In Episode 60 of the Wandering But Not Lost Podcast, co-hosts Matt Emerson and Jan O’Brien continue the series on the Seller Life Cycle with a conversation on how a well-done pre-listing package can set you apart from the pack and put you in the first position for that listing even before you step foot into the seller’s home.  In Wandering Zen, Matt takes us up the Central California coast for a visit to the Elephant Seal rookery north of San Simeon.



WBNL 52:  Pre-Listing Action Plan



Why Use a Pre-Listing Package?

  • Set yourself apart from the competition as a professional
  • To effectively communicate your unique value proposition of why sellers should hire you to market and sell their property
  • Shorten the amount of time spent at the actual listing presentation
  • Educate and inform the sellers on the home selling process
  • Encourage the sellers to get necessary items and complete some documentation prior to your meeting
  • Sending them your pre-listing package allows adequate time for all parties to review your track record, your testimonials and your approach to marketing homes before you meet face-to-face.

Pre-Qualify the Sellers 

Typical pre-qualification questions include:

  • Why are you selling?
  • Where are you planning to go after your sale?
  • When do you need to be there?
  • Do you have a price in mind that you are seeking?
  • How did you arrive at that price?
  • Do you need the proceeds from the sale of your current home to purchase your next home?
  • Are you interviewing any other agents?
  • Is there anyone else we would need to include in our discussions about selling your home – a spouse, a parent, etc.?

Let the seller know you will be sending them important information to review and some prep (homework) for them prior to your meeting.

  • Explain how that reviewing the information, in advance, could save an hour or more of time when you meet.
  • We recommend that you stick to the phrase, “sending over some important information” or something similar and not “I’m going to send you my pre-listing presentation.”
  • We don’t recommend sending the CMA or copies of the paperwork
  • If sellers have reviewed your pre-listing presentation, you may find that you can focus primarily on reviewing the CMA, Pricing the property, discussing condition, staging, repairs and answering any specific questions or concerns.
  • Your “Listing Presentation” can be the Pre-Listing Package with some additional optional materials:
    • Support material & graphics for Pricing the Home to Sell
    • Samples of Your Marketing & Advertising
    • The formal CMA report

Pre-Listing Package Contents

  • A branded cover and a catchy title like “Preparing for a Successful Home Sale”
  • A brief introduction letter
  • A brief personal bio
  • Your track record of results compared to the market
  • Client testimonials
  • An explanation of how buyers search for and evaluate homes.
  • An explanation of how you prepare the homeowner, and their home, for a successful sale.
  • A brief description of how you generate interest and showings.
  • A list of the items the seller needs to provide (homework)

Seller’s Homework 

Provide the seller with a list of the items you will need to market their home. You can also optionally include those forms/disclosures that will require time to complete or information from them.

“Please have these items ready for our review when we meet to help save you time and make the process more efficient.”

Options include (customize based on the requirements or what is typical in your market area):

  • A copy of the floor plan, if available
  • Copies of utility and property tax bills
  • Alarm codes, if applicable
  • Current Loan Information
  • Copies of any transferable warranties
  • Copies of user manuals for major appliances, alarm systems, irrigation
  • Keys for the front door. If there are doors that are keyed separately that a buyer will want opened (e.g., storage shed) please include copies of those keys as well.
  • Example Forms:
    • Seller’s disclosure statement
    • Homeowner’s Association Information
    • Loan Verification Request Form


  • Create an Intro Video – Explaining the Pre-Listing Package
  • Series of Videos:
    • Dangers of Overpricing
    • Marketing The Listing
    • Staging your house to sell
    • Home Selling Process
    • Helpful Hints to Sell your Home

Wandering Zen –  The Elephant Seals of Central California

The Elephant Seals of Central California wandering Zen


The drive on California’s Pacific Coast Highway between Monterey and San Luis Obispo can rival any in the world. You traverse a stretch of nearly untouched land for about 140 miles which seems impossible in America’s most populous state.  The scenery is both dramatic and tranquil, the ecosystems transition seamlessly, and wildlife is abundant.  It is a spectacular experience no matter what time of the year and if you haven’t taken this drive, you absolutely must put it on your travel bucket list.  There are so many things to do and see on this journey but one very special place truly should not be missed.  The Elephant Seal rookery just north of San Simeon.



The following are excerpts from the Friends of the Elephant Seals website:  

The Piedras Blancas elephant seal rookery spreads over 6 miles of shoreline around Point Piedras Blancas on the central coast of California. The viewing areas are located 90 miles south of Monterey, 5 miles north of Hearst Castle State Historical Monument in San Simeon, 1.5 miles south of Point Piedras Blancas. The viewing areas are open every day of the year, are wheelchair accessible, and free. No reservations required.

The northern elephant seal is the largest seal in the northern hemisphere and the second largest seal in the world (after the southern elephant seal). Adult males are 14 to 16 feet (4 to 5 m) in length and 4,000 to 5,000 pounds (1,400 to 2,300 kg) in weight. The females are much smaller at about 9 to 12 feet (2.5 to 4 m) in length and weigh 900 to 1,800 pounds (400 to 800 kg). Pups are 3 to 4 feet (1 m) long at birth and weigh about 70 pounds (32 kg).

Elephant seals derive their name from their great size and from the male’s large nose, which serves to intimidate other males both through its size and its effect on their loud challenge call in the competition for females. Males begin developing this enlarged nose, or proboscis when they reach puberty at about five years, and it is fully developed by eight to nine years.

In the open ocean eight to ten months of the year, they come ashore twice a year – in the winter for the pupping and mating season, and in the late spring and early summer to molt and grow new fur. Juveniles, not participating in the pupping and mating season, come ashore for a month during the September to December period.

The number of seals at the rookery peaks three times during the year: in late January when most births have occurred, around the first of May at the peak of the juvenile/adult female molt, and in late October during the fall or juvenile haul-out. The annual cycle begins in November with the arrival of mature males at the end of the month. 

November (beginning of cycle)

Subadult and juvenile animals, mostly males, are here for the fall haul-out. Mature males begin arriving at the end of the month.

Adult Seals


Bulls continue to arrive and fight for dominance over pupping areas. Females begin to arrive. Birthing and breeding begin. The first birth is usually mid-month.

elephant seal birth


Females continue to arrive. Birthing numbers peak in the last half of the month.

january elephant seals


The last births occur as some females are weaning pups born in January, mating and leaving the beach. The peak of mating is around Valentine’s Day.

february elephant seals


Last adults leave.  Weaned pups remain onshore and explore nearshore waters. Pups fast for 8-10 weeks.

march elephant seals


Females and juveniles begin arriving for the molt. Most young of the year leave at this time.

april elephant seals


The peak of the molt is around May 1. By the end of May, females and juveniles have completed the molt and left the beach.

may elephant seals


Subadult males arrive to begin the molt.

june elephant seals


Subadult and adult males continue the molt.

july elephant seals


Male molting is completed. The beaches have the fewest seals, but some of the biggest are present.

august elephant seals

September – October

Young-of-the-year and juveniles arrive for the fall haul-out. October marks the third population peak on the beach.

september october seals

It is truly an incredible sight and you will walk away with an appreciation for these beautiful and resilient mammals.

As I mentioned, there is much to do and see along the Central Coast of California, click the button below for more…

elephant seal vista point

Mentioned in the Episode (Resources & Links)



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