Negotiating a real estate commission can be one of the toughest challenges for a real estate agent

Put that in context with a soft market and you have a recipe for an agent to practically ‘give away’ his or her services. It’s important to let the client know that your experience, professionalism, and ability to sell properties is why you’re worth it.

Your best sales pitch

Property owners often drastically underestimate the value of a real estate agent’s work. They may assume that there is not much to selling a home, especially when the buyer has his or her own agent, and they don’t see the justification of paying 2.2, 3.3 commission on their property plus invest upfront for marketing their home.

That’s when you have to inform them on the process, from the beginning to settlement and beyond. Discussing options and offers with prospective buyers, dealing with the banks, and the endless barrage of paperwork that always accompanies the sale of a property. While you likely work for an agency and don’t have a lot of choice in the commission rate you charge, clients will want to negotiate.

If your agency takes a 50% commission and you also require 2%, for example, then you may want to list your initial commission rate at 6%. When the client demands that you lower your commission, then you can negotiate and then allow them to believe that they are receiving a great deal for your services.

However, if your agency fixes its commissions at a certain figure, then there is little you can do other than convince the prospective seller that you are the best agent for them to consider.

What to do if the sale drags on

When a property fails to sell, the price generally comes down. As it does, so does your commission, yet the property owner may attempt to get you to lower your percentage also. You’ve already invested time and money into the sale of this home and if they intend on pressing forth to find a buyer, it’s imperative that you maintain your commission rate. In most cases, the reason a home doesn’t sell has more to do with the seller and not the agent.

Your job as an agent is to answer any and all questions that the seller has and to alleviate concerns that arise. Your commission allows you to focus on their property and that is often the difference between a successful agent-client relationship and one that runs a little rough.

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