Getting the seller to agree to a fair commission is important and increasingly difficult.

With a strong sellers’ market in much of the country, the temptation to take listings at any commission is powerful – even for good agents and that’s a shame because no one wins if we discount our fees below what is fair.

When it becomes a race to the bottom, a competition based on who can do it for the cheapest creates a number of real concerns.  You might win in which case you will be the cheapest. You might not win in which case the seller is working with the cheapest agent in the market and there is a huge chance this agent isn’t very good.  Either way, the long tail is that real estate services will deteriorate and it won’t take long until we are merely order takers.

The Commission

Order takers are worth minimum wage or possibly slightly more.

If you can’t show your potential sellers why you are worth a fair commission, you likely aren’t going to be gifted in getting the best possible price and terms for that seller.  You negotiate with your potential seller to get the listing and then you turn around and negotiate on behalf of your seller to get the best price and terms.

You either know how to negotiate or not.

It’s unlikely that you are a poor negotiator in one situation and an excellent negotiator in another.

This may sound like a pitch for our CNE and MCNE negotiation courses, and in a way it is, but I committed to bringing the very best negotiation training to the Canadian market because negotiation skills are the most important thing that we bring to any transaction.  If we fail to negotiate expertly on behalf of our clients, we are not worth the fees we charge.

When a seller starts asking you about the commission, don’t get tense, or upset or concerned.  Expect it and see it as a reasonable objection.  Hear them and then ask them what is most important to them in the sale of their property – and hear their answer.  If they don’t say negotiation, ask them if negotiation skills are important to them.  I promise you that no reasonable person is going to say no.

Get your Master Certified Negotiation Expert (MCNE)® designation,  or take an advanced negotiation course from Wharton, Karrass or Harvard.