Landing a FSBO (For Sale By Owner) listing can be a challenging but rewarding endeavor for real estate agents. Here's a detailed approach to help you seal the deal:
1. Identifying FSBO Listings
Online Platforms: Regularly browse websites like Craigslist, Zillow, and local online classifieds where homeowners might list their properties.
Drive Around: Look for FSBO signs in your target neighborhoods.
Social Media & Networking: Leverage social media platforms and your network for any leads on FSBO listings.
Data Vendors: Many data re-sellers and CRMs, such as Scout offer regional FSBO lists. These vendors will usually provide the option to enrich addresses with contacts details to help you speed up the process.
2. Research and Data Gathering
Property Details: Note down details like location, size, price, and condition of the property. Most of this information should already be included in the listing, but you can also use public data sources, as well.
Market Analysis / Home Value: Conduct a comparative market analysis (CMA) to understand the property's value in the current market. It's always good to have a few different valuations to present. If you're using the Scout platform, adding a few of these valuations is easy.
Seller Motivation: Try to find out why the owner is opting for FSBO. This could be financial reasons, past bad experiences with agents, or a desire for control and often the most important part of landing a FSBO listing.
3. Initial Outreach
Approach with Empathy: Acknowledge their effort to sell on their own.
Initial Email Scripts: If you're uncomfortable with a phone call as the first touch, an email can be a great way to break the ice. Warming up a cold lead with an email creates familiarity with your name, services, provides a reference point for the first conversation, and makes outreach feel targeted and diligent, rather than cold, or impersonal.
Sample email script:
Scout has many different FSBO templates for email outreach, but you can always start with something similar to the one below:
Hello [Owner's Name],
I came across your home at [Address] and I admire your decision to sell it on your own. As someone who's worked in the [neighborhood] for [X] years, I do try to make it a point to learn about new listings on the market each week. My team and I speak with new buyers everyday and it would be great to be able to speak more intelligently before presenting it as an option to them. Would you be open to a brief chat?
Make sure to follow up a few times (most sales insights say that it often takes up to 7 tries to get a reply!) to maximize your chances.
Sample phone script:
If an email has already been sent, it's easy to jump on a call with your prospect. All you need to do is lead in with "Hi [First Name], it's [Your Name]. I actually just wanted to follow up on the email I had sent the other day, this isn't a bad time, is it?"
Once you have your first consent to proceed, the rest of the conversation should flow easily! There are many different angles that you can take, like the ones below:
1. The Compliment Approach
Opening Line: "I was impressed by how well you've presented your home in the listing; it really stands out in the neighborhood."
Effectiveness: Compliments make the owner feel proud and recognized, opening the door for a more receptive conversation.
2. The Market Expert Approach
Opening Line: "I've been analyzing market trends in [Area], and your property has some unique aspects that caught my eye."
Effectiveness: Positions you as an expert, making the owner curious about your professional insights.
3. The Curiosity Approach
Opening Line: "I noticed your FSBO listing and I'm curious, what's the story behind deciding to sell it yourself?"
Effectiveness: Engages the owner in a personal conversation, showing genuine interest in their decision.
4. The Resourceful Helper Approach
Opening Line: "I came across your listing and thought you might find this recent report on local home sales trends useful."
Effectiveness: Offers immediate value, establishing trust and opening the door for further discussions.
5. The Empathetic Neighbor Approach
Opening Line: "As someone who's worked extensively in [Area], I understand the unique challenges and opportunities here. How has your selling experience been so far?"
Effectiveness: Shows empathy and local expertise, making the owner feel supported and understood.
6. The Challenge Solver Approach
Opening Line: "Selling a home on your own can be quite challenging. What's been the biggest hurdle for you in this process?"
Effectiveness: Identifies pain points that you can address, positioning yourself as a problem-solver.
7. The Casual Conversation Approach
Opening Line: "I was driving through [Area] and saw your FSBO sign. I'm always curious to hear homeowners' stories. What led you to sell your home?"
Effectiveness: Initiates a relaxed, non-salesy conversation, making the owner more comfortable.
8. The Specific Inquiry Approach
Opening Line: "Your home's [specific feature] really caught my eye. It's quite unique for the area, isn't it?"
Effectiveness: Shows that you have paid attention to details, flattering the owner and sparking interest.
9. The Supportive Advisor Approach
Opening Line: "I respect your decision to go FSBO; it's a bold move. I'm here to offer any guidance or answer questions you might have about the process."
Effectiveness: Presents you as a supportive advisor rather than a salesperson, building trust and rapport.
And, if you need any more scripts, just head over to the Playground and Scout can create a brand new one, based on any type of approach or background information that you might have!
4. Building a Relationship
Provide Value First: Offer market insights, staging tips, or a free property valuation.
Listen Actively: Understand their goals and challenges.
Follow-Up: Be consistent but not pushy in your communication.
5. Sales Techniques
Educate on Challenges: Gently highlight the difficulties of FSBO, like legal complexities, negotiation challenges, and the time commitment required.
Showcase Your Value: Explain how you can get them a better deal, handle paperwork, provide marketing, and bring qualified buyers.
Testimonials: Share success stories of past clients, especially those who initially tried FSBO.
6. Presenting Your Services
Customized Proposal: Based on your understanding of their needs, present a tailored plan on how you can help.
Commission Justification: Explain how your commission is an investment in getting a higher sale price and a hassle-free process.
7. Closing the Deal
Professionalism and Patience: Maintain a balance between being assertive and respectful of their decision-making process.
Negotiation: Be open to negotiating your commission or services to close the deal.
Maintain Communication: Regular updates and transparency are key.
Ask for Referrals: Satisfied clients are great sources for future business.
9. Continued Learning and Adaptation
Reflect on Each Experience: Learn from each interaction to improve your approach.
Stay Informed: Keep up with real estate trends and best practices.
Attend Workshops: Enhance your skills in sales, negotiation, and real estate laws.
Use CRM Tools: Manage leads and follow-ups efficiently.
By following these steps, real estate agents can effectively engage with FSBO sellers, demonstrate their value, and successfully convert these listings into agency sales. Remember, persistence and professionalism are key in building trust with FSBO sellers.
If you're ready to start your outreach, just head over to Scout to get any of the data or tools you need to make securing your FSBOs a breeze.