Here’s a scenario that’s very easy to get into these days.You think you’re about to close on a perfect property in Smyrna and, suddenly, the seller becomes difficult. Conflicts arise over seemingly-insignificant aspects of the sale. Maybe the seller refuses to get necessary items fixed before the sale. Perhaps the seller suddenly decides that they want more for their home, based on reasoning that you don’t even understand, much less agree with. How do you work with difficult sellers? Here are some things to keep in mind.


The Dunning-Kruger Effect and Real Estate


The Dunning-Kruger effect is a term that refers to a specific type of what psychologists call cognitive bias. Cognitive bias, in colloquial terms, essentially means faulty thinking. The Dunning-Kruger effect describes a condition when people know far less than they think they do. Overall, people who know little about a subject tend to think they know a lot, and people who actually do know a lot about a given subject tend to be far more humble in their self-assessment. This effect has been known to psychologists for a long while, but it’s become more of an issue in real estate since the advent of for-sale-by-owner sites and other self-service real estate resources on the Internet.




Difficult buyers sometimes think they know more about the housing market than is actually the case. They may, for instance, ask for a wildly high price on their home based on minor improvements they made, their misconceptions about the value of those improvements fueled by the popular shows that feature people “flipping” houses or engaging in other real estate schemes. Some Internet sites even allow visitors to create their own estimates of their home’s value, which are often inaccurate at best, and sometimes outright ridiculous.




Unfortunately, this leads to sellers sometimes believing that they’re being lowballed on price when they’re actually being offered a fair deal for their home. This can be frustrating and can end up being doubly detrimental in its effects, as the seller doesn’t get to sell their home and the buyer doesn’t get to buy it. Beware of homeowners who are selling their own properties; their real estate information is likely faulty and their confidence outsized for their actual knowledge of the real estate market.




In addition to outrageous prices, homeowners sometimes balk at the last minute, quash a deal for specious reasons, or suddenly want extra accommodations to go through with the sale,




The best way to deal with all of this is to rely on us. We know if sellers are being reasonable or not, and they can help clients to avoid common pitfalls such as missing paperwork, agreeing to conditions without fully understanding them, or simply paying too much for a property. Talk to your Realtor for home buying and selling advice. Difficult sellers can be persuaded, but it takes a professional’s knowledge and experience to make that happen.