You need to build a relationship…get face-to-face, ask to see their property. If you don’t have a buyer for it, tell them! If the FSBO has been trying to sell for over two weeks, they will show their home to you if you position the visit as a due diligence preview so that you can speak intelligently about the property at your next open house where you’re seeing 30-50 buyers at a time.
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Sell on their own??? How dare they!
Usually our native, gut reaction when we see a For Sale By Owner is one of resentment, disrespect or fear. It’s these feelings that get in the way when we decide to approach them to help achieve their goals.
I’ve found that taking a different approach, although may seem unnatural at first, is not only the most effective way to work with this type of lead but in the grand karmic scheme of things, the right thing to do.
5 Steps to Befriending the FSBO
1. You have to believe in your heart of hearts that you can provide value. If you truly don’t believe you can net the seller more of their equity, don’t waste your time…because you probably can’t.
3. Be Prepared. Even though you’ve scheduled a “preview with a purpose” with no intent to sign up a listing, be prepared to show the owner how you sell homes. Over half of them will ask! Create a one-sheet with your track record, list-to-sale-price ratio etc.
4. Always Agree. A first meeting with a FSBO is not the time to get into a debate about price, staging etc. This is where 90% of all agents fail. You need to build trust and rapport. If you attack at first sight, the FSBO will react emotionally and you’ll immediately become the adversary. Praise them for all they have done right…even if it’s a simple as turning on the lights! Never address pricing on a first meeting…if they are serious about getting a second opinion about price, schedule a second meeting.
5. Provide Value. Yes…crazy thought isn’t it? Because we typically think of a FSBO as a competitor (vs. lost sheep), we’re reluctant to help until a listing contract is signed. I challenge you to offer value BEFORE you officially work for them. Do they have a video posted on Zillow? Can you offer insight on recent competitive sales that haven’t closed yet? Is there an easy marketing tip you can share? These go a long way towards building trust and rapport!
Ultimately, none of the above will matter if you don’t execute the proper follow up. This is usually a long-term sales cycle that isn’t converted on the first or second meeting. It can take several months…hang in there! If you stay in touch with these folks and keep providing value on a consistent basis, you will separate yourself from others merely “looking for a listing”.
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