Working with Unrealistic Sellers

As an agent taking on new listings, do you frequently come across sellers that are insisting on a higher-than-market selling price for their apartment or villa? We've seen this trend to be especially true during slow market conditions.

Agents put a lot of time and effort on market research to establish a realistic selling price for a property. Sometimes its a question of trying to understand why the seller is insisting on overpricing his property. To gain their confidence, understand the seller's fears and show them the reality of the market.

Emotional vs real value

It is hard for the sellers who bought their properties during peak times to accept lower prices. Chances are you're working with one of these sellers. You need to align their emotions with current market, and the best way to do that is to ask questions. Try to find out why they think they can get their price. They may know someone who sold a similar property some years ago or they had an offer some time back or they feel that the market is really booming due to the upcoming Expo 2020. By asking the right questions, you will arrive at your responses to counter their reasons.


They will ask you what you think is the current market value for their property. You can at this point share your Comparative Market Analysis with them and show them what the data is indicating rather than saying what you think. This is your opportunity to show them that you a seasoned agent who does not rely on guesswork but uses real sales data from the Dubai Land Department and other authentic sources. 

Money matters

Sellers may hesitate in admitting that they have a mortgage which is higher than the property’s worth. Also, they may have other financial obligations they are hoping to fulfill with the sale of the property. Maybe they have been laid-off from work. Any of these reasons could be why they are asking for an unrealistic price.

10 days or 10 viewings rule

In Dubai specifically, the real estate market is always buzzing with investors looking for a great buy. If the seller agrees to a realistic listing price, their property will also sell quickly. Explain to them that if their listing has been on the market for 10 days with no viewings and no offers, it’s time to re-visit the price. A significant proportion of leads will come in during the first fortnight of listing the property. The seller should be ready to drop the price if no viewings are scheduled within the first 10 days. Alternatively they may have to sit in the market for a while.

Explain this to the seller during the first meeting, since they see you as a professional agent. You can also add remarks in the Form A that a price drop of ‘x’ dirhams have been agreed at the onset in case the current price is not acceptable in the market.

Market Tour

Sellers demanding an unrealistic price can also be taken to the market so they can see what is currently available in the price range they are demanding. This reduces the risk of offending sellers by confronting them directly. This enables them to physically see what can be bought for the price they are asking vs what their property has to offer.

Share Feedback

Always carry a feedback form with you on viewings. Request the potential buyer to fill the form with basic information such as; layout, size, amenities, location, view, price, etc. If you use a CRM system like Masterkey, add the feedback for each viewing and share a viewings report with the seller on a weekly basis. This is extremely valuable as the seller will get honest feedback from actual buyers on his property and ultimately help manage his expectations.

The above is by no means an exhaustive list for managing an unrealistic seller's expectations. However these will definitely present you as a thoughtful, reliable, real estate professional. 


- Contributed by Iqbal Hasnani


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