Sellers often start a conversation with the statement, “I have to get a certain amount”. Of course they then tell you what their carved-in-stone minimum price is—and sometimes they tell you why it's that (high) amount. Sometimes their imaginary “have to get” price is what they paid for the place some years back, possibly with every upgrade added in. Sometimes it's the price a neighbor sold for, and they have to “match” the windfall. Sometimes it's totally irrational, and may be a number that they made up over cocktails with the neighbors, or on the phone with the kids, and are now certain they can achieve.
House prices really are like the prices in the stock market, you pay the going rate when you buy in and sell at the going rate when you leave. But with real estate home prices, sellers always think they control the selling price, but it's the buyers who have the cash and they call the price.
The bad news for the stubborn seller is that buyers don't care about their personal “have to get” number. Buyers usually see a bunch of homes that are available within an acceptable area, and after their home search, they are pretty knowledgeable as to what is priced right and what's not. In fact I like to tell buyers that I will make them experts on homes in their price range, and they can make up their own mind as to what is priced properly, and what is not. After a couple of days out looking at homes, they rarely disappoint.
But how do we tell a stubborn seller that his “have to get” price is too high? I suppose gently is the best way, but the signs will be obvious. First of all, the price may be too high if there are only a few lookers