Homeowners who attempt to sell their homes on their own (FSBOs) may seem like lost causes. They often have many objections to listing with an agent, with the forerunner being the cost of commission is too high. Truthfully though, they are an underestimated potential client base, and converting FSBOs to clients could just push you over your sales goals this year.
It is difficult to build a relationship with someone who wants nothing to do with your services, but that needs to be your focus. FSBOs will not be easy to recruit, so building a meaningful, trusting relationship with them over time is your best bet to successfully convert them to a client. Follow the tips below in order to learn how to foster these necessary relationships, and eventually make them profitable.
Show Your Value
Many FSBOs believe that the cost of an agent’s commission is just not something they can afford. So, you need to prove to them that your help is something they truly can not afford to lose. In order to prove this, offer free services to them that are helpful when trying to sell your home. I know, this probably does not sound overly appealing, but offering some free advice could have a huge payoff.
Listed below are a couple tools you could offer them when trying to get their attention:
- Provide a basic CMA
- Bring them mandatory paperwork like a seller disclosure form
- Advise on where to get marketing materials
- Refer a photographer
All of these options are very low cost and time commitment on your part. So by providing them to a FSBO, you show how valuable your help would be in selling their home for a price they will be happy with, without inconveniencing you too heavily.
Follow Up Frequently
Persistence is key when it comes to FSBOs. You need to stay at the forefront of their mind so when they decide to list with an agent (as a majority of FSBOs do) they will contact you first. It is easy to get discouraged early with FSBOs especially if they are rude, or you begin to feel like you are begging for their business. This is the time to persevere though if you ever expect tangible results from FSBOs.
Stay in front of your FSBO leads. Schedule out reminders to call them, send a text message, shoot them an email, or stop by their open house if they have one. Keep all channels of communication open so when they decide to reach out, they know you are more than willing to represent them.
Have a Specialized FSBO Package
As stated previously, the primary reason FSBOs do not list with an agent is because they do not want to pay the commission of one. So, when trying to convert FSBOs to clients, consider making a service package that addresses that issue. Create a FSBO listing plan with a deeply discounted commission fee. Discounting your services is not something any agent wants to do, but FSBO listings can provide you with the listing leads, and buyer leads that you need to continue to be able to grow your profits every year.
An example plan would be as follows:
- Full service listing on the MLS for $500, and a $350 transaction fee, both paid at closing.
- Seller pays a buyer’s agent between 2.5% and 3% commission.
- Offer to credit a percentage of the fees they are paying if they list with you when they are buying a new home.
Remember that as an agent you must perform a minimum set of responsibilities, but you do not have to go above and beyond that. Now I know that may not be the approach you want to take with your clients, but it is acceptable if you are offering a drastically reduced price for your services.
Provide Them With Info On How to Sell Their Home Alone
Providing a FSBO with information that would be useful for them to sell their home on their own gives them an idea of how truly involved a real estate sale is. Especially if they wish to obtain the true market value of their home. According to the National Association of Realtors the typical FSBO sold for $80,000 less than an agent assisted home sale. So when a FSBO decides that paying an agent commission is worth them getting their asking price, the agent who was helpful and provided advice before they became a client, will be the first person they call.
Provide materials to them like articles on how to sell as a FSBO, or offer a free 15 minute consultation call. Either way the effort you put in on the forefront will be rewarded if you are consistent with contacting new FSBOs you find.