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The #1 FSBO Tip That You Have Not Heard Yet

The #1 FSBO Tip That You Have Not Heard Yet

I’m going to let you in on a little FSBO secret.

In fact, I’m going to tell you the #1 thing you can do (that you haven’t been told already) to convert FSBOs into clients.

You’re going to want to write this down somewhere.

Here it is:

Give them what they want.

Now before you start yelling “I’m already trying to do that,” let me assure you that you are not giving them what they actually want, otherwise they’d be flocking to you, right?

You are giving them what you want – to try and get them to list with you.

So what does a FSBO want?

If you answered, “to sell their home,” you answered wrong.

Sure, selling their home is the end goal, but there is more to it than that. Maybe you said,

“Get the most equity as possible” or
“Sell it quickly” or
“Sell it for top dollar”

Those are all part of the end goal too, but those are not completely right because its not what the FSBO really wants, because a FSBO thinks they can do all of that without you.

Here is what a FSBO really wants to do: Sell their home by themselves.

That’s it. Pretty simple.

They feel they can do it alone and get the top dollar.

They don’t think they need an agent to:

Price their home properly
Market their home properly
Execute a successful open house
Bring in the right type of buyer
Negotiate offers and manage contracts
[insert any “selling point” you give to a FSBO over the phone]

Agents know that a homeowner can’t do all this effectively and efficiently, otherwise 2 million agents wouldn’t be employed, but some homeowners need to learn by experience.

You can call and call and call in attempt to convince them of your value, but most of them will not believe you, at least not at first.

You can send email after email with articles explaining how listing as FSBO is a mistake, but most of them will not believe you, at least not at first.

You can give client testimonials from FSBOs that couldn’t make it alone and but eventually listed with you and sold their home for top dollar, but most of them will not believe you, at least not at first.

The truth is, most FSBOs will eventually list with an agent, but not at first. Not until after they have tried it alone and realized how much time and energy it takes to sell without an agent. Who they eventually list with, however, is up for grabs. They will most likely list with an agent they trust and they have built a relationship with.

You can build that relationship and trust by giving them what they want: show them how to sell their home alone.

You are a real estate professional. Nobody is better suited to show them how to sell their home alone than you.

For a short moment, put yourself in the shoes of a homeowner trying to sell their home as a FSBO.

You have a new job in a city too far to commute. As stressful as it is to move your family, its something that has to be done.

A friend told you that a real estate agent is too expensive and to sell your home alone because their “neighbor had a friend that had multiple offers in few days without an agent.”

Since listing it on Craiglist, you get 10-15 calls each day from real estate agents, all promising ” I have the best marketing plan” and “I can sell your home for top dollar,” or even occasionally hearing “I may have a buyer, but I need to see your home first,” only for the agent to come and try to list your home.

Upset with all the calls from agents telling you its too hard and you can’t do it, you finally close off the idea of using an agent and are determined to do it alone.

We all know that moving a family and selling a home can be stressful. And because of that, most FSBOs eventually list with an agent. But when a homeowner gets call after call from agents telling them its too hard and they need to list their home with an agent, their frustration only compounds.

Imaging how refreshing it might be to a homeowner to receive this simple text:

“Hi, I saw your home is for sale. I found an article that might help you give some pointers (link). I’ve been a Realtor for 20 years, and I can confirm that most of those tips really help, especially #9. Give me a call if you need any other pointers on how to sell your home alone. I’m happy to give some guidance.”

Every homeowner is going to welcome that sort of helpful text message or phone call, especially after the bombardment of calls from agents trying to list their home.

Follow up that initial call or text with a few more calls or text messages to give more tips and advice, or maybe just to say hi. Eventually, stop in and introduce yourself, check on their progress and build a personal, meaningful relationship. Show that you care about them by investing in a relationship and not asking to list their home.

Investing in a relationship will go further than any other form of advertising.

When it comes time for that homeowner to give up and finally pick an agent, what agent do you think they will contact?

A random agent? No way.
The agent that has been pestering for a month them about listing their home? Doubt it.
A friend that happens to be an agent? Maybe, but if they do, no other agent stood a chance anyway.
You, the only agent that was helping them sell their home alone? I’d take that bet to Vegas any day.

Worst case scenario, they actually sell their home, which statistics show most will not. But even if they sell it, what are the chances that homeowner gives you a quality referral down the road when a family member or friend asks if they know a real estate agent? Pretty darn high.

Negotiating, CMAs, or contract work, however, is technical work that you only perform for clients, but homeowners will understand that. Giving marketing advice and guidance, such as how to stage their home or tips on a good open house, is the most valuable thing you can give to a FSBO. After all, you are the pro.

If you want to separate yourself from all the agents trying to pick the low hanging fruit and just get an easy listing (because that is exactly how FSBOs really feel about agents calling them), you need to build a deep, meaningful relationship with the homeowner in order to have their trust. You do that by helping them and giving them advice that you have learned by years of experience.

So what is the #1 way to attract FSBOs? Give them what they want.

Landvoice solutions offer subscription services to get you over the hump from calling expired listings to doing business entirely from happy client referrals. Bundle subscriptions and save—not only time, but money. Landvoice is the one provider you need that offers services like Neighborhood Search and Call Capture, which generate leads, to effortlessly supply you with expired MLS leads and FSBO leads right to your inbox. Choose Landvoice and you’ll save valuable time that you can dedicate to taking your business to the next level.

Chett Coombs

As the Director or Marketing for Landvoice, Chett oversees marketing automation, website optimization, email campaigns, social media management, content marketing, and everything in between. When he isn't working, Chett spends time with his wife and 4 daughters, ages 7, 5, 3, and 1. If he has any spare time (whatever that is), he would prefer to spend it in the outdoors, watching college football, or playing sports.

This Post Has 15 Comments
  1. Nice approach. Come from contribution. Any great articles/links you suggest? I know there are thousands out there.

    1. Dakota,

      Thanks for the response. Yes, there are thousands out there. Most will provide the same information. The best idea would be to write a blog post on your website. That way you have a little more control over the message and establish yourself as an expert.

    2. I hate to tell you but you lost the bet here! I saw a neighbor trying to sell their house alone (horrible little handwritten sign and all). My approach was friendly, told them I was a neighbor and knew the area well if there was anything I could do. Did NOT pull out any of the “listing” scripts and lost the listing to a local agent who uses scripts, telemarkets, the whole ball of wax that everyone says they hate but that continues to work!

      So I obviously felt the same way as you and had the idea myself but it didn’t work. Doesn’t mean I won’t try it again but people should know it isn’t some magic bullet nor something no one’s ever thought of before.

      1. Miriam,

        Thanks for joining the discussion! You are absolutely right, no script or approach is a “silver bullet.” (but if you find one, let me know and we’ll go into business together!) The key with this approach, like any other, persistence and follow up. Once you start providing value, you have an automatic foot-in-the-door. Actually, many Landvoice agents will offer FSBOs Call Capture as added value and a foot-in-the-door service right from the start. Just make sure you are following up (as often as each day) until they either 1. Ask to work with you or 2. You feel its time to offer your services. The key principle is to lead with providing value. There is nothing wrong with asking for the listing after you have established yourself as the local expert. Each homeowner is different. You will know how to treat each one. After all, you are the professional.

    1. Thanks for your reply, Natalie! You can easily find some articles with a quick Google search. There are a ton! We could list a few, but every market is different and I think it’s important that you find an article with the right type of advice for market you are serving. Plus you may or may not agree with all the tips in every article. Or better yet, why not write a few articles yourself? An article such as “10 things you MUST do to sell your home without a realtor in the _____ area” could give you some great organic traffic. Let us know how it goes. 🙂

  2. I just closed a former FSBO yesterday, June 1st I won by using this approach. I offered to hold an open house for them(multiple sibling owners), without ever saying a word about listing the home. When asked for 3%, plus any leads that showed up be mine, they agreed. I did the open house, 2 people show up. That was when the owners surrendered and let me, the ONLY agent who stopped at the home and offered to help them(their words). They told me they had countless calls from agents, all with similar scripts, etc, and they were not impressed with all the calls. But, in the end, they chose the one that really tried to help them sell it. I have another FSBO still on the market-same approach, that I listed about 10 days after the one above. It does work.

    1. Jim, that is amazing! All too often we hear from agents, “I’m not going to help someone for free!” The reality is that by offering some help and showing how much value you can provide is the best way to build trust. Keep up the great work!

    2. Quick question- what do you do if an agent brings a buyer to the open house? I love this idea and am trying to think of all possible senarios.

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