Last week, Inman surveyed readers for their best responses to sellers when they say: “I can’t afford an agent.”
Judging by their responses, the main point to hit on here is that, even though agents charge a commission, they can still net sellers more by negotiating a better price than the seller would have on their own. But there are a variety of ways to convey this idea, including by emphasizing — not just the better odds of securing a better deal — but also of avoiding potentially costly pitfalls.
Here are some of our favorite recommended responses to this common objection. As always, be sure to only use those that fit the situation at hand and align with your values.
Let me explain
- If I could show you how you could net more money using me as your agent, would you be interested?
Join the club — the club where you guys tend to come around…
- I know how you feel. All the for-sale-by-owners (FSBOs) I worked with felt the same way. What they found was I was able to net them more money with less stress in the process. Allow me to share. (“Feel Felt Found,” this reader said, summarizing the response.)
You’ll still net more
- The way to get the best price is to exposure your home to the best buyers. Agents control 92 percent of home sales. You don’t catch a whale with a worm.
- You can’t afford not to have an agent.
- Let me ask you this: Do you believe your home will sell for a fixed price, or is there a range of value we could get for your home? Would you like to get as close to the top of that range as possible? My job is to help you get to the top of that range. Can you afford to leave 10s of 1000s of dollars on the table just to save on commission?”
- My services will put more money in your pocket with my 19 years of successful buyer representing clients like you.
- Many sellers fall into the trap of focusing on what they will save instead of what they could make.
- I understand. Would you like to receive an extra $20,000 for your property?
Without me, lots things are more likely to go wrong — and cost you big
- You can’t afford not to have an agent. You need someone to consult with through the selling/buying process. Someone who will explain the inspection process and give you accurate information on comps. Explain deadlines, be your advocate throughout the process, negotiate inspection items and close it on time. You can loose a lot of money with closing delays, like extending loan rate locks, moving expenses, insurance extensions, utility cut-off issues. All of these add unnecessary stress. All that to save a few bucks not having an agent.
- Agents usually sell homes for higher than FSBOs due to marketing.Knowledge of the contracts can also save you big when going up against other agents with buyers. You can’t afford not to hire an agent!
- It is clearly your decision as to whether you engage an agent but the statistics clearly suggest that you cannot afford not to hire an agent. Someone with market knowledge, negotiation experience and access to the required paperwork will save you time and money in the long run.
With these market conditions, agents are especially important
- In such a competitive market, you can’t afford not to have an agent guide you through the sales process.
Even I use an agent
- When I sold my house, I listed it and paid the commission to get more exposure.
Share a story of getting the better of a FSBO seller
- I understand that you feel that you’re not in a position to pay for a real estate agent. I recently represented buyers who purchased from a FSBO and let me tell you, my buyers were at a huge advantage in that transaction. Because I’m an expert in the real estate contract and transaction process, and the sellers were not. I was able to assert myself on behalf of my buyers and ask for and get things that I would never have been able to get had the seller been represented by a licensed agent. And between what it cost the sellers in the price that we had negotiated and the inspection costs that we required them to incur for us, the sellers would have made out better financially if they had used a real estate agent to represent them.
Editor’s note: These responses were mostly given anonymously and therefore are not attributed to anyone specifically. Responses were also edited for grammar and clarity. Inman doesn’t endorse any specific method, and regulations may vary from state to state.