Most new agents are terrified about the prospect of discussing their commission with a potential seller. If this is the case for you, you're going to need to be 100% comfortable with the commission fee you're going to propose. If you aren't, you're dead meat. If you have concerns that you're overcharging for your value, it will be crystal clear to the seller prospect. In my first year, almost all of my listings were taken at a very low percentage because that's all I thought I was worth, due to my inexperience. As my experience and expertise grew, I became more comfortable proposing (and sticking to) a higher fee.
I'm not being real helpful yet, am I? On one hand, I'm shooting down your confidence, yet on the other, I'm telling you that you must HAVE confidence to negotiate effectively! Well, that's the cold hard truth. But I won't leave you hanging... here's what to do.
You need to convince yourself that you're worth it before you can ever convince a seller.
On your first few listings, commit to yourself that you will go way above and beyond what is typically expected of a listing agent in your area. Commit to yourself that you WILL earn your fee, if not with your experience, with your enthusiasm and effort. Spend your own money marketing your listing if you have a great idea that you think might work. Spend as much time as you need to properly price the house. Do open houses all weekend long. Pay for a home-stager to consult with your seller. Include a home warranty. Be willing to bring in help if you'll need it - even if you have to pay for it.
In short, take this opportunity not only to blow the sox off your seller, but to actually experiment with various listing techniques to see what actually works. If, at the end of the day, you spend your whole paycheck on your experiments, that's really okay! The lessons you learned and the impression you made on that seller will serve you well in your future... and pay you back many times over.
Another way to help make the commission discussion go smoothly is to disclose your fee upfront - on your website if you have one. This is what I've done for years and it works beautifully. I don't beat around the bush about my fee - I simply direct the seller to my website where I explain how I charge and what I do for that money. You can check it out here.
The Confident Rookie Series:
- Know Your Systems
- Practice with Your Printer (sounds silly, I know)
- Preview, Preview, Preview
- Drive Your Route Ahead of Time
- Cheerfully Waste Your Time
- Find a Handyman
- Let Your Seller Prospect Do Most of the Talking
- Get Comfy with Your Commission
- Admit that You're New
- What to say when you don't know the answer