The Pragmatic vs. The Personal: Working With Unrealistic Sellers

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One of the most frustrating things that an agent can experience is a seller who, against the agent’s best efforts, will insist on overpricing their property.

In those cases, it’s hard to know how to proceed. National Speaker for Joe Sesso has five key pieces of advice for agents who might be experiencing this all-too-common frustration.

1. Understand where they’re coming from

Says Sesso, “Selling a house is easy. Selling a home is hard.” You never know what sort of emotional attachment the seller may have to the property. “Homes are where memories are made,” continues Sesso, “where families grew up, and where emotional, difficult, irreplaceably precious things happen.” When a seller overprices their home, it often means that they’re factoring in the property’s sentimental value. Once you grasp this, it will be easier for both you and your clients to separate this emotional value from the appraised, physical value.

2. Have the difficult financial conversation

Sometimes a seller insists on setting a unrealistic price for financial reasons. In this case, the seller may be too ashamed or embarrassed to admit that they need money from a higher-priced valuation sale. As a result, it may be hard to convince them to lower their price–the seller might be convinced that the property is their chance at financial rescue. If this is the case, it’s best to address the situation head-on. Sesso recommends saying, “You know, some of my clients set a high price on their homes, hoping to pay off other bills. It’s a great strategy when the housing market is difference. However, it can backfire and leave the house unsold, maybe even ending up in foreclosure. I don’t know what your financial situation is, but I see this often, so I need to ask you so we can strategize.”

3. Explaining the 10 days or 10 showings rule

“If other properties around them are selling quickly (within days of listing) theirs will too–if it’s priced realistically,” Sesso explains. If the listing is on the market and 10 days have gone by with no showings or offers, your client needs to consider dropping the price. It’s important to remind your clients that this isn’t a personal indictment against them or their property–it’s about pragmatism. The bulk of showings take place in the first 3-4 weeks of a property being listed. Wait too long to drop the price, and other agents and buyers will presume that it’s overpriced.

In order to avoid having to convince your seller to lower the price, you may want to include this 10-day rule in your contract. Explaining the process during your first meeting will save you a lot of future headaches, particularly since clients tend to be more open to hearing how things work in that crucial first meeting.


To read Sesso’s final tips, check out the original article on RIS Media!

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