Price it right with three simple questions

By Mike Pallin

You need a great pricing dialogue in this market. Relying on a stack of comps in a pretty binder doesn’t make much sense. Many agents will give prospects a price over the phone or send them comps. That doesn’t work either.

Instead, what if you added three simple questions to your pricing presentation that will help you get the home priced right when you are at the listing appointment?

First, a couple of quick pricing DO’s and DON’Ts.

Do your market research, but keep it in reserve unless you need it to answer a question or substantiate the price you suggest. Though you’ve invested time and effort in market research, too much detail will only create confusion and get your presentation off track.

Don’t talk specifics until you know first that they are sold on listing with you and your company. If they don’t believe you can get the job done, why would they believe your opinion on price? They need to know why so many people choose your company, what makes your marketing powerful and why you are the best agent for them. That has to happen before a discussion of price.

So, what are the three questions?

The first one is, “If we could agree on a price, would there be anything preventing you from letting me handle things for you?”

There is a sound psychological principle behind this question, whatever words you use. Asking for the listing, subject to agreeing on price, lets you know how well you have connected in the “like and trust” department. If the answer is “no” it’s time to talk price.

Chances are your prospects have heard all kinds of promises about a quick and easy sale outside of the traditional method among cooperating brokers. There is no shortage of information (and misinformation) about selling today. Real estate is no different from most products and services that can be had at the market price, or at a discounted price — and discounts almost always come with a cost.

So, start your pricing discussion by showing them what an investor would typically pay for a home like theirs. In almost any market, investors will pay 70% of market value. If your market is still “hot,” they may pay even more. Take the value you determined from your market analysis, and calculate what an investor in your area would probably pay.

Then tell them the full market price you determined from the comps. Just give them the number you think it will sell for — one number that represents full value. Describe it as “…and the retail price on your house would be $XXX.” All you’re doing is explaining the facts.

Then ask the second question: “May I show you how most successful sellers choose their price?” Explain the relationship between time and price. Everyone knows that discounted goods sell quicker than goods at full retail price. So, finding a buyer to pay wholesale might only take a day or two, while finding a buyer to pay full retail price will take longer. Next, estimate the average days on market for that area and price point. Add processing time between finding a buyer and closing. And show them a date when they might expect to close with a full retail buyer.

Now it’s time to ask the third question: “How soon do you want your money?”

They pick the time, you show them the price. If they want a different price, show them how long it will take.

Pricing isn’t an exact science, but it also isn’t a mystery. There is a direct relationship between the price they choose and the amount of time it takes to get it. It is our responsibility to explain that to our clients. Keep them informed as this new market evolves, and make sure to connect price with time.

Mike Pallin is president and head coach of The Floyd Wickman Team. The agents he personally coached in 2022 produced an average of 60 listings and sales each. He can be reached at 734-637-4030 or

3 Things Every Real Estate Assistant Needs to Know About Marketing a Listing

Finding potential buyers for your listings is one of the most important aspects of a real estate agent’s job — and marketing is essential to their success with this task. As an assistant, your role will be to use marketing to attract and secure new customers for your agent’s business, and once engaged with a client, you’ll use marketing to sell properties.

Tools of the Trade

In this blog post, we’ll focus on three things every real estate assistant needs to know about marketing their agent’s listings.

#1. Multiple Listing Service (MLS)

The first place you’ll want to put a listing is in the MLS, or Multiple Listing Service. This central database of listings allows home sellers a centralized location to post details on the properties they have for sale and is an industry standard.

Accuracy in preparing a listing cannot be overstated. Not only is the MLS the central location for your listing, but listing sheets are generated directly from the system and sent to agents and buyers.

Also, websites that are accessible to any potential home buyer, such as Trulia, Zillow and, use the data directly from the MLS. So remember to check and double-check that the specifications and descriptions for the site are exactly as you want them.

Besides the standard form data, which includes details on the home such as square footage and the number of rooms, you’ll have an opportunity to provide a 1,000-character description. This description will appear on the listing sheet and on any websites that pick up MLS data. It’s important that this copy sells the home, and should be treated like any other marketing material.

#2. Photography

Photography is one of the most important parts of your marketing plan and should be handled with care. You may consider outsourcing the photographs to a professional photography company like VHT Studios. Along with ensuring that your photographs are of the best quality, there are a number of other concerns when preparing your photos to upload. Use this checklist to make sure your photos are ready for the market.

  1. Photos should be beautifully lit, color-corrected, cropped properly and show off your property’s best qualities.
  2. Individual photos can be no larger than 10 megabytes.
  3. The image size can be no larger than 2880 x 2880 pixels.

Most MLS allow a limit of 25 photos, but don’t confuse quantity with quality. A photo of the exterior of the home is standard, and a good strategy for the other photos is to have at least one photo per each feature mentioned in your description. For example, a description that mentions an attached garage, a bay window and high ceilings should have photographs that show each of these features.

#3. Social Media

The most popular social media used in real estate are Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest. Your agent might use one, some or all of these. Each platform comes with its own set of analytics, so you can easily see if your postings are effective in driving engagement and, ultimately, sales.

Facebook and Twitter allow you to schedule posts, but if you’re using more than one platform, a dashboard like Hootsuite allows you to generate all your posts from a central location. Depending on your subscription level, you can easily replicate posts across platforms and receive great analytics to help you determine how well your posts are performing.

Facebook and Twitter allow you to schedule posts, but if you’re using more than one platform, a dashboard like Hootsuite allows you to generate all your posts from a central location. Depending on your subscription level, you can easily replicate posts across platforms and receive great analytics to help you determine how well your posts are performing.

There are four general pillars to consider when using social media across all platforms.


The Internet is unforgiving of typos, broken links and other inaccuracies, any of which can also cost your brand credibility and trust. When a posting about one of your listings contains errors, it can negatively affect your chances of a sale. When posting about your business or brokerage, it can damage the perception of your brand. Check and double-check before you post content online.


Social media is a crowded landscape with a significant amount of content competing for an audience. The more relevant your content is, the more likely it is to drive engagement. Engagement can help your business even if it doesn’t directly lead to a sale. Make sure that each and everything you post has some value to your reader.


Never engage in negativity online. Avoid controversial topics like politics or religion, and never disparage one of your clients or competitors. Bring value to your audience by staying upbeat and sharing more positive content. If it’s a beautiful day in a neighborhood where you have a property, share a photo with your audience. If you’re involved in a community fundraiser or charity event in support of a favorite cause, invite others to attend as well.


Social media is an opportunity to share your unique personality. An Instagram photo of your agency serving meals to the homeless shows that you’re compassionate; a Facebook post about your team attending a baseball game shows that you’re fun. These are qualities that a client wants in a real estate agent, and social media is a great way to show them off.

A marketing plan can have multiple other pieces, including brochures, floor plans and open houses. To learn more about an assistant’s role in marketing real estate listings, view the full course here.

Explore the entire AgentEDU Assistants track today, which features eight different courses designed to provide real estate assistants with the most comprehensive online training available.

AgentEDU® is a platform where agents at every level can come to watch 10-minute video courses for the many situations that successful agents must master. From essential to advanced level and everything in between, AgentEDU® courses help agents become top producers with increased earnings and a plan for continued growth.

AgentEDU® is an Agent Publishing brand. For nearly two decades, Agent Publishing has been committed to providing residential real estate professionals with the information and training required to build successful and meaningful careers in their local markets. Agent Publishing’s influence extends to every career stage and reaches agents across print, digital, events and online learning.