“Mr. FSBO, You’re an Idiot and I’m Not!” Yeah, that’s persuasive…

Reblogger Chris Webster
Services for Real Estate Pros with Island Palms Realty

Original content by Jennifer Allan-Hagedorn

(The other day I promised to do a little series on applying Go-Giver principles to real estate - while this blog wasn't written with that in mind, I realize that it DOES indeed reflect a Go-Giver philosophy! So, let's consider this the first in that series, k?)

I was just talking to an agent who is going through a corporate-sponsored FSBO training program.


It’s typical stuff. Under the guise of being helpful, the program advises you to scare the guy to death about everything he doesn’t know about selling a house. Bring in a stack of complicated contracts and disclosures, “just so that he’ll be prepared if an offer comes in.” Include intimidating documents that he won’t actually need at contract (like a deed of trust and personal property bill of sale) just to beef up your pile. Provide a “helpful” info-sheet about the dangers of letting strangers into your home.

Again, your basic FSBO scare-tactics.

And again, sigh.

Hey, someone decides to FSBO their home because they think they can do it. They think they’re smart enough to do it and they don’t see the point in paying some smarty-pants real estate agent a whole bunch of dollars to stick a sign in the yard and do an open house. In most markets, they can pay a few hundred bucks to get on the MLS and borrow a For Sale sign, so they’re good to go.

And you know what? Maybe they are smart enough. But it doesn’t matter if they are or they aren’t; what matters is that they think they are. So, when you come in with your brow all furrowed with faux concern and your “helpful” material in hand, all you’re really doing is insulting the seller’s intelligence. You’re basically saying “You’re an idiot for trying to sell your house yourself! You can’t possible succeed without me because I’m SO much smarter than you are.”

Oh, I know that’s not what you’re saying, but that’s what he’s hearing. And we wonder why FSBO’s can be hostile to us smarty-pants real estate agent types!

How about let’s be straight with the guy? If you think you can actually help this guy sell his house, then PROVE it to him. BE helpful without strings attached. Authentically CARE about his situation instead of mastering that look of faux concern. Be genuinely willing to walk him through contracts and answer his questions. Provide informative market reports to help him price properly.

Contrary to popular belief, demonstrating your expertise by sharing your knowledge won’t eliminate the seller’s need for you. I hope not, anyway; shoot, if it’s so easy to sell and close a house that we can explain it in an hour or two, that seller truly DOESN’T need us!

No, being cheerfully and genuinely helpful, caring and GIVING is gonna go a whole lot further with a suspicious FSBO than all the scare tactics in the world!


Prospecting with Soul



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Jennifer Allan, GRI

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Michele Miller ~ REALTOR®, LMC, HSE, CHS, SRES, CMRS
ERA Key Realty~Worcester County Realty Group - Worcester, MA
'Helping You Make the Best Move"


I need a diffferent approach when dealing with FSBOs. They think they don't need Real Estate Agents and know everything there is about the market.

Great post!

Aug 27, 2010 08:24 PM #1
Cameron Novak
The Homefinding Center - Corona, CA
Featured Corona Real Estate Agent Team

I speak with many for sale by owners here in Corona, California and there are many types of people trying to sell FSBO.  Some reasonable, some far from it.

Sooner or later, they learn.  I'll be patient and wait for them to come around.

Corona Real Estate & Short Sale Agent
Corona, Ca.

Aug 27, 2010 08:43 PM #2
Jennifer Allan-Hagedorn
Sell with Soul - Pensacola Beach, FL
Author of Sell with Soul

Thanks for the reblog, Chris!

Aug 28, 2010 12:35 AM #3
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