Many vendors are motivated to sell for a plethora of reasons; they feel like a change or they are upgrading are just two of what could be an infinite number of reasons.
However, some vendors need to sell. For one reason or another, they have to sell this property, and if this is the case, emotions are likely to be very high. As their agent, it is your duty to diffuse the emotion just as much as it is to hype it up. Vendors pick an agent because they trust them, they trust them to take them on the journey from beginning to end, with ideally the perfect sale price at completion.
When things do get heated, it is essential that you, as their agent, are proactive in managing their expectations. Here are three clear ways you can calm your vendor down, and bring their emotions back to a manageable level.
1. Look at the big picture: When the vendor called in your services, there was a reason they wanted to bring their house to market. It's important that as the process gets to the end, that you remind the vendor of why this was. If they have dreams of downsizing, explain their future and in the scheme of things how much this will really affect them. Paint the picture of them in their new home, and talk to them how they can still achieve their goals with the offer presented. It's really important that you draw the vendor back to this reason and reignite their motivations of why they wanted to sell. No-one sells a home because they say 'I just want a lot of money' - they generally sell to change their lifestyle, diversify their risk, invest elsewhere etc. Bring the attention back to this.
2. Give personal examples: It is not uncommon at the end of the process for vendors to get cold feet, want more money etc. However, anecdotes can be a great way to bring the vendor back to reality. Talk to vendors about people that have been in similar positions and faced similar dilemmas. This will help the vendor understand that people have gone through the same problems that they are currently facing, and have successfully come out the other side. It's important to be truthful with these stories, as the vendor will read past lies. You can also get people who have been in similar situations brought in to the process, if an offer is presented, maybe have your vendor speak with a past client where something similar has happened. Hearing the truth coming from them will help the vendor put a more realistic view on the outcome. This will also humanise it.
3. Explain the elements of negotiation: It's funny how many vendors say that they will sell their home if they get 10 million dollars. Well this may be a dream, but is highly unlikely. Therefore, talk to your vendor in terms of the potential buyer. Explain what will be going through their head, that they are looking for the most economical decision for their family. They don't have any emotional attachment to your home, and they just want something fair. Also, ask your vendor to think about their next property purchase, how would they want the people they buy from to be like?
Friendly? Fair? I imagine so. Therefore putting this in the minds of your vendor may have them accept a fair and reasonable price, without holding out for an impossible figure.