GOTTA LOVE THE BEAUTY OF SEATTLE!
I was in the middle of a listing presentation the other day and was asked by the seller "so how much are you willing to cut you commission?" I am sure we have all experienced this before (and no this was not the first time I have been asked this question) but the difference between this seller and the others who asked was his reasoning.
Like buyers, sellers are looking for a deal. Obviously they desire to walk away with as much equity as possible. Can you blame them? This particular sellers reason for asking me to cut my commission was not entirely because he was trying to save equity. He came right out and said that the last agent he interviewed supposedly offered to cut his commission because the market had cooled off a little bit and he was trying to remain competitive. It's because of this that he felt all agents should be willing to do whatever it took to earn his business. ARE YOU KIDDING ME?!? First of all, the Seattle market is still an excellent market to be in. Yes, prices have leveled out a bit, but in no way is the market crashing! We all remember how ridicuously HOT it was for while when everything was selling within weeks if not days after being listed, but just becasue it is no longer like that does not mean that our market has gone cold. It is mind blowing how many people take national "doom and gloom" statistics and try to apply them locally. Sorry Jack, the business doesn't work that way :-)
As Realtors, we already know that cutting commissions is not our primary objective and to do so could result in unnecessary repercussions. I am personally not a fan of cutting commissions, but admit that I have done so in the past for some very specific reasons. I have also heard of agents cutting commissions as a favor to a friend, relative, neighbor, etc, but once you do the word will get around and everybody will want a discount. Also, discount agents usually offer discount services so you get what you pay for. Some consumers may not care, but those who want a true professional and expect the best service are able to recognize the tremendous VALUE that agents offer.
Based upon the responses I received from my last blog, every market is obviously different. It would not surprise me if certain markets have agents that propose cutting commissions in order to remain competitive. Personally, I think that if an agent does so they are only selling themselves short and are not very confident in their abilities. Again, there are those incidents where cutting your commission is justifiable, but all I am saying is that agents should use this as a last resort or simply just WALK AWAY from the deal. You may not have gained anything from that particular seller, but you most certainly did not lose anything either! If anything, you most likely saved yourself from a killer headache :-)
As for my presentation, I politely finished and told the seller that I refuse to cut my commission. I explained my reasoning and that was that. I obviously did not get the listing, but honestly... I really don't care :-)
IF ANYBODY HAS ENCOUNTERED A SIMILAR EXPERIENCE OR IS IN A MARKET WHERE AGENTS ARE HAVING TO CUT THEIR COMMISSIONS, I WOULD LOVE TO HEAR YOUR THOUGHTS :-)