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Throughout my real estate career, I have worked diligently to master my professional skills; however, I made the extra effort to intentionally develop my listing skill. This skill has allowed me to set myself apart from other agents, both professionally and financially. I’ve sat at my share of kitchen tables, and, with each listing, learned a little more about mastering the art of listing.

Next time you have a scheduled listing appointment, consider embracing some of these tried-and-true tips. It’ll dramatically increase your chances of getting the listing.

Give a preview of what to expect on the appointment.
Giving your seller a plan for the meeting will establish you as the lead and expert and will allow you to control the appointment when you arrive. It will assure and calm the seller once they know the expert has a plan.

Gain insight into what your clients want.
Discovering what style appeals to your seller will increase your chances of obtaining the listing. Remember, it’s not about you; it’s about the seller. Ask them about their experience working with an agent in the past; what did they like and dislike and what’s their expectation in using an agent now?

Take detailed notes. Ask lots of questions.
A homeowner knows you’re fully engaged and excited about their home when you show interest in their property. By asking questions and writing down the information, the seller realizes that I am excited about the home. This activity is communicating so much without you ever having to say a word. Asking questions and taking notes is key to showing the seller you are “all-in” and the right agent for the job.

Delay commission conversation until the kitchen table.
It is best to delay the commission conversation until later in the appointment, when you sit down at the kitchen table. For the best result, “lead” the listing appointment by letting the seller know the appointment flow when you greet them; tell them you’ll tour the home and take notes, then you’ll sit down to talk about the process and all the costs associated with selling the home.

Gain insight into the listing price.
Pricing a home can be tricky. I typically show comparable homes to the homeowner; homes that are actively for sale and other comparable homes that are pending. I leave the closed transactions for last. While viewing the closed comparables, I ask the homeowner which one they think is most like theirs to gain insight into their realistic or unrealistic perception of the home and to provide an advantage when I present my listing price recommendation.

Give a price range instead of a price.
When an agent gives the homeowner a suggested price, they immediately become vulnerable to a dissenting opinion. It is often best to give a price range for a home. This allows the seller to visualize their home possibly selling at the higher price and softens the reality of a possible lower-priced sale.

Never “thank” for the listing—”thank” for the opportunity!
Upon a listing agreement signing, many agents will thank the seller for giving them the listing. On the surface, this seems like gracious gesture, but when analyzed further, it’s a statement of weakness. Did the seller do the agent a favor by listing their home with them? Or did the seller provide the agent with an opportunity? I argue it’s the latter. Saying, “Mr. and Mrs. Seller, thank you for the opportunity to list your home. I’m excited to help you with your move!” is a stronger position to begin a professional relationship with a client.

These seven tips are just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to winning the game of real estate. To build and maintain a thriving business, it’s essential to keep your skills, including your listing skills, sharp. Practice these tips, embrace professional development and you’ll find success this year.

Niego_Joe_60x60Joe Niego is a Buffini & Company presenter and trainer. For more information, please visit

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