Couple meeting with real estate agent at listing appointment.

9 Ways To Prepare For A Listing Appointment (Plus Checklist)

Erin Gobler5 minute-read
March 25, 2022

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A listing opportunity is your first chance to build a relationship with a prospective client. But before you can officially land the client, it’s important to make a good first impression so they want to work with you.

Because while your marketing may have gotten them in the door, it’s the listing appointment that’s going to determine whether they want to be your client. Here are a few things you can do to prepare for your listing appointment, build trust, and hopefully wow your prospective client.

Why Is Preparing For A Listing Appointment Important?

At the time of a listing appointment, you haven’t quite landed a new client yet. Instead, this is your chance to meet them for the first time, learn more about their needs, and explain what it’s like to work with you.

You probably already know that real estate is a competitive market, not only for the buyers and sellers, but also for the agents. Each seller wants to work with an agent they feel comfortable with and who they feel understands what they need.

The listing appointment is your chance to stand out and hopefully walk away with a new client. Some listing appointments may take less than half an hour and the client has already made a decision when they walk in the door. In other cases, a listing appointment can take a couple of hours as you hash over the details with the client and answer questions.

In any case, it’s important to go into the listing appointment as prepared as possible so your prospective clients feel comfortable, start to gain trust in you, and leave the meeting knowing you’re the right agent for the job.

9-Step Listing Appointment Checklist

Having the right set of steps can help you make every listing appointment a breeze. Here’s a 9-step checklist to help you prepare for your next listing appointment.

1. Having A Set Process In Place

As the agent, many clients will expect you to run the listing appointment. Having a set process in place will make things easier both for you and your prospective clients. First, you’ll feel more comfortable going into listing appointments because you won’t feel like you’re starting from square one each time. And your prospective clients will be more comfortable because they’ll feel you really know what you’re doing and can get them the results they need.

2. Confirm The Seller

The last thing you want is to talk into a listing appointment with someone who doesn’t actually have the power to sell the home. The meeting is a waste of time for both you and the prospective client. So before you walk into a listing appointment, confirm the person you’re meeting with is the owner of the property who has the right to sell it. Things will run more efficiently since you won’t be playing telephone or working through a third party.

3. Get Answers Before You Meet

You’ll want to walk into that first listing appointment already having a lot of information about the home. A few things to learn about the property include: 

  • Square footage and number of rooms
  • Recent repairs or updates to the property
  • Changes in the square footage since it was last sold
  • What the homeowner believes the home is worth
  • How much the homeowner currently owes on the home
  • Any liens on the property
  • Why the homeowner is selling the home
  • When the homeowner needs to have their home listed
  • Who else the homeowner will be meeting before making a decision

Once you have this information, you’ll be able to do a bit of research before the appointment to make sure both you and the client get the most value of out of it.

4. Research Other Area Listings

It’s important to familiarize yourself with the local market before your listing appointment. Spend some time previewing other listings in the neighborhood to get an idea of what others are asking for and how they compare to your client’s home.

5. Confirm HOA Guidelines

If the seller’s home is a part of an HOA, now is the time to read the guidelines and find out what rules and restrictions the neighborhood has. First, this will show the seller that you’ve done your homework. But it will also help to clear up any concerns on the front end and ensure you’re doing your job properly as you work through the selling process.

6. Do A Comparative Market Analysis (CMA)

It’s important that you walk into the initial listing appointment with a comparative market analysis (CMA), which is where you’ll compare your prospective client’s home with recent comparable sales on the market. The seller may walk into the meeting with an asking price already in mind, but your CMA will show them just how realistic it is.

How many properties to include in your CMA is up to you. Some agents choose as few as three properties, while others include as much as 10. The more properties you include, the more accurate average you’ll be able to establish for your seller to use. But it’s important to ensure they’re true comparables so you’re giving your client the most accurate information.

7. Create An Eye-Catching And Comprehensive Listing Presentation

Create a listing presentation for your client that will catch their eye. You don’t have to re-create the wheel each time you make it — just find a simple PowerPoint template you can use over and over again. Make sure your listing presentation includes an introduction to you and your sales process, but also about their home, your CMA, and your recommendations.

8. Paper Copies of Important Documents

There’s no doubt that technology has helped to simplify many parts of the real estate process, but sometimes a hard copy is the easiest way to do business. It can be extremely beneficial to walk out of a listing appointment with a signed agreement with a new client. And even if the client doesn’t sign on the spot, a paper copy of the documents ensures they have something in their hand to look over after they leave.

9. Outline the Next Steps

Regardless of whether your client signs your agreement at the listing appointment, don’t leave without having next steps in place. If the client is still thinking it over, set up a follow-up call to answer any questions they have in a few days. And if they’ve signed the agreement, it’s even more important to have next steps on the books, especially if they want to move quickly with the listing process.

Bonus Tip: Send A Thank You Note/Gift

After a listing appointment, write up a short thank-you note for the prospective client. Regardless of whether they sign on to work with you, it’s important to leave a good impression and let them know you appreciate their time.

The Bottom Line: Being Prepared Can Make You The Clear Choice

As a real estate agent, the listing appointment is your one chance to make a first impression on a prospective client. It’s an opportunity for you to build a relationship with your client, introduce them to yourself, and hopefully walk away with a new client. And for more information and advice to help you in your work, visit the Rocket ProSM Insights Learning Center for the latest real estate and housing updates.

Erin Gobler

Erin Gobler is a freelance personal finance expert and writer who has been publishing content online for nearly a decade. She specializes in financial topics like mortgages, investing, and credit cards. Erin's work has appeared in publications like Fox Business, NextAdvisor, Credit Karma, and more.