Four Tips for Dealing with Unrealistic Seller Pricing

By Mark Mathis, General Manager of Agent and Broker Sales at

As a real estate expert, you offer a great deal of value to your clients. While you spend hours researching the top trends in their area, learning about the recent selling prices and creating the perfect marketing campaign, often your clients don’t realize the amount of effort that goes into carefully crafting their personalized business plan. This can be frustrating for you as a seasoned professional. However, it can be even more frustrating when a client questions the selling prices you’ve determined for their home.
Here are four strategies to help assuage the situation when dealing with this kind of an issue:

1. Establish Trust and Confidence

One of the most important things to inspire in your clients is trust. You’re probably helping them through one of the biggest transitions in their lives. While home selling can become an everyday occurrence in the life of an agent, many clients are fumbling through the process, relying on you for your expertise and guidance. During your first meeting with a new client, if you can find ways to connect with them on a personal level, they’ll be more likely to trust and depend on you throughout the selling process. Think of this process like building a friendship—start by finding the small commonalities. Are you familiar with their town? Do you share a favorite food or coffee joint? Were they recommendations from a mutual friend? Did you go through a similar moving experience in the past and have stories you can share? Don’t hesitate to talk about your qualifications, as well; they can help you stand apart from other agents they’ve worked with or are considering. Finding topics you have in common can help create the foundation for a solid relationship, which will help you as you approach the topic of the listing price.

2. See It from Their Side

Remember that your client is going through a major change in their lifestyle. They’re often unsure of the process and can have a hard time separating their personal attachment to their home from the business transaction that will take place. With the number of tools available to calculate home prices, it’s common that clients will try to fight you on the issue, especially if they found a much higher value on another listing site. Explain your side of the situation to your clients. Make it clear to them that you have their best intentions in mind, and that your main goal is to sell their house, getting them the best value possible. Remind them that overshooting the asking price can often mean they lose more value in the long run, since their home will be on the market for longer and they’ll likely need to reduce the asking price.

3. Find Out What They’re Expecting

Before you suggest your listing price, ask your clients what they believe their home is worth. Don’t hesitate to ask them why and how they arrived at this figure. Remind them to consider any work they’ve done, along with any maintenance that would need to be done by the buyers. This can help them accurately predict the value of their home, while also allowing you to point out some reasons that your suggested price may not be as much as they thought.

By getting the sellers to think about their home value, you’ll also be able to anticipate how to let them know it’s less than they thought, if needed. Once you have an idea of what you’re working with, you’ll be able to craft a response that won’t shock your clients and that can be supported with research. Keep in mind that, even when you’re well prepared with neighborhood information and pricing facts, it can be difficult for clients to hear they won’t receive as much as they had hoped. If you’ve established a good relationship with your clients and are sensitive to their side, you can begin to lead them through how you arrived at this figure.

4. Show You’ve Done Your Research

When you prepare for your meeting with your client, bring in the support to show why you’re the expert. In a recent Secrets of Top Selling Agents webinar, Garry Wise gave the advice, “Never tell a seller ‘this is what your home is worth.’  Instead say something like ‘The Market is willing to accept (this price) for your home given all of this data.’” You can then supply your clients with their customized CMA report that shows how you’ve factored the value of their home.

The key is to show the seller that you have all the data and not just an internet guess at what their home is worth. A great way to organize, adjust and present all this data is by using the CMAzing tool. It starts by importing the raw data from your MLS, but also gives you the ability manually adjust the price to comparable properties, just like an appraiser would.

While this process can be difficult, these tips can help you work through even the most difficult situation. As you begin the year, make sure you’re positioning yourself in front of buyers and sellers who are searching in your local area. Follow these three, easy steps to connect with quality leads near you and close more deals this year.

For more information, visit

Reprinted with permission from RISMedia. ©2016. All rights reserved.

One Time Close…It’s BACK!

There hasn’t been a decent retail construction loan product since the collapse in mortgage banking back in 2008.  Consumers have been left to their own devices and local community banks to fund any home renovations or ground up construction projects.

In the North Bay, we haven’t seen substantial new construction in a decade, although there are several new projects that are online at this time.  Finally, the mortgage industry is responding with several new loan products that could help homeowners and investors to fund desperately needed new homes and rehabilitate dilapidated housing statewide.

Our One Time Close (OTC) Construction to Permanent loan product has a lot to offer potential home  owners.  At its core, it is based on either an FHA or VA loan as the permanent financing after the construction phase is complete.  Low to NO down payment and liberal credit qualifying means many families could qualify.

Here is a quick video on the product (90sec) and a flyer below:

Here is a PDF of the flyer: OTC_Flyer_NB

Remember, this product allows consumers to buy the lot, improve it, build and end up with a great fixed rate loan at the end with little to no down payment.

Images are KEY

staged home

When you look at this picture, what comes to mind?  I notice what is NOT there.  There are no crooked images of an empty room, with the shades drawn.  There are not a lot of dark areas inside or shadows on the floor and walls.  Instead, the highlights are more as my eyes would see them.

The fact is that real estate photography requires a lot of interior shooting.  Surveys conducted every year by NAR and others tell us that people are using the web to shop for homes to buy or rent.  An overwhelming 90%+ of them tell surveyors that photos are the first thing they check out and they’re very important to them.  If they like the pictures, they’ll check out the descriptive text and property information.  If they don’t like them, they move on..

Many agents would rather run through a house in 10 minutes, shooting each room with their smart phone.  Others have embraced HDR, High Dynamic Range.  HDR photography uses 3 to 5 photos at different exposure settings to merge and create a single image with all of the bright and dark areas adjusted for a result like the one in the photo above.

Most of the digital cameras that are available in today’s market have a feature called “exposure bracketing.”  You set the camera to take your 3 photos with one underexposed, one properly exposed, and one overexposed.  You should use a tripod as you’re going to push the shutter button once and all three exposures will be created in rapid order.

Now you just need software to do the HDR process for you. There is free software out there, such as Picturenaut. There are many good software packages under $50 too. The software merges the three photos to create the perfect blend of exposures that are more like what your eyes do for you. Some of the newer digital cameras even have in-camera HDR, and the processing is done for you automatically.

If you are serious about marketing homes for sale or rent, you should definitely embrace HDR so that you can have the highest chance of getting the attention of your online viewers.