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Tom and Joanne Team's Blog

By Tom Matthews & Joanne Taranto | Agent in Weston, MA

How to let a Seller client go after being on the market 200 days and they turned down a good offer

Boy, it is a tough market out there and how do we go about letting a client go?  This is one of the hardest decisions that a listing agent has to make.  The only decision that is harder is say NO to an overpriced listing.  I am dealing with a seller that let a deal go south over less than 1% of the sales price and it was all about greed.  We have worked so hard for them and brought so many offers to the table.  I would love some input on how to let them go and doing it gently.  Clearly they do not have the motivation that we need them to have.  Thoughts?


By Annette Lawrence,  Thu Aug 18 2011, 09:16
That is a really heart breaking situation. I wish I could say, "That's NEVER happened to me."
I shared an analysis of the market and projected the likely offer that would come in and where the negotiated price would settle in. At that time all heads were nodding yes. This former FSBO listed with me.

The negotiated offer settled in at 98% of list, well above the projection. And they declined the offer after over 30 days of negotiation. I over delivered on what they expected and agreed to accept.

It was clear my seller was not negotiating in good faith. When the seller finally threw in the towel and due to failure to negotiate in good faith, I released the seller from the listing agreement, then they petitioned for the list of buyers who ever inquired regarding the property. Yes, there was truly a great list, however, they did not prevail.

The tool that I found beneficial was setting the expectation at the listing appointment and retaining the paperwork.
By Tean Wong,  Sat Mar 17 2012, 12:26
Boy boy boy. I wish I can say I never have one of those! Sometime I want to ask for a permission from seller to say that in listing remark " seller will not negotiate on price" so it won't waste anyone time. Then they would say, no no no, I want to negotiate. Then why you are not negotiating? My ideal clients are" willing, ready and able". The market is too hot to waste time on non-productive activities.
By Barbara Grandolfo,  Sat Mar 17 2012, 17:45
Unfortunately, this has happened to most of us. In this instance, it appears your sellers are not serious about selling their home. But the bad news is that they do not respect the time, effort and energy you have expended to market and sell the property.

At this point, I would call a meeting with them with all the facts, figures and trends at my disposal. If after reviewing the data they are still not willing to bend on price, I would strongly consider terminating the listing. It may be best for all concerned.
By Beth Incorvati,  Sat Mar 17 2012, 19:21
I agree with Barbara, and I have had to do this on occasion. What I also do is refer the next agent to them. At least I am able to recoup my expenses if it sells with the next agent - and that makes that bitter pill a little easier to swallow!
By Wes Black,  Sun Mar 18 2012, 19:05
The referral method is the only way to go.
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