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The Short List: Diane Moss’ Approaches for Managing Clients’ Unreasonable Expectations

by Tracey Fuller

diane-moss-realtor-better-homes-and-gardens-gary-greene-spring

Diane Moss is a Realtor with Better Homes and Gardens Gary Greene in Spring

Every week, we ask a real estate professional for their Short List, a collection of tips and recommendations on an essential topic in real estate. This week, we talked with Diane Moss, Realtor with Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate Gary Greene in Spring.

We all know them. The buyer with the champagne taste and beer budget. The seller that thinks their house is the absolute best in the neighborhood. So, what do you do to bring them back to reality of where their house expectations lay in the market place? For this article, I will concentrate on the seller.

5. The first thing that you do is call it a “house” constantly. You must start detaching their personal feelings from their home. It is now a product to sell, and your job is to get them in that mind set. Staging comes into play here and removing a lot of personal pictures and items. Don’t make suggestions until AFTER you get the listing signed. They are still attached to the house and you may not get the listing. Trust me, I learned the hard way.

4. The next thing is to explain the difference to them between maintenance and upgrades. They will tell you they replaced the hot water heater. All well and good, but that is common maintenance. If you see that they have upgraded the kitchen and the baths, then of course, that has marketing value. But, they are so excited to get their house sold quickly and hold so much pride, that you need to explain what will bring up the value of their home and what is common maintenance.

3. “Personal Value”. That falls into all that love and sweat equity that they put in that house.  They will want the absolute top dollar and even over the value of the home because they have done so much. You have to reel them in by showing them numbers. Your comparative market analysis will speak volumes for you. So, when the numbers don’t reflect their expectations, I explain to them that they have a marketable home that someone will want to have as their own, but if we price it above what the market is bearing, “Then how in the world are we going to get financing?”. You explain the appraisal process. It takes it off of you and it being your opinion. The market is what the market is, and your CMA will reflect that.

2. You must prove your value to them. Explain your marketing strategy and what you will do to get their house sold. Bring them in to the process. Ask many questions and listen to what they have to say. What attracted them to this house? What have they enjoyed most about it?

1. Educating your seller is necessary to bring them back to the reality of any market. You are the expert. You must convince them or tell them if they want to price it too far over what your comps show, “I’d rather let you go now, than let you down later because the house doesn’t sell.” Sometimes, the “take away” close snaps them into reality. If they don’t listen to you and take your professional advice, then it may be to your benefit to walk away from them. You have a professional reputation to protect.


For over 25 years, in 4 different states, Diane Moss has watched the industry change from MLS books delivered once a week to the quick pace and incredible technology that makes real estate always at hand and accessible. She enjoys helping sellers and buyers reach their real estate goals.

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