FSBO sellers really do need your help, they just don’t realize it yet.
At first, FSBO sellers believe that selling without an agent will save them money – and that it will be easy.
You, as a professional real estate agent, know better. But you can’t just insult those FSBO sellers by telling them they have no idea what they’re getting into. If you want to gain their trust – and their listing – you need to take a gentler approach.
Start by stopping by to get acquainted. Ask if you could see the house – and ask if they’d be willing to work with you if you had a potential buyer. Then thank them for talking with you and tell them you have some free information that would be helpful to them, and ask their permission to send it.
See if they’d like the information via postal mail, or if they’d prefer email. If email is the choice, be sure to tell them who to watch for in their “from” line.
Prospecting is not a one-shot activity.
Start mailing, and don’t stop with just one or two letters. Trust is a fragile thing, and it takes time to develop. Remember that saving money may not be the homeowner’s only motivation. They may be FSBO sellers because they had a bad experience with an agent who took their listing, then forgot all about them. Their attitude toward agents may be one of negativity. It will be your job to overcome that, and show that YOU will pay attention and be responsive to their needs.
So get ready to stay in touch until they list, tell you to go away, or actually sell the house themselves. (It does happen – usually with a sale to an acquaintance.)
To get started as soon as tomorrow, use my For Sale by Owner Letter set.
The For Sale By Owner Letter Set I offer on my prospecting letters page includes two “give-away” items you can use at different stages in your relationship. The first is a “Getting Started” report. It gives hints on determining the proper price, gathering the necessary forms, taking safety precautions, etc. The second is the same kind of checklist that you’d give any seller – things to do to get the house ready for market.
The other eleven letters expand on the items listed in the getting started report. Each letter offers a little advice and perhaps a little warning. For instance, the letter that mentions the title report warns that they need to contact the title company and get this ahead of time, because sometimes unexpected clouds on the title can delay (and kill) a sale.
These FSBO letters are reader-focused – and not pushy.
While the letters do indicate your willingness to help those FSBO sellers, none of them shouts “You’re wasting your time, list with me today!” The whole point of the letters is to gain that homeowner’s trust while you show them that you DO know your business. Right now you’re paying attention to them and being helpful – and that’s a good indication of how you’ll behave should they decide to list with you.
Depending upon the time you have to devote to prospecting for FSBO’s, you can call a day or so after you’ve sent a message – just to ask if they have any questions. And if you happen to be in their neighborhood with a few minutes time to spare, you can stop in to ask how things are going.
At some point you will probably hear some uncertainty in their voice – and that might be the time to say “Would you like me to take over this chore for you?”
One thing you shouldn’t do – and you may disagree with me – is offer a market analysis before they’ve indicated a willingness to list with you.
If you have the time and like to write, you can write a FSBO prospecting letter set yourself. If not, my set of 11 letters plus the special report and checklist is only $97.
You can use it as I’ve described, AND you can use it via a capture form on your website. Put it in a sidebar, or write a whole page about selling as a FSBO. Include a little bit of advice, then offer the special report.
You might even title the page something like “Why FSBO homes sell for less than listed homes.”
If you do decide to write your own set, do make the time to write all the letters before you start using them. You know how busy life can become when you’re showing homes, listing homes, and working to get transactions to closing. If you put off writing the follow-up letters, chances are that your plans to follow up faithfully could get derailed.
Capture those homeowners before they become FSBO sellers…
If you’d like to capture those homeowners before they become FSBO sellers, use my set entitled “Why Home Sellers Need an Agent.”
In a series of 9 letters, this set outlines the many reasons why homeowners are better off using an agent. The first reason, of course, is a higher net in their pockets at closing. Others go in to the things you’ll do that they would otherwise have to do for themselves.
Use your email auto responder to offer these letters with an invitation like “Not sure whether to hire an agent? Here are points to ponder.”
Wishing you success, and dozens of good new listings!
Image courtesy of Stuart Miles |freedigitalphotos.net