As a real estate professional, part of your job is to price your clients’ homes strategically. However, there are times that your expertise bumps up against the wishes and needs of the seller. All too often, the current market value of a property is lower than the homeowner anticipates. It can be tough to manage expectations and balance reality against the client’s emotional investment and desires. Here are some strategies to help.
Let’s face it, both the seller and the agent want the maximum amount possible from a sale. Unfortunately, the seller might have an issue that can complicate pricing; emotional attachment. Perhaps a family spends decades in a home, raising children, making improvements, and putting in both sweat and tangible equity, but now it’s time to sell. Their investment in the house is more than just financial, which can (and frequently does) cloud the perception of value. It’s essential to be prepared to manage those expectations up front. An early conversation about the need to leave emotion at the door can save heartache when it comes to setting a realistic number.
Finding the Right Balance
Sometimes, a seller will want to start high with the intent to lower the price once they see what, if any, offers they receive. Conversely, they may desire to start low to try to drive a bidding war in a hot market or if they want to sell quickly. Neither the seller nor the agent wants a property to languish on the market indefinitely, but missing the target in either direction can impact selling a property.
As a real estate professional, it is important that you come to the table with the most up-to-date research and stats regarding the market to lay the necessary groundwork with hard evidence. If no property in the area has ever sold for the amount the sellers would like to see, it’s easier to put that information in front of them in black and white to encourage an educated pricing decision.
It’s advisable to make sure that sellers understand the difference between a listing price and a selling price. Also, it may be prudent to educate the sellers by showing them the comparable properties in terms of original listing price versus final selling price and how long a property was on the market. Building their trust in your knowledge and expertise is better than merely placating the seller and allowing pricing mistakes to happen.