How to Answer When Asked “Will You Cut Your Commission?”

How to Answer When Asked “Will You Cut Your Commission?”

We all know that commission is negotiable by law and yet I also believe that you have the right to earn what you deserve to earn, to support your family and run your business.

And today’s consumers are savvier and more demanding than ever, aren’t they?

It goes without saying that today’s consumer is probably going to ask you to cut commission, and just because they ask you to cut doesn’t mean they won’t pay more. In fact, I read that if you take any group of consumers for any product, statistically 70% will pay more for perceived value; this is why it’s critical to have a well-prepared and well-planned listing presentation.

Because so much money is on the line, it just makes sense to practice and rehearse at least three outstanding ways to handle the commission objection so that you can feel comfortable and confident that you can respond with ease.

Remember, it’s critical to have rapport with your sellers; if you flinch, scowl or act mad you will not be able to maintain rapport, so when they bring it up, just stay calm!

One thing you can control: do not ever volunteer to take a cut, because when you do you show the seller that you are weak and you also open the door for them to try to get into your pocket for more later.

Here are a few scripts that I have used and that our clients use successfully to hold the line to earn what they deserve, I hope you find them helpful.

Seller: “Will you discount the commission?”

“You know, if I were you I would probably ask the same question. And when you think about it, I am sure you will realize that commission is really a powerful marketing tool. What I mean by this is when you offer a reasonable rate of commission, it incentivizes me to work overtime, to spend the money I need to properly market and expose the home, and it causes the buyer agents to put your property at the top of the list.

As you think about it Mr. and Mrs. Seller, I am sure you’ll realize that you’re not paying anyone anything today. You see today, the commission is nothing more than a marketing carrot. And when the offers come to the table, you are going to make a decision whether or not to accept that offer or not.

So let’s do the right thing today. Let’s put the proper incentive out there to attract the showings we need to sell your home for the highest realistic price possible.”

Another option: “Mr. Seller I work for X percent on the listing side. And then you will determine what you are willing to pay the buyer agent.”

“Mr. Seller, when we take a look at the percentage that I receive, here is how it breaks out, First of all, the buyer agent gets their share, then I pay all of the expenses to market the property. Then I have to split up what’s left with my broker. So you can see I don’t earn as much as it appears on the surface.”

If they say, “Well but I talked to other agents and they said they would do it for less.”

“You know, I absolutely know that you could find discount cut-rate agents who will do it for less. Now what they are not going to do though, is they are not going to tell you what tools, resources, and marketing they’re going to not give you, or may not even know how to give you. If they are going to work on such a thin margin, they are going to cut out everything that they can. What I have noticed is one of the biggest reasons most homes do not sell is due to ineffective marketing, so it would appear that you might save a little bit of money, and yet ultimately, it may cause the property not to sell or to sell for a much lower price than what is potentially possible.”

“If it was true that you could list with a cut-rate company and receive the same service and results as you could with a full-service company, everyone would list with them. And yet, if you look at our local market, these cut-rate companies only represent a tiny fraction of listings taken and many of those expire. Quite frankly, it’s because it doesn’t work. You know the old saying: you get what you pay for?”

But you might be asking, what if have somebody that is super-aggressive and they are really grinding on me? Try this one: “You know, I am reasonable and when we get offers on the table, If we cannot make those offers work, then I will be open to doing something.”

If you are going to cut, I’d much rather delay it and put it off until the end rather than the beginning, because if you give in at the beginning, it just opens the door for them to chip away at you on other things throughout the transaction.

So, we always want to give them the “what you will do.” Here’s an example. Let’s say a past client, someone for whom you’ve sold multiple properties, said to you, “You know, we’ve done a lot of deals. Because of that will you give me a discount?” They may say, “Well if you sell it yourself, will you cut the commission?”

“Well, we certainly could talk about that and yet I wonder, you know, a fully qualified phenomenal buyer, that’s like the golden ticket and I’m just curious, wouldn’t you rather incentivize me to go hunt and bring that kind of buyer to you? Because really, if you are asking for a discount when I bring a qualified buyer, in a sense you’re kind of penalizing me for doing a great job for you. So wouldn’t we be better off just to let me hunt, bring the offer to the table and then we can work on it together?”

“If you sell it fast, will you give me a cut?”

“You know, that’s a great question. I’m glad you brought it up and most sellers offer me a bonus if I sell it quickly. Because then that means I performed at the highest level to sell it fast, get them the highest price possible, and eliminate as much stress as possible. So no I don’t cut if I sell it quickly.”

Bottom line, be ready, be confident and shine as the wise advisor and the only clear choice to do business with.

To get more of my scripts you can go to

About Debbie De Grote

Debbie De Grote is the owner and founder of Excelleum Coaching and Consulting, which has been ranked by Inc. 5,000 for two consecutive years as one of the fastest growing companies in the nation. She is also an author, keynote speaker, and a preferred Coach to many large companies and brands.

Over the last 20 years, Debbie has been considered one of the top Coaches in the Real Estate industry, coaching some of the most elite salespeople and brokers in North America, as well as mortgage, title, escrow, and insurance professionals.


She has conducted over 80,000 private coaching calls, hundreds of webinars and live events, and is a sought-after speaker at many national conventions. In 2013 after working as a Coach and leader in two large coaching organizations she decided it was time to launch her own company dedicated to high level, customized coaching and consulting.