As soon as the weather gets warmer, you’re going to see it. Signs listing homes for sale, with the dreaded words “By Owner” in bold.
A FSBO represents a lost opportunity – both for Realtors® and sellers. Of course a real estate agent misses out on the chance to sell a home and build their portfolio and reputation. But the seller loses out too.
Many FSBO homes receive much lower offers than a traditionally marketed one. They aren’t well negotiated, and the lack of expertise regarding paperwork, inspections, and closing can leave the homeowner in a mess.
The question is, how do you approach a FSBO to show them your true value and win the listing?
Make it About the Homeowner
A seller knows that you have something to gain by listing their home. They assume that’s the reason you’re calling. They think you want to make money off of them by getting a commission.
Of course, that’s far from the truth. Using a professional real estate agent is a win-win for you and the homeowner. So when you approach a FSBO, focus on the benefits to the homeowner.
Before you contact anyone, really think: what does a seller gain from dealing with a Realtor®?
- Less time handling calls and showings
- A filter to keep “looky loos” from wasting time
- A better marketing plan to reach ideal buyers
- A better offering price due to the buyer’s perception of professional representation
- Better negotiating to avoid lowball offers
- Much, much more!
Practice Overcoming Objections
Think that roleplaying and practicing scripts is just for rookies? I’ve got news for you – even Roger Federer has a coach!
Professionals continue to work on their skills when they want to succeed at a higher level. So don’t push aside the idea of practicing your FSBO conversations. Whether you’ve been in the business one year or 21 years, you can always work how you approach a FSBO!
Here are some things to practice, preferably live with another person:
- Your introduction to the conversation – the first impression really matters!
- Overcoming specific objections
- Responding to new concerns regarding technology and how “easy” it is to do it yourself
- Your tone of voice throughout the conversation
- How you respond when you get frustrated by an obtuse prospect
- How and when you ask for the sale
- The best way to wrap up the conversation to avoid the prospect changing their mind
You’re never too good to practice. You can always improve, and it will pay off big time in your business!
Consider Approaching a FSBO Through the Mail
The mail? Surely you should be calling them, to get the quick decision, right?
Not necessarily. A lot of agents will be calling, and sometimes the way to stand out is to use a traditional FSBO postcard.
It’s not like you’re losing a ton of time – the postcard will be there within a day or two if you live locally. But you are gaining an upper hand. Why?
- You get contact whether or not the prospect answers the phone (or is willing to listen to a phone pitch)
- There is less competition in the mailbox than anywhere else in real estate marketing
- You avoid concerns about Do Not Call regulations
- You stand out simply by being different than those who are only calling
Of course, you can combine FSBO postcards with other marketing outreaches. But using postal mail can be a great way to get attention.
Follow Up Consistently
Careful, I didn’t say “Hound them to death until they hate you.”
Instead, keep an eye on the home and continue to follow up from time to time. Maybe one postcard a month, plus one call a month.
“A month? The listing will be long gone by then!”
Well, if it is, then they managed to sell it! Good for them. I bet they won’t try that again after seeing the hassle and headache.
The truth of the matter is that sometimes it takes a few weeks or a couple months for a FSBO to realize it’s not going to work going alone. While they’re ready for a real estate agent, they probably already have a “Not THAT one” list. And you don’t want to be on it.
Be ready when they realize it isn’t worth the headache and lowball offers. Remind them that buyers who look at FSBOs are already pitching a lower price because they know the seller isn’t paying a commission. And without negotiating skills, the seller is going to lose big time.
Don’t disappear. If you can follow up without being obnoxious, you stand a good chance of winning the listing.
How Do You Approach a FSBO?
Are you someone who avoids FSBOs because they tend to be angry about hearing from so many agents? Do you use FSBO postcards? Or do you have another tried-and-true approach that really works for you?
We’d love to know! Share in the comments now.