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"The Seller Has a Friend Who Will List it Really Cheap"

Got a question yesterday from an agent who was referred to a potential seller by an acquaintance.  However, the acquaintance warned the agent (let's call him Sam) that the seller has a "friend who will list the house really cheap," so Sam may not have a chance at procuring the listing.
Sam asked me how I would approach the situation - how would I respond if the topic of commission comes up in their initial phone conversation? And how would I go about persuading the seller that I'm worth my "full" fee and that the "friend" may not even be worth her discounted one?
Wanna know what I told him? Okay, twist my arm.
First, I always recommend that we be upfront about what we charge if asked. I don't believe in deflecting the issue because it puts us in the position of being a salesperson instead of the professional advisor I feel we are. So, if Mr. Seller were to say "Sam, what do you charge to sell a home?" I'd advise Sam to answer the question without hesitation. No hemming, no hawing, no creative avoidance. Just get it out there on the table.
"My fee is X% to sell ... more

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