Despite what many realtors will say, there’s no reason that a home that is well-maintained, in a desirable neighbourhood, and priced accurately can be sold by the homeowners without the services of a realtor. Will it be sold as quickly and for the maximum amount possible (independent of the listing price?) That’s not so certain, and while the majority of homeowners will be aware of that fact there are going to be some ‘FSBOs’ who will continue to believe otherwise.
Contacting homeowners selling their home on their own is fairly standard practice for realtors in the business, and it’s true that a good many of these sellers will be persuaded to list with a realtor. But which one? You can count on these homeowners being contacted by more than one realtor, so what makes one successful while others don’t get the listing?
Here at Real Estate Leads, our online real estate lead generation system is an excellent way to give you an inside track on being first to be in touch with homeowners looking to sell their home and buyers looking to buy a home. As far as the first type of prospective client there is concerned, this fast-tracking of the meeting between you and them means you have the opportunity to sell them on the advisability of a realtor’s professional services BEFORE they make any such decision about becoming a FSBO.
That said, it’s helpful to have some tested-and-true approaches to contacting a FSBO and making a favourable impression on them. Here they are.
- Focus on Relationship Building
The long and short is that prospecting for FSBO listings is a numbers game, and even the best agents shouldn’t expect to list more than 20% of the FSBO sellers contacted. It’s essential to get past the initial contact formalities and get right to establishing the tone of your conversation. Don’t attempt to aggressively close an appointment within 5 or 10 minutes of speaking to the homeowner for the first time.
They may never intend to list with an agent, or they may be obligated to use an agent that is a family member of friend if they ever do decide to list their home through a realtor. If you take a no-pressure and more of a ‘I’m here to help if you think that’s something you’d like’ approach goes a long way and usually fosters a favourable opinion of you as a real estate professional.
- Systemize Your Follow Ups
FSBOs tend to be listed when the realtor’s approach is consistent, and systematic with their follow-up if that’s what is needed (and nine times out of 10 it is). Experienced realtors will know that many FSBO sellers won’t be ready to make a decision until at least the fifth or sixth contact. With repeated contact opportunities comes the chance for you to add value. This can be neighborhood data, a comparative market analysis, property profile information or even a pre-listing presentation.
It’s always best to call and let them know when other homes come up for sale, go under contract, and sell in their area. Have something of real value ready to be shared with them each time a follow-up contact is suitable.
- Ask Smart Qualifying Questions
These are opportunities that you most certainly don’t want to squander, so it pays to be able to ask the right questions, and ask them at the right time. It’s also important to pose them in the best manner, and never be clearly angling for the listing as part of your own interests. Here are 3 excellent questions to ask, and in the same or much the same language.
- “If I brought you a qualified buyer, would you be willing to pay me a 3% commission?” – If the answer to that is yes, you’re set up perfectly to continue to the next question.
- “How long are you prepared to try selling your home on your own before you look into other options, including listing with a real estate agent?” – As an industry tip, it’s common to cut their answer here in half. If they say 2 months, work with the understanding that they’ll be ready to list in a month. If their answer is 6 months or less, continue on to the next question.
- “If you don’t sell your home by (indicated time), what other options will you be willing to consider to sell your home?” – One of the benefits of this question is that it ensures that they don’t have a personal or family friend as a realtor and you don’t waste too much time and effort. If this prospective client is open to the possibility of interviewing agents in the future, enter them in your lead follow-up campaigns and move on to contacting the next FSBO if there is one.
Turning a FSBO into a home seller clients is a very rewarding feeling for a realtor, and once you done it for the first time it’s quite common to be very enthusiastic about taking successive cracks at it. Again, the most important part of doing this is to take an entirely ‘no pressure / here to help if you want it’ approach when discussing the matter with the homeowners.
Sign up with Real Estate Leads here and receive a monthly quota of qualified, online-generated buyer and / or seller leads that are delivered to you exclusively and for a region of any city or town in Canada that is yours alone as long as you registered with us. It’s an excellent way to supercharge your client prospecting efforts and it’s nearly impossible to see it as anything else that money well spent as part of your marketing budget.