Winning The Listing Appointment (Part 1): How to Prequalify the Seller

Every listing you get has a multiplier effect. One listing can bring in new buyer and seller leads. And when you convert those, that one listing suddenly turns into several transactions.

But to make that happen, you have to be able to win more listing appointments.

In this week’s episode of The Walkthrough, agent and coach Aaron Novello shares how prequalifying sellers has helped his team win 80% of its listing appointments. Because winning the listing appointment begins before you ring the seller’s doorbell.

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If you enjoy this episode, please subscribe to get future episodes delivered automatically: Apple Podcasts/iTunes | Spotify | Stitcher | YouTube

(When you’re finished listening above, you can find part two of this series here: Winning the Listing Appointment: How to Handle Objections and Close the Deal)

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Links and Show Notes

Full Transcript

(SPEAKER: Matt McGee, Host) It’s almost 7:00 pm. You’re walking up to the seller’s home. In your hands, you have a laptop or maybe your iPad. You have comps printed out — recent sales that are like this home, plus similar homes that are on the market right now. You have a thick folder with glossy marketing materials that basically say, “Sir or ma’am, you’d be crazy to let anyone else list your home.”

[Sound: doorbell ringing]

You go inside to close the deal, but a half-hour later or maybe an hour, that crazy thing happens. You don’t get the listing. You thought you nailed the presentation, but you’re going home without a new client.

What happened? And how do you make sure it doesn’t happen next time?

Our guest today says you might need to flip your process on its head. He’s a successful agent in Florida, whose team converts 80% of its listing appointments.

How do they do it? That’s what we’re gonna start to find out today. This is the first of a two-part series. Today, you’ll learn that winning the listing appointment isn’t about all that stuff you’re carrying into the appointment. It’s about what you say and do before you even ring the doorbell.

This is “The Walkthrough.”

(INTRO MUSIC)

Hi, everyone, how are you doing? My name is Matt McGee. I’m the editor of HomeLight Agent Resource Center, and your host every week, right here on “The Walkthrough.” On this show, you’ll learn what’s working right now from the best Real Estate Agents and industry experts in the country. At HomeLight, we believe in Real Estate Agents. That’s why we created “The Walkthrough.” We’re on a journey to find out how great Real Estate Agents grow their business, stand out from the crowd, and become irreplaceable.

You can get involved in the show in a couple of different ways. You can text or leave a voicemail for me. The phone number is 415-322-3328 or you can send an email anytime to walkthrough [at] homelight.com.

Every listing you get can have a multiplier effect. A single listing can help you get more seller leads, new buyer leads, and if or when you convert those leads, that one listing suddenly turns into several transactions. That’s why so many agents build their business around listings and sellers instead of buyers.

But in order to do that, you have to crush your listing appointments.

On today’s show, you are going to meet Aaron Novello, a super successful agent in the Fort Lauderdale, Florida area. He’s responsible for more than 1,400 homes sold and more than $325 million in sales volume in his 14 years in the business. He’s been on the Real Trends Top 1,000 Agents list five times. Aaron is still an active agent and team leader. But about seven years ago, he also launched a coaching and training program. And through that, he’s helped hundreds of agents grow their business.

Listing appointments are one of the focus areas in Aaron’s training classes. He teaches agents how to prequalify a seller before you ever walk into their home — or before you get on a Zoom call with them as the case may be these days.

In today’s show, you will hear how Aaron does most of his selling and objection handling before he walks in the door, how he responds when a seller asks him to take a lower commission, and you’re gonna hear a full, unedited 10-minute roleplay where I am the potential seller and Aaron is prequalifying me over the phone. I think you’re going to love it.

As I mentioned earlier, this is part one of a two-part conversation. We’ll focus on prequalifying today, and then we’ll dive into the listing appointment itself in part two. Now that episode, part two, will be out in two weeks on September 14th. I’ll share more about our schedule and give you a preview of part 2 at the end of today’s show. Okay?

So without further ado, let’s get to today’s conversation on prequalifying potential sellers. The first question that I asked Aaron was, how do you explain that 80% success rate with listing appointments?

(BEGIN CONVERSATION)

Aaron: You know, if you wanna build a chocolate cake, you gotta follow a recipe. And if you don’t follow the recipe, then it’s not gonna come out a chocolate cake. So it’s a combination of two things. One is, you know, in the appointment setting process is right on the spot, I’ll prequalify that appointment. Okay. And what that pre-qualification entails is asking a series of detailed questions to not only gather as much data and information as I can as far as the who, what, where, and why, you know, somebody’s motivation, what they’re looking to accomplish, timeframes, things of that nature. But we also use it as a mechanism to sell, right, a mechanism to kind of, you know, move the process forward.

And then we do send, you know, a pre-listing package prior to connecting. And what we’re doing is we’re reverse engineering the way we’re accustomed to making decisions, right, in our current day and age, right, which is where we would be going online, we’d probably be looking at reviews, looking at websites, watching a video, and then making a decision to either purchase that product or service, or then pick up the phone and ask some questions.

So, in the prequalification, which we can get into, you know, we’re kind of pushing them towards those digital assets, so they can, you know, do that kind of due diligence on their own and then when we show up, and it’s time to kind of rock and roll, so to speak, having a very clear, concise plan — usually agents, they just kind of wing it, you know. And, you know, the analogy I give them is like, “If you were to go to a physician, would you want the physician to wing a surgery or would you want a, you know, pilot to, like, wing it? No, you’d want them to follow a very precise track that leads to a specific destination.”

Matt: You said you are sending them materials, you’re getting them materials before the appointment? Is that what I heard?

Aaron: That is accurate. Yeah. So, we’re sending them an email prior to connecting. So I might say to you in the prequalification, “You know, Matt, I’m aware that you know, I’m just the voice over the phone. And my intention, provided the opportunity, is to do a wonderful job for you and your family. So other than what we’ve discussed so far — somebody who’s got a great track record. Somebody who can help you guys get the most into a quickly and efficiently. Somebody who can help you perhaps connect you with vendors to prepare the property and make the process as smooth and easy as possible, is there anything else you’d be looking for from me as far as your agent that would be important to you?”

Now, notice I already said, like, “As your agent.” Like, that’s an assumptive close. Like, we’re already moving this forward. Like, we’re already doing this. And you might say to me, “Well, yeah, like, I wanna talk to you about, like, this and this. And, you know, I want somebody that’s honest. I want somebody who’s maybe flexible, in terms of professional fee,” whatever it is you say to me. “Okay, great. So what I’m gonna do in preparation for a meeting is I’m gonna send you some information, right? And amongst other things, there’ll be a link to our website, which you can check out to put the face to the name. There’s also gonna be a link to all of my personal reviews online. We have over 430 five-star reviews from clients just like you that we’ve helped in this area from start to finish, maximize value, and do it quickly and efficiently. So I encourage you, Matt, to take a look at a few of those in preparation for connecting, so that way you can get a feel and a flavor for the service and results we provide. Okay?” And you’re like, “Yeah, that’s fine.” So I’m pushing you to those digital assets, which are gonna do a lot of the selling for me.

Matt: Okay. That makes sense…

Aaron: You’re gonna go, you’re gonna look at the website, you’re gonna see all the reviews that demonstrates, like, social proof. A lot of people have used me, demonstrates authority. I know what I’m doing. And then in that email, there’s also gonna be a pre-listing package, which is a PDF that you can open. And in that pre-listing package is the following information — not like me with a picture of, like, my dog or something. None of that. It’s very much kind of results-oriented. So there’ll be our track record over the years, right, how many homes we sell year over year. And there’ll be the plan of action, specifically what we’re gonna do to market the property, right, because people wanna know about that. Then there’ll be kind of my schedule so people can see what we’re doing on a regular basis to ensure that we can get them an offer that’s acceptable.

And then there’s frequently asked questions. And what the frequently asked questions are, Matt, is these are objections that you will normally get with the answers already. So it’s like, “Hey, I wanna do a shorter listing.” And it says like no, and here gives the reason why. Or, “Hey, we wanna adjust the professional fee.” It’s like, “No,” and it gives the reason why. Or have you ever thought about this or considered this? There’s, like, four or five of those objections that are already answered. And then the last page is references if people choose to reach out.

The next attachment is the actual comparables, okay. Three actives, three closed, one pending. I know a lot of agents do all of this, like, you know, crazy analysis with, like, charts, and graphs, and price per square foot. Like, it’s really not that… it’s not necessary. So, in that PDF, which is the eight-photo view in the multiple listing service, we highlight that, beds, baths, you know, days on market, because I want you to review that information before I even see you. So, you can get an idea in your mind that’s like, “Okay, somewhere around here is probably realistic.” Right? And then the other thing that’s embedded in there is a video, and that video has two client testimonials in it from people that we’ve helped.

So in other words, if you think about this, that pre-listing stage, I’m reverse engineering. I’m giving you everything you need as a consumer that you are accustomed to. Because what technology has done is it’s changed our expectations. Like, I expect to have all the information upfront right now, and then I can make a decision, right? So I’m reverse engineering that. I’m giving you everything that you need right now. And I would propose if you do that properly, like, you know, they’re already gonna establish I know what I’m doing, and that I’m an expert. Now it’s just terms and conditions. So, like, 80% of, you know, their decision’s probably made before I even see them.

Matt: Yeah, I feel like you’re kinda flipping the traditional process on its head a bit, right? Like, I feel like, traditionally, an agent would do 20% or 25% of the work prior to the meeting. And then the other 75% or 80% happens in the meeting. You’re sort of going the opposite direction. You’re trying to do 80% in advance and then just leave the meeting for the actual closing.

Aaron: That’s exactly right. And hence the reason why our ratio is so high.

Matt: Right. Okay.

Aaron: And the other thing that’s true is that a lot of times agents, and I mean this with love, they’ll resist prequalifying. And the reason why they’ll resist prequalifying is because they really don’t wanna hear what the answers are. Right? So if somebody tells me they’re actually not that motivated to sell. Like, that’s not actually an appointment.

Matt: Right.

Aaron: Right? So if I can flesh that out upfront, and if I’m generating on a regular basis, I don’t have to tolerate so I can get very clear on, okay, what’s the situation? And instead of trying to prove myself worthy of the business, it’s like … Look, I already know I’m worthy. It’s me trying to determine if I can actually help you, if you have a need and a golden objective that I can service.

And then if I can, I’m fleshing out all of the objections ahead of time, because you might say to me in pre-qual like, “Yeah, like, you know, we think our property’s worth X.” And I know that neighborhood very well. I know that X is a little high. Right? So I’ll note that. At the same time, when I ask you, “Well, I’m curious, Matt, your job’s… I mean, your property is really nice. It’s in a great geographic area. If you don’t mind me asking, was there any particular reason you were even considering selling it?” And you’re like, “Yeah, I got a job relocation. And I gotta be out there by the end of the year.” “Okay. Excellent. And is it an option for you to not sell the home and still move?” I would wanna know that before I see you, right? Because I’m gonna spend 30 minutes preparing…however many preparing. I’m gonna drive and, like, all that other stuff, right? And let’s say you say to me, “No, it’s not an option.” Okay. So in other words, in order for you to get what you want in the time you want, it requires you to sell the property. Is that correct?” “Yes.” Now when he tells me he thinks it’s worth X, and I know it’s worth a little bit less than that, I’m not so concerned because he’s gotta move.

Matt: Sometimes, you will get the email or the call from the seller at 1:00 in the afternoon and they wanna meet you at 5:00 or 7:00 that night. Do you have enough time to do all this and put all this together in the PDFs, do the comps, the whole nine yards?

Aaron: Yeah, so that’s a wonderful question. And what I’m aware of is — I do, because I have staff, I have people, right? And we have a system. Remember we talked about, like, a chocolate cake. So what happens is, is when I book the appointment, I immediately send an email to my assistant with the contact information, their name, like, the source of the lead, where it came from, let’s say Hawaii, their name of the client, their email address and their phone number. Underneath that is the property. Right? And any notes that I took about it when I say, “Hey, you know, Matt, nobody knows the home better than you, have you done any changes or modifications over time that you feel like would affect its value?” Examples being kitchen, bathrooms. And when you talk to me, I take notes on that stuff. Then I put a little note underneath why you’re selling, what you’re looking to accomplish, timeframe.

I immediately fire an email to my assistant, she does the CMA. Okay? Does the CMA, does the homework, and then sends out that email that we just talked about. Because that PDF is — you just attach it to the email. And then the comps that she does, she prints that out on the desktop, right, as a PDF, highlights it in Adobe Acrobat. She attaches it in an email. So she can literally get me ready for an appointment. If I talk to you, like, right now, in our conversation, you’re like, “Hey, you know, I’m only in town, you know, until like 4:00 this afternoon,” I can be ready for an appointment within 20 minutes.

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Matt: You have given us already a few of the questions that you ask during this pre-qualification. What are the other questions that you are asking on that very first call with the seller?

Aaron: Yeah, so some of those questions could be… And we could just roleplay if you’d like Matt, like, if you would wanna be…

Matt: I’ll do my best.

Aaron: So before we get together, Matt, I just have a couple of super important questions to ask you just to make sure that I’m fully prepared and I can provide you with the most accurate information, and really be the best assistance to you and your family. And I’ll be brief because I know your time is valuable. So in terms of the property, I mean, again, it’s really nice. It’s in a great area. I know it very well. I don’t need to tell you that, you know, it’s in a great school district and things of that nature. Hopefully, I’m not being too straightforward, Matt, was there any particular reason that you and your family were even considering selling?

Matt: Well, Aaron, we are thinking about selling because our kids are getting older and heading off to school soon, and we don’t need all this space.

Aaron: I understand. So in other words, the home has served its purpose, size-wise, kids are kind of moving on and you guys were thinking, you know, you don’t require so much space, you’d like to sell the property and perhaps downsize. Is that right?

Matt: That’s what we’re thinking.

Aaron: Okay. And did you wanna do that locally here? Were you looking to move someplace else?

Matt: I think we’d like to stay local. We just don’t need as much space and, you know, obviously, a school district isn’t as important now because the kids are gone. But we do love the area. So yeah, we wanna stay.

Aaron: Okay, wonderful. And then ideally, in terms of what you want, because really, that’s what’s most important, how soon would you like to make this lifestyle change happen?

Matt: I don’t know that we have a specific timeline for it. I think we’re just sort of, you know, poking around and kicking the tires right now to see what the home is worth, and you know what an agent thinks we could get for it.

Aaron: I understand. So, let me ask it this way because my job sincerely is to help you, it’s never to talk you into doing anything. You know, let’s say we take a look at the numbers and they make sense, and we can see that now’s presenting itself to be, you know, a pretty opportune time to cash out, if we got an offer that was acceptable to you in the next 30 to 45 days, we can negotiate maybe an extended closing period of 60 days, so we can shop for what you’re looking for on the other end, that would give us like 90 to 100 days from start to finish. Would that timeframe be okay with you?

Matt: That might be okay. Yeah, I think we could probably make that work if we find the right place and if the home’s value is what we want it to be.

Aaron: Okay. Excellent. So let me make a note here. And then I’ve only spoken to you, Matt, I can hear in your voice that you’re pretty excited about making this transition happen. How does your significant other feel about it?

Matt: We’re on the same page together about this. We both know that we don’t need all this space in the house. So…

Aaron: Yeah, wonderful. Well, it’s always important to be on the same page, right? And I guess I’m curious because I meant that sincerely. My job is to help you. It’s not to talk to you into anything. Is it an option for you guys to perhaps not sell this home and still move? Like, maybe just keep it rented and then buy another townhome?

Matt: I mean, we’ve talked about that a couple of times in the past. I don’t know that it’s an option, so probably not. But I mean, I’d be open to hearing about that, you know, if the home’s value is more than we think maybe.

Aaron: Okay. Fair enough. And have you guys ever been a landlord before?

Matt: We have not.

Aaron: Okay. No problem. So it sounds like it’s something you’re kind of batting around at the same time, kind of moving in the direction of just cashing out and being complete. Is that right?

Matt: Right. Yep.

Aaron: Awesome. And then in terms of the property, right, because, again, you know, I’m super familiar with it, that’s why HomeLight matched us because we have the good fortune of doing a lot of business in your geographic area. I always like to ask the homeowner though, have you done any changes or modifications to it over time that you feel would affect its value, examples being like kitchen, bathrooms, or flooring?

Matt: Nothing like that. Probably the biggest change is that one bedroom has been converted to a home office.

Aaron: Okay. So let me note that here, which is actually very sought after with everything that’s going on. So let me note that here. And then do you plan on making any additional changes or modifications before I would start to bring buyers through?

Matt: Not unless it’s something that we’re told would be a good idea.

Aaron: Okay, no problem. And I’m super cautious to propose you spend a dollar unless it would either dramatically improve the showing condition or if we spent $1, you would get $2 or $3 back. So we’ll look at that very closely. And then, you know, ultimately, you’re the boss. You can decide what you feel is best. Now, you strike me to be someone who’s super savvy. I’m aware that you found me online. The platform matched us again because, you know, we help so many people in this area. I’m sure you guys did some due diligence prior to reaching out, maybe you went to Zillow or something of that nature. Did you have an idea at all of realistically what you were thinking in terms of price?

Matt: No, I don’t have a number off the top of my head. I know that the houses in our area are selling like hotcakes and selling very quickly. But I don’t know what the number would be.

Aaron: Perfect. No problem, and I appreciate your candor. You know, my intention, provided the opportunity, is to get you every penny possible. I’m also the of the mindset, Matt, I’d much rather earn your business with integrity, being honest, and straightforward about what’s reasonable and realistic, versus promising you something I know is not gonna happen and not be able to deliver on that promise. So in some information that I’ll send you in preparation for connecting, I’ll show you a few things. The first one is what’s active on the market right now and not selling, which is very helpful, Matt, because the neighbors, they’ve actually done us a favor. Do you know what it is?

Matt: I have no idea.

Aaron: They’ve actually tested the market for us already at certain prices, and it’s not working. We can learn from that. That’s helpful data. The second piece of information we’ll look at is what has actually sold and closed, let’s say within the last 6 to 12 months, really with a focus over the last, you know, 120 days post-COVID. And in looking at that information, what we’re gonna see come to the surface is not a pinpoint to the penny, Matt, but instead a very tight, realistic range as to what would be reasonable. Does that approach make sense to you?

Matt: That does. Yes, that sounds good.

Aaron: Okay. Cool. And I’m gonna be sending this information via email, what’s the best email address for you?

Matt: And I give my email, matt@something.com.

Aaron: Okay. Great. Excellent. And again, I’ve only spoken to you, I guess, do you guys have any additional questions or concerns for me before we connect?

Matt: Yes, we are curious to know if you would consider listing our house at less than 6%. Do you ever…? Is that negotiable?

Aaron: Yeah, it’s a wonderful question. I really appreciate you asking. It sounds like netting the most is really important to you. The professional fee is one of the tools that we use to market the property, in terms of what we offer out to the other agent if they can find us a buyer that’s ready, willing and able to purchase because agents, Matt, they don’t control what people buy, but they do have an influence over what they see. And we’ll go over the options that you have at your disposal because I want you guys to feel comfortable with the one we end up choosing. I can promise you this, that certainly wouldn’t be a reason why we don’t do business. I’m sure we’ll be able to come up with something that was mutually beneficial for all parties. Does that sound reasonable to you?

Matt: That does sound reasonable. Yes.

Aaron: Okay. Good. And then my intention, as I mentioned, is to do a wonderful job for you guys. So other than what we’ve discussed so far, somebody who has a great track record in this area, which we do. That’s why we were matched. Somebody who can help you maximize value and do it quickly and efficiently, and somebody who can help you, you know, not only sell this home but find another one here locally, that fits your guy’s needs and make that process as easy as possible. Is there anything else you would be looking for from me as your agent that would be important to you?

Matt: Not that I can think of right now, just excited to meet you and chat about this more.

Aaron: Yeah, I’m really excited as well. And I know I’m just the voice over the phone at the moment. And the information that I’m gonna send you in preparation for connecting, amongst other things, there’ll be a link to our website, which you can check out and put a face to the name. There’s also a link to all of my personal reviews online. We have over 430 plus five-star reviews from clients, just like you that we’ve helped in this area from start to finish get the most. So, I encourage you guys to take a look at a few of those, right, in preparation for a meeting so that way you can get a feel and a flavor for the service and results we provide. Okay?

Matt: It sounds great.

Aaron: Awesome. And then my final question is this. You know, you strike me, Matt, to be someone who’s super straightforward, and to the point. I’m the exact same way. When we do connect, I mean, provided that it makes sense, of course, I’d never expect you to do anything that doesn’t make sense to you, provided that the numbers work, and you guys feel super comfortable and confident with me that I can help you, not only sell this home and maximize value, but, you know, make it a smooth and easy process, and help you find something local, do you think you’d be open to the possibility of hiring me to help when I see you tomorrow at 6:00?

Matt: Yes, possibly. We are usually the type that need to sleep on it. So it may not be a decision that we’re able to make right on the spot. But, you know, we’re certainly, you know, amenable to the idea.

Aaron: That’s wonderful. And that’s all we ask is that you’d be open, you know, to the possibility. I can tell you very humbly, that when I do meet with people in person, particularly after they check out our track record and reviews, you know, like 95% of the time, they do decide to hire me for their work. So what I’ll do is I’ll bring with me that market analysis, which we’ll send to you via email, so we can review it together as a team and determine, you know, how we can maximize value and get the most we possibly can quickly and efficiently. And then I also will have with me the appropriate paperwork. So provided you guys do feel compelled and you feel comfortable and confident, we can take care of that and get the process started. Okay?

Matt: That sounds great.

Aaron: Okay. Great. Well, again, I sincerely appreciate you taking the time. I know your time is really valuable. And honestly, having heard the story, so to speak, Matt, and what you’re looking to accomplish and why, I’m super excited to see you tomorrow at 6:00. And if it all makes sense, you know, the numbers work, get you one step closer to that townhome, I mean, wouldn’t that be great?

Matt: That would be great. Awesome. Thank you.

Aaron: Yeah. And then one last question I forgot to ask, before we hang up, is I’ll be doing a net sheet for you, so that way you can see dollars and cents, what the proceeds would be when it all shakes out. In order to do that properly and professionally, is there anything still owed on this home or is it free and clear for you guys?

Matt: There is still owed… I believe we owe about $200,000 on it.

Aaron: Okay. Cool. And I’m imagining you’re not interested in acting like a bank and holding a note for a buyer. You just want me to help you to get all the cash out that we’re gonna use towards the next purchase. Is that correct?

Matt: That’s correct.

Aaron: All right. Perfect. Well, again, listen, I appreciate you taking the time. I know your time is valuable. Carla, my assistant, she’ll call you tomorrow, confirm, make sure you get the email we sent, confirm the time still works. And again, if it does, we’ll connect. We’ll go over everything and help you get one step closer to your new property, okay?

Matt: Got it. Thank you.

Aaron: My pleasure. Make it a great day.

Matt: So, Aaron, that sounds like… Most of that I feel is probably stuff that normally would be discussed in the actual face-to-face, but you’re wanting to cover all that on the phone when you’re setting the appointment?

Aaron: Yeah, because the purpose of meeting is to, like, sign something. That’s the whole purpose, right? So, I wanna gather as much information as I can prior to and I’m crystal clear. So, if you notice, I was gathering information, the who, what, where, when, why. Why are you doing this? I asked you if it’s an option for you to rent, you’re like, “Sort of.” It’s like not really, right? I asked you timeframe, you shared with me, “We’re at the beginning stages,” and I kind of shrunk that down. I was like, “Okay, well if we got an offer in 30, 45 days, like whatever.”

Matt: Yeah, that was interesting.

Aaron: Yeah, that’s okay, right? So, you’re like, “Oh, yeah, we’re just talking like years somewhere.” And I’m, like, shrink it down right here, right?

Matt: Right.

Aaron: Right? And then, you gave me one of the objection that you’re gonna have when I see you, which is professional fee. And notice I didn’t answer it, right? I acknowledged it.

Matt: You did a great job of not answering that.

Aaron: Yeah, so I acknowledged it, but then I also… Like, I don’t wanna handle that over the phone. Like, I wanna do that in person because, like, I have all of my being I have my physical being, like all of that to, like, demonstrate…and I can demonstrate value, right, versus just being like regurgitating and verbally vomiting a number, right?

Matt: Right.

Aaron: Yeah. So, now, I’m fully prepared for that appointment. And now, that last question that I asked you about, like, the mortgage, like now I know if there’s an equity position. So now, I’m crystal clear on what the situation is.

Matt: And that preps you, you are ready to go in and have that meeting and answer whatever questions, deal with whatever objections come up, which you just got a sense of what the objections are gonna be from the call. And you are just more prepared because you took the time to do it when you’re setting the appointment.

Aaron: Right up front, instead of just like running out and being like, “Yippee, let’s go have a conversation.” Because, you know, that’s not an effective use of time. There’s no way I could list 120, 130 properties a year, which I do, if I did that, it’s just not possible.

And it’s kind of like the way I describe it to agents that I coach and work with. It’s like, if you went to the doctor, and you were like, “Hey, my head hurts,” and the doctor was like, “Great, let’s do surgery.” You’d be like, “Whoa. Whoa. Whoa. Like, slow down, Chief.” Instead, what the physician is gonna do is be like, he or she is gonna be like, “How long has it hurt? When did it start hurting? Have you changed your diet, right? Do you have a history of it hurting in your family, right? Are you on medication, right? Have you traveled outside of the U.S.?” Like, they’re going to ask you all these questions that cover kinda all this other stuff. And what they’re doing is they’re prequalifying. They’re trying to figure out with a high degree of probability what the situation is.

So in the pre-qual, what I’m doing is figuring out what is the level of motivation of the seller on a scale from 1 to 10. And I only wanna deal with 8s, 9s, and 10s.

(Speaker: Matt McGee, Host) Are you prequalifying potential sellers like that? Aaron spends about 75% to 80% of his time and effort prequalifying the seller. And when that works, I mean, the listing appointment itself is often a slam dunk. The point is, winning the listing appointment begins long before you ring the doorbell.

If you want more information about Aaron’s coaching and training, you can check out his website. It’s aaronnovello.com. That’s Novello with two Ls. I will link to that in today’s show notes.

In just a minute, we’ll do a preview of part 2 and also talk about our upcoming schedule. First, let’s do a couple of takeaways from today’s episode.

Number one, prequalifying a seller is the process of asking a series of detailed questions to, A, determine how serious they are because you don’t wanna waste your time if the person isn’t serious about selling, B, learn about objections ahead of time, and C, start to assumptively close the seller. You heard Aaron assumptively closing me during the roleplay when he asked, “Are you gonna make any changes to the home before I bring buyers through?” That’s the assumptive close.

Takeaway number 2. Aaron does not wait until the appointment to give the seller comps, marketing materials, and all that stuff you normally bring with you. All of that goes out as soon as possible after the appointment is made — with some help from his admin staff, of course. He says consumer expectations have changed, and people want information as soon as possible so they can start to make decisions.

And then takeaway number three, with an objection like his seller’s commission, Aaron does not want to answer that on the phone. You heard him deflect that question very well during the roleplay, and he’ll be ready to answer that during the actual appointment.

And that is actually a perfect segue into part 2 because I know you’re wondering about Aaron’s script for answering that objection. So, here is a preview of what he says when sellers ask him to discount his fee.

Aaron: “You recognize that the professional fee is a tool to make sure that you get the most because if we’re trying to maximize value, do you think we’re going to do that by limiting the exposure or broadening the exposure?” He’d be like, “Well, broadening it.” “Yeah. So here are the options that you have at your disposal. The first option is, is we can offer out the full 3%, which is what agents are accustomed to. And that will increase the probability that we can get a whole bunch of people interested, and you end up with top dollar quickly and efficiently. The second option is we offer out some sort of discount, you know, maybe like 2.5% or 2%. And in doing so, that could end up affecting showings, which ultimately can end up affecting how much we end up getting. So my question to you is, based on what you’re looking to accomplish and why, in the time frame you’d like to make all this happen, which one of those two options do you think will serve you and your family best?”

Matt: So that’s a bit of what is coming up in part 2, but you will not hear that next week. Part 2 will be published in two weeks on Monday, September 14th. Next Monday on Labor Day, we’re going to celebrate the labor that you do for your clients. You’re going to hear an encore presentation of one of my favorite episodes that we’ve ever done. It’s a conversation with Raylene Lewis, an agent in College Station, Texas, and it’s about a sale that she rescued more than once, despite several signs and people telling her, “This deal is dead.” I am pretty confident in saying it’s one of the most remarkable real estate stories you’ll ever hear. And it’s a great reminder of the amazing things you all do for your clients. So that is coming up next week. And then we’ll go back to part 2 with Aaron Novello the following week. All right?

If you want to get in touch with me with any questions or comments, you can text or leave a voicemail anytime. The number is 415-322-3328. You can also send me an email it’s walkthrough [at] homelight.com or just find me in our Facebook listener community. Go on Facebook, do a search for HomeLight Agent Community, “The Walkthrough.” You’ll find me and other listeners in there.

So that’s all for this week. Thanks to Aaron Novello for joining me. Thank you for listening.

My name is Matt McGee. Remember, at HomeLight we believe in Real Estate Agents. That’s why we created “The Walkthrough.” We’re on a journey to find out how great Real Estate Agents grow their business, stand out from the crowd, and become irreplaceable.

Go out and safely sell some homes. We’ll talk to you again next week. Bye-bye, everyone.

Header Source: (Michaelpuche / Shutterstock)

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