If your prospects want to negotiate a lower commission than what you’ve proposed, they may be reacting to circumstances unrelated to your value as an agent. Asking a few follow-up questions may shed more light on their motivations and reveal an alternative opportunity that benefits everyone. Start by considering the following scenarios.

Are they worried about cash on hand?

If you’re working with buyers looking for a rebate, find a way to tactfully inquire if they’re worried about budget, downpayments, or closing costs. You may be able to point them to resources about assistance programs or financing options that can serve a similar need.

Are they considering going with different or limited set of services?

Make sure your prospective clients understand the full suite of services you offer, and ask if they’ve shopped around for other agents or brokerage, which gives you an opportunity to point out if the comparison isn’t like-to-like.

Are they making assumptions based on someone else’s experience?

Maybe they’ve talked to a friend or neighbor who worked with a different brokerage model or negotiated a different commission amount. Inquiring about assumptions they may have will allow you to support your commission based on the particulars of their property, the local market, and your plan for marketing the property.

Do they think they already have a buyer lined up?

If sellers think there’s already enough interest in their home that an offer is practically in hand, they may question your value. Challenging the seriousness of that interest may not go over well, but you could reach a compromise in the listing agreement—for example, a lower commission amount if a named party they know purchases the property but a higher amount if you bring a different buyer.

Are they looking for a bargain?

Some consumers are just looking for the cheapest price. If your questions lead you to that conclusion, you may decide that it’s best for both parties if you refer them to another broker.