Here is a topic that is heavily talked about amongst real estate agents. Should you discount your services? And if so, how do you say “no” to a home seller?
There are many reasons why you should and shouldn’t discount your services. If we can allow me to break character a bit and speak on behalf of myself and not my company…I believe in not discounting services because it also discounts your value as an agent. Some exceptions would be if a client is going through a really hard time (but isn’t everybody?), or for friends and family. In the case it makes sense why you wouldn't be discounting your services…
Here are Some Strategies You Can Use to Say No:
Just Say No
Let’s get this one out of the way. Not everybody can pull off just saying no, because bluntness can be off-putting when building relationships with clients. If you are going to choose this direction, we’d recommend also including a reason to your no. An example can be “No. You are already getting a discount, I can’t discount my services any further”.
Bring Up Your Pedigree
If your average home stays on the market for 28 days, that is because of your skill as an agent. Your real estate clients are receiving the full value of the commission based on the years of experience and study you have put into your profession. Let them know exactly what they are paying for when hiring you! You are the expert, and with your expertise and experience they should be paying a premium to work with the best. Otherwise, they can go with the random Redfin agent they know nothing about.
Use Your Brokerage as a Reason
Some brokerages will have a minimum requirement of what % they will accept from you as an agent. This can circle back to our “Just Say No” strategy. Here you have a clear and concise reason why you will not be able to discount your services.
Explain Where the Commission Goes to
You don’t pocket that commission. That will go towards photos, marketing the home, and back to the brokerage. By discounting your real estate services, that should also mean you will have to pull back a little spending on each of these items. Let them know it doesn’t all go to you, it goes into making sure that the home gets sold. You can say “Yes”, and follow it with a “…but that means there will be no room left in the budget to host an open house or market it beyond just my immediate network.”
There is No Commission if There is No Sale
An effective way to shelve the question is just letting them know you can’t discuss the commission discount if there is no commission yet.
Discounted Agents Bring Discounted Services
There is nothing wrong with being a discount agent! In fact, we realize that it appeals to the demographic of sellers that like to save money. The caveat with discounting your services though, is it has the potential to stretch you thin amongst all your clients.