Consumers successfully negotiating fees

Title Insurance with First American Title Company ePro, MBA

I found this paragraph within an article on the Consumer Reports website and you can read it further by clicking on Consumer Reports.

"You can negotiate the fee. The usual 6 percent commission that agents charge sellers has been standard for so long that many homeowners apparently don't realize it's negotiable. But 46 percent of the sellers in our poll attempted to negotiate a lower commission and roughly 71 percent of that group succeeded.

RE/MAX and independent agents appeared to be a bit more willing to deal; 77 and 76 percent, respectively, of sellers who tried to negotiate with them were successful. Sixty-seven percent of Century 21, Keller Williams, and Prudential agents also lowered fees, as did 64 percent of the Coldwell Banker agents.

We found that paying an agent a lower commission rarely had any effect on the sales price. And readers who paid commissions of 3 percent or less were just as happy with their brokers' performance as those who paid 6 percent or more. People who paid extra, in fact, were more likely to say they had regrets about the selling process. The biggest regret? Nearly one-third said they should have been more assertive in negotiating their agent's fee."  Consumer Reports, Sept 2008

The point of the post is to be prepared with your scripts when the consumer starts this discussion.  What is your marketing plan, what is your technology plan and how much value do you bring to the table and display the differentiation to justify the increased commission.

Make it a profitable day

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Make it a profitable day!

Scott Hoen

Direct:  (714) 250-5014

Cell:  (714) 270-9607

"The Views expressed herein reflect only the individual's personal views and are not the views of the author's employer."


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Patrick Lambert
ALLY Real Estate - Waikoloa, HI
Hawaii Real Estate Expert

My answer is simple to the reduced commission question. NO!! Some agents may reduce their commission, but I just don't do it. Which part of my job would youi like me NOT to do? Advertise? MLS? Open Houses? Wanna show it yourself?

Aug 05, 2008 07:09 AM #1
William "Billy" Strickland
Realty Executives Liberty - Hinesville, GA

Good add.. makes sense..

Aug 05, 2008 07:09 AM #2
Carol Swain
Keller Williams Real Estate - Langhorne, PA
Realtor, Bucks County, Pa

Thanks for the tip on the article.  We, as realtors, need to be prepared to justify what we are paid. 

Aug 05, 2008 07:10 AM #3
Daniel J. Brudnok, REALTOR
Berkshire Hathaway Home Services Fox & Roach, REALTORS - Exton - PA License #RS-225179-L / Delaware License #RS-0025038 - Downingtown, PA


If asked I am ready to defend my position....if I am unsuccessful then I consider the individual situation........and yes I have walked away too.

Aug 05, 2008 07:12 AM #4
Charlie Ragonesi - Big Canoe, GA
Homes - Big Canoe, Jasper, North Georgia Pros

In this day of ever increasing prices i am saying we hare holding the line and resisting higher fees and netting less. The best defense........

Aug 05, 2008 07:18 AM #5
Christopher and Stephanie Somers - Realtors - Philadelphia Real Estate
Realtor / Owner - RE/MAX Access - Philadelphia, PA


Great post !  It is what it is, commissions on average are coming down.  We expect it and are okay with it.  However, we will not come down right away and will work hard to protect the integrity of the 6 percent, besides, we believe we are more than worth it.  Also, with the real estate market being much more difficult, I would not be suprised to see the trend go the other way.  I have had much less people try to negotiate recently than we did 2 years ago.   Also, now there is less resistance for sellers because they know it is more difficult and they know we market a lot !!!  I agree though, listing agents better be prepared to answer that question !

Philadelphia Real Estate

Aug 05, 2008 01:14 PM #6
Denise Allen
Resh Realty Group - Chesapeake, VA
Realtor@ Chesapeake, Hampton Roads

I take consumer reports with a grain of salt.  They do a good job for what they do but they aren't always on the mark and give short shift to important stuff.

Aug 05, 2008 03:00 PM #7
Deborah Fisher
Fisher & Company, P.A., Marketing & Creative Strategists - Fort Worth, TX

Another good post reminding us to BE PREPARED and have a plan in place.  It's a smart move to anticipate what objections, if any, you may get on the listing appointment and prepare and rehearse the correct repsonses.  One little tip:  when someone gives you an objection, be sure to restate it back to them and then wait for their response.  This will help you get to the real objection. 

Great post as always, which is why I subscribe to your blog.  Thanks for another good one.

Aug 05, 2008 03:23 PM #8
Scott Hoen
First American Title Company - Yorba Linda, CA
VP, Marketing Systems & Sales Tech, 714-270-9607

Dennis -- I agree on the grain of salt but these types of publications are in front of consumers and their perception of these articles end up becomming realty -- At least these publications are covering the market in a positive way and not always so negative today.

Aug 05, 2008 09:53 PM #9
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Scott Hoen

VP, Marketing Systems & Sales Tech, 714-270-9607
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