Handling the matter of pricing is like handling a porcupine. It should be done very carefully. Often agents are faced with the challenge of feeling like they need to win a popularity contest to get the listing, and at the same time bring a sometimes-harsh reality about market value to the seller’s attention. A good pricing suggestion is built on a solid foundation of the market’s current facts and figures because ultimately the market’s opinion of value carries more weight than yours or the sellers.

Handling the matter of pricing is like handling a porcupine. It should be done very carefully. Often agents are faced with the challenge of feeling like they need to win a popularity contest to get the listing, and at the same time bring a sometimes-harsh reality about market value to the seller’s attention. A good pricing suggestion is built on a solid foundation of the market’s current facts and figures because ultimately the market’s opinion of value carries more weight than yours or the sellers.

The following scripts will help you present your price suggestions persuasively by incorporating current market statistics and data into your dialogue to support your recommendation. All of these have been tried and tested by top-performing real estate professionals in their markets, and with a little practice, they can work for you too.

Let customers know what your price suggestion is and that they ultimately have control over the final decision. But make them aware that there are definite costs associated with setting your asking price too high. It will take longer to sell their home, which in turn could disrupt their plans. Give the following script a try:

“As I understood it, your goal was to be out of this house in five or six months. If we set the price higher, it may take longer than that to sell it. It doesn’t make any difference to me, because I’m not going anywhere –I’m going to be here selling real estate 10 years from now. I just thought it was important to get you the most amount of money in the least amount of time possible with the fewest hassles and send you on your way with your family. Is that correct?” (Yes) “You decide how long we want to be on the market because you pick the price.”

Today’s real estate consumers are all about the cold, hard facts. If you can present them with data that backs up your price suggestion, they will be much more likely to follow your lead. The following scripts will work great in this situation:

“Mr./Ms. Seller, one of the best things about technology is that it doesn’t know how to lie. With the databases available through the county assessor’s office, through the MLS and through our own office, once we enter the specifics of your property and ask the computers for comparable properties, they bring up the hard facts. The advantage to you is you can rely on this data and it will assure you that you’ll not only get a fair price for your home in today’s market, but you’ll get a faster sale as well. You did want to get top dollar for your home quickly, didn’t you?”

“Mr./Ms. Seller, when buyers come into the market and meet with a Realtor, they give the agent their criteria, which includes a certain price range. Now we can put your home on the market at the price you’d like; however, based on the data we’ve reviewed, it would be $_______ higher than comparable properties. Yes, you can always come down; however, I’ve found you need an offer to even begin the negotiating process. When the agent is searching for homes in a certain price range, the computer doesn’t know that you’ll come down. It only searches in the price range entered, and it will shun your price, your home and you. You’re not paying me to give you input that would get you shunned, are you? Can you see how you could be damaged in the marketplace by overpricing your home?”

Along with location and condition, the price of a home is one of the most crucial components of why it will, or will not, sell. The listing price is often the first thing a buyer sees when shopping for homes, and all too often homes are overlooked by potential buyers simply because they are not in the appropriate price range. Ultimately the final decision on the price is always up to the seller. Therefore, as a Realtor it is your role to effectively present the facts to your clients to guide them into making the best decision on the price.

Howard Brinton is a real estate sales motivational speaker and the founder and CEO of Star Power Systems, a sales training organization that offers tapes, books, videos, conferences and a club that distributes selling techniques from the nation’s top producers.

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