Should Owners Negotiate Commission When Selling an Apartment?


This isn’t a simple yes or no answer, but reducing commission can be a tool used as an owner.

This is a strange concept for an agent to talk about, however you can use the commission as a negotiating tool when selecting an agent. Making sure your agent knows your goal price you want to get for the apartment, and then working the commission out from there may work in your favour in terms of increasing what you make from the sale. There is a point though where you must ensure both parties are happy with the deal being made and that it is fair. Make sure this agreement is all written up formally to avoid any upsets during the sale process.


Andrew Murray, Apartment Specialists. Today I'm speaking about a really interesting topic. Should you negotiate the commission you are being charged when selling your apartment?

Now, this isn't really a simple yes or no answer, but I would use commission as a tool. This is a very interesting question which obviously is very interesting to answer from a real estate agents’ perspective. Because of course, I don't want you to lower the commission. However, you can use it as a tool as an owner. If you look at the commission, it's similar to a carrot. The carrot and the donkey. The donkey goes after the carrot because the donkey wants the carrot. In the same way, the real estate agent wants the commission because he wants to get paid. That commission is an attraction for the agent. If your real estate agent lets agents from other agencies have an equal commission split when the apartment is sold, then the commission amount they receive is very crucial. This is because all the other agents are also trying to look for buyers for your apartment, not just the agent you have employed to sell your apartment. So, by reducing that commission amount, it is less attractive to other agents in the market to find buyers.

For instance, if they have a very good buyer, they want to get paid from that sale. Because in all honesty that is the nature of the business. Agents want to get paid. They will bring their buyers to apartments where there is a normal commission amount. If you reduce that commission, especially by a lot, that will often put other agents off, and sometimes agents won't work as hard for you. I mean, this is not something that I want to admit to you but that's the truth. I've seen it with many agents. In this scenario, what I would do if I was an owner - is have a goal for what I want to achieve price wise, and then I'd use that commission as a tool. Then when the agents bring you offers, if they're not getting you the price you need to reach that goal, I'd then use that commission as a tool and say to the agent, "If this is the very best offer you can bring me, when I told you I wanted x, y, and z which hasn't been delivered, there's only one way I would look at accepting this offer, and that would be if you reduce your commission.” That way, it is lifting the price for you to reach your goal.

If the agent has not brought you the offer that they said they would or that you wanted, that is an extremely powerful position for you to be in as an owner. So, what I would do is I'd use the commission as a tool for negotiation. Because you are able to do this. A lot of vendors think, "I have on the agency agreement that that is what the commission is, so it has to stay like that." That is not true, you are still the boss, and you are still in control. So, remember to use that commission as a negotiating tool.

What I'm going to talk about next time is how I see a lot of apartments marketed very badly, and how I think and say to my co workers "How does the owner accept that?" It's obvious that the owner doesn't know. They don’t know what platform or what website their apartment's being advertised on. What I will talk about is how an owner can check that their apartment is being marketed correctly. There are many that I look at and think, "Wow, if the owners saw this, they wouldn’t be happy." Hopefully, that will help you hold the agent that you have selling your apartment accountable for how they market your property.

Talk soon, cheers!

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Should Owners Negotiate Commission When Selling an Apartment?