Wouldn’t it be nice if every For Sale By Owner (FSBO) listing understood the value and skill a REALTOR® brings to the selling process? In an effort to skirt commission and without fully understanding the depth of knowledge required, many ambitious people attempt to sell their home without the help of a real estate agent.
In fact, each year about 18-20% of home sales are listed as For Sale By Owner, however only about 1/3 of these transactions are successful. More often than not FSBO listings are eventually turned over to a Realtor. How can you be sure that you’re the agent that secures the FSBO listings?
For Sale By Owner listings can be challenging, as this group is not generally receptive to real estate agents. They can be somewhat defensive prospects who are wary of agents approaching them. They likely don’t fully understand the intricate process involved with listing and selling a home but they are hoping to save money. As a business person, the desire to cut down on expenses is one you can sympathize with. Your goal is to shine a light on the value of a real estate professional without being too aggressive.
While FSBO motivation is generally financial, statistics show that selling a home with the assistance of a Realtor will actually result in a higher profit. According to the National Association of Realtor’s 2014 Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers, the average FSBO sales price was $208,700, while the average price for a home represented by an agent was $235,000, a difference of 13%! Therefore, listing with a real estate agent doesn’t only benefit you as the agent, it also benefits the seller!
If you approach these independently-minded home sellers in the right way, you’ll have a good chance of getting a new listing and, ultimately, another loyal client.
Offer Help (with no strings attached!)
When someone places a “For Sale By Owner” sign on their home, they are subject to a barrage of communications from real estate agents who want the listing. Instead of making the seller feel defensive, approach them with respect and simply offer help. Let them know that you’re willing to answer any questions they may have, with no expectations or fees. Give them your phone number and some resources that they may find helpful, and leave it at that.
If at First You Don’t Succeed… Keep in Touch
Many real estate agents attempt to secure FSBO listings by contacting the seller once and giving up. It can take more than 5 conversations before a FSBO warms up to the idea of using a Realtor! Be persistent by continuing to offer help in a friendly way. Use a real estate CRM like IXACT Contact to keep track of all your communication history. I also recommend that you assign the FSBO to IXACT Contact’s pre-designed 90 Day FSBO Prospecting Activity Plan. These exceptionally effective emails and letters you can send out are specifically designed to convert FSBOs to clients and help you stay top of mind with the seller.
Invite them to an Open House
In the spirit of helpfulness, contact the FSBO when you’re hosting an open house in their neighborhood. Invite them to stop in and learn from how you professionally organize an open house. It also gives your FSBO some insight into potential buyers in the area. This is a great opportunity for you to showcase your skills organically and a chance for the FSBO to ask you any questions they may have. Inviting your FSBO prospects to see you work will further establish you as a knowledgeable real estate professional.
Follow up with Sincerity and Questions
Be authentic and affirming! FSBOs have usually done some level of research on selling a home. Acknowledge their wisdom and validate their efforts. Ask how they’re doing. Reach out after you know they had an open house and ask how it went. Ask them if they’ve received any offers yet, how negotiations are proceeding, and whether they have drafted a contract. Don’t be afraid to ask difficult questions as these will highlight the knowledge required to sell a home.
For Sale By Owner listings are lucrative and unique. People who attempt to sell their own home are ambitious, courageous and driven. Respect the independent spirit of the FSBO prospect and you’ll convert more of these referrals into new clients.