a trip to town hall to review all the physical and financial information, concerning the property.  You do not want to be surprised when a prospective buyer mentions there are current liens, on the property.  You want to know, ahead of time, if a potential offer price would put the property in a short-sale situation.  (In some locations, the initial search may be started online.)  Think about questions, buyers may have, and be prepared with the answers.  Does the property have wetlands?  What are the zoning regulations for setbacks?  Prepare a competitive market analysis (CMA), not only to establish the correct selling price, but also to familiarize you with prices at which similar properties have sold or are currently listed.

Second, do the paperwork.  Have copies of the listing, as well as signed property disclosures, available  for buyers to review.  Prepare a listing booklet, with pictures, lists of property features and improvements, and town and local school information. Where available, have marketing materials for local amenities, such as theaters, library programs, continuing education curriculum and sporting events.

Third, make a great first impression.  Make sure the property is in "company condition" when preparing for showings.  Dirty dishes should be cleared away.  Laundry belongs in the hamper, not on the floor.  Have the hedges trimmed and the lawn mowed.  Turn the lights on BEFORE the buyers arrive.  If you are the one showing the house, don't do all the talking.  Take your lead from the buyers.  Be prepared to turn negatives around.  For instance, if the house is on a main road, point out that it's one of the few streets with sidewalks.

Just substitute the components.  The job application is your listing.  The employer is the buyer.  The prize is landing the job - closing the sale.

Copyright © 2008 Marilyn Katz, All Rights Reserved, Selling Your Listing: Treat it like a job interview

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Marilyn Katz

      Marilyn Katz

    Berkshire Hathaway Homes Services New England Properties    
  Servings Westport, CT
  and the surrounding communities  

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Copyright © 2013 Marilyn Katz, All Rights Reserved

Comments (4)

Barbara S. Duncan
RE/MAX Advantage - Searcy, AR
GRI, e-PRO, Executive Broker, Searcy AR

Great information!!

Nov 03, 2008 12:59 PM
Marilyn Katz
Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices New England Properties - Westport, CT
ABR, e-PRO -

Barbara- I hope it can be put to good use.  I would love to know that SOMEBODY is selling SOMETHING. 

Nov 03, 2008 01:08 PM
Jim Frimmer
HomeSmart Realty West - San Diego, CA
Realtor & CDPE, Mission Valley specialist

I almost quit reading after your first sentence:

Remember practicing for those dreaded SAT analogy questions?

I hated those questions -- LOL

Nice analogy, though, and good discussion.

Nov 05, 2008 01:50 AM
Marilyn Katz
Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices New England Properties - Westport, CT
ABR, e-PRO -

Jim-  Thanks for reading it through.  It turns out, creating those analogy questions is just as hard as answering them.

Nov 05, 2008 03:31 AM