The Only Effective Way to Negotiate Real Estate Commission

How do you ay less than the “standard” commission to a full service real estate agent and still get them to sell your home? Pre-negotiate.


Under normal circumstances, a listing agent’s fee is not discussed until the end of the listing presentation. At that time, the agent informs you, the seller, of their commission schedule and it is incumbent upon you to try and negotiate down from there. Good luck. Most sellers are poor negotiators and most real estate agents are very good at defending their commission.

To make matters worse, most sellers use an agent they already know, or a referral from someone they know. Try negotiating with an agent that is a friend or family member. But wait, there are even more challenges.

If you have followed the real estate agent’s standard operating procedure, they will conduct their listing presentation in your home, and, as part of their presentation, they will assemble for you a Competitive Market Analysis (CMA), which is used to help determine the asking price for your home. So, they are in you home and have already done work for you.  The sense of obligation you feel toward the agent for work already done is not an accident. They are at your home for one reason: to get the listing at full commission. If you follow the agent’s standard operating procedure, you are pretty much sunk, as far as reducing their commission.

For better or worse, in the world of real estate sales commission, the person who speaks first, wins. It takes a lot of work to move someone off their initial declaration. That is why, if you, as a seller, want to get a reduced commission, the time to do it is not at the listing presentation, but before the listing presentation. You must make your commission intentions known up front. You must make their conducting a listing presentation predicated on their agreeing to your commission. In other words, they only get to do a listing presentation to sell your home IF they agree to your commission. Otherwise, they are not even allowed in your home. Why waste each other’s time?  They do not have to waste time doing a free CMA and you do not have to waste time trying to figure out how to get them out of your home.

Pre-negotiate or pay too much—that is the lesson. To learn how ReaListing helps you painlessly pre-negotiate lower than standard sales commission to full service real estate agents, click here.

To learn how to keep more or your hard-earned equity when you sell your home, check out The Intelligent Home Seller eBook and The Intelligent Home Seller eCourse.