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Dealing With Unrealistic Sellers

Scott Newman

By Scott Newman

The market is recovering—in some areas it’s even a seller’s market—and that means sellers can once again be a little more demanding…and a little more unrealistic.

So your client is turning into a “sellerzilla.” What do you do when your relationship with the client is on the line, but you need to get your point across?  Read on…

Show Them, Don’t Tell Them

If my seller client isn’t willing to listen to my pricing advice and they think they know better me, I prove to them that I’m right. But I don’t do this through arguing, CMAs, or anything of that nature. Instead, I utilize their own two eyes.

If your client wants to list for $275,000 and you know the house won’t sell for more than $240,000, schedule 45-60 minutes with your seller prior to listing their home and take them to see homes for $275,000.  When your client sees that the homes in his or her intended price point are bigger, nicer, and overall more appealing, then you significantly strengthen your argument without having to risk isolating your client.

Stay Consistent

They say it takes 21 days of doing something everyday to make it a habit. The same concept comes into play with unrealistic sellers.

So you’ve done the CMA, shown them competing listings, but they still want to list a little high. Don’t worry, it’s not the end of the world! Make sure you don’t shy away from confrontation, and make it a point to call them once or twice a week and review the latest data and push for that price drop.

Let Them Hear It Straight From The Horse’s Mouth

No one wants to upset their client, but the reality is your client needs an adviser, not a cheerleader. That means sometimes having an opinion or giving advice will contrast to what your client thinks or feels is best.

Rather than risk damaging the relationship with your client by directly pushing for a price drop, instead try letting the buyers do your dirty work for you.

At my company, we made the decision a while ago to set up a feedback system, so anytime a buyer’s agent leaves feedback about one of our listings, it goes directly to both the client and us. This way, the feedback arrives unfiltered and will demonstrate that it’s not just you who thinks the price is off.  These e-mails also serve as jumping off points for discussion about a price drop, which should help you got the ball rolling with those uncomfortable conversations.

Not every listing is going to be perfect. But by staying on top of your clients and following these tips, you’ll be able to circumvent the objections and concerns of unrealistic sellers and make listing property a profitable part of your business model.

Scott Newman is the broker-owner of Newman Realty in Chicago. Connect with Scott at www.newmanknowschicago.com or @newmanrealty.

Comments
  1. Lance Dunn

    Excellent article! I like the idea to have the feedback also go back to the client!

  2. Anne Youngblood

    Appraisals are extremely effective listing tools.

  3. Excellent points, very true, sometime no mater what you say and how much proof there is you just can not change some once mind.

  4. Your article is fresh and I love the idea of showing them homes to demonstrate they would be over-pricing themselves. I have actually thought about this but haven’t followed up on it – Now, I will. Thanks for sharing!

  5. Arsalan

    I think Some sellers just don’t want to sell , they keep saying words to attract people but they don’t need the money. They are here to do profit , someone who needs money will surely follow the idea about other listings but those business men will surely not.,they will wait for the someone who get fall in love with their property and all this is quite troublesome for realtors .

  6. Herr Virtual Solutions

    I really liked the article. I have worked in real estate for years . You have to give people what they want or lead them gently to what you want.

    Do you have a LinkedIn account? If you do, please connect with me on there.
    I share your post for my group.

    Herr Virtual Solutions

  7. Great article. I have one of these sellers now that I’m considering firing.

    We overpriced the house about a month ago, with the understanding that they would come down to the recommended price once we get closer to their deadline (December…it is now August). Now, less than a month into it the wife has demanded multiple open houses, asked if she can personally call every agent that shows her house to “tell them” why they should buy it by overcoming their objectives of it being overpriced or too small for their buyers, has critiqued how we do our open houses because she says we should put open house signs throughout her neighborhood a week before the one house (and we don’t because A. the city will pick them up and B. they’re not date specific so people would be so confused and probably come knock on their door all hours of the day). Oh…and no one is allowed to use the restroom in their house during an open house, all shoes need to come off at the door, and she fought us tooth and nail about having it inside the home instead of outside in the heat of August. This has me really regretting ever taking an overpriced listing in the first place.

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