The Short List: Madeleine Romanello’s Best Approaches for Managing Clients’ Unreasonable Expecations

by Doug Pitorak

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Madeleine Romanello is a Broker-Associate with ONE Sotheby’s International Realty in Miami.

Every week, we ask a real estate professional for their Short List, a collection of tips and recommendations on an essential topic in real estate. This week, we talked with Madeleine Romanello about the best approaches for managing clients’ unreasonable expectations

5. Be upfront and thorough. Go through the house and point out all the items that need to be repaired, spruced up or de-cluttered. Point out all the areas that need to look top notch when listed. I explain that  buyers and their agents look very carefully at a home or condo, and if they find visible areas of neglect, buyers immediately get concerned about all the things that are NOT visible and feel the home could have been neglected and has underlying issues. This will often bring a seller to reality, as I show them how a buyer will look at their home.

4. Do a thorough CMA and pull only real comparables in a certain area, style, square footage range, with certain features and conditions. I show them houses that are currently for sale (their competition), and I show pending sales that explain that these houses are under contract because they were priced correctly for a buyer to make an offer. I also show them expired houses so they see why they did not sell – usually due to price or condition. I try to make them see how a buyer shopping for a house will consider the pricing of the home.

3. Go over absorption rates, so they see how long it takes for a property in their price range to sell and how many competing properties there are. I ask my clients if they are willing to wait one year or more to sell it, keep it pristine for showings, and have strangers walk through the house constantly. That is when the market will have caught up to the price they want to list at!

2. I find that after I educate a client and they see how the selling process works and how the market conditions are in their area, they become reasonable. I also disclose in detail how I work and what to expect from me and my marketing, which gives them a level of comfort . If the client is rude, treats me like a servant and wants to grossly overprice and not make repairs or de-clutter, I will not work with them.

1. Defuse the situation by being cordial, knowledgeable and in control of the situation. An unreasonable client can become your greatest fan if you handle them correctly!


Madeleine Romanello is a broker associate with ONE Sotheby’s International Realty in South Florida. Romanello, a member of the Master Broker’s Forum, boasts more than 15 years of industry experience. From 2009-2011, Romanello was distinguished as a top 5 Realtor for Douglas Elliman Florida. She is a graduate of Cambridge University, and lived in Germany, Greece and England before settling in the U.S. She speaks German and French fluently. 

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