Strange things sellers say (and how you can deal with them)

Private Property South Africa
Tahir Desai

Selling a house is not an everyday occurrence for property owners. In the absence of knowledge and clouded by emotion they often say strange things to the agent that they have contacted to sell their property.

Here are 5 of the most common seller sayings and how to tactfully deal with them.

* 1. * But I spent X years or X Rand on that

One of the best things about being a home owner is being able to customise your home to your personal needs and wants. A homeowner might think a sound-proof meditation room or a 10 person Jacuzzi is a necessity but they should not expect a potential buyer to place the same value on it.

So what do you say to a seller who thinks that their “enhancement” means that the home is worth more than market value?

Remind the seller that those home improvements should be looked at as features that enhanced their quality of life while they lived in the home. But, now it is time to let go. Explain that the enjoyment of those special features was the return on investment. If a buyer also happens to love them, fantastic! But sellers can’t expect buyers to pay more because of those features.

* 2. *We just need to find a buyer who appreciates my taste

This excuse is given by sellers who refuse to depersonalise their homes or to stage their properties for a faster sale.

If you have a client who is reluctant to make these necessary adjustments, remind them that the goal is to maximize the home’s appeal to a wide selection of buyers. Why should a seller limit their ability to get the most offers possible?

If they are still reluctant, work with your sellers on a Plan B ahead of time. Agree on a time period (30 days, for example). If the home is still on the market, explain that it will then be time to make the suggested changes.

* 3.* I want to price it high to leave room to negotiate

Explain that if other sellers are pricing appropriately and the seller’s home is priced too high in comparison, many buyers won’t even bother trying to negotiate. They’ll go find a home with a more realistic price, they’ll wait until the seller lowers the price or they’ll wait until the home has been unsold for so long they sense the seller might be desperate, and will swoop in with a low offer.

Even in a relatively hot market, the aggressively priced homes get the most buyer traffic and, accordingly, get the most offers. In turn, these bidding wars drive the eventual sales price up.

* 4. *That offer is an insult, I won’t even bother to respond

For sellers, a home represents a massive investment of money, time, hopes and dreams. It probably also represents personal tastes, style and some precious memories.

But once it’s on the market, sellers need to get a thick skin and decide not to take anything personally.

Let your seller’s know that if someone makes a low offer, it should not be taken as an insult. The buyer might be inexperienced and not know the offer was unreasonable. They might love the home and be stretching as far as they can in order to secure it. Or, they might just be trying to get the seller to come down a bit in the asking price.

In any event, home sellers should always respond to an offer made by a qualified buyer. Remind your clients that they can always respond with a counter offer. They might be surprised at how even a very low offer can come together with a respectful, counter offer and a little negotiating.

* 5. I need X Rand to get the home I want and take an overseas holiday*

There are lots of respectable strategies for setting a list price, but all of them have their basis in one thing: data. Pricing can be the toughest conversation of all to have with sellers. Be firm: The market sets the home’s price. Not some desire for a big vacation. The ultimate value is based on what a qualified buyer is willing to pay for it—not what the seller “needs” to move.

Tell us! Have you heard any strange sayings from sellers lately?

Adapted from an article that was originally published on Trulia

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