You can sympathize with your seller, but you don’t have to give in to this popular objection. The principles of evaluating a home should be clearly outlined to the seller: the amount one pays is simply not a determination of the house’s value. If they press, you might have to get a little more artful with your response. Ask them what they would sell their home for if they inherited the property (read: FREE), and see what counter-objection you receive then.
“But we need the money.”
Another response with which you can sympathize; however, pitting their motivation to sell against their need for money may help them see the light. Essentially, you need to ask them what’s more important to them: the benefits of moving, clearing out their extraneous mortgage or that little extra cash that they believe they will get if they price their house above the market?
“If we price it high they can always make an offer.”
This is that type of lazy, positive thinking that paints many sellers into a market age corner. A buyer will only make an offer on a home that they have actually seen, so if the price your seller wants will keep buyers from even calling for a viewing, then remind your seller of that. Buyers looking for a price within their price range may overlook the seller’s home – that should be enough to scare the seller into pricing to market!
But if that doesn’t work, either, give them the buyer’s perspective on offers. It’s highly unlikely that a buyer will make an offer for a multitude of reasons. The best strategy to relay to the seller is that a price that is closer to the market price will elicit more negotiations than an overpriced house where the buyer won’t even bother to negotiate. Use actual MLS stats to illustrate these facts. “The high priced buyers don’t want it and the right priced buyers don’t see it.”
“We can always come down.”
Tell a sad tale of an overpriced home by showing the long history of that house on the market. Then re-tell the story of how it could have gone (similar houses sold quickly at market price would be perfect here) if the price had been right from day one. An overinflated price could also backfire on the seller. The longer the house stays on the market, the less appealing th ehome and more likely a buyer will offer a lower price.
“Couldn’t we just try it for a couple of weeks?”
Most sellers don’t know that the majority of market activity occurs in the first few weeks on the market. Period.
“We’ve had a higher appraisal.” Or “We have an online estimate higher than that.”
This is wear you should definitely wear your real estate expert hat. Ask the seller when the appraisal was done and for what reason. Take a look but don’t dog the appraiser, it’s just not professional! With some online estimates, explain that many estimates such as these don’t always give precise market value. Then show them the actual stats from the MLS records again – the proof will be in the pudding!
“We’re moving to a higher priced area.”
Sorry! The seller will just have to understand that where they end up going really has nothing to do with the value of their home.
Hopefully, you won’t have to encounter all of these objections, but it’s always good to have the answers to them in your back pocket. With a little guidance and a lot of patience, you can turn the negotiations around and meet every objection.