Don’t Confuse Them With The Facts (If You Don’t Have To)

Jan 31, 2018

A Floyd Wickman Team blog by Mike Pallin

How much time do you spend on pricing during your listing appointment?

My friend, Jay, used to do a 12 minute listing appointment. He would spend the first 10 minutes looking at the house, and absolutely charming the Sellers.  The next 2 minutes he spent getting the answers to just two questions.

First question he asked, “What price do you want to list your house at?”

And whatever they said, he agreed to.

Second question he asked, “How much commission do you want to pay?”

And whatever they said, he agreed to.

Jay was an award winning listing agent. Over 200 listings in one year. Award winning and broke, because none of them sold. Not one. And his company nearly went broke with sign installations.

Jay did accomplish two very important things with his abbreviated approach to the listing appointment, though.

First, he was able to reach an agreement on price and commission. Let’s not overlook how many listings are lost over pricing and commission. And second, he didn’t confuse them with the facts.

While I absolutely disagree with Jay’s method of pricing, I applaud him for not confusing people. In fact, it’s a well-known Wickman Rule of Thumb when it comes to pricing.

This Rule of Thumb can dramatically shorten some of your listing appointments by eliminating the need to show and explain the market data on your Highest Price Analysis.

Do your research. Bring your research with you. But hold it in reserve to use only if you need it.

If you have followed Floyd’s ‘one-stop’ appointment method, you have pre-qualified the Seller and gathered enough information to do a “ballpark” Highest Price Analysis. The key is to get them to tell you what kind of price they are thinking before doing your research.

You ask. And sometimes you have to ask again another way. And sometimes you have to ask again still another way.

They have the internet. They have friends and neighbors. They have sources. If they have given even a moment’s thought to selling, you know they have a number in mind. Get them to tell you that number.

Here’s a few examples of how to ask. 

  • How familiar are you with recent sale prices in the area?
  • What sources do you look to for real estate information?
  •  How much cash would you need to walk away with to make moving possible?
  • What is your current mortgage balance?
  • Let’s pretend a stranger showed up on your porch out of the blue with a suitcase full of cash and asked you how much you wanted for your house, could you come up with a fair price?

If they ask why you need to know what they think it’s worth, tell them you are going to do exhaustive research in multiple sources to find facts that will support their price, and that you will discuss the results with them when you get together.


And now let’s say you are on the appointment and your (research) price and their (desired) price agree. What is your pricing presentation?

Just this.

“So, you're thinking $395,000? I don’t see a problem with that. Lets take a look at what that would net you, and see if you can live with it. Fair enough?“


Now go directly to the Net Sheet. Don’t confuse them with the facts.

I know you did all this research and you can’t wait to prove how much work you’ve already done for them. But consider this.

Why raise questions you don’t need to if you are in agreement? They don’t need to see your CMA if their price and your price agree. In other words, if the price is right, keep it out of sight.

And you just saved yourself (and them) 30 confusing minutes.

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