For Sale By Owner Safety

Education & Training with

In talking to a FSBO just yesterday, he was not so much intrigued by showing him how I was going to make him more money by going with me and paying my commission (although he was impressed) nor was I able to close him on the mere fact that listing his home with me will bring in better more qualified buyers. His eye brows raised and the head started to nod based on the fact that selling your home on your own and sticking that red and white FSBO sign in the yard opens the doors for anyone to stop by at any time.

He travels quite a bit for his job and his wife stays home with the kids who are both under 8 years of age. After that he told me they sold their Townhouse on their own a few years back without any problems and that is why they are doing it again. I proceeded to explain is it worth the safety of your family? That red and white sign in your front yard is typically an Open Invite to anyone driving by to stop in at anytime of the day and not only knock on your door, but walk around your house, peek in the windows and even bug your neighbors. A lot of these individuals have not even applied for a mortgage and truly have no interest in buying a home. In some cases you could be opening your doors to someone staking out your home for a future burglary. Is it worth it, I continued to ask?

When you list your home with a real estate professional you are automatically providing a much safer and secure means for marketing and selling your home. You will dramatically decrease the chance of drop-ins and nosy window peekers and you will more than not have pre-approved people going through your home.

I then asked, how much is all of that worth? I proceeded to answer it for him as he was truly speechless....It is priceless Mr. FSBO, absolutely priceless!!

Comments (10)

Lisa Friedman
Alliance Realtors - Bedminster, NJ
Central New Jersey Real Estate

Rory, very good points.  I especially like to point out that many people wandering into open houses are not qualified to buy that home.

Jul 24, 2008 12:55 AM
Ernie Steele
Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Homesale Realty - Lebanon, PA
Call me, let's get started!!! 717-273-3774

Nice post Rory...I've used a similar tactic myself and it worked also.

Jul 24, 2008 12:55 AM
Janis Olson
RE/MAX At Barnegat Bay 609-978-4046 ext: 5114 - Manahawkin, NJ
RE/MAX At Barnegat Bay, 609-276-1741

Great post!  Let us know if he list with you. :-)

Jul 24, 2008 01:04 AM
Kathy Hyatt ~Plantation, Davie, Sunrise REALTOR
Remax in Motion - Plantation, FL
Broward Realtor Selling Plantation,Davie & Sunrise



As part of my Presentation, I keep old News Paper Articles and have them laminated.  One piece I have talks about FSBO and how dangerous it can be having strangers in your home.  Since this information comes from a 3rd party it has even more strength when I speak on this subject.

Kathy Hyatt, Ft. Lauderdale, Florida

Jul 24, 2008 01:05 AM
Pam Dent
Gayle Harvey Real Estate, Inc. - Charlottesville, VA
REALTORĀ® - Charlottesville Virginia Homes / Horse

Thanks Rory - I will be sure to include the safety issue and speak about qualified buyers in my fisbo presentation.

Jul 24, 2008 01:05 AM
Rory Wilfong - Lancaster, PA
Sales Coach and Trainer

LISA - Nothing worse then getting hopes up with someone not able to buy the home in the first place, thanks for your comments.

ERNIE - Thanks for the comments.

JANIS - It will be by the weekend....thanks for the comments.

KATHY - Good ideas...thanks for the comments

PAM - Yes keep in mind paying a commission may not always be the objection that gets you the sale....thanks for the comments.

Jul 24, 2008 02:50 AM
LaNita Cates
REMAX of Joliet - Joliet, IL

I've always said the same thing. You are letting strangers in your home to do whatever they want. We would NEVER let this happen at anytime but selling a house, people open the door wide!

Aug 03, 2008 04:11 PM

LANITA - Great points and thanks for the comments

Aug 04, 2008 02:18 AM
Beaverton, ON

I am an ex-realtor that sold homes in this area for 15 years and now operates a FSBO company in Durham Region, Ontario. We are on the east side of Toronto. I would like to make a comment or two about your post.

During my career I was amazed by the lack of security in the real estate business. Agents holding open houses would allow lookers to walk through the home without confirming who they were. Rory, you state that they could be staking out the home for a future burglary. And that could happen. I know some agents would have a piece of paper for potential buyers to add their name and phone number. But is this enough? And did they get the correct name and phone number? Should agents be asking for photo identification?

The Toronto Real Estate Board (TREB) is the largest board in Canada and has over 26,000 members. On 2 occasions during my career (1988-2003) they tried to introduce an electronic lock box system. This was a small device that each agent would carry and could be inserted into the lock box. Once a month they had to call a number and were given a new pass code. When they entered a property, their information plus date and time was recorded. This was great for listing agents as they had a record of everyone entering the property. The cost of the lock boxes was no more that the mechanical type.

The cost of this service would cost each agent $100 a year. On both occasions the agents refused to use it. I loved it. I did not have to remember a code or try to find the piece of paper I wrote it on. My arguement was that it was much more secure than the old system. The mechanical boxes came from the manufacturer set at 'SET'. This was a prompt for the agent to reset the code. A lot were not. I remember others came set at 'SPI'. A lot were never changed. Some agents would use their initials. Any crook knowing this could possibly get into the house by trying 'SET', then 'SPI' or look at the sign on the lawn.

If you walked into a real estate office, you could hear a secretary calling a buyer agents office to confirm a showing. They would say "and the lock box code for 123 Main Street is 'BOB'". Anyone within earshot now knew how to get into the house. Then the agent showing the property would write the code on a piece of paper which was in most cases a copy of the listing. I used these senarios as an arguement to keep the electronic system.

Now maybe the system has changed. Since I have not been in the business for 5 years, maybe a secure system has been implemented. I loved the electronic system and was very disappointed when it did not fly on the 2 occassions. I found it saved a lot of time. An office confirming a showing only had to say 'use your electronic passkey'. Using the mechanical system, I was given the wrong code many times.

I have heard it said, whether it is accurate or not, that 2% of the agents make 98% of the money. If so, or the numbers are close, you can see that the majority of agents decided not to provide proper security to their clients.

Time for a little story. Every Wednesday there was a meeting for agents. We would meet at a local hall at 9am to hear about new listings from the past week. The listing agent would then hold an open house for agents for the next hour or two. At one meeting was an ex-realtor. She had been in the business for a number of years but recently left. But no one knew. At the meeting, some agents would provide a lock box code rather than have the house open. A short time later her name was in paper where she was charged with theft. Again, another situation where security had gone wrong.

Based on what I saw when in the real estate business, agents need to practice what they preach about security.

Have a good day and sell, sell, sell. 

Aug 15, 2008 07:36 AM
Rory Wilfong - Lancaster, PA
Sales Coach and Trainer

DURHAM REGION - Absolutely great points. The main gist are sales tools to use against competition in this case FSBOs and safety is definitely one that gets attention like commission. IMO...there are definitely more safety risks with listing as a FSBO than listing with a Licensed Professional Real Estate Agent. And I think you mean buy, buy, buy!!

Aug 15, 2008 08:51 AM