It’s a common situation all real estate agents experience. We are discussing the benefits of our services with a perspective seller, and the commission bomb is dropped: “Is the commission negotiable,” the homeowner asks.
“Some agents will do this for 4%,” is another comment I hear often in Brighton.
While most agents fear the commission questions, I welcome them. It is my opinion every perspective seller who did not ask about it, wanted to do so, but didn’t feel it appropriate. It’s on everyone’s mind.
1. Invite more than one real estate agent for a presentation. More options will give you leverage. Tell the agents you are interviewing others. Knowing this, some agents may offer you a better commission price on the spot or expect to negotiate.
The best real estate agent you will interview will be unfazed by competition and follow-up when you finish interviewing. A highly qualified real estate agent who believes in what she does will not offer a discount.
2. Ask for a specific discount. When home sellers ask me the vague question, “Is the commission negotiable,” my answer is, “Only if you want to pay more.” Everyone laughs, subject is dropped.
When you ask for a specific commission reduction, “Can you reduce it by 0.5%?” for example, the answer must be more specific. A weak real estate professional will be caught off guard and likely say yes.
Your best candidate will say no, and tell you why. The commission breakdown should be transparent. You’ll understand why a 0.5% break for you is a 25% discount in the listing agen’ts compensation. Would you take a 25% pay reduction from your boss? You’d probably look for a better job.
3. Don’t be timid. Most home sellers interviewing real estate agents are uncomfortable negotiating and shy about asking for the discount. Many real estate agents rely on your timidity to get paid full price. If you do not ask the hard questions, you may not find your best candidate.
The best real estate agent to sell your home will never offer a commission discount up-front, and will not yield on negotiating the commission. An agent ready to negotiate commission will be all too ready to negotiate the price of your home and terms and conditions for your sale. If you can easily negotiate with an agent, you should be wary of hiring him to represent your interests.
Instead, use the real estate commission negotiation question to find a confident agent who can handle uncomfortable questions and demonstrates the value of her commission.
Do you have a commission question? Are you considering curious about the costs of selling a home? Write me below: