What to say on THOSE phone enquiries

Do you find those phone calls tricky? You know, the ones that start with

“Hi, how much do you charge?” 

What do you say?  Is it:

“We need to see your property first”?


“It depends on the property”?

or even

 “Well, it’s supposed to be 1.5% but we’ll do it for 1%, or even less, if we have to”?

Ok, so maybe you wouldn’t actually say that, but would you think it?  And would you bow to the pressure of the situation and disclose your fee on the call?

There aretwo schools of thought here:

1. In the spirit of transparency, you are upfront about your fee and quote it on the phone.

Advantage – you are perceived as honest and confident in your fee.

Disadvantage – you may not get the chance to have that market appraisal, let alone a further conversation, as they run off to your competition, using your fee as bait.

2. You duck and dive, and try your best to wheedle a market appraisal without disclosing your fee first.

Advantage – you can take a look at the property and get a feel for the vendor’s motivation before you quote your fee, so you can be flexible if you need to be.

Disadvantage – they may be insistent, and your reluctance could be perceived as being dishonest.

So what’s the best way to handle a call like this?

First of all, there’s no right or wrong way; whatever works for you is fine.  But if what you’re doing isn’t working, here are a few examples of responses to try:

“Hello, Downtons Estate Agents, how can I help you?”

“Hi, I’m thinking about putting my house on the market, can you tell me what your commission rate is please?”

 Answer A) “Of course; let me just get those for you, and while I do, let me ask you a couple of questions.  How long have you lived there?”

Answer B)“Our commission rate is zero if we’re not a good fit for you, so why don’t we determine that first?”

Answer C)  “Our commission rate is somewhere between 1% and 3%, depending on the property.  What’s the address?”

The object here is to start a conversation with the caller.  It’s only by doing this that you can build rapport, then liking.  Do it right and eventually they will have enough trust in you that they will feel comfortable enough to invite you into their home.

Do you have any responses that work for you, that you’d like to share? I’d love to hear them! Add your comment below or email me on sam@samashdown.co.uk

What to say on THOSE phone enquiries

What to read next: What to do when your vendor chooses another agent

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