There is an old saying that applies here – “You can’t sell a secret”. If a seller wants you to market a property with no commitment from them to pay for (or at least contribute to) the marketing then I am afraid you have a non-committed seller.
Look at it this way. You are being asked to sell someone’s most valuable asset with one hand tied behind your back.
Many people believe that most agents have a big long list of eager buyers just waiting to buy their property. All the agent has to do is put the buyer in the car, drive them to the property and they will buy it. Simple!
Well if it was that easy, they wouldn’t need you. We all know that is far from reality.
Here is how you can explain why you need marketing:
YOU: “When you take a car to be repaired, you will receive a bill for labour and parts. Labour is the skill the mechanic has developed and the parts are what he/she needs to fix the car. It is the same with selling your property. The skill I bring is negotiation – that is ability to negotiate to get a buyer to pay top dollar for your property – and the marketing are the parts I need to find that buyer.
SELLER: “Yes, but can’t you take the marketing out of the commission?”
YOU: “I have already said that the skill I bring to the table is as a negotiator. If I can’t negotiate with you to meet what are normal business terms, then how much confidence will you have in my ability to negotiate with a buyer for your property?”
Why would you commit to investing your hard earned money to market a property when the seller gets to make the decision to sell or not. Ask if the seller would be happy to let you decide on the list price if you must pay for the parts to sell the property.
There is another saying that I think is appropriate here – “If you want to check the motivation of a seller, ask for more marketing.”
Don’t waste your valuable time working on properties for sellers who will not fully commit to selling.