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Dealing with difficult sellers

Real Estate Agent with Century 21

Dealing with difficult sellers


I had a conversation with an agent the other day. She was working on selling a property for one of her sellers. Needless to say, it was a difficult transaction as the property was not turnkey condition. That made it challenging to sell in this market where a property needs to be pristine as buyers are being very selective. The property was the least of her concern. The primary problem was that the seller was difficult to deal with.

On several occasions where she had communicated with the seller, the seller was always confrontational and tense during the conversation. She thought the seller had a bad day but every time she called the seller to provide an update, she would get scold at for no reason. It was not as though she called the seller once a month to provide the update on the status of the property. She called twice a week to give an update of what activity she is receiving for the property.

The agent eventually brought an offer to present to the seller and immediately the seller balked at it, stating that it was low and she will not budge a dime on the price. She would not even counter although the price offer was 5% below the asking price. It became so frustrating to deal with the seller, being scold and berated each time she speak with the seller that she finally had it. She gave the seller the axe and told her to shove it down south park. Ok, she literally did not say that but you get the gist of it.

She was fed up with the tensions and agony of dealing with the seller that she fired the seller. She said a boat load of relief instantly sank to the bottom of the ocean upon getting the seller to sign the cancelation of the listing. The false accusations and verbal abuse was at the point of no return and she will no longer tolerate that type of treatment from the seller or buyer for that matter.

Sometimes, we have to learn to draw the line when the border is crossed. What would you do in this situation? I agreed with the friend and probably would have done the same thing. It is like a bad relationship where divorce is the clear solution.

Inna Ivchenko
Barcode Properties - Encino, CA
Realtor® • GRI • HAFA • PSC Calabasas CA

I fired( sounds so good) my buyer last week.

And I will do it again if i need. A difficult client is a very time consuming and just drains you over time.

I do like helping people, but some of them think: kindness=weakness.



Apr 13, 2012 05:14 PM
Wayne Zuhl
Remax First Realty II - Cranford, NJ
The Last Name You'll Ever Need in Real Estate

Difficult sellers (and buyers) are usually perfectly lovely when they get frustrated enough to be reasonable...

Apr 13, 2012 09:43 PM
Robin Dampier REALTOR®
Coldwell Banker King - Hendersonville, NC
Hendersonville & Western NC Real Estate Source

Be it a buyer or seller nothing is worth your health due to stress from an abusing client/customer.  It is much better to recognize that you both do better by dissolving the relationship and perhaps suggest a better match for the client/customer.  When you have done so and that fantastic feeling of relief flows over you -- you know you made the right decision.

Sue of Robin and Sue

Apr 13, 2012 11:22 PM
Amanda Christiansen
Christiansen Group Realty (260)704-0843 - Fort Wayne, IN
Christiansen Group Realty

Drawing the line is key.  Sounds like a frustrating situation.                                                                      

Apr 14, 2012 12:07 AM

I am in the process of purchasing a home and the seller has been horrible to say the least. I am paying him asking price and he is refusing to fix the hardwood floor that he messed up when he was moving out. (Took chunks out, not just little scuffs). He also took the window treatments when the contract that he agreed on stated that the window treatments were to remain with the house. He does not respond to his relator for days. I am schedule to close at the end of the week. HELP.

Apr 23, 2012 12:01 AM
Tony Lewis
Summit Real Estate Group - Valencia, CA
Summit Real Estate Group Valencia & Aliso Viejo

The real estate market started changing at the end of 2005.  The biggest result has been that both buyers and sellers feel they are getting shafted.  The joy has temporarily been taken out of the process.

May 09, 2012 06:34 PM
Tonia Rahming
RMS Realty, St Lucie, Martin and Palm Beach Counties - Saint Lucie West, FL
Relocation Specialist

OMG. absolutely. I feel violated after dealing with my seller that closed today. They were horrible. Asked me to forge documents, which I refused. Asked me to ignore repair work which I ordered and they agreed upon, threatened me with knives. So much. When they closed today I blocked all their texts and emails. I feel so much better.

Mar 27, 2014 10:46 AM
Wendy Smith
Wendy Smith Real Estate - Clearwater, FL
Real Estate Advisor

I terminated a listing agreement because the sellers were such toxic people.  I thought they were just under a lot of stress (job transfer) and that selling a house was adding to the stress (never sold a house before).  They frequently sent emails berrating me for "not doing my job" - lots of hostility.  I really don't know why I didn't terminate the listing sooner - I feel so much better!  The latest email is that they intend to "file a complaint" - they seem upset that I cancelled the listing! Go figure.

Jan 14, 2015 06:21 AM