When To Protect Your Commission

commission real estate market May 13, 2021


The hotter the market, the more downward pressure there is on commissions. With every new listing getting an avalanche of immediate showings and multiple offers, it's to be expected that Sellers might question whether they are getting their money's worth.


Let's remember some of Floyd's advice on handling any hesitation, especially one that questions the value of our services like the commission question.


First, if it comes up prematurely, set it aside. For instance, if you are on the phone setting up a listing appointment and the Seller asks, "How much commission do you charge?" Now is not the time to quote company policy, or throw out a number.


Set it aside by saying, "Commissions are negotiable, and I am willing to work for whatever commission we can agree on." And you are, aren't you?


You might add, "That is usually determined by how much you want for your house, and how much time you give me to get you that much." On a listing appointment, you always take things one step at a time and stay on track. Handle hesitations at the right time.


Commission should be determined only after you and the Seller put your heads together and come up with a price you both can live with. Price is not an issue until you and the Sellers have decided to work together. And that can only happen after you look at the house and verify your research, and not before asking the Seller about their plans and expectations. Show them you care about what they care about.


By the way, if you really cared, would you work for no commission? Floyd has said many times, "I would work for nothing if they needed it, but not because they asked." So if the issue comes up again, ask more questions. Here are a few examples.


For the first question, voice inflection and facial expression will play a vital role in signalling that you have no intention of arguing, "Is there some hardship here that I am unaware of?" That is the kind of question that can sound snarky if delivered poorly. This requires genuine curiosity, and relief when they admit there is no hardship.


And then, "What's more important to you, Mr. Seller, how much commission you pay, or how much cash you walk away with at closing? Yes, finding a buyer is easy today, but my job is finding you the right buyer, protecting your equity, and getting to closing so that you can move when you want to move."


This market won't last forever. Eventually the law of supply and demand will find equilibrium. Until then, be prepared with dialogue and remember to handle the commission issue when the time is right.



The Floyd Wickman Team blog by Mike Pallin


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