Agents and Sellers often have a different understanding of what the “selling price” really is and you need to confirm that you and the seller are on the same page. Seller’s always thinking of the price as the amount they will get in their pocket and agents think of the price as having their commission included.
Never discuss the selling price what the seller before you have inspected the property and done your own valuation first, and NEVER ask the seller what he wants for his property! He called you because you are the one who should be able to assess the value according to how the property relates to the current market conditions.
As soon as you ask the seller what he wants for his property you are no longer in charge of your business, the seller is. This is bad real estate business practice.
If you are not sure about the valuation, then complete your inspection and set up another appointment with the seller once you have done a proper CMA (Comparative Market Analysis) for him. Do not give in to the pressure to release a price. If you have done a CMA and you are confident of the market-related price, then it is time for you to present yourself and your marketing proposal to the seller. If he is willing to “employ” you as his agent and to sign your mandate, then you can move on to disclosing your valuation and the reasons for your valuation.
Negotiating a mandate at a fair market value is what you are contracted by your principal to do. This is your job. You are by nature of the industry a salesperson and need to have good sales skills. There are many sales-related videos available to you for you to develop your sales skills. Practice doing listing presentations and signing of mandates with those around you until you are confident in your own presentation skills. This will give you a great advantage over your competition.