Your house hasn’t burned down has it?

Real Estate Broker/Owner with Respect Realty LLC 200311024

This is how the conversation went with a FSBO I met yesterday after he asked, "Why on Earth would I need an agent? I can do this on my own. You are just a glorified paper pusher that gets six percent for doing it."

Me:  "Your house hasn't burned down has it?"

Mr. Seller said, "No, why does that matter?"

Me: "You can put out a fire, can't you? Then why do you need fireman to come over? You have homeowners insurance to cover the home if you make a mistake and can't save the home, right? So, of course, since you are taking on this large of a transaction, than you must have Errors and Admissions insurance to cover you if you make a mistake on the sale of your home, am I correct in assuming that?"

Mr. Seller "Uh, uh, No?"

Me: "Let me explain that I do this everyday. I admit I've made mistakes, but I haven't had to use my errors and omissions and insurance yet, but if I do, I have it. What do you have to protect you from that? What would happen if you made a mistake on the 35-50 pages of documents that you have never worked with before and I just admitted I work with everyday and still make an occasional mistake on?"

Mr. Seller's wife: "Honey, what would we do?"

This is where I left the house with my informational packet on everything a real estate agent does. I am hoping for a real listing appointment once they realize that I do a little more than push papers for my 3% of that 6% commission.



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Richard Shuman
The Only B.S. I Have is from the University of Massachusetts - Lake Mary, FL
Real Estate Broker - Orlando Area - Love Referrals

I won't even talk to a FSBO unless they ask for my help - most seem to think they know everything!

Dec 07, 2008 04:30 AM #1
Sarah Tingen
Exit Realty First Choice - Raleigh, NC

I like your objection handling strategy.

Did you say this after the first visit to the FSBO? Were you door-knocking, or on the phone?

Let us know if you get the account.


Dec 07, 2008 04:32 AM #2
Harold "Hal" Place
A1 Connection Realty, Inc. - Sun City Center, FL

HI Todd,

Cold calls to FSBO's are usually less then rewarding, however I love the challange, don't you, Mr. Paper Pusher. LOL!


Dec 07, 2008 04:34 AM #3
Respect Realty LLC
Respect Realty LLC - Milwaukie, OR
Brokers - Oregon / SW Washington Real Estate

Richard, in this market I talk to anyone and everyone.

Sarah - This was a door knocking situation since I was in the neighborhood door knocking and saw that little red sign in the yard.

Dec 07, 2008 04:35 AM #4
Julie Staradumsky
Keller Williams Realty - Atlantic Shore - Northfield, NJ

Todd, have the seller wondering!  I hope that you get the listing!  Have a wonderful holiday season!

Dec 07, 2008 04:37 AM #5
Anne Hensel
South Beaches Real Estate Professionals - Saint Petersburg, FL
Realtor - Broker - St. Pete Beach, Treasure Island

FSBO are a different breed. Not the easiest once to deal with.

Dec 07, 2008 04:39 AM #6
Missy Caulk
Missy Caulk TEAM - Ann Arbor, MI
Savvy Realtor - Ann Arbor Real Estate

Todd, well have never seen that objection but I am sure you got the seller thinking. Let us know if they call you back. Of course you know that most FSBO's eventually list.

Dec 07, 2008 04:46 AM #7
Brian Burke
Kenna Real Estate - Lone Tree, CO
Broker & Advising Expert-Denver Luxury Real Estate

Todd - I love it. Great way to put it. Sometimes they just don't see it no matter what though. In that case... moving on to the next one :) ~Rita

Dec 07, 2008 04:48 AM #8
Kaire Downin
Keller Williams Realty Mid Willamette - Lebanon, OR

Being new in town, not having a sphere to work with and get referrals, all I do is work with FSBOs and Expireds. I was lucky enough to take the Floyd Wickman SMART program one month into my carreer and I have to say, I have 3 listings and they were all EXP and FSBO, for only being licensed for 3 months, I feel pretty good about that. This is a great explaination of why people need us. It is an eye opener for sure! Thanks for sharing it!

Dec 07, 2008 05:05 AM #9
James Wexler - Scottsdale, AZ

E & O insurance by using a realtor, for clients is a lot like life insurance, you hope never to use it, but you are really glad you have it in the outside chance you  may need it

Dec 07, 2008 05:21 AM #10
Tom Braatz Waukesha County Real Estate 262-377-1459
Coldwell Banker - Oconomowoc, WI
Waukesha County Realtor Real Estate agent. SOLD!


The people were asking you if you had E & O? Anticipation of something can be frightening. You are the master of handling objections.


Tom Braatz

Dec 07, 2008 06:04 AM #11
Angelia Garcia
Pure Realtors - Dallas, TX

Hi Todd,

that is a good tip to get your foot in the door.  Thanks.

Dec 07, 2008 12:48 PM #12
Fran Gatti
RE/MAX Integrity - Medford, OR
Managing Principal Broker - RE/MAX Integrity


Good job, but it's absolutely the truth.  I sold a home on my own before I became an agent. Yeesh, I'm really lucky all went well. 


Dec 07, 2008 02:15 PM #13
Janna Scharf
Keller Williams Realty Coeur d'Alene - Coeur d'Alene, ID
Coeur d'Alene Idaho Real Estate Expert

Oh my gosh, how is it that the O&E angle never occurred to me before?  Thanks for sharing this, one more tool to use in those conversations.

Dec 07, 2008 04:35 PM #14
Fred Chamberlin
Guild Mortgage Co - Oak Harbor WA - Oak Harbor, WA
Oak Harbor/Whidbeynulls, #1 Experienced FHA Mortgage Consultant

Hard to believe you actually made a mistake Todd. I did once, but I only thought I was wrong, but was actually right. Great rebuttal.

Dec 07, 2008 04:37 PM #15
Jason & Amber Gardner
Hasson Company, Realtors - Sherwood, OR
We're Committed to Your Success!

WOW, some people.

Dec 07, 2008 06:10 PM #16
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