Every real estate agent will be asked how much they charge for their services, and if there is any wiggle room to lower that commission cost. Of course, just about anything can be negotiated, but real estate professionals need to be confident in the prices they charge based on the level of service they provide.
If you’re ever in a position where clients ask if you can lower your commission – and you likely will be – here are some ways to help them understand why your cost justifies the services being offered, and how to ensure you don’t cut your costs too low for what you provide.
List Your Services
People want to know that they are spending their hard-earned dollar on something of value. Take this opportunity to list all the services that you provide your clients for the price you charge. Many people may be in the real estate game for the very first time and might not know all the work that’s involved in buying and selling.
Outline everything you offer, and don’t be afraid to be detailed. Analyzing comparables, hosting open houses, scheduling showings, completing paperwork, and networking are only the tip of the iceberg as far as all the services you offer, which all take a lot of time and effort to complete. Be sure to remind your clients of these services to help them understand why you charge what you do.
Detail Your Past Successes
A sizeable commission should ideally be backed by a successful track record. Prospective clients are typically impressed with successful results, and are often more inclined to pay a higher price to achieve the same results. Whether your past transactions resulted in higher sale prices, a shorter time on the market, or a high number of sales over a certain time period, communicate these achievements with your clients to justify your price.
Many prospective clients may try to bargain with you, but that doesn’t mean you can’t negotiate right back. If you don’t want to reduce your price, perhaps you can offer something at a discount, such as a reduced price for home staging, free property maintenance while the home is listed, or even complimentary junk removal services. Offering such discounted or free services might cost you some money, but they’ll likely translate into less cash forfeited compared to lowering your commission.
Show Sellers the Money They’ll Get
Everyone wants to save money if they can, which is why sellers will often ask for a reduction in commissions. But at the end of the day, what they’re really after is the most money upon the sale of their home. Explain to prospective seller clients that working with you can effectively mean getting the highest price for their property.
Show them your past transactions that had sale prices close to – if not at or above – the original listing price. Make your clients understand that using your services will essentially translate into more money on the table; they’ll be more inclined to accept the commission you charge.
Be Ready For Objections
Come into the game ready for questions about what you charge, and don’t allow yourself to be unprepared when sellers request a discount. Prepare and practice your “speech” so you’re ready to explain yourself in a friendly, professional, and convincing manner. This will also provide you with the opportunity to show off your negotiating skills that will come in handy at the point of sale.
The Bottom Line
At the end of the day, you need to have the goods that clients are looking for and willing to pay for. Be prepared to show proof of your outstanding services that you’re charging for. Perhaps even more importantly, you need to be confident in your abilities and believe that you are worth what you charge. If you’re not convinced that what you charge is fair, your clients won’t be either.
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