One Way To Get Sellers To Be Realistic About Their List Price

Home Stager with Great Impressions Home Staging/Interiors

One Way To Get Sellers To Be Realistic About Their List Price

As a stager, I often share agents' pain when sellers insist on pricing their homes too high. Despite the comps an agent presents that show their neighbors' houses are priced cheaper, many sellers still always think their home is worth more than their neighbors -- until they see them in person. The end result is that even a beautifully-staged house is not likely to get offers, and the house will sit for months, with dribs and drabs of price drops over time. So all the work that went into getting that home prepped for sale -- paint, repairs, replacing or removing carpets and curtains, bringing in new furniture and accessories -- doesn't pay off the way it should. As time goes on, the property becomes "stale" in the eyes of buyers and neglected by agents as well, who move on to more reasonably-priced homes.  

To help combat this, an agent I know tells me she takes her sellers around to look at comps in their neighborhood to help them understand where prices are and what their list price needs to be to get offers. She says seeing the houses in person is often an eye-opener to sellers who find out the interiors look just as nice or better than their own, yet the prices are lower. 

As a stager, I always suggest (when asked) that the owner talk to their agent if they have questions or concerns about price. I also now ask if they've seen the comps for their neighborhood in person, because photos sometimes are not as revealing as seeing the property in real life. It is easier to get the feel for a property -- for lightness, brightness, landscaping, cleanliness, openness as well as for details hard to appreciate in photos, such as moldings, updated tile, built-in cabinetry, polished floors -- when you actually tour it. I also now make it a point to explain to sellers that both price and presentation have to be aligned to bring in offers. In fact, I tell them that some agents have told me it's best to set the price SLIGHTLY BELOW market price in order to generate more interest and multiple offers. 


One Way to Get Sellers To Be Realistic About Their List Price


Posted by

Home Staging Bergen County -- Amy Bly

Great Impressions Home Staging 201-390-4649  

 "Great Impressions Get Offers"

Presentation and price are critical to selling houses quickly. You and your agent figure out the best price; I make your home stand out from the competition to appeal to the most buyers, whether they are first-time buyers, move-up buyers, or down-sizing buyers. As an accredited, experienced staging professional, I know how to make your home grab buyers' attention -- on the MLS and in person. A beautifully presented house makes a great impression, stands out from the competition, and generates offers faster than a non-staged house!

For a free home staging estimate, call me at 201-390-4649. 

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Comments (11)

Sandi Davidson
Florida's Realty LLC - Lehigh Acres, FL

I agree that showing the actual comps is potentially a good eye opener, provided the sellers are willing, rational and reasonable. 

May 18, 2011 11:05 AM
Janet Jones
Just Your Style Interiors, LLC - Kihei, HI
Home Staging, Interior Redesign Kihei, Maui, Hawaii

Amy, that Realtor is very creative.  I wonder, with some of the sellers I've worked with, if they would actually take the time to go tour the comps.  I think they should and they think they have 75 reasons why their home is worth more than the one just down the street.  Even though those reason are not valid! 

May 18, 2011 11:24 AM
Julia Maher
Nestings: Connecticut Home Staging and Model Homes - Fairfield, CT
Connecticut Home Stager

Amy - While I never enter into pricing discussions, I do look at comps - and am often surprised at the reults!  Julie

May 18, 2011 03:32 PM
Maureen Bray Portland OR Home Stager ~ Room Solutions Staging
Room Solutions Staging, Portland OR - Portland, OR
"Staging Consultations that Sell Portland Homes"

Amy -- I'm with Julie.  I don't believe that a stager should ever discuss pricing with a seller.  You need a real estate license to do that  :-)  However if all sellers would view the comps it would be a good thing!

May 18, 2011 05:33 PM
Ginger Foust
Certified Staging Professional - Oakhurst, CA
Home Stager Oakhurst CA, Dream Interior Redesign & Staging

Amy this is what they do on the HGTV program Real Estate Intervention and I feel that it's very powerful.  I insisted that my agent do it for us with our last RE transaction and it was very worthwhile.  It's too bad that more agents don't do this.  And for discussing pricing...that's a no-no. 

May 18, 2011 05:43 PM
Amy Bly
Great Impressions Home Staging/Interiors - Montville, NJ
Styling Homes for Selling and Staying

Sandi/Janet -- IF the sellers are willing, I realize that's the tough part. 

Julia/Maureen/Ginger -- I don't discuss specific pricing either, I know that's the agent's territory. I guess I shouldn't even say that SOME agents suggest pricing at market value or a little below, though (although of course I never go anywhere near the topic of what their home's market value might be; I always say I don't know pricing and that's a topic for their agent). And YES, I watch Real Estate Intervention and shake my head at sellers' notions of how much more money their home is worth than the competition!

May 19, 2011 05:56 AM
Liz Murray
Renaissance Home Staging & Redesign - Chandler, AZ
Professional Home Stager

I guess I'm a bit in disagreement.  Recently I had a long conversation with a customer who was doing a flip.  His property has had alot of work done to it. A brand new air conditioning system, a complete re-do of the backyard, all new paint, carpeting, new countertops, appliances, and fixtures.   His house is several $1,000s over another townhome across the street from him, that is a "short sale".  -- And that place is a wreck! 

So do I think it's fair to sell for a higher price??  I had to be honest, and said yes!  I have gotten several comps in the area, and this place is worth the money.  I also see the comps, and the condition many of the properties are in, and the price is fair, and a good realtor should be telling their clients what a great bargin it is compared to the condition of the others in the same area. 

I don't make it a habit, but in this instance, I think telling the seller he should be lower the price just so I could see it move faster, when I know it's well worth their higher price because of its condition, I had to say something.



May 22, 2011 04:10 AM
Amy Bly
Great Impressions Home Staging/Interiors - Montville, NJ
Styling Homes for Selling and Staying

Liz, you're not in disagreement with what I was saying at all. I'm talking about houses that ARE overpriced, not ones that are higher priced than comps that are worse in terms of aesthetics and features, etc. I was certainly not talking about suggesting sellers lower their prices just "so I could see it move faster." I'm referring to realistic pricing that gets homes sold instead of having them languish for many months or even years on the market.  

May 22, 2011 08:59 AM
Brian Morgenweck
Power Realty Group, LLC Bergen County, NJ - Hackensack, NJ
Broker/Owner, GRI, CRS, ABR, SRS

For the would-be seller sitting on what they perceive as a pot 'o gold, two words...independent appraisal.

May 23, 2011 03:47 AM
Amy Bly
Great Impressions Home Staging/Interiors - Montville, NJ
Styling Homes for Selling and Staying

Ah, that's why you're the agent, Brian! Excellent idea! (How come the agents I work with haven't suggested that? :>{

May 23, 2011 06:41 AM
Sharon Tara
Sharon Tara Transformations - Portsmouth, NH
Retired New Hampshire Home Stager

Although I don't discuss price either, I do usually ask if they "know their competition" and have done their homework.

May 24, 2011 02:38 AM