I’ve now been in real estate for over 15 years.

It’s been an interesting ride — with the ups and downs of the housing market.

Consistently, though, there are several statements that I hear with some regularity. While I’ve learned to stifle a laugh when I hear them, they continue to amuse me.

Here they are.

1. “I’m not going to give my house away.”

Actually, I get a little irritated when a seller says this to me. When a buyer commits to a sale of over $1 million, in what universe is that considered a “give-away”?

Walking out the door and handing over the keys — now, that is “giving away the house.”

What the seller wants, needs or would like to get on the sale does not always equate to fair market value.

This fact became painfully clear during the last decade when property values were declining.  A home is not worth what sellers have invested in it or what some real estate website suggests.

A home is worth what a buyer is willing to pay for it and what a seller is willing to accept.

2. “This offer is an insult.”

I always have to smile when a seller says this to me. Of all the thousands of homes for sale in this market, a buyer picked their home as the one they want to buy!

They liked the home so much that they took the time to write an offer.

How insulting can that possibly be?

When a buyer drives up to a property and won’t even come inside to look at it (which, by the way, I’ve had clients do) — now, that’s an insult.

An offer is never an insult. An offer is a starting point for negotiations.

Sellers don’t have to like the offer. But I strongly recommend that they start with gratitude when someone likes the home enough to buy it. There are plenty of other sellers who would have liked to have received that offer.

3. “We need to set the price high so there is plenty of room to negotiate.”

Houses sell for fair market value. Period.

When a property is special or one-of-a-kind and the right buyer shows up, the home might sell for a little bit more.

And, yes, every once in a while, a seller gets lucky and receives a better sale price than fair market value.

But, more often than not, a home sells for the fair price.

Leaving room to negotiate is not nearly as effective as strategically pricing a home in such a way as to bring in several motivated buyers.

I’ve seen properties sell in one day for asking price or even over asking. Although it’s counter-intuitive, pricing a home at close to market value usually nets the best return.

Buyers recognize value and act accordingly.

4. “The house sold too quickly. We must have set the asking price too low.”


The house was priced perfectly. The buyers recognized the value of the home and responded quickly.

It’s been my experience that the longer the house sits on the market, the lower the offers become. Buyers start to ask questions: “What’s wrong with this house? Why hasn’t it sold?”

A quick sale is a wonderful thing!

5. “Real estate agents make too much money — after all, how hard can it be to sell real estate?”

I confess: Before I became a broker, I was just as guilty of making this statement as others do.

I couldn’t have been more wrong.

Outside of gambling, I can’t think many professions where people work for countless hours and spend countless dollars of their own money without any certainty of compensation.

I will concede that some clients and transactions are straightforward and less time-consuming, but by and large, this seven-day a week job requires tremendous effort and commitment to achieve any level of success or a reasonable income.

So, the next time, you hear one of these statements….

Maybe you too will see how ridiculous they are!

Ann Jones has been a respected Realtor on the North Shore of Chicago for nearly 15 years. Her primary market is the Lake Forest/Lake Bluff area but serves clients along the shore as well. Follow her blog at anns-blog.com or on Pinterest.

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