How to engage an FSBO

FSBO sellers reject you. Remember, they prefer not to use your services. But if you maintain a stable, professional relationship, offer help and stay in touch for four to five weeks, you will usually be able to win an interview. From there is a listing.

Increase your odds of success by taking these two precautions:

1. Limit the number of FSBOs you grow. Focus only on the best clients.

2. Avoid low-motivation prospects or unrealistically high price expectations. These sellers are usually the most toxic and all too often they will try to remove their frustrations over you.

FSBOs are basically turning into a lead-up game. You must personally and regularly contact your FSBO prospects to discover their motivation and qualifications, book a face-to-face meeting, disqualify prospects as needed, provide regular service and communications, and schedule a presentation appointment. Then repeat the service and communication steps several times a week until the listing is in hand.

To make personal contact, start by asking the FSBO seller if you can come by and see the home. You can ask them in a couple of different ways. You can explain that you want to keep up with the regional housing stock; you can say that you partner with buyers who may be interested; you can present yourself as a potential investor; when you can, you can use the “reverse-no” technique. The following are examples of scripts for each procedure.

Script to keep track of inventory:

“Mr. Seller, your home is in my core area for sale. Because it is, I would like to come by and preview your home. Would there be time for __________ or __________ to do that week?”

Script for collaboration with the potential buyer:

“Ms. Seller, I understand you are selling your home on your own. Let me ask you this: Do you work with real estate agents? What I mean is if a realtor brought you a qualified buyer at a nice price for you, would you be willing to pay a partial commission?

We are partnering with a few buyers for your area that we have not yet been able to place. May I get past __________ or __________ later this week to see your home? “

When using the above approach, you should understand that you are not interested in reducing your commission. What you are really trying to do is obtain a face-to-face deal to gather more information about their salesperson’s motivation to determine the likelihood of securing a listing in the future.

Script for a potential investor:

“Mr. Seller, your home is located in a solid real estate investment area. I was wondering if I could come by to see your home as a principle for any purchase and see if it is a property that meets my investment needs. Would __________ or __________ be better for you? “

When using the above approach, you should realize that the key phrase is investment needs. You rarely find an FSBO that meets your investment needs. My personal investment need is a home that can be purchased at a 70% discount below fair value. Most FSBOs try to sell their homes at 110% of the fair value. This technique gets you in the door to see the home and talk to them.

Script for a reverse no:

“Madam salesman, would you be offended if I came by to take a quick look at your home?”

The reverse-no technique can be used with any script. It utilizes the normal reflexive human response of “no” to achieve a positive response. It opens the door for you to then set an appointment.

FSBO Survey Script

Hi, this is __________ from __________. I’m looking for the owner of the house for sale.

Your home is in my core area. I am doing a quick survey of the FSBOs in this area. May I take a few minutes to ask you some questions?

The ad in the newspaper said you had _____ bedrooms and _____ bathrooms.

1. Do you have a two-level or one-level home?

2. Are all bedrooms on the same floor?

3. Are they good sized rooms?

4. What is the state of the kitchen?

5. Are the bathrooms in good condition?

6. Can you describe your farm to me?

7. Is there anything else you feel I should know?

8. It sounds like you have a good home; how long have you lived there?

9. Why are you selling at this time?

10. Where do you hope to move to now?

11. What is your timeframe for getting there?

12. How did you happen to choose the area you want to move to?

13. How did you determine your original home price?

14. What techniques do you use to expose and market your home?

15. Do you realize that over 86% of property buyers start on the Internet now?

16. If there was a clear benefit to you by using me to market and expose your home and it cost you very little, would you consider it?

17. Let’s simplify. Set a time to meet for fifteen to twenty minutes so I can see your home and understand your goals. I have time available __________, or would __________ be better for you?

Building relationships

FSBO relationships are built over time. By introducing yourself to the owners the first weekend, announcing their FSBO, before the masses start calling on Monday, you make a great connection. By sending them tools, educational materials, free reports, and forms, you become an ally. By taking an interest in them and their situation, you create a solid connection that in many cases pays off when the owners decide to go with an agent they know and trust – preferably you.

In the course of building a relationship with the owners, you will be able to make them understand that with every real estate transaction, a commission is paid. Ultimately, FSBO sellers do not “save” the commission. Rather, they try to earn commission by performing an agent job. In doing so, they spend their money and time executing an agent as far as they can. These tasks include postponing the home through marketing, presenting the home to buyers, building a sense of buyers’ urgent speed to get a quote, scheduling home checks, managing lender qualification checks, monitoring repairs and facilitating closing.

Not only is there a huge amount of work involved in earning a real estate commission, but FSBO owners inadvertently let buyers basically steal the commission through deals that are underpriced. The people who trade FSBOs do not do it for their health. They want to ensure a low price and a high starting capital position. In the process, they set out to “earn” the commission and often do so.

By building a relationship over time, you demonstrate your value to the FSBO seller. Always remember, whether you are working with FSBOS or expiring, your goal is simply to be one of the two, three or four agents that the owner will interview when the time comes. You just want the opportunity to compete and make your presentation.