Ever been in this situation before? You’re at a listing appointment, and the seller tells you, “Everything you’re saying sounds great. But, full disclosure, we’ve talked to a couple other agents, now, and they’re willing to do the work for less than you’re asking. Are you willing to match their rate?” 

After all, they want to pocket as much of the sale price of their home as possible. Fair. 

Thing is, you have a pretty good idea of why those other agents are offering to do the work for a smaller commission rate. So, you’re tempted to point out that those agents are desperate for a listing because they’re not as well known in your market for delivering over-the-top results. 

Maybe the seller even throws out a name, and you’re so close to sharing something you know that would probably ruin the other agent’s shot at the listing. Unfortunately, it would probably tank yours as well. 

Because that’s not what the seller needs to hear from you right now. 

Fortunately for you, Tom Storey has a three-step process for handling this objection like a pro, even if you’re not the objection-handling G.O.A.T., Tom Toole

He spells it all out in this week’s Marketing Monday video

Price is only ever an issue in the absence of value. 

This is one of my favorite lines from the episode. And that’s the biggest clue to how you’re going to handle this objection. Because while another agent may be willing to sell the home for less, there’s absolutely no guarantee that that agent is capable of negotiating the best possible deal for the client. Paying their agent a smaller percentage of a disappointing sale price is probably not the value this seller has in mind. 

The “other agents are willing to do it for less” rests on the assumption that the results will be the same regardless of the agent’s commission. You know that’s not the case, and you’ve got the numbers to back that up. 

Tom gives Canadian real estate coach, Rob Vivian, full credit for the three-step strategy he describes in the video. 

I want to share this with you because this little change in the way that I handle objections has totally changed my business. I’m winning more listings than I ever have before and at the price that I know I am worth.

Tom Storey

Step #1: Repeat what they said. 

The first thing you want to do is repeat what the seller just told you. Tom Storey gives an example in the video above. 

Okay. So, just to be clear, you met with two other agents, and one of them said they would do it for a lower fee than we’ve been talking about. Is that correct?

Tom Storey

This is active listening 101, and it tells the seller that you’re actually listening to them. You’re hearing what they just told you—and not instantly reacting to it. 

You’re approaching their objection with a completely different mindset. Because, knowing the value you bring, you’re not desperate to convince them that you’re better than the other agents they’ve talked to. 

Ultimately, what you want for them is the best possible experience. And that starts with this conversation and the value you bring to it. Arguing with them makes you an antagonist—not an ally.

Step #2: Approve it.

The next step is to approve what they’ve told you. They don’t need you to pick apart their words or to imply that they’re not thinking beyond the lower price tag. Don’t assume it’s never occurred to them that you might charge more for good reason. 

They don’t need to hear you say some variation on, “But I’m a better agent. I charge more because I deliver more value!” They want to know, first of all, that you understand where they’re coming from—and that you’re not threatened by another agent’s offer to work for less (which smells like desperation). 

Here’s what you could say:

So, I totally understand that, actually. Is it fair to say that your goal in this process is to sell this home for the most amount of money for the cheapest fee and then buy the next property and save as much money in your bank account, in your pocket as you possibly can?

Tom Storey

Step #3: Show your side of the value by building a bridge. 

So, you’ve repeated the seller’s words and approved them. The next step is to show your side of the value, building a bridge to what the seller truly wants. 

What they want is less about paying their agent as little as possible as it is about getting as much money as possible from the sale of their home and saving as much as they can when buying their next home. 

If you can show them how you are uniquely qualified to help them do that, they’ll see you as the agent most likely to get them the result they want. What the seller wants to see is proof that you’ve done this for others. 

So, here’s how Tom would answer:

Do you mind if I share something with you? I’ve actually tracked our numbers versus the market, and I know that sellers who work with our team and with our company, they earn about 5% more than the industry average. So, you had just mentioned before that your goal is to get the most amount of money in your pocket in the quickest amount of time. And I know—and I have the numbers to back it up—that I can do that for you, even though our fees are slightly higher. 

Another thing to point out as well is that we include free staging with our properties. And a lot of the time, other agents are willing to discount their fee because there’s nothing on the line. I want to invest in your property so that we both have skin in the game, here.

Tom Storey

At this point, psychologically, the seller wants to agree. Granted, that’s no guarantee that they will. But in Tom’s experience—and we’re talking hundreds and hundreds of times in his listing presentations—”it works extremely well.” 

Never ever ever trash the other agent 

You’ll notice that at no point in this three-step process did Tom ever throw shade at the agents willing to do the work for less money. Not once did he imply that the other agent was a slacker or someone who couldn’t be trusted. He didn’t even suggest they were new to the industry and hadn’t yet shown any skill in negotiating the best possible sale price. 

This is not the time to speculate on how much value the other agents are likely to bring. Focus on what you bring to the table. Let the seller make their own conclusions about how the lower-commission agents stack up. 

Speaking ill of the competition is not a good look. It creates a negative energy, which the seller will then associate with you. Leave them with a good feeling—the kind they get from imagining the best possible outcome from the sale of their current home. 

Then focus on becoming the reason for it.