Handling Difficult Situations with Sellers

Jan 11, 2023

These three scripts will help you navigate a difficult housing market.


By now, you’ve probably felt the shift in our real estate market. Homes are no longer selling in a matter of days for tons of money. Price reductions are becoming more common, and it’s getting harder to sell clients’ homes. This is bad enough on its own, but to make things worse, many sellers don’t have a clear understanding of the market. Conversations about these struggles can be awkward at best, but at worst, they could cost you a client and a lot of commission. How can you prepare yourself for these situations and make sure your clients stay on track to sell? 


In my opinion, one of the best ways to prepare for a situation is by practicing a good script. That’s why I’m sharing three scripts designed to help you address common client concerns in our shifting real estate market:


1. If your client says, “I want to keep the price the same as the last listing.”

This script comes from Tom Ferry and addresses a common problem in today’s market: Just because a home on your client’s street sold for a certain amount 90 days ago doesn’t mean they can get the same result now. Here’s what to say:

“Have you received any offers on your home? How many? Let me tell you why that number is so low. People shop for homes by comparison, and for 90 days, the buyers have compared your home to other homes out there in your price range and didn’t like it enough to make an offer. What we need to do is get you out of the price range that you can’t compete in and get you into a new range—say, from $__ to $__, where you will look great by comparison!

“You know, it really doesn’t matter where the offers start; all that matters is where they finish. Your job is to price the home attractively enough so sales associates bring their clients to showings, and my job is to negotiate a price that you can accept, which is usually full price or within an eyelash of the full price.”


“You need to be prepared for the worst-case scenario.”


2. If your client says, “If we reduce the price of our house, will you reduce your commission?”

This one is tricky because it can seem like a personal attack. However, most clients who ask this just don’t understand where our commissions come from. Here’s how coach Donna Fleetwood recommends you respond:

“That’s an interesting thought, but let me ask you a question—has there ever been a time in your life when you had to accept something that was outside of your control? That’s what’s happening right now. It’s the market determining your price, and that’s truly out of our control. When your price goes down, so does my commission, so we are both in this together. Now, let’s work together to get this sold!”


3. If your client says, “I don’t want to reduce the price of my home.”

This response is blunt, to the point, and probably comes from a place of frustration. Here’s how Rich Levin recommends we reply: 

“I understand. But no matter what price we set for your property, there is always a chance it may not sell. I would like to set an appointment to review the activity and reconsider the price in two weeks. We will be monitoring the calls from signs, ads, and open houses to determine our best strategy for locating a buyer. Then we will analyze this information and adjust our marketing campaign as needed until it is sold.”


If you master these three scripts, you’ll be prepared for the worst-case scenario when working with your clients. Go out there and sell some homes, and in the meantime, don’t hesitate to call or email me with any questions. Make it a great day!

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