I once overheard one of my agents telling our Secretary that they were going to a listing presentation and that they would be back in an hour. I couldn't help but think to myself that the agent must of had a great "canned" presentation since the drive to the appointment and back would consume about half an hour.
Once the agent returned to the office, I said "How did you know that it would only take an hour to do your listing presentation?"
I got that look like you gotta be kidding me!
The agent went on to let me know that they had spent at least an hour working up the comps, another fifteen minutes or so putting the "package" together and about another half hour telling the seller what the price should be and what they would be charged for commissions.
So, how dare I assume that they only had an hour invested in this listing!?
Unfortunately, this scenario is all too common with most agents. We get caught up in worrying about the price so much that we forget about all the other elements that make for a good listing.
Albeit, price and cost to sell are important issues. However having your seller properly prepared for the listing/sales process is very crucial.
I've found that spending a couple of hours at the seller's home is just about ideal - more if necessary.
I want the seller to understand how the process works from start to finish. Issues like when the sign and key box go on (demonstrate the key box) to how to handle buyers that knock on the door without an agent - I cover the entire process right down to getting a temporary home for the dog.
But one of the more important things that I discuss with the seller at great length is the purchase and sale process. Yes... even before they sign the listing agreement!
After all my goal is to sell their home, and going over the entire process with the seller gives them a better picture of what to expect and how to deal with it.
I probably spend more time going over the language of a (blank) purchase and sales agreement then I do the listing contract.
I explain how all the paperwork ties together and the time-frames that each element of the sale will consume. I make sure to leave copies of all the documents that are normally part of a purchase and sale and comment that (sic) "I'm leaving you these copies so that you can review all the fine print prior to actually seeing an offer. When we get a chance to discuss an offer, you'll already be familiar with the forms and only have to be concerned about how all the blank spaces are filled in."
If you invest more time with the seller at the beginning, you'll find that you won't have to spend so much time later on explaining the "how's" and "why's".
It also makes it easier for the seller to see your true value by bringing the whole process together.