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FSBO Is Untapped Market For Realtors

With For Sale By Owner (FSBO) real estate becoming a more popular avenue for many people wanting to sell their property, most realtors and real estate agents see independent FSBO as competitors.  They should be reminded of a National Association of Realtors (NAR) study that showed 84-percent of all private sellers end up working with a realtor, and 70-percent work with the first real estate agent that contacts them after they make their decision to list with a professional. 

For some reason agents generally view FSBO as a very tough market to crack when in fact it is one of the most lucrative markets in real estate.  It’s blatantly clear!  Many realtors and agents have invested too much time and energy in sorting through potential sellers to find the precious few that have a need to sell.  With FSBO, you know that these independent sellers, its just a matter of winning them over to professional assistance by establishing an effective relationship.  Some of the best producers in real estate have accomplished their high sales by realizing this.         

Renowned real estate broker, Jim Remley, who is a widely respected speaker, author, consultant, and educator on real estate, offers a few tips in communicating effectively with FSBO sellers.  Remley had identified three strategies that can be employed to further improve your probability of converting a FSBO listing.  His tips have been summarized from an article he wrote for Realty Times.     

1. Cooperating Agent Approachis perhaps the simplest, fastest way to contact a large number of private sellers in a short period of time.  By using this simple system, you can take the first step towards building a relationship with a private seller that may lead to a listing.  A phone call with the following script best exemplifies this approach:

Hello, my name is Agent Name.  I'm with Company Name. I noticed your ad/sign.  First I want to tell you that I'm not calling to ask for a listing today, and I respect your decision to sell on your own.  But I do have a quick question.  If I had a buyer that would fit your home would there be a possibility that I could show the property?  

Great, may I stop by and preview the home Monday or would Tuesday be more convenient? 

With this approach, you will immediately take down the seller’s defense with your early statement of not having any intention in asking for a listing, and respecting their decision to sell on their own.  This generally will allow the seller to at least hear you out.  If the seller has agreed to allow you to show their property to a potential buyer, then you can now set up an appointment to view their home.  With that, you are at least on first base.  Over the course of the next few weeks, you must make the most of your opportunity in building a strong rapport with the seller.  You can provide them with sellers with financing sheets for their home, providing sellers with financing sheets for their home, etc.  Be honest and transparent with them to show the benefits of professional service.   

2. Relocation Approachthis approach is reserved for that slightly tougher private seller, you know, the ones with FSBO signs stating “No Agents!” or “Principles Only!”  The relocation approach focuses on offering the seller your relocation service to help them find their next home.  The following script gives you an idea on how this approach operates: 

Hello, my name is Agent Name. I'm with Company Name. I noticed your ad/sign. First I want to tell you that I'm not calling to ask for a listing, and I respect your decision to sell on your own. But I do have a quick question: When you sell your home will you be staying local or moving out of the area?

I have access to hundreds of homes through our MLS system. Would you like a list of some homes that may fit your needs?

My company has a national referral and relocation program to help folks like you relocate to other areas of the country. Would you like some free relocation information on where you're moving?

Great, I can drop that information off Wednesday or would Thursday be more convenient? Morning or afternoon?"

This effectiveness in this approach lies in the fact that you are calling with no intention of calling for a listing, rather you are calling to offer help for relocation purposes.  Using this approach may help you to build a relationship with the private seller, and you may be the only person who has a relationship with them when they do decide to use a professional.  This approach gives you a way to lead with the sellers need and offer them something of value before you ask them for anything in return. 

3. The Helping Hand Approachis reserved for the toughest private seller.  The strategy in this approach is to assist the person sell his home.  That’s right, you heard correctly, even though it may go against the actual objective of getting his listing.  By helping the seller, you will build a strong relationship with them, which may be beneficial if they prove unsuccessful in selling on their own.  At the very least, you have established a connection who may serve as a prospective client in the future.  Here is a sample script for this approach:         

Hello, my name is Agent Name. I'm with Company Name. I noticed your ad/sign. First I want to tell you that I'm not calling to ask for a listing, and I respect your decision to sell on your own. But I do have a quick question: My company has put together a free For-sale-by-owner kit for people selling on their own. It's a free service that we offer to every private seller in the community. It includes...

Have you received your free kit yet? I'll be in your neighborhood later this afternoon, or tomorrow morning when would be a good time to drop off your free kit?

For this approach, you will require an actual FSBO kit to give the seller.  Most offices should feature these kits on their website.  Even if the owner successfully sells his home, you will at least feel satisfied for them and for the work you did, which was not that much really.  With that work, it could really pay of big time if the seller eventually enlists your services, plus you’ve made a connection that could be advantageous in the future.