Your sellers have overpriced their home. What do you do?

No matter what type of home you’re working with, managing sellers’ expectations is vital. A slow market makes this twice as important. Those expectations will be tested if the home is overpriced, and how they’re managed could be the difference between a successful closing and losing the listing to a competitor.


Of course, you’ll first and foremost want to focus on setting the price correctly out of the gate. A properly-priced property will attract attention quickly and reduce the likelihood of the dreaded lowball offer.


If the property is overpriced, the longer it lingers on the market, the less likely it will sell. Inventory is increasing in many Chicagoland areas, so you’ll need to act quickly to keep your listing from stagnating. 42% of listings expired last year, a number which very well could increase to over 50% this year.


If you notice your listing stagnating and suspect a price reduction is necessary, don’t wait more than 2-3 weeks after it listed to address it with the seller. It’s always uncomfortable to confront a seller with the bad news that they don’t stand to make as much on their home as they’d hoped. Without intentionally having that conversation, however, can come a more difficult one just a few weeks later: the angry seller blaming you for their dormant listing.


However, given that you’ll still be delivering news the seller won’t want to hear, you must come prepared. Consider yourself a surgeon: you’re the expert, and you know the home must be operated on now to maintain a positive outcome. Then lay out your plan: you’ll have an organized comparative market analysis (CMA) to present, and your new suggested price is based directly from it.


Another primary reason the listing could be overpriced is home condition. Even a home built 10 years ago could be well out of date inside or out, and some updates may be required. Your seller may push back on this as well, but you’ll have to stand your ground here too. You’re the expert in the home trends buyers are looking for, so you can state confidently (while respectfully) that that 2003-vintage harsh industrial kitchen belongs in a diner, not their home.