The Art of Listing Listing is obtaining a written contract from sellers to market and sell their home. Your first few listings may be noncompetitive (family or friends), but soon you’ll have to interview with unknown prospects and compete for their listing business with other sales associates. In order to cinch the listing, you need to impress sellers with your marketing skills and your ability to get the job done. Many experts recommend that you gather information from the sellers prior to a listing appointment. Call the sellers prior to your appointment, and ask them a number of questions that will help you tailor your listing presentation to address their particular needs and concerns. This technique will help you set yourself apart from practitioners who offer a generic presentation. For a sample list of prequalifying questions to ask, click here. Based on the information you collect from your prequalifying conversation, assemble a prelisting packet that is tailored to the needs of the sellers. The focus of the prelisting packet should be to establish your credibility—not to sell. The Prelisting Packet Your prelisting packet should include: Cover letter (remind prospects when you'll arrive and how to contact you) Outline of your skills Personal marketing brochure Brief bios of your team members Testimonials from past clients (if you have at least one client under your belt) A property disclosure for the sellers to complete The Listing Packet Regardless of whether or not you compete for a listing, you should have a strong listing packet to provide to all potential sellers. At a minimum, your listing packet should include: Comparable market analysis, along with your analysis of the property Your bio, emphasizing your competency Detailed marketing plan for the home Explanation of the services you'll provide for your commission Agency disclosure form Listing agreement, ready to be signed except for the price and the terms You also may want to add information about your company, your Web site (if you have one), and other services that may be available through your company. Talk to other sales associates in your office or your broker about other materials you can add to your listing packet. The Listing Presentation Practice is the best way to build confidence in your listing presentation. But these tips will help you make a good first impression. Break the ice with a social conversation on a noncontroversial topic. Mirror the sellers’ demeanor—if they are formal, follow suit. Ask to tour the house first and take photos. This will help you gain information you’ll need to suggest a purchase price and give you more time to build rapport with the sellers. Review the marketing plan you’ve prepared and describe the services you’ll provide. Ask open-ended questions and listen carefully for clues as to what issues in the sale are most important to the sellers. Then adjust your presentation accordingly. Present the listing agreement and ask for the listing. Present the comparative market analysis and settle on a price for the home.