Sometimes, new agents make their real estate sellers’ presentation plans too complicated. Other times, they don’t plan well enough. However, when working with real estate sellers with real estate for sale, you need to offer a balanced and carefully-executed presentation.

Indeed, you should be prepared with the CMA and a strategy for getting the listing. However, following the correct sequence in your presentation is also essential. If you want to work with real estate sellers, you’ve got to remember three words: ethos, pathos, and logos.

Three Phases of a Presentation

The three phases of a presentation are ethos, pathos, and logos. If you don’t follow this order when working with real estate sellers, you could lose them before you even finish your presentation. Here are the three phases and how to move gracefully through them.


If you don’t know the word “ethos,” you probably do know some words derived from it, like ethical and ethics. This is the presentation’s first phase. You must show that you are reliable, honest, and committed to doing the right thing for them.

When working with real estate sellers, starting with ethos works because you gain the sellers’ trust first. If you try to jump to other phases first, the seller may tune you out very quickly. After all, if they can’t trust you, why would they want to list their home with you?

Show that you are ethical and will do the right thing for them during the home sale transaction. Show the seller that you are trustworthy, helpful, and authentic. Only then should you move on to the subsequent phases. Even so, you should touch back on ethos from time to time during the rest of your presentation.


The second phase of your presentation should center on empathy. This is the sentiment expressed in the word “pathos.” You’ve already begun to win their trust in the first phase. Now, it’s time to show them your empathy.

You may or may not know why the seller is selling their home. Either way, you need to be kind and compassionate. Empathy means imagining what life is like for someone else and then showing your understanding and care.

For most homeowners, selling their homes comes with many mixed feelings. If they have lived in the home long, their house holds many memories – some sad and some sad. No matter what emotions the seller has as they enter the selling process, those memories may come flooding back at any moment.

When you look at the property with the seller, encourage them to share. Listen to their stories of everything in this home and the connections with family and friends built here. Validate their feelings about saying goodbye to this home. Recognize what this decision means, and show them that you care.


Too many real estate agents jump right to the logos phase. Logos is about information, statistics, and details. It’s the logical part of the real estate presentation. Yes, you do need to get to this part eventually. You just don’t want to start talking details and prices before they trust you and know you have empathy for them.

When you know the seller is ready, you’re ready to talk about numbers. If you prepared well before the presentation, you have many calculations ready. Now, they’re prepared to hear them. Suggest moving to a kitchen table or living room to review the numbers. Explain their options clearly, but don’t forget about ethos and pathos. Continue to show that you’re ethical and empathetic as you share your expertise.

Steps to Gaining the Listing

Weave the ethos/pathos/logos phases throughout your presentation. This is the emotional aspect of gaining a listing. However, there are also practical things to consider and discuss. The following steps will improve your presentation.

·       Establish an atmosphere characterized by trust and fairness.

·       Find out the sellers’ position and why they might do the things they do.

·       When you need to negotiate, focus on the sellers’ interests rather than their position.

·       Remember that real estate sellers buy for their reasons, many of which you might not expect.

·       Help the sellers keep their expectations realistic.

Dig into the numbers now. Tell them whether it’s a buyer’s or seller’s market. Tell them the absorption rate, days on the market, and expected sale rate. Show them a blank sample purchase contract when you’ve covered what you already know about the property. Disclose any fees your company charges.

Now, it’s their turn to share specific details. Ask them for facts about the property, any HOA, how they want you to show their home, and anything special they want you to know when selling their house. When this part is over, your real estate seller may still have some doubts about you or the sale.

So, now is the time to focus on relieving their doubts. How? Do it by displaying your expertise. Be willing to educate them. Then, you are ready to give your recommendation, and if they say yes, proceed with the listing. If you want to learn more about working with real estate sellers, consider taking online real estate courses, such as Roadmap to Success: Sellers. Remember, the more you know, the better prepared you will be to help sellers.