A Classic Case of Giving to Get ... How to Appeal to FSBO Sellers

Services for Real Estate Pros with Marte Cliff Copywriting

When you want to convince FSBO sellers to list with you, you have to give them a good reason why.

  • You can’t just knock on the door and tell them they’re nuts for trying this on their own.
  • You can’t just beat them over the head with failure statistics.
  • You can't start telling them how much they don’t know.

Well, you can. But you might find a boot on the seat of your pants as you fly out the door. Those methods for sure wouldn’t create the kind of good will that would get you the listing when they’re ready.

So how do you provide a reason why?

You gain their trust by giving them good advice:

  • You remind them of the things they need to do and the forms they need to have on hand.
  • You caution them about saying too much in front of buyers.
  • You warn them about letting strangers in the house if they’re home alone – and about telling their children not to open the door if they’re home alone.
  • You suggest methods for finding out the fair market value of their homes.

Won't all that make them experts, so they don’t need you?

No. Far from it. Instead, it will show them just how much work is involved in selling a home. It will also show them how much they don’t know about it, and gently show them that they do need you.

A friend of mine, on reading my FSBO prospecting letter set, said “Whew, after seeing all there is to it, I’d never try listing my home as a FSBO.”

Here are the topics of the letters she read. If you want to write your own,  use them as an idea-starter. 

For sale by owner prospecting letters


When you use letters like these, you won't be coming across as a typical sales person, just out to get the listing.

Instead, you’ll be offering helpful information and letting them draw their own conclusions. Since your letters demonstrate that you know what you're doing, and you've been nothing but supportive, they should conclude that out of everyone who has been contacting them, trying to convince them to list, you're the agent they need.

Not just for real estate...

This method works in other situations as well. Bob Bly explains it well in the newsletter he sent this week. So I copied it to my marketing blog so you could read it too. (And yes, of course I got his permission first.)


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Marte Cliff

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