How do you handle the seller who calls, and the first question he asks is, “How much do you charge in commission?” Or how about the buyer who calls on your listing, and when you offer to show her other properties she says, “We’ll just call the listing agent.”

  • If you can illustrate your value, 85 percent of sellers will list at full commission.
  • Your strategy should have Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, YouTube and traditional marketing.
  • Take time to master scripts and strategies and couple them with predictive analytics tools.

How do you handle the seller who calls, and the first question he asks is, “How much do you charge in commission?”

Or how about the buyer who calls on your listing, and when you offer to show her other properties, she says, “We’ll just call the listing agent.”

When you only have seconds to make the conversion, here’s what you do:

Scenario 1: Convert ‘How much do you charge in commission?’ telephone leads

A primary premise in my book “Waging War on Real Estate’s Discounters” is that 85 percent of the sellers will list at full commissionif you can illustrate the value you bring to the transaction. Only 15 percent of the sellers select their agent based exclusively on the amount of the commission.

Consequently, when you receive a phone call from a seller who asks, “How much do you charge in commission,” avoid falling into the trap of answering the question. The seller is expecting you to give a percentage, and if it’s too high, they plan on hanging up immediately.

Seizing control of the conversation is a two-step process: first, asking a question puts you in control. Second, reframe the question so that the conversation shifts from the commission (price) to the value you bring to the transaction. Here are two scripts that achieve both goals.

Script 1

Seller: We’re thinking about selling our home. How much do you charge in commission?

Agent: Seller, do you want to obtain the highest possible net price from your sale, or are you more concerned about how much commission you will be charged?

Seller: We want to net the most we can for our home.

Agent: To achieve the highest possible net price, you must have maximum exposure to the marketplace. With your permission, may I show you how my 18-point premium marketing plan helps to achieve the maximum exposure to the marketplace that will help you to net the highest possible price for your property?”

In this situation, you will need a detailed premium marketing plan. Your plan should include a strong Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest and YouTube marketing strategy coupled with traditional approaches such as open houses and postcard marketing. Combine these strategies with the latest tech tools, and you have a winning combination.

Script 2

Seller: We’re thinking about selling our home. How much do you charge in commission?

Agent: Seller, you’re probably aware that we’re in a very heated market. The average home on the MLS last month sold for 102 percent of the asking price.

For the past 12 months, my sellers on average have sold for 109 percent of the asking price. Are you more interested how much you pay in commission, or do you want to list with an agent who has a proven track record of helping sellers achieve the maximum net price for their home?

Most multiple listing services provide the average percentage of list price at which properties in various areas sell. For example, a $100,000 property that closed at $105,000 sold for 105 percent of list price. If the same property closed at $95,000, it sold for 95 percent of list price.

How to figure out your list-to-sell price ratio

To determine your personal list-to-sell price ratio, add up the final closing prices for all your closed listings for the last six months.

Next, add up the initial asking prices for the same properties. Divide the final closing price total by the final initial asking price total. The number you obtain is your list-to-sell-price ratio. If your number is better than the MLS average, use it to illustrate how you can net the seller more money.

Scenario 2: We’ll contact the listing agent for the showing

There’s a new buyer trend that is making it more difficult to convert buyer leads from your advertising. Most buyers compile a list of properties they want to see before calling an agent.

When the agent receives his or her call and offers to show them other listings that might be of interest, the buyers cut off the conversation by saying, “We know what we want to see — we’ll just call the listing agent.”

Here’s the script to convert these leads.

Script 3

Buyer: We would like to see the property at 123 Main Street.

Agent: Buyer, the sellers just put that property under contract this morning. I have several other listings that are similar that might be a good fit for you.

Buyer: That’s OK — we’ll just contact the listing agent to see the other properties.

Agent: Although most agents can show you their listings, almost none of them are familiar with how to use predictive analytics to help you decide which of the houses you might see will be the best fit for both your lifestyle and your pocketbook. Is finding the best possible house that is suited to your unique needs a service you want?

If you are unfamiliar with the tools from,,, you can gain a huge competitive advantage by learning how to use them. Here are a couple of articles to get you started:

Each of these tools can help the buyers make better-informed decisions about which properties are the best possible fit for their family and needs.

These factors include weighing commute times, schools and proximity to lifestyle features the buyers want such as places of work or worship.

Buyers can now weed out properties that have issues that they would have trouble discovering in the past. Furthermore, these tools assist buyers in determining whether buying an older home closer in town is better than buying a home in the suburbs that requires a commute.

Taking the time to master the scripts and strategies described above and coupling them with the latest batch of predictive analytics tools is a powerful way to make sure that you will be the agent who converts the lead.

Bernice Ross, CEO of, is a national speaker, author and trainer with over 1,000 published articles and two best-selling real estate books. Learn about her training programs at and

Email Bernice Ross

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