There are many people in the world who believe selling a home is easy. This idea tends to increase as we swing more towards a seller’s market. When homes are selling quickly, homeowners believe they will have no problem selling their home themselves. The truth is they are doing themselves a disservice. While their home may sell, they typically accept an offer that is far less than they would have received had they listed it by a professional. One of the key factors to getting the most money and best terms possible for a home is having a strong advertising campaign to maximizing its exposure.
When approaching For Sale By Owner homes, it is important to understand what they are thinking. If you approach them by telling them that they are making a bad choice, you risk offending them. The best approach with these sellers is to offer direct value. Always make sure to check the ‘do not call’ registry before doing unsolicited outbound calling. Here is an example conversation to work on landing a FSBO seller.
Shawn: Hello, may I speak with Mike? (Always use first name to drop formality and reduce your risk of being seen as a telemarketer.)
Shawn: Hi Mike! This is Shawn Moloney over at Movementum Realty. I noticed that you are selling your home. I am calling today to find out if you are willing to work with a buyer’s agent, if they can bring you a buyer. I have several buyer clients that are at this price point and I would love to come preview your home.
Mike: Shawn, I would be happy to have you come see my home. When you get here we can talk about the details.
At this point you then prepare some information for the seller, even though they are selling on their own. Local market statistics, guides on selling a home, or any other high value content you have would suffice.
Shawn: Hi Mike, it is great to meet you. Would you take me for the grand tour?
Mike: Sounds great! Let me show you around. (As you walk around be sure to ask questions. Find out why they are selling, what do they love about their home, where they are going, and anything else you can learn about them and their home.)
Shawn: Mike, I really like what you did with the kitchen. When did you have that redone?
Mike: We had that redone about 5 years ago.
Shawn: They did a really nice job. Thank you so much for letting me tour your home. I am excited to talk with my buyers about this home. I wanted to briefly talk to you about working with a buyer’s agent. I am happy to show your home for x% commission and only represent the buyer. I also can offer to handle both sides if my buyers like the property for a large discount, since I did not market the home. I am only offering this because I know there is still a lot of work between here and the day of the sale.
Mike: Well Shawn, as you know I am working to sell it myself but I would be interested in you bringing your buyers to see it. Would you be willing to accept x% commission? (At this time you must decide if: 1. Your brokerage is ok with it 2. If you are ok with the offering. If not, do not be afraid to negotiate and remember everything goes in writing. You can make a listing agreement good for only that one buyer that states your commission. If it is not in writing you will have little support if the seller renegotiates on the deal.)
Shawn: Mike, that sounds great. I will prepare the paperwork and be in touch to set up a time with you to show my buyers the home.
This deal is now an opportunity for you to earn a commission and another listing to show your client. Do not worry if your client does not like it. Now is the time to talk with Mike again and bring up taking on the listing. You can let him know that you would love to help in the sale of his home. Another offering that helps add value to a FSBO is to offer to host an open house. You can mention that you will only work with the buyer the way you did in the script above.
If you get lucky, the seller will let you sell the listing since they have seen you in action and know you are working to sell their home. Keep giving them bits of useful information until they either sell it themselves or list it with you. You can send things like market reports, recent local sales, and guides that will help you build a great relationship.
Keep in mind just because they sold FSBO does not mean they would not use you as a buyer’s agent, if you keep in touch with them. Always keep checking on them until you see the house sell. This is just one of many methods to convert an FSBO into a listing agreement.