Pricing Makes Perfect

Dialogues to Help Get Your Listing Priced Right the First Time

by Julie Escobar

Getting past what the seller THINKS their home is worth to what the market will bear is sometimes a little tap dance in sales skill for agents. To help the cause, I pulled a few excerpts from our 21 Ways to Get Your Listing Priced Right eBook, and tapped a few friends for some powerful dialogues and strategies that can help you get sellers to sign on the dotted line.

Here are a few:

  1. The Waiting Game: Use when a seller wants to wait to lower the price:  Dialogue: “Let me ask you, what do you think happens to an overpriced home that doesn’t sell right away?  Do you think it eventually sells?  More often than not, the answer to that is no.  Listings get the most traction in terms of buyer traffic, agent attention and offers in the first 2-4 weeks after coming on the market.  If you wait, you’ll lose that traction.  Worse than that, the longer it sits on the market, the more buyers will begin to wonder if there are more serious problems than price in terms of why it hasn’t sold yet.  Think about it… what’s the first question you would ask when you look at a new house?  How long has it been on the market – right?  Long time on market = problem in the eyes of a buyer.  In this market, or any market – that’s not a position that can give you any kind of leverage.  Let’s price it right and get it sold.”
  2. Pick a Price: This is a good strategy to use when a seller says another agent would take it at an over inflated price.  “Mr. and Mrs. Seller, I appreciate that you want to get the most from your home, and I know the other agent told you he’s list it at that higher price.  Now, what I don’t know is how he/she could have gotten that number.  You know as agents, it’s not like we can really just ‘pick a price.’ When I brought you what I felt was the right asking price for your property it was based on many facts and factors such as what other similar homes in this area have sold for, the age and condition of your property, the location, etc.  So, it’s not a guess – it’s based on real market value. So, what I’m saying is as a Realtor who has your best interests at heart, I’m not going to pick a price out of thin air, and I can’t in good conscience just tell you the figure you want to hear in order to take the listing.  I will tell you that if you really want to get your home sold quickly, get the most money possible in this market with the least amount of headaches – we should ‘pick’ a price that’s based on those facts and figures.  Agreed?”  Have your comparables there to illustrate how you arrived at your suggested list price.
  3. The Dollar Bill Close from our friend Darryl Davis: When faced with this classic: “My home is special – I did all of these improvements myself, so it’s worth much more than what others are listed for! I would say, “Mr. and Mrs. Seller, I certainly understand how you feel. But let me ask you something. If I were to give you one hundred $1 bills that were crisp, clean, beautiful, and hot off the presses – and I sent you to the mall and asked you to sell them for 95 cents you’d probably sell them pretty quick wouldn’t you? And if I asked you to sell them at 85 cents even quicker – right? Now, what if I asked you to sell each for $1.10? You probably wouldn’t sell any – am I right? The point is that no matter how crisp clean and beautiful your house is, you can’t sell a dollar for $1.10. Now let’s say there are only two dollar bills – one crisp clean beautiful and one that’s ratty, old, stained and dirty. If you had a choice which would you choose first? The clean one right? So, what I can tell you is that while all the wonderful improvements you’ve made won’t mean it will sell for more, it does normally mean it will sell before the others.”
  4. Reduce the Price or Cancel (A favorite from Floyd Wickman.) Sometimes a good way to get a price reduction is by offering to cancel the listing. This is from Floyd’s 101 Dialogues.  “Mr. & Mrs. Seller, the reason I asked to come by tonight is that we had a meeting concerning your home in our office.  And I think in attendance we had collectively, about 70 years of real estate experience and we all agreed that if we were to keep your home on the market at the current price, well, it would be like not having it on the market at all. So, the reason I wanted to come by is that I brought over two forms for you to look at.  The first form I brought with me is what we call a Price Change Form.  It was collectively agreed that if you want to get your home sold, this is the price we have to adjust it to.  Now it’s not easy for me to say that after I’ve had the house on the market for a couple of months, but 70 years of experience agreed that this is the price your home will sell for. But before you say anything, I wanted to tell you that second form I brought over is a complete cancellation of the listing form.  Now, if you can see your way clear to signing this (price reduction) tonight then I’ll be able to get your house sold and get you into the new house relatively fast.  If you decide to sign this cancellation and assuming my broker will, this will free you up to list with someone who – well – maybe doesn’t care.  So, the reason I wanted to stop by is rather than keep you tied up the way we are I wanted to stop by and have you ‘OK’ one of these tonight.  Fair enough?” Be sure you have a copy of both forms with you and stick to your guns!  This technique is not for the meek!  You may want to practice the dialogue a few times until you’re comfortable.

Pricing dialogues and negotiation skills take practice, drill and rehearsing.  One of the most powerful things you can do as an agent is to know your market inside and out, know the numbers and practice the closing skills that will help you take more SALABLE listings each month. As Floyd would say, “Worse than no listing is a listing that won’t sell.” Don’t find yourself in that category.

To learn more pricing skills head over to read more about our eBook at 21 Ways to Get Your Listings Priced Right (Despite the Sellers Best Objections!  In it you’ll find bonus objection handling visuals and tips from industry experts.

Need more marketing help? Contact our team at 866.405.3638!

Julie brings more than 20 years of sales and marketing experience in the real estate and speaking industries. From copy writing to convention management, you will find her consistently seeking out innovative solutions, fresh ideas, as well as creative products and tools for the real estate industry.