Diana Dietz

Last Updated: August 8, 2012 | View all posts by Diana Dietz

Convincing sellers to price their homes correctly during a downturn isn’t easy, according to nationally recognized real estate coach and trainer Walter Sanford.

“If your local market is stagnant or dipping, you might need to convince sellers to set a lower asking price for their property or even price it slightly below comparable properties to anticipate a drop,” Sanford said. “You have a responsibility to yourself as well as your customer to price the property to sell.”

Sanford was one of the top real estate agents in North America for over thirty years, and now he is one of the most requested speakers, trainers, and coaches. He has authored twelve systems and books on checklists, pro-active lead generation and affiliate lead generation.

He offers his advice on how to convince overly optimistic sellers to set a realistic selling price:

  1. During the initial call or email, determine the sellers’ eagerness to sell.  If a seller isn’t motivated and wants an over-market price, you may be better off going no further with the presentation.
  2. Educate the sellers on pricing principles and current market trends. Explain the advantages to the sellers of setting a lower, more competitive price. Some sellers might be tempted to choose another agent who quotes them a higher asking price. This begs the question, “Does the salesperson want your success or a listing?”  A salesperson who gives an unrealistically high price is making an empty promise.
  3. It’s important that sellers realize that a property usually gets the most attention from buyers just after it’s put on the market. Encourage sellers to take full advantage of this phenomenon by having their home show the best and be priced the best during the first four weeks of the marketing efforts.
  4. During the listing presentation, you should be ready to discuss, in person, the points on pricing you included in your pre-listing package, as well as the negative impact that overpricing can have on a property’s marketability.
  5. If sellers are still doubtful, show them how shopworn properties, which have sat on the market for a long time, end up selling for less than market value. This drop usually occurs because buyers heighten their scrutiny of both the price and the property’s condition when the property has not sold promptly; they assume that property is overpriced or has a problem.
  6. Sometimes it takes an outside opinion to convince a seller to be realistic. Keep articles about negative market conditions on hand. Another option, if you can’t convince the sellers to set a realistic price, enlist your broker or sales manager as a third-party mediator. The opinion of your peers may help convince the sellers to set a lower price.
  7. Finally, remember that despite your best efforts, some sellers will resist setting a realistic selling price for their homes. Don’t be so attached to getting a listing that you cannot walk away.  Marketing a listing can cost hundreds and maybe thousands of dollars and an unsuccessful attempt to sell an overpriced property can cost you future business.

“You owe it to your sellers and your business to take a listing that will sell during its contract,” concludes Sanford. “Working with sellers to set a realistic price for the current market is the best way to ensure that that will happen.”

If you would like to know more about Walter Sanford, please visit his website.  You’ll find more information about how to hire him as a speaker or coach and how to obtain his products. He can also be reached at 800.792.5837 or walter@waltersanford.com