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Asked by Bill Kosena, Denver, CO Sat Mar 22, 2008

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Deborah Madey, Agent, Brick, NJ
Sat Mar 22, 2008
First, ask that question before the appointment. Find out if the seller will be speaking w/ other agents, and what their time frame is for making a decision, putting the property on the market, and target date for moving. Knowing this info from a phone conversation will help you prepare a better listing presentation that will address their wants and needs.

I ask a few questions about who and why they are also planning to meet with. There is information in that dialog that will also indicate the seller priorities and goals. i.e. We are meeting w/ John because he is cousin. We are meeting w/ Jack because we saw his videos online and were impressed.

Ask to be the last interviewed. If you are not last, and the seller does not want to sign until they conclude all interviews, ask for an oppty to speak w/ them by phone after they have met w/ everyone to answer any final questions and find out when the final interview is. While I ask to be last, I send the seller a guideline of questions to ask Realtors before listing. My list is far from the typical shop-worn list I have seen circulated for years. My list focuses on things like, "Show me one of your lisings as it appears on Trulia and" with subquestions for the seller to evaluae about the pictures, copy, placement, preferred positioning, etc.

If the seller sets out on a path to interview 3 agents and then decide, it wil often be difficult to get the seller to sign before concluding the process. If the othe interviews are not yet scheduled, you can do a great presentation which might disuade the seller from the need for additional interviews. If they are scheduled, persistent follow up and detail are a better approach than a hard close.

I am not a person who is afraid of a hard close. I can ramble....but I can also deliver strong closing statements, and remain silent without any difficulty. I don't use hard and strong closes in an attempt to disuade other interviews, but I will use an assertive close to help narrow choices, confront objections, and make a decision. If a seller is undecided and afraid to make a wrong decision, helping them understand what you will or can do is the right thing. Use a more assertive style of closing. If the seller is committed to their process of interviewing other potential Realtors, respect that. Use follow up skills.

Some Realtors offer a no questions asked termination of lisitng agreement as a closing tool.
1 vote
Keith Sorem, Agent, Glendale, CA
Sat Mar 22, 2008
You ask a great question. Put yourself in the shoes of the owners.
I always ask them if they are intereviewing other Realtors. I also ask them "after we discuss the sale of your home, and you like what you hear, is there anything that would prevent us from starting the process?"

They want to make sure that they have someone that they can trust with the sale of the most important possession. In order to trust someone there needs to be a relationship first. So I spend a lot of time learning about their plans, priorities, and concerns. I suggest have a list of questions and practice listening skills, clarifying questions like "What would the drawback be if...?" or "What options would you have if...", 'How would you feel if..." so just because the sellers respond to a question with a particular answer you can verify what you THINK they meant.

Then periodically during our first meeting I will touch base and ask "How am I doing so far?" or
"How do you feel about me handling the sale of your home for you?".

If you know at the outset that they plan on interviewing other Realtors, by touching base as you do along you can see if their ideas change based on your discussion. If I see that we seem to be on the same page, I might ask them "Originially when we spoke you mentioned you were planning to interview some other Realtors. From what you've seen so far, is there any reason that you need to talk with them?" Sometimes after feeling comfortable with you, if you've answered their questions, you can do the job, they don't feel the need to interview other Realtors.

Practice your active listening skills, know your market numbers, and be able to help the sellers achieve their goal, and you'll be along way down the road.
1 vote
Larry Story, Agent, Greensboro, NC
Sat Mar 22, 2008
Bill I always welcome the competition. You have to point everything out to them and lay out the facts. Do not leave your materials with them though and offer as much help as possible. I also find that I am usually the only agent that brings a laptop computer that I can actually show them how their listing is going to look and on how many websites it will be. I also have a powerpoint presentation that I use. If you push too hard for them to sign it is just like a used car salesman that will not let you leave the lot to think about it they want you to sign now. With alot of savy buyers nowadays that is a real turnoff.
0 votes
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