Real Estate Agents are Not ATMs

Real Estate Agent with Online Real Estate Agent Training

Real Estate Agents are Not ATMsWhy is it that consumers...buyers and sellers alike think that it is okay for them to ask us to give them a piece of our income?  How many times do you think your dentist gets asked, "I know you charge $1200 for a root canal. How about if you cut that to $800?"  Or you go into a department store and ask the clerk to give you a discount on a pair of shoes.  You can ask, but it probably won't happen.  So why does it happen to real estate agents?  Clients asking us to give up our hard-earned money can be asked in roundabout ways.

Can You Reduce Your Commission?

Of course, one of the more obvious ways we are asked to donate our income to their cause is when we are asked to reduce our commission.  We are constantly being compared to other agents based on what we charge versus what they charge.   You've heard this before, "The other real estate agent we spoke with is willing to list our home for 1%".   There seems to be very little consideration, if any to the skill set of each agent.   There are some agents who should reduce their commission based on what they actually do.  We have all worked with a few of them.  But on the flip side, the majority of agents aren't charging enough for the amount of work and value they give to their clients.  If an agent chooses to work for virtually free, that's fine.  But it's their choice.

Why Would I Do That?

When sellers ask for a reduction in commission it would be so nice to say, "So why are you even talking to me if you only care about how much it's going to cost you, we could have had this conversation over the phone".  But seriously, if an agent  can't negotiate their own commission, how in the world does the seller think they will be able to help them negotiate an offer on their most valuable possession?  There are even times when the seller agrees to your commission and their property sells quickly, they don't think you earned your commission.  After all, their house sold so fast you really didn't have to do anything.   It's as if our time has absolutely no value at all.

No One Will Budge

Another way clients want us to give them our money is when the seller and buyer are a few thousand dollars apart.  Both parties dig their heels in the sand and refuse to budge.  While neither party wants to give $2000, they have no problem asking us to reduce your commission to get the deal done.  It's as though we are like an ATM that they can go to for a little instant cash.  Again they are giving a not so subtle message that they don't think we are not worth what we charge...and we all know that nothing could be further from the truth.

What They Are Paying For

What sellers need to understand is that they are not paying us to have pretty pictures taken and input their property into the Multiple Listing Service.  Buyers and sellers are paying for our negotiating skills, our knowledge of the market and our knowledge of real estate.  So while we can't give buyers and sellers the witty response we would LOVE to give them, we can stick to our guns and let them know that our services have value and it's okay if they are not willing to pay for our knowledge, skill and expertise.  That simply allows us to move on the those consumers who appreciate the skills we bring to the table.

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Candy Miles-Crocker

Real-Life Real Estate Training


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Raoul Loustaunau
EXP REALTY - Phoenix, AZ

it only has happend to me once and i know he did not come with the idea on his own but well it happends , i think if they notice that the agent is nice they think is ok to ask, great blog have a great day

May 15, 2015 01:23 AM #1
Myrl Jeffcoat
GreatWest Realty - Sacramento, CA
Greater Sacramento Real Estate Agent

You make excellent points about reduced commissions.  No, real estate agents are not ATMs.  I also agree with Raoul's comment, "I think if they notice that the agent is nice they think is ok to ask," 

May 15, 2015 03:37 AM #2
Francine Viola
Coldwell Banker Evergreen Olympic Realty, Olympia WA - Olympia, WA
REALTOR®, In Tune with your Real Estate Needs

I thought I was the only one who complained that some clients think we are ATMs!  But it is also on us as an industry to educate clients better about why they hire us.  As you say, it isn't just to take a picture and put it on the MLS.  Marketing is really the only thing the clients see us do.  Our real work starts when we get the offer. 

May 15, 2015 10:51 AM #3
Praful Thakkar
LAER Realty Partners - Andover, MA
Andover, MA: Andover Luxury Homes For Sale

Candy Miles-Crocker - very nice way to put it! However, since some agents cut their fees, all the agents are treated the same way!

May 16, 2015 03:58 PM #4
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Realtor - Real-Life Real Estate Training
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