Just like buyers, sellers can have also problems with motivation. The last thing you want to do is waste your valuable time creating an expired listing. We’ll be discussing how to effectively prequalify listing prospects, i.e. your listing leads and where to find that prequalification script. Let’s start with how to prequalify your sellers at a high level, so that you can be more prepared when you show up for the listing presentation. You can also be more assured that you're in front of someone who actually will turn into a listing for you.
How you should be thinking about using a prequalification script? Why would you want to do that when you can just show up and get to know them and see how it goes? The answer is, because professionals prequalify. That's why.
I have posted some coaching calls for you, including, Prequalifying Buyers and Sellers, another one called, Prequalifying the Seller, as well as the Prequalifying Sellers Questionnaire, and that is the pre-appointment prequalification script. We have the listing evaluation that helps you evaluate the sale-ability of the listing along with a coaching call about that. You'll want to dive into these items after you listen to the following ten points about what why you need to be prequalifying.
Ideally you're going to do most of this on the phone and you can also split things up into two calls, with the initial conversion call to get the appointment. A day later, you call and finish up the rest of your questions. You will want to make sure that you have all of these things covered. The secret to doing this is to have lots of energy and enthusiasm when you're speaking with prospects. The presentation begins the first time you talk to them, not when you walk in the door for the listing presentation. You've got to have massive energy and enthusiasm that you are dying to help this prospect out and get this property not just listed, but get it sold. You want to get them the best price you can, in the best terms, in the least amount of time, and with minimal hassle to them and their family. This is what you do. You are presenting how passionate and excited you are to help them on their real estate journey. This means when you are doing this, especially on the phone, you shouldn’t be typing at the same time. Obviously you can be taking notes, but don't be distracted, don't be looking at Facebook, don't be surfing the Internet, don't have your cell phone ringing in the background, don't do any of that. Instead, be fascinated by the seller. This is your next listing. This is your next client. You may be competing with another agent and the prospect may already be judging you based on how you handle this phone call. Lots of energy and enthusiasm is the secret mindset point.
Point number one is what are we trying to find out on a seller prequalification? The answer is, their motivation. Do they have any, and what is their motivation? Are they wanting to sell but only if I can get my price made now? A solution to that is sometimes to quote that their price is actually okay. Don't automatically shoot them down when you hear that, but consider that it is a little bit of a red flag. So dig deeper. Are they relocating? Can they no longer afford the payment? Are they expecting twins and they live in a one-bedroom apartment? What is their motivation? Why do they have to sell or do they just want to sell?
Point number two is about timeframe. What is their time frame and is it realistic or unrealistic? Do they have a timeframe? You need to say something like, “I hear you saying that if it doesn't sell at two thousand and twenty right around Christmas time, you're cool with that.” Then they'll say, “Oh no. That's not what I meant, I really mean we have to be out of here within a year or so.” Or you may say, “I understand that you don't have a particular timeframe, but ideally, how is this going to work out for you? What's your timeframe?”
Point number three is to find out if they are also buying, and are they buying locally? Are they buying with you, is there a referral fee potentially? We can help with this. All you have to do is call our office and we will connect you to another Harris Real Estate Coaching client virtually anywhere in the country and if not, we have other resources if we happen to not have somebody exactly where they're going. Are they going to buy? And is it going to be with you or is it going to be out of your city or state? Is there a referral fee? Is there relocation company? These are the other factors at play.
If you find out that it's both buy and sell, the next number four by first yourself first. Depends on your market plans on the price range depends on their financial situation and again the prequalification questionnaire the script covers all of that I'm just reminding you why you want to use it. OK I'm kind of explaining the script to you. So you're more inspired to actually use it. Each and every time. So again. I think by first yourself first.
Point number five is how did they hear about you? You want to source all of your business, and you also want to know are they someone from your center of influence or were they an open house lead? Were they somebody that was referred to you by someone else?
Point number six is what is the price that they expect? We have a very specific way that we teach in the seller prequalification script to find that out. Of course half the time they're going to say, “Well, that's why I'm having you over.” Make sure you listen to the coaching and calls and read the scripts because there's a very particular way that we coach you to help you drag the price out of them. You're going to do so much better at a listing presentation when you know what they expect. Here's a secret: what do you think they're going to say – higher or lower than you? Almost every time they're going to think a higher price. That doesn't necessarily mean that it's a bad listing, especially if they have motivation, and especially if they're also going to buy. If and when their price is higher than yours, you can only say, “That's interesting. How did you arrive at that price?” That’s even if it's a price that almost made you laugh out loud over the phone. How did they arrive at that price? Is it ignorance or is it arrogance? Ignorance is “the next-door neighbor's house went for $X and for that mine is nicer.” Well maybe the next-door neighbor's house is also two thousand square feet bigger and has a better view. That would be a symptom of ignorance. Arrogance is, “I've got to get that price so I can also pay cash for a convertible.” And yes, we actually had that happen on a listing.
Point number seven is about the particulars of the home. “What else should I know about your home, Mr. or Mrs. Seller?” This is a rapport-building question, but it's also a fact finding mission so that you can do the best C.M.A. Depending on where you live in the country, you will need to consider things like whether it is from the side of the street that does have a view, or it could be that they have a finished lower level. These things are especially true if you live in the Midwest or the Northeast. It could be that they have added an entire three-season room that adds some value. Or it could be that they're dealing with some serious storm damage if you live in the areas that Katrina hit. Remember that some of those areas are still recovering. You need to be aware of the good, the bad, and the ugly. What else do you need to know about the home that you may not be capturing by just the public record. Then listen and take notes of course.
Point number eight, is this prospect interviewing other agents? Many of you avoid this question like the plague. You do want to know, of course. You want to know and our prequalification script shows you exactly how to find out, not just are they interviewing other agents, but how did they arrive at those names to interview?
Then you're going to confirm the appointment. That's point number nine and number ten. You will always send a preview-listing package now if you don't have your listing talking done yet. Be sure that you listen to the coaching on demand about the prelisting package and that you are working on that. Do not use that as an excuse to not be going on listing presentations. Ideally of course, that's the last step after you have done the prequalification script.
We have posted Pre-qualifying buyers and sellers as a PDF. We have the prepayment source questionnaire and even more extensive script. When we say questionnaire, we also mean script. There is also the listing evaluation and then we also have the coaching call about that. There is the actual format of the listing evaluation as well. Be sure to check out all of those links that are posted for you and then of course you want to always refer back to the website for the listing presentation.
We have so much more on that website. This just gets you started knowing why you want to go through such an extensive script. Imagine how much better your placements will be when you know what their timeframe is, what their motivation is, if they're buying with you, or not buying at all, or if there's a referral fee. How did they hear about you? What's the price they expect? Are you interviewing against other agents? You will do so much better when you find out these answers before you walk through the door. This will prevent you from having to tap dance once you've taken the tour of their home and you're sitting at their dining room table. Use the script. Don't have these elaborate rules that some of you may have in which you only use the scripts, you only put cold leads through the ringer on these questions or if it's somebody from your center of influence and then just assume you have it in the bag. Don't do that. It's disrespectful and you need to find out more information about them. Don't have different rules for different people. I don't care if it's your mother's house. Use the prequalification script questions and you're not only more likely to take the listing, you're also more likely to spend less time and have fewer contentions with the seller. Your job is not to argue. Your job is to be on their side and help them accomplish all of their real estate goals. Now it's time to take action.