Sale! Sale! Sale
Everyone deals with this question on a fairly regular basis. "Will you reduce your commission? I do not like people getting into my back pocket but it is a reality and of course everything is negotiable. Here are some questions I ask of potential sellers.
•1) Would reduce your salary for the job you perform? This is what you are asking a Realtor to do and they also have to pay for all of their expenses, taxes and give a portion their commission to their broker.
•2) Selling your home is not just putting a sign in the yard, a listing in MLS and an ad in the paper. Do you realize that selling your home can be very stressful even in the best of situations? Do you know all the legal requirements in your state, the legal issues of proper disclosures and protocol?
•3) What services and marketing are you willing to forego for a reduction in commission?
•4) Do you understand the role of title companies, which lenders close on time, inspectors, appraisers and the many other people who will be involved in the sale of your home?
•5) Do you know that current statistics show that homes fail to sell, sell for less and take longer to sell with MLS Entry Only or limited service brokers?
•6) Do you have a marketing plan? What part of mine (marketing to agents, print ads, brochures, marketing to the public, online marketing, do you know about any of the online services and web sires beyond MLS and Realtor sites, and do you have your own website?
•7) Do you know anything about Active Rain?
That is a start and it is best to NOT belabor the point and instead concentrate on all the positives and what you will provide to EARN that commission. I do understand a seller's reluctance and somewhat distrustful attitude because there are plenty of people in real estate industry who do not perform up to professional standards. On the other hand there are many full time professionals who work diligently every day to earn every dollar for their services along with many satisfied customers who are glad they employed a real estate agent to help them with what (for most) is the single most important investment of their lives.
There was a recent program on 60 Minutes that dealt with discounting and commission cutting Realtors that sparked a huge number of emails and responses.
My favorite was from an anonymous Realtor:
"You can sell your home yourself, sell your car yourself, sell your body yourself; but will you fetch the best price?Also, are you going to want to deal with all of the associated hassles? Probably not. I've seen people attempt to sell their own homes and most of them I have converted into clients. They are gung-ho about the prospect of saving big bucks on real estate agent services, until they realize - and I know that some of you will have a hard time believing this - how hard real estate agents really work, especially in this market. They also realize how much money we pay in advertising when they attempt to list their homes for sale in the newspaper. Sure, we can make big bucks, but we also have huge expenses. And, I'm not only talking about the fancy cars we have to buy and maintain to impress you. No, it's the dues, the advertising, the desk fees, the insurance, the gas, etc., etc., etc. And, the hours, don't get me started. We take calls during movies, family birthday parties and weddings. Heck, an agent returned my call yesterday in between the funeral service and the burial! We work hard for our clients. Sure, there are some agents who are just in it for the money, but most of them are now in traditional jobs with guaranteed incomes. They went back to the "real world" after they realized that representing buyers/sellers is hard work and expensive.
Sell your own home. I don't care anymore than Nordstrom cares that you shop at Wal-Mart.
-Hard Working Realtor
In the end you may have to just let it go and move on to clientele that have a better grasp of business and a realistic attitude. It will save you a lot of time and unnecessary stress!
I look forward to other feedback and suggestions and thanks! Russell