How Much Commission Do You Charge?

Sep 02, 2020

"How much commission do you charge?" That's a question that flusters a lot of salespeople, and derails a lot of potential listing appointments before they even happen.


If you are a Wickman graduate, you've heard Floyd's Rule of Thumb . . . Set it aside. Especially when you are asked prematurely. In other words, don't do the right thing at the wrong time.


When is the right time to talk about commission? Not unless and until you and the Seller have agreed on a price you both can live with. Commission is irrelevant until you agree on price.


Until then, your standard answer is, "Commissions are negotiable, and I am willing to work for whatever you and I can agree on," and set it aside. You can add this as well, "Commission is usually determined by how much you want to get for your house and how long you can give me to get you that much."


Commission isn't a secret, and you don't want to come across as being evasive or as if you are hiding something. But the truth of the matter is a lot of things need to happen before a meaningful discussion about commission is applicable to you and to them and to the situation.


First you need to find people who are thinking of selling. And then get them to agree to meet with you face-to-face or screen-to-screen. Begin by asking permission to interview them about their plans and goals and concerns, and then take a look at the house. Once you have seen the house with them, show them what you will do to sell their house, and coordinate the move, and prevent problems from interfering with their plans. If they express confidence in your ability to get the job done, then you put your heads together to come up with a price. At that point, commission becomes a line item on the estimate of net proceeds.


When your clients end up with the cash at closing they want, in the right time frame, with the fewest headaches, and your world class service is a pleasant surprise . . . commission will rarely be an issue.


Instead of quoting a number or a company policy, set questions about commission aside. Just take things one step at a time and stay on track.


The Floyd Wickman Team blog by Mike Pallin


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