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Cutting your losses: 3 types of sellers you should avoid


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Going out and winning over sellers is one of the most important parts of a listing agent’s job, but certain sellers simply aren’t worth the time.

Don’t get me wrong; it’s good to be hungry for business as a listing agent. However, not only will certain sellers stress you out and waste your time, some can also hurt your real estate business.

So, how do you know when to cut your losses and leave a listing appointment without a signed contract?

Well, if you know what types of difficult sellers to avoid, it’s easy to identify when a business relationship isn’t worth pursuing.

Below, we’ll explore a few of the different types of sellers who are best left to other agents.

3 types of sellers you should avoid

Selling listings is rarely a stress-free endeavor, but you should never feel like your sellers are going to send you to an early grave. Save yourself from unnecessary stress by avoiding the following sellers:

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The unreasonable seller

It’s not uncommon for sellers to have trouble setting a realistic price on their home without help; this isn’t a problem, and you should be eager to help sellers set prices that are agreeable to both parties. However, certain sellers simply aren’t willing to budge on pricing.

If you encounter sellers who insist on listing their home at an unreasonable price, there’s no point in pursuing their business. Their home probably won’t sell, and they might even leave you a negative review as a result.

The unpleasant seller

Divorce and death are just two of the many unpleasant events that may cause someone to sell their home. Needless to say, some sellers really are going through some rough times.

Despite what sellers may be going through, you deserve to be treated like a professional.

When a seller treats you poorly despite your best efforts to build rapport, you shouldn’t write it off; it’s something you can expect to continue throughout the course of the relationship.

Unless you’re willing to put up with their poor attitude for the sake of a single commission, find a better-behaved seller to represent.

The untrusting seller

Agents and sellers need to trust each other to work together effectively. Without this trust, coming to an agreement on listing strategy will likely be a struggle.

If you take on a listing with sellers who don’t trust you or your ability to sell their home for the best price, you can expect to encounter resistance throughout the process.

Ultimately, even if you do manage to sell their home for a great price, you may wind up with a neutral or negative review due to their mistrust.

Disqualifying difficult sellers is good for business

Many agents are tempted to work with difficult sellers just to get more business; you shouldn’t be.

Actively disqualifying difficult sellers frees up more of your time to help the sellers who truly want and need your services.

Besides, by only taking on sellers who are willing to work with you throughout the process, you’ll sell a higher percentage of your listings, get better reviews and endure much less work-related stress.

Pat Hiban is the author of the NYT bestselling book “6 steps to 7 figures: A Real Estate Professional’s Guide to Building Wealth and Creating Your Destiny,” the founder of online real estate sales training site Rebus University, and the host of Pat Hiban Interviews Real Estate Rockstars, an agent-to-agent real estate podcast with Hiban Digital in Baltimore, Maryland. Follow him on Instagram and Twitter.

Email Pat Hiban

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