Whether it be in a listing presentation, when making counter offers, during repair negotiations or at the closing table, agents must be prepared to defend their real estate commissions with confidence. Because clients may rationally justify their objections to paying a full real estate commission in a number of ways, successful agents know to always hold the line to protect the way they make a living. Real estate scripts, whether naturally developed over time or purposefully practiced until perfected, create the level of confidence required to effectively protect agents’ paychecks. A firm and confident response evidences that an agent believes in the services and work that he or she performs. Yet the failure to stand firm, especially early in the relationship, dramatically increases the likelihood of fending off additional attempts later on in the transaction.
Scripts for Overcoming Real Estate Commission Objections
Select from the following scripts and dialogues to overcome client objections to paying full real estate commissions. Also feel free to mix and match these scripts depending on your client’s situation and at what point in the relationship the objection is raised.
1. OBJECTION: “Will you reduce your commission?”
“No.” (then stay quiet and let silence do the heavy lifting)
“No. I charge __% commission to all of my clients.”
“I’m sorry I’m not permitted to reduce that amount.”
“My commission is not negotiable.”
“No, You see I don’t know how to discount what I do or the services I provide. I’m sure that makes sense to you.”
“I’m sorry, but I just can’t take less. Here’s why: if you took $6 and laid it here on the table, $3 of that would go to the buyer’s company, $1 goes to my broker, and $1 goes to all the marketing work I do. Do you want to take the last dollar away from me?”
“I only work with sellers who want premium service, since that is the best way to help you achieve the highest possible price in the shortest amount of time. If you want to lower the commission, I would be happy to refer you to an agent who provides less service.”
“I wouldn’t do that to you. If I can’t maintain the integrity of my commission, how can you expect me to maintain the integrity of negotiating the price of your home?”
2. OBJECTION: “The other agent said he would charge less.”
“If the other agent can’t defend the money that he uses to feed and clothe his family, how do you think he will protect your money when they are negotiating on your behalf?”
“Wow, that surprises me. You just didn’t strike me as the type of people that wanted a discount real estate agent. Is that what’s important to you?”
“I see, so in what way do you think he will be reducing his services then?”
“Agents who discount their fees are often desperate for business and also cut the price of your home in negotiations. I commit 100% of my services and effort to getting your home sold for the highest price, in the shortest amount of time, with the least amount of hassle. I don’t compromise on my service, and I won’t sell your house short. That’s the kind of agent you want representing you, isn’t it?”
“Let me ask you, have you ever purchased an item in the past based primarily on price and later found out the value and quality was not nearly as good as you thought?” (wait for response) “Since your home is likely one of your largest assets, doesn’t it make sense to go with the best service and company you can find? Besides which is more important, the commission you will pay, or the net proceeds you will receive at closing?”
3. OBJECTION: “I need more money from the sale, can you help by cutting your commission?” – Typically when negotiating offers, repairs or at closing.
“Unfortunately my commission is not a part of this negotiation. But if you want to push back, let’s push back against the buyers in a counter offer.”
“I tell you what, let’s take it back to the buyers to see what they say, and if it still doesn’t work out, we can always look at: 1) renting out the home; 2) borrowing money from a friend or family member; or 3) a hard money or bridge loan from a lender.”
“So what you’re saying is that after I’ve done my job in bringing you a ready, willing and able buyer, you’d like me to reduce the amount that I get paid for it. Here’s why that is difficult: If you’re boss asked you to do your job and you did it perfectly, but then withheld $2,000 out of your paycheck since the company was having a bad month, how would you feel?”
“When we first spoke you told me that you wanted to move because . . . (Insert motivation here – ie. larger house, closer to family, job, and etc.) . . . if that is still the case, then you have a decision to make about what is more important to you. My job is to get your home sold, but you have to make the choices about your personal sacrifices, and then I follow your direction since I work for you. So you need to decide whether this extra money is more important than . . .(repeat motivation – ie. being closer to family) . . . to you?”