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The psychology of sellers

You should to take into consideration the emotions of the seller too.

How their context influences their behavior

In the south of France there are a few typical “sellers” scenario. Each has its consequences on the price setting and negotiating process:

  • Splits: couples separate or divorce. The home they purchased together (whether it be primary residence or vacation home) has to be sold so the co-owners can share the proceeds. If the divorce is amicable, the price is in line with the market, and the negotiation process is not impacted. If not, things can be complicated;

  • Deaths in the family: more often than not, there a number of heirs who may (or may not) agree on price and timeframe. Usually, those who don’t need the cash will tend to aim for unrealistic prices;

  • Going back home, closer to the kids: foreign owners, who bought their properties 15 or 20 years ago, decide that they get too old to enjoy their French home, and that they want to move back home closer to their kids – and their grand kids. Those sellers are usually less concerned with money, and are looking for a quick sale.

It is useful to recognize as early as possible the context of the sellers in order to use it in the negotiating process.

How they have set their price

You may think that some sellers have delusions of grandeur, stemming from a failure to grasp that what they want for their home has nothing to do with what it’s worth. But instead, sellers are all susceptible to loss aversion—the mental quirk by which we feel losses much more sharply than we feel equivalent gains. So they set the price of their property not by what the market will bear, but by what they have paid, and what they feel they “have to” get out.

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