Last week, Inman surveyed readers for their best responses to sellers when they say: “Another agent said we could get more money?”
Readers offered a range of creative responses to this common objection. They included: pointing out that unscrupulous agents often overpromise, asking for the data that the other agent used to come up with the price and suggesting that the seller challenge the other agent to put their money where their mouth is.
Here are our favorite responses. Try out the ones you like the next time you come up against this objection.
That’s the oldest pitch in the book
- Be cautious of agents that highball the price to get the listing then lowball later.
- The list price of a home is always up to the seller. I am more interested in conveying a realistic price to my clients rather than pumping up pricing in hopes of gaining favor. It’s just not right to play games with someone’s largest investment. If you want to list higher, that’s up to you. You have been given my honest professional assessment.
- If I double it, will you list with me? (In jest, course.)
- Well, we all want more money. But the reality is no one can predict the exact selling price of your house. My experience and stats back up that I will sell your house for the most money in the least amount of time. (Then, show them the stats.)
- My job is not to accumulate clients by flattering you or telling you only what you want to hear. If you just want to have your house on the market and not sell or have a constant barrage of requests to lower your price, then I’m not your best choice. If, on the other hand, you want a true picture of the market regarding your largest financial asset, we should be in business together.
- I deliver results, not promises.
Can the other agent put their money where their mouth is?
- OK, I think you should go with that agent who says he or she can get you a higher price. But tell the agent that you will want it written into the listing agreement that if they ever ask you for a price reduction, then the listing is automatically cancelled. If they agree, then go with it. If they don’t, then you will choose us because we will agree to that clause. What do you say?
- Are they saying they are prepared to buy it themselves for more than the market price? If not, the market determines top dollar, and I will get it for you with the smoothest transaction possible
- Agents don’t set prices. Buyers tell us what the market is willing to pay. If we set a list price that is too high, buyers may or may not visit the home, telling us the list price is too high. What we have is data that demonstrates at what value other similar houses have actually sold for, which gives us the best information to set a market price to attract the broadest segment of those looking to buy.
Let’s see the other agent’s math
- Were you satisfied with the comps he used to establish that value?
- I review my comps and ask them for the comps provided by the other agent. I also reinforce my record of success.
- I say something like, “Well it sounds like we should chat in more detail about pricing. After all, valuations are not an exact science, but there shouldn’t be a huge discrepancy between one broker’s price opinion and another’s if both are using factual data. Would you be willing to share with me what data the other broker provided you with? I’d be happy to look over those comparables with you, and if I find that their data supports the higher price, then by all means we should list higher.” I find that most of the time, the “other” broker didn’t provide comps at all or provided comps that don’t make sense, which can then lead to a conversation about what an appraiser looks for when they are assigning value to a home, because that’s whose opinion will matter most at the end of the day.
- That’s great news! What facts did he or she provide to support that theory?
- We’ve just discussed the various sales that have closed in the past six months, and we’ve looked over the properties that have recently gone under contract, and we’ve looked at the various homes that we’d be competing against to get your home sold, so what information is another agent referencing to determine that you could get more money?
- People say a lot of things, but did they provide the data and convey their knowledge of the market to justify it?
- Make them prove it. If they don’t have the data, be skeptical.
- Awesome! I’m curious to know, do you know how your agent got those numbers, and if that factors in all the costs of selling your home?
- Are the tools they have to determine sales price are in line with a timely sale and accurate expectations? I have those tools.
If you’ve got it, flaunt it
- Here’s my listing-to-sold price ratio.
Play hard to get
- If you want to try the wrong price, list with them, when things do not work out, my door and arms are wide open for you. This either gets me the listing right then or often later as second agent at the right price.
How long do you want to wait? Forever?
- The market shows us what price it will bare. Asking more doesn’t mean you will get more, and it may extend your time on the market with no more money in your pocket.
- How long do you want to wait for that possibility?
- That’s a common agent sales pitch, but your house could languish on the market while its over priced, and in the end, the agent is just waiting to ask you for a reduction. Let’s base your decision on facts. My CMA says (insert accurate data here).
- So, you want to list your home for sale and not actually sell it?
The market will produce the best result
- Agents don’t decide how much you will get, buyers do. My job is to get you in front of as many buyers as possible.
- We can either price it right and drive competition or price it high and hope for a unicorn. Ninety percent of your interest is going to need a mortgage, and therefore, an appraisal. And it won’t appraise higher than the average of those comps that I have provided. That agent is trying to buy your listing with your money because time is money, and waiting for a unicorn is expensive. Ultimately, that time on the market creates a stigma that will drive your final price under market value. Do it right. Your silver bullet here is the execution of compelling global outreach that uncovers and creates competition for your asset. An agent who sells you on price versus truth and value rarely delivers maximized yields or outstanding service. You need our honesty, expertise and execution to successfully sell this home for top dollar, not an agent just telling you what you want to hear.
Editor’s note: These responses were given anonymously and therefore are not attributed to anyone specifically. Responses were also edited for grammar and clarity. Inman doesn’t endorse any specific method and regulations may vary from state to state.