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2011-06-27 16:54:00

How to Keep Your Commissions

The saying goes, “everything is negotiable.” And like it or not, that includes your hard-earned commissions.


Yes, the secret is out. More and more consumers know 6 percent commissions are not set in stone. Add to that the growth of the internet and do-it-yourself realty, and it’s little wonder many folks don’t hesitate to ask agents and brokers to lower their commissions.


If they feel they can get you to work for less money, and sometimes they can, why shouldn’t they ask? Some consumers see real estate agent services as a commodity – one is like all the others. That’s the key point I want to stress here. Not all agents are the same. And if you believe you’re better, there’s no better time to prove it than when you’re faced with a request to cut your commission.


The word to remember from this is article is value. You must communicate clearly the value you bring to the table. To get the commission you deserve, you must illustrate plainly that you are creating value, and that in turn supports you getting the commission you ask for.


Here are few other tips to consider when your commission is under attack:


  1. Know your numbers.  Do your research and know exactly what you’re getting for your listings compared to the asking price. If you’re getting 98 percent or better, shout that from the rooftops because you’re adding serious value to the equation. Also, know your days on market. And, do your market research and have a solid plan in place before the listing appointment.


  1. Be prepared. Expect to get asked to cut your commission and then practice your response. Be ready to say, “Oh, I am so glad you asked me that. It gives me the chance to show you that I’m worth every cent of my commission.” Then wow them with your value. I encourage my clients to role play regularly, so they’re prepared to handle the request with confidence and professionalism.


  1. Believe you are worth it. If you don’t believe you’re worth your commission, it will show when you’re talking with the clients. Consider the answers to these two questions: “Why are my company and I worth a full commission? Why is it in the best interest of the seller to pay a full commission?”


  1. Explain your situation.  Share that yes, in some industries, sales people do often take commission cuts. But in real estate, tell them the only person at the table taking a risk now is you. You have to spend money in advance to market the home. Only if we make it to closing, do you get any of your investment back. 


  1. Cut your losses, not your commission.  Of course the commission decision is entirely up to you (and perhaps your broker-owner), but I also like to tell my clients that at some point they need to consider who they really want to work with. If you’re okay working with bargain shoppers, and you don’t feel like you’re being taken advantage of, go for it. But I also know smart agents understand when to walk away from a deal. Remember, if it is not salable, it is a liability, not a listing.


And please click here for a free complete list of more tips on how to save your commission. Don’t wait, it could save you thousands!

Let me hear from you. Have you been receiving more requests to cut your commission? How are you handling those requests? Have you heard that other agents or brokers are cutting their commissions?  Please send any comments or questions you have to or

Bob Corcoran is a nationally recognized speaker and author who is founder and president of Corcoran Consulting Inc. (, 800-957-8353), an international consulting and coaching company that specializes in performance coaching and the implementation of sound business systems into the residential or commercial broker or agent’s existing practice.

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