When I go on a listing appointment or an appraisal, I can say with absolute certainty that by the time I’m three quarters of the way through every seller is going to ask this one question.


Every time I receive this question my answer is always the same.

Then they start to negotiate with me and halfway through the negotiation I stop them and say to them the following:

“You’re about to sell your house, your biggest asset. Do you really want someone that will do this for you for a flat fee or low commission? Because I can refer you to somebody that will gladly put this up on for you for next to nothing. There are many agents and companies that would give their right arm to make a percent or less and sell this house for you; however, would you rather pay a budget agent and get tens of thousands of dollars less for your house or pay my rate and sell for the highest price possible.

Choose the Agent You Work Best With, Not the One with the Lowest Commission

Choosing your agent is extremely important and you must do your due diligence. You’re going to pay them a lot of money, which if you are smart and do your homework, will be a great investment and you will come out ahead.

Do not focus on percentages. Focus on who is going to do the best job for you.

Similarly, don’t focus on agent reputations because there are a lot of great brokers with unknown reputations and there are a lot of top agents who have already made it in the business and you are just another listing that they won’t put much effort into.

I recently got told by a seller that their agent, one of the top agents in the area, doesn’t even know when and what the commissions are they get paid anymore. That is an agent with no drive and someone that has already made it and doesn’t need top work hard to get you the best price possible

The most important thing is that you click with the person you are interviewing, and you feel that you will be able to complete the deal with that person.

Now of course there are always a few hiccups along the way and nobody can predict the future, but if you only like an agent because he or she told you what you wanted to hear, it probably won’t work out in the end.

So how can you gauge all of this, and arrive at the appropriate percentage for commissions?

Pay More to Get More


I have been on many listing appointments where the seller has told me that the person right before me offered to do the deal at a much lower price commission.

A home is a huge asset and there’s a lot of money on the line, you need someone who is an expert, and not just someone who says what you want to hear and nods their head. When the market gets difficult, which all the stats seem to be pointing towards, you need a deal maker and a negotiator, not someone who takes orders and drops their commission to get your business. What would they be like when negotiating with the actual sale!

The Bottom Line

At the end of the day, you’re selling your largest asset and that deserves special attention and expertise.

You wouldn’t go to a doctor at the local free clinic to perform open-heart surgery, so why would you hire a discount agent for your pristine property.

As a homeowner, forget about negotiating commissions and start worrying about who’s going to do the best job for you.

When an agent disagrees with you about pricing, try to understand their thought process and learn what their reasons are. If they are anything like me, then they will carefully walk you through their very calculated reasons for arriving at the price they did. Now I’m not saying you need to believe this person. There are a lot of agents that like to just price properties low and get rid of them quickly but trust your instinct! Human beings generally have a good sense for people and most folks can smell bullshit.

Go with the person that you trust and makes you feel comfortable and most importantly knows what they are doing!

The way I have always run my business is probably quite different than most of the other agents. I always tell my clients the reality, not what they want to hear. And I have no problem doing this because if I don’t get the listing on this round, I’ll get it on the next! Once all is said and done sellers generally appreciate this a lot more, and you then have a client for life!

I tell my clients point blank: if you want an agent that is going to give you a discount, I’m not the right guy for you. But if you want somebody who’s going to make you a hell of a lot more money then I’m the right person for you. I haven’t had the highest average sale price in Upper Coomera for the last two years for nothing.

I’ve also done some crazy things to get sales across the line. Helped people move their stuff on or off a truck, chainsaw down a tree when the gardener cancelled just before settlement and gotten family members in to take dogs for a walk to get them out of the house for opens. How many agents would do this stuff for their clients!

Forget about percentages, look at the big picture, work with somebody that doesn’t bullshit you. Work with somebody that doesn’t just give you the highest number, and who doesn’t just say “you're right” to everything you say. Find someone who challenges you.

Most importantly don’t work with the person who’s going to do your work for half the commission because I guarantee you don’t want this person. If they can’t negotiate with you as their client and seller, how can you expect them to negotiate properly with your buyers.