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"I Hate to Be the Bearer of Bad News, But...." - Delivering the Truth to Our Seller Clients

Reblogger Sandy Childs
Real Estate Agent with Keller Williams Realty

Tell the Sellers the truth about where to price their house ~ don't sugar coat it.

Original content by Jason Crouch 453249

Over the course of my career, I have been the bearer of tough news for my listing clients many times.  I don't ever relish the thought of sharing bad news with anyone, but I must admit that my skills in this area have improved dramatically with experience.

I have a few tips to share that might help you if you are faced with delivering undesirable news to your own clients.

1. Just say it.  Sometimes, it's best to just spit it out, then deal with the explanation.  If you're at a listing appointment, and you know that the home is worth substantially less than they were hoping for, you don't have anything to gain by beating around the bush.  Get it out on the table.  In fact, it might just save you some time if they are unwilling to listen to the facts, because you can make a quicker exit.

2. You might consider prefacing your statement with, "I fully realize that this is not what you were hoping to hear", or something similar.  It may or may not soften the blow very much, but at least you tried, right?

3. If they question your valuation of their home, tell them that you are forced to look at things as an appraiser would.  I have said things like this, "I think your home shows really well, and you have a ton of nice upgrades.  I think we could actually find a buyer that will pay the price you want, but I really don't think it will appraise, then you have a new set of issues to deal with."

4. Another good quote (feel free to steal it from me): "You might get an agent to agree to list the home for that price, but it won't change the market value.  Don't ever choose an agent based exclusively on the price."

I hope that this is helpful for you.  I am known with my past clients as being direct and honest, without being blunt.  There is a fine art to communicating effectively.  Hopefully, these tips will give you a leg up on your competition.

Thanks for reading!

Image courtesy of B℮n on Flickr.com.



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Larry Bettag
Cherry Creek Mortgage Illinois Residential Mortgage License LMB #0005759 Cherry Creek Mortgage NMLS #: 3001 - Saint Charles, IL
Vice-President of National Production

I tell people all the time....it is what it is.  I could give them a lot of B.S., but I think clients are smart enough to see through it.  The truth will set you free!

Oct 07, 2009 01:14 AM
Alan Brown
Coldwell Banker Realty - Davenport, FL
34 Years of Real Estate Experience .

Good post. I have been dealing with these situations this week. Just 2 days ago I had a heart to heart with a seller who finally agreed to lower his house $20,000 after I explained to him it would probably not sell if he didn't. Today I have to do the same with another one of my sellers, the truth is it has to be $20,000 lower also. I am getting a lot better at saying it. The truth is if I don't say it the house won't sell so why would we all waste our time trying to sell an overpriced home.

Oct 07, 2009 01:18 AM
Larry Gray
Real Estate Consultant - Lakeland, FL

Great post and very helpful.  I tend to be very blunt and to the point.  I believe most sellers want the truth, even it hurts, and would rather work with an agent that tells the truth as opposed to a "yes" person.  If they don't want to face reality I will gladly let them find someone else to sell their property.

Oct 07, 2009 01:20 AM
Edward Bachman
Your Kingwood TX Realtor

Tactfully and carefully honest.  The truth can and usually does hurt but better now than latter and if not you, who will say something?

Oct 07, 2009 01:25 AM
Sandy Childs
Keller Williams Realty - Spartanburg, SC
Realtor - Spartanburg, SC

Thanks for the comments ~ Jason really nailed it on this one.

Oct 07, 2009 01:31 AM
Jason Crouch
Austin Texas Homes, LLC - Austin, TX
Broker - Austin Texas Real Estate (512-796-7653)

Sandy - Thanks very much for re-blogging this post of mine.  Much appreciated - glad you liked it!

Oct 07, 2009 03:40 AM
Sandy Childs
Keller Williams Realty - Spartanburg, SC
Realtor - Spartanburg, SC

Jason - just passing the good stuff along!

Oct 07, 2009 06:33 AM
Sherry Siegel, Managing Broker, EcoBroker, ABR
BrokersGroup, serving Sequim and Port Angeles - Sequim, WA

Sandy, glad you re-blogged this. I didn't catch it on Jason's blog. The way the bad news is delivered hit me just right. Validate the positives, but with a bit of tone that clues them in that the bad news is on it's way? Would that work without their going deaf to the good things you're saying while they wait for the dark side?

Oct 09, 2009 11:06 AM