It depends on how much effort the seller is willing to contribute

Key Takeaways

  • When sellers are in a hurry, you’ll need to price the home aggressively to get offers within a few days.
  • The price you set will be directly affected by the seller’s ability and willingness to contribute to the presentation of the listing.
  • It’s your job to convey to the sellers the importance of cleaning, staging, and taking care of needed repairs — or lowering the asking price.


Many agents fall victim to letting the client make all the decisions on pricing. This happens in part because the agent may be unsure what the home will sell for, and therefore they let the seller dictate how the home will be priced. Sellers often base their pricing on the amount of work and money they’ve put into it.

When I first do my research to see what the house might sell for, I come up with a range: high end to low. Until I know how much effort the seller is willing to contribute toward the presentation of the house, I don’t know what price I’ll be able to set within that range.

To fully understand how to price a home, you need to fully understand the context of the situation. Meaning you need to understand your clients and any variables that could affect the pricing of the home.

Here are a few things to consider when your seller is in a hurry:

Often you have a seller who is unable (due to being out of money, out of time, or out of patience) to do anything with the home to make it show better to potential buyers. In these cases, it’s critical that you explain to them how that will affect the price they’ll get for the home. They’ll need to price it accordingly to avoid the home sitting on the market for an indefinite time.

For example, the homeowner needs to sell within 30 days; therefore, you’ve got to price the home aggressively to get offers in just a few days, likely at the bottom range of what you had previously thought you could sell it for.

If they don’t have time to do everything you recommend, hopefully they can do a few things like clean and stage the house. Other clients may just want out, so they don’t want to raise a finger or spend a dollar on the home to get it ready to sell.

If you take a listing with sellers who are unable or unwilling to take the recommended steps to get the best price for their home, here are the potential problems:

It might impact your reputation – If you can’t sell it because they’re not doing the things they need to do — either because they’re out of money or out of options — and it sits on the market forever, that doesn’t reflect well on you.

You might need to walk away – If they won’t agree to the price and the price schedule you’re recommending, you might need to walk away. If you don’t see a positive outcome — if the price they want and the timeline they need to sell it by aren’t realistic for the level of improvements they’re (not) willing to make — then why would you continue down a path to failure when it’s clear that it’s not going to work out?

You might need to assist the seller financially – If they’re out of money but have equity and they need to do repairs, you may need to give them options to help pay for the work up front. Maybe you arrange an extra large commission and you pay for the repairs up front, so you get reimbursed at closing. You decide if that’s something you want to do, or how you want to operate your business.

It will be tougher if they have no money and no equity. That limits your ability to drop the price, so you need to be more cautious or creative on how you help the sellers.

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