With the listing appointment secured, agents typically start working on the Market Analysis, hoping to set a listing price that will win over the seller and solidify the listing as theirs. This is also where things can go horribly awry as agents leave out some all important questions in their prequalifying process and/or fail to put in checkpoints along the way of their marketing plan.  The questions agents fail to ask?  The ones about price.  It seems obvious, but there are a few reasons this happens.

The first reason is fear.  For many agents, just getting the appointment forced them to overcome their fears of prospecting, so what if the answers to the pricing questions aren’t realistic?  In an effort to avoid the pain of finding out their appointment may not be as qualified as they hope, agents actually create more pain down the road by not asking the seller their thoughts on pricing up front.

The second reason is ego.  On the other end of the spectrum is the agent who can’t wait to show the seller what an ‘expert’ they are in pricing and doesn’t care to involve the seller in the discussion because they don’t want to lose their authority in the process.

A third reason can be linked to poor planning and a misinformed strategy.  Sellers have done a good job of priming the agent for “We can list it at x and if it doesn’t sell, we can always come down later.  In an effort to make the seller happy, the agent doesn’t ask questions about timeframe and allows a price that will almost certainly delay the sellers ultimate goal.  The person who gets blamed for that by the seller?  The agent!

So, what’s an agent to do?  The key to slowing down the seller drama is to ask the tough pricing questions at the time of the pre-qualification – not when you’re sitting at the kitchen table with them!  Asking about timeframe, their idea of what the home is worth, and what their motivation is ahead of time allows you to gather data and prepare a strategy. This is just the beginning though!  There’s what you you need to know before you go and what you need to do throughout the marketing process to set the seller up for a price reduction.

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