Defending Commission at Your Real Estate Listing Presentation

Defending Commission at Your Real Estate Listing Presentation

At some point in every agent's career they will be asked at their real estate listing presentation to negotiate their commission. How will you respond and defend your income against competition that is willing to work for less?

It is inevitable. At some time in your career, you will be at a real estate listing presentation and the seller ask you to cut your commission. Chances are it has already happened - and it will certainly happen again in the future.

When you are asked, how do you respond?

"My company won't allow it."
"This is my standard fee."
"Do you know how much it costs to run my business?"
"I have to make a profit; I don't work for free."
"Do you like to not get paid?"
"Which service do you want to cut? The photography, the staging consultation, or all the online marketing?"

Yikes! Many agents aren’t sure how to gracefully say no and not get on the defensive when answering that question. There are also plenty of listing presentation scripts out there that provide scripted answers. Frankly, answers like the above and most listing presentation scripts just tick the seller off and don’t get to the heart of why the seller is asking in the first place.

The best listing presentations treat this question credibly and provide a counter-response that visually demonstrates results.

Why Do They Ask You to Cut Your Commission?

It is easy to say it’s all just the money, but to defend your commission you need to know what is behind the question. There are lots of reasons!

  • They have heard a success story from a friend or family member who, "saved thousands."
  • They have learned that asking sometimes does result in some sort of savings.
  • They don't understand that there are different business models and therefore, different levels of service.
  • They think that each agent will bring in the same-priced offer, so why wouldn't they pay less to get the same number?
  • They may see a big number allotted for commission on the net proceeds sheet and think that is all going to you.
  • Or they see that number and think that all you are really doing is putting a For Sale sign in the yard and cannot justify it to themselves.

“What is Your Concern?”

The key in handling a commission objection at the listing presentation is to get to the root of why they are asking, but in a way that takes the energy level down. Take it easy. Pause, and ask, “What is your concern?”

Then give them the floor to explain. This gives you a chance to listen to their concerns and determine how to respond. A seller who just wants to save a few dollars requires a different approach than someone who thinks all real estate agents are the same.

Your Real Estate Listing Presentation System Toolbox

Once you hear their concerns, it is time to go to your Listing Presentation System toolbox. Having a visual prop at a time like this is critical. People are much more likely to believe something that is on paper in front of them rather than just something that you are spouting off the top of your head. When you have a prop, you don't need to argue or get defensive. See how powerful your response can be:

Client: "I just want to save some money."

Agent: "That is understandable. Let me show you something." (pull out your Track Record of Success sheet) "I listed 11 properties in 2021. Those properties sold for an average of 9.37% above list price, and my sellers received an average of $52,456 more than they listed for. However, the market average, meaning the average agent, got 3.21% above list price. My goal is to actually put MORE dollars in your pocket at the end of the day. This isn't about saving money, it is about making you more money."

Real Estate Listing Presentation - Sample Track Record Of Success Prop

Client: "Agents do about the same thing anyway and another agent I interviewed indicated he would give me a discount."

Agent: "While there are some things that agents do the same - list your property on the MLS, put a sign in the yard, accept offers, every real estate agent has a different business model (pull out your Listing Consultation Package and/or your Pledge of Service summary). Let me show you something. There are x core things I do before I list your home for sale that I know that all agents don't do. There are x core things that have gotten my sellers great results when it comes to marketing their property. I handle the offer process differently than most agents and in fact, my exclusive process got my seller $x more than the highest offer just last month.

"I can't speak to other agents' processes, but I can ensure you that my formula is a results-based formula and if I cut corners, I can't be sure the formula will be as effective. I won't do that to my sellers."

Real Estate Listing Presentation - Sample Listing Package

Client: "The house is going to sell itself anyway."

Agent: "You are probably right! In this market, it probably will. But you don't get a do-over when selling and you won't know how much money you have left on the table. Let me show you something (pull out your Experience Book). These sellers had the same concerns that you did and wanted to save some money. But they ultimately trusted me to sell their house and it got nine offers. They wanted to take the highest one, but it did have a financing addendum and unfortunately, the bank-ordered appraisal came in $32,000 under the offer price. The buyers could not come up any more money and they didn't have additional funds to cover the difference. But luckily, I had a great working relationship with the buyers agent. In fact, we have done several other transactions together over the years. We worked collaboratively to challenge the appraisal as there were additional listings that we felt should have been factored in. The result? The revised appraisal came in at the accepted offer price and the transaction went through to close. The point is, it isn't about getting an offer. It is about actually getting all the pieces of the transaction to work together for a successful close. (pull out your Visual Bio) I have found that my 13 years of experience and 247 transactions that I have closed are crucial for success in this market.

Real Estate Listing Presentation - Sample Experience Book

Your Formula for the Best Listing Presentation

When you have tools in your listing presentation toolbox it gives you more confidence to address seller concerns. You can answer questions from a place of strength.

In fact, I created this matrix to create a strong structure for a response that you are welcome to download and use.

Real Estate Listing Presentation - Commission Objection Sample Guide

They key for this formula to work is that you need:

  • Materials that showcase your systems
  • Materials that showcase your process
  • Materials that showcase your results
  • Materials that showcase your track record

When you have tools in your listing presentation toolbox it gives you more confidence to address seller concerns. You can answer questions from a place of strength.

If you don't have visual proof, it may be difficult to convince the seller that what you are saying is true.

What's In Your Listing Presentation Toolbox?

Tools like this are invaluable at your real estate listing presentation. How many more listings could you secure each year with a higher level of confidence? One? Two? That can equate to tens of thousands of dollars! However, our Listing Presentation System can provide you with those tools, customized for you, your market, and your listing process. These tools are proven, effective, and have been getting our agents thousands more in commission dollars!

Don't wait. Your next listing opportunity could be right around the corner. You need the tools to win!

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By Denise Lones CSP, M.I.R.M., CDEI - The founding partner of The Lones Group, Denise Lones, brings nearly three decades of experience in the real estate industry. With agent/broker coaching, expertise in branding, lead generation, strategic marketing, business analysis, new home project planning, product development, Denise is nationally recognized as the source for all things real estate. With a passion for improvement, Denise has helped thousands of real estate agents, brokers, and managers build their business to unprecedented levels of success, while helping them maintain balance and quality of life.

 Categories: Listing Presentations