My instincts are my compass when it comes to client relations and that means always telling it straight, even if it means my appraisal may be less than what another salesperson puts across the table. Often, when I lose out on a listing, the final sale price (which I always research after the fact) comes in around what exactly I calculated and presented. It’s not that I am psychic. Rather, my many years in the business navigating numerous property cycles has given me enviable appraisal skills.

When listings are down, it could be tempting to inflate numbers and expectations in order to beat out the competition. However, I am just not wired that way and “selling it straight” has been my proven formula for almost 20 years.

For sellers who fall for this tired old industry trick of appraisal inflation, it means an inevitably bad and frustrating experience. This is because when expectations are not met sellers walk away disappointed and deflated. What could have been a pleasant experience, ends up being maddening. It gives our industry a bad name and makes us sound like snake oil salesmen. I have seen it time and time again – only when worn down during the process, and a home has been on the market too long, do sellers settle for less than the initially presented inflated price.

We are all human and greed, as defined as an intense and selfish desire for something, especially wealth, power, or food is regularly in play in this industry. It is our job, if our intentions are in the right place, to keep this emotion in check for everyone involved.

I am saying all of this not to sound condescending – by any means. People are understandably passionate about their home and have often bought or sold more than one place in their lifetime. I just want to communicate that experience matters when it comes to calculating what a home is worth. I never want people to walk away from a sale discouraged so I would much rather speak the truth and come up with a clever and cohesive marketing campaign than over-promise.

In closing, my advice to vendors is that when there are discrepancies between appraisals ask about the salesperson’s maths and research methods. Savvy sellers should be able to discern then, which is the most reasonable sale price they can expect. Even if a number is lower, with a dash of determination and positivity you can see a SOLD sign soon if you have the right person on your team!