What Do You Charge⁉ 😱 What Is The Rate⁉ 😤

Real Estate Agent with Innovative Realty Solutions Group BK3158345

I love the approach to this question and the information provided by Tom in his blog. Great advice!

When asked if I can lower my commission, I explain that there are 4 parts to commission and how that works. Then I tell them I have a very long document with the steps in a real estate transaction. I further explain that they will either pay someone to perform these steps and trouble shoot along the way to keep the transaction moving towards closing or they will do the tasks themselves. I ask them to review the list and cross out the steps they are willing to do themselves. 

Once they understand that a good real estate advisor does a lot more than put a sign in the yard, take a few photos and put the listing in the MLS, they don't complain about the commission rate anymore.

Original content by Thomas J. Nelson, REALTOR ® e-Pro CRS RCS-D Vets CA BRE# 01261476

"What do you charge?"

If you own a business, don't you find it frustrating when the first question you're asked by a prospective client/customer is "how much"? Sometimes, over the phone, there's no introduction even, just a question blurted out as you answer.
(You scanners vs. readers, don't miss Jason's great quotes below.)

My response is to ask them some questions:

"Don't you want to know what I can do for you first?"
"Shouldn't you explain what your needs are of me, before I blindly quote you?"
"Maybe hear why I am different than your other choices?"

No two REALTORS® are alike; our services, our tools, our experience, our personalities, etc. and we definitely do not deliver cookie cutter services and stay in business for decades. Those that do, left the business after 2-3 years of being predictable.

"Most REALTORS® charge 6%, let's see what I can do for you, let's chat"...and then I start with my list of questions.

I wonder, do they go to their doctor, say they're sick, ask for a prescription and how much will this cost? No, you say you're sick, they examine you first, ask a lot of questions, then they diagnose you, prescribe you (maybe) and bill you.



I'm just like your Family Doctor; I need to know the answer to many questions before I just blurt out a fee. No two sales are the same because no two buyer's homes and circumstances are and there's many ways to structure negotiable fees.


I would hope sellers want to know what I can do for them and if I'm any good at doing it before they worry about my price? If you don't like my services, my fees will never matter - because you'll never hire me. I certainly need to know what is expected of me (timeframes, price expectations, contingencies, occupied vs. vacant, etc.) before I can put pen to paper. I also want to decide if I want to work for them; this is a mutual interview, not one way.

Now the great thing I'll share is this:
an internet lead, typically starts with "how much" more than 90% of the time. But, a referred prospect, typically never asks or asks much further into the conversation. Why? Trust! Someone's advocacy brought them to me, so there's more trust and less suspicion than a cold lead arrives with. Working relationally and 100% by referral affords me this conversation being less frequent.

Everyone wants a deal: I do too. I get it. But, I feel like if price is the only reason someone buys something or hires someone, they will end up spending more replacing the cheap product sooner than a quality product or redoing what service one did poorly the first time. I see it in the poor updates many homeowners do themselves or hire done cheaply - it typically looks it.

I do like when people ask to some degree, I see it this way:
"Oh you want me to demonstrate my negotiating skills! Great! You should make me show you how good I am, it's 33.35% of the reason your hiring me as your REALTOR®!"

I know my lender and friend Jason Gordon deals with this and he so adeptly advised us in The Rain this week his position and it bears quoting here:

Here's a great summation quote from
my #1 Trusted Lender
Jason E. Gordon:

"Folks, there really isn't much value in lenders quoting "generic rates" as there are too many different factors that go into a customized rate quote, which include FICO, LTV, Loan Amount, Property Type, Occupancy Type, program, etc.  Further, once those characteristics are known, there are always multiple interest rates on the rate sheet for each program (points for lower rates, credits for higher rates, etc.).

If you do not have an NMLS License, you technically cannot quote rates without violating the law. With all the above in mind, I recommend you contact your trusted lender and have him/her provide a customized quote for your client. Just makes much more sense for everyone to stay in their lane, while providing the consumers with accurate information."

Photo by Ketut Subiyanto: https://www.pexels.com

Photo by Karolina Grabowska: https://www.pexels.com

Photo by MART PRODUCTION: https://www.pexels.com/photo/people-woman-sitting-technology-7088526/

Thomas J. Nelson
REALTOR®, CRS, RCS-D, CDPE, e-Pro, Certified Military Home Specialist, Luxury Home Specialist, Author, Keynote Speaker and  Podcast Host 

Serving Coastal San Diego from Carlsbad to Coronado, Downtown, Balboa Park Area,
La Jolla/UCSD & Mission Bay Park Areas
I Offer Rebates to Veterans
& Active Duty

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RCS-Divorce     Southern California Chapter of Certified Residential Specialists (CRS)

Disclaimer:  Nothing in this blog article is to be construed as legal advice, tax advice, medical advice or financial advice.  For legal advice see an attorney.   For tax advice, health or financial advice see a tax attorney, certified public accountant, or other qualified professional.

Comments (3)

Wayne Martin
Wayne M Martin - Chicago, IL
Real Estate Broker - Retired

Good morning Dee. The only thing your competition can't duplicate is you. They charge what they charge and I charge what I charge. They know what they are worth. Enjoy your day.

Jul 25, 2022 05:05 AM
Dee Toohey

That is very true! All real estate professionals need to remember that.

Jul 27, 2022 02:14 AM
Joe Jackson
Keller Williams Capital Partners Realty - Columbus, OH
Clintonville and Central Ohio Real Estate Expert

This is an excellent post with great information. Thanks for sharing it.

Have a super fantastic week!
Joe Jackson, Realtor-KWCP

Jul 25, 2022 05:19 AM
Dee Toohey
Innovative Realty Solutions Group - Longwood, FL
Broker, ABR, AHWD, CIPS, FMS, ePro

You're welcome.


Jul 27, 2022 02:13 AM