Dealing with difficult sellers

Posted on September 05, 2017 POSTED UNDER:

real estate

(This article is a 4-minute read)


1. How to manage unrealistic expectations

2. Why difficult sellers are difficult

3. Strategies for building trust and authority



A career in property sales can be extremely rewarding as you see homeowners achieve their dreams of property ownership. Sellers can present a different experience altogether though!


To get you ahead of the game, here’s a few commonly encountered situations and some tips on how you can best deal with them.  


Managing unrealistic expectations

Property owner’s commonly will think their home is worth much more than your appraisal has stated. They’ll undoubtedly tell you so along with why your estimate is wrong. The best approach you can take to this is to be detailed and definitive where your appraisal is concerned.


“Comparable property sales and a suburb’s median house price are frequently used by agents to guide a seller’s price expectations” says Joseph Walton, the president of the Real Estate Institute of Victoria (REIV). “Agents will use these sales to provide vendors with an estimated selling price (or range) for their home”.


Agents can also encourage sellers to seek another one or two appraisals as comparison. This will not only help them set a realistic price, but also reinforce your expertise with them but establish some trust as they realised you really do have their best interests at heart. 


Difficult sellers know best

Many vendors will embark on extensive research about their local market, to be sure they can maximise the opportunities available to them. Your role as their agent is to make sure they have precise information, not to congratulate them on how smart they are.  


“Sellers are more informed than ever before and will often attend local open for inspections and auctions prior to listing their home for sale” says Walton.


“Agents use recent comparable sales as well as important property indicators, such as clearance rates and median days on market, to inform vendors of market conditions and trends. This data is vital in ensuring vendors have realistic price expectations when selling.” 


Don’t personalise the exchange when you know their information is incorrect. Acknowledge their new-found expertise, but always make sure they have the cold hard facts too.     


Back Yourself

One of the best ways of prioritising your expertise in any difficult vendor exchange is to build a strong brand for yourself in advance. Regular blog posts, promoted on social media, are a great tool for this purpose. They not only allow you to offer tips and insights to your followers, but also to share interesting and relevant stories and statistics that you find in your daily reading.


This kind of content helps you build trust with home sellers, reinforces your expertise and provides useful market specific information to your vendors.


Share their Passion

One of the key motivations of every vendor is their passion for a successful sale—either for financial reasons or as validation of the home they have poured their heart and soul into. It’s important you understand this passion and engage with it wherever possible.


Acknowledging the emotional aspects of the sale tells them you understand this is more than just another house to you. Crunching the numbers with them and strategizing over the possibilities tells them you are just as hungry as they are.   


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Melinda Barlow

Melinda Barlow is a freelance writer and editor based in Melbourne. She writes about tech, innovation and real estate and divides her time between Australia and Europe.

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