5 steps of selling a home

5  steps of selling a home.  Can you tell which step the sellers are on?

home for sale

As a Realtor that works mostly with buyers knowing the motivation of the sellers is one of the main keys to getting a deal for my buyers.  If I can figure out which step of the 5 steps the sellers are in I will have a better chance of getting the deal done.

What are the 5 steps of home selling;  Denial, Anger, Bargaining, Depression and the final step of Acceptance.

  1. Denial;  Sellers usually always list with the fancy pants Realtor who gives them the best marketing lines and or the highest list price based on the best marketing lines.  These types of Realtors usually have a string of overpriced listings.
  2. Anger; The sellers start to see the flaws in the first realtor’s marketing lines and fire them and hire Realtor number two but list the home at the same overinflated price. While going through this step seller will sometimes send angry notes to buying agents; ie “you left the light on in the basement, don’t you know what electricity cost!”
  3. Bargaining; Sellers will start to bargain anything but the price usually this can be spotted in the little things like showing times.  At the first step, they would only let people show the home between 12-3 and not on Sundays and had to have a 90-day possession on any deal.  Now they are flexible and will let anyone show at any time and they could be out in 30 days or less.
  4. Depression;  is a dark spiral down, during showings the home is not clean, dishes are left out, total lack of caring.  Forget making the bed they might just be in it during showings.  Usually, the empty wine bottles are an indication of self-medication during this step.  They will reach rock bottom at a certain point and hopefully come out of it and enter the last step.
  5. Acceptance; This is when luck number 3 Realtor is hired.  Usually, the third agent is a jaded veteran of the Real Estate industry.  They take no prisoners, It’s price, price, price, not made-up marketing over-promises.  The sellers buckle and adjust the asking price of the home to market price and or below.  The home sells.

As a buying agent who shows homes almost every day, I like dealing with people who are in step 5 Acceptance and accepting the market for what it is and listing at a real price.  I really dislike hyped-up new listings.   Every seller goes through these steps at a different speed,  some sellers in days or months some take years.   It’s a process, everyone wants top dollar, and everyone has to try and get it the most for their home.  It’s all part of the game of Real Estate.


Scott & June Simmons
The Salt Spring Team

1 thought on “5 steps of selling a home”

  1. As a trial of this post 4 month ago I showed a home and left a light on and received an angry email from the seller. Today I showed the same home, which is listed with another agent at the same price. I left the same light on and have not received an angry email. Did look in the trash to see if there was an excess of wine bottles. Did not see any but think she is headed there, it will be a long winter. In the spring (Feb – March) seller will be ready for a low ball. The joy of real estate. Sometime I enjoy this to much.

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