How to Get FSBOs to List With You

5 Good Reasons Why a FSBO Should List With You

how to's selling tips Aug 17, 2020


Are listings in your area almost impossible to come by?


Like, you have dozens of eager buyers in your back pocket, writing contracts left and right for just about any home they can afford and yet… Nothing? No dice? Not a chance? Your foot’s not even in the door thanks to cash offers and absurd escalation clauses.


If your town is anything like mine, then you desperately NEED listings. I mean, I’m looking at the hot sheet right now and it shows 55 properties listed and 52 pending. Now, I live in a pretty small town so those numbers may sound small to you (and trust me, they are for me too. Last year around this time the numbers were double and triple what they are today) but since March we’ve had thousands of buyers flock here in search of safety from the pandemic. Our market just can’t keep up with the buyer demand, forcing us realtors to scramble for listings. 


And I know you’re thinking, “But, Nicole, how am I supposed to get listings if no one in my area is willing to sell?”


So glad you asked! 


A great way to score some listings is to convince a few FSBO sellers to hop on board with you.


And I know this is no easy feat, but I have 5 good reasons why a FSBO should list with you in a seller’s market that you can use as selling points when speaking to them. 


1. Representation


As you already know, agents represent the seller. We go to bat for them, negotiate on their behalf and follow fiduciary duties to both the sellers and fellow agents. But, most importantly, most FSBOs have never sold a home on their own before. This poses plenty of complications and concerns that can (and will) arise in the transaction.


A few great “paint-the-picture” kind of questions you can ask them are: 

    • “Have you ever sold a home on your own before?”
    • {if yes} “Well great! Can you tell me about any complications or hiccups you experienced in that transaction?”
    • {if no} Great! Well, I’m sure you’ve already done your research, but did you know there are several legalities which could arise during a transaction? (Here’s your opportunity to explain about issues that could happen with an inspection, appraisal and due diligence items that would need a realtor’s professional guidance)
    • Did you also know that time is of the essence? Meaning, if you don’t meet deadlines or follow due diligence or operate in a timely manner, the deal will be killed, and that really concerns me because I know how busy life can get.
    • How did you figure the price you’ve decided on? Have you done the research to know the actual value of your property? Do you know what homes like yours are going for and how long they’re sitting on the market?
    • Do you have any experience with writing out a real estate purchase contract and know all the terminology and legality involved?
    • Do you know that real estate contracts are binding, legal documents that need to be handled with care and a level of professionalism?


These questions are what I consider, “selling, not telling” pointers - open ended questions which convince clients and sellers to arrive to the conclusion on their own that - hey, they actually do need you after all!


2. Despite what they think, you actually can net them more money


As an agent, we think #1 (Representation) is the #1 thing, but for FSBO sellers, this is actually the #1 thing (following me?) 


The motivation for FSBO sellers always comes down to the bottom line - their net. Of course, there are many ways in which we can net them more money and every agent has their secret tricks and ways they market to bring a better price - whether that be by raising the purchase price or lowering your commission. But, if you’re not exactly apt to either of those suggestions, you can always try mentioning these:


  • Exposure - Mention how having access to the MLS actually gives you a huge advantage because every realtor in the area would be able to see your property and share it with their buyers. Plus, it syndicates to over 300 sites, including big wigs like Zillow,, and Tulia, increasing the likelihood a better buyer will come across your home who is willing to pay more for it.
  • Rapid Results - Odds are, you probably already have a buyer for their property before it even hits the market. And if not, you probably already know other agents who do, resulting in a wild bidding war and more cha-ching in their pocket at the closing table. 
  • Negotiation Skills - With your expertise, you can readily negotiate for less closing costs and needs from the buyer, meaning less out-of-pocket cash spent by the seller.

3. Your knowledge of the market


With years of experience and dozens to hundreds of properties sold, you are the expert here! Having a sound understanding of the inner workings of the market is important for a few reasons:


  • You know how to price property. You have the skills, experience and resources available to properly evaluate a home on its actual market value. The price you suggest IS the price it will sell for based on your knowledge of the market.
  • You know the estimated time it will sit on the market for. You’ve seen homes just like theirs, you know how long they sit before receiving an offer, and you have the data to back it.
  • You know what buyers want. You know that buyers don’t like clutter or family pictures all over the walls. You know they don’t like unkept yards or peeling paint. You know they expect the home to be “showing ready” when they arrive. And you know how to tactfully communicate to the seller the changes they need to make in order to sell their home for top dollar.


4. Marketing


As we all know, listing your property on the MLS just isn’t enough anymore with out-of-town buyers flooding the market and modern advertising taking over outdated and inefficient practices. It’s important to convey to these FSBO sellers exactly how you intend to market their home to target an ideal buyer and what makes your strategies better than your competitors. Maybe you have a great stager, or you have the best photographer or videographer in town, or you send out mailers and ads on Facebook. Tout whatever tricks you have up your sleeve that others don’t or wouldn’t do.

5. You do this every day


 It’s important to note that you do this every day. Afterall, putting the buyer and seller together is your specialty. But, more than that, you’re the expert at facilitating the sale from start to finish… and, you do it full-time.


You have all the resources available. You field the calls and set appointments, provide a lock-box, hold the house open, have errors and omissions insurance (just in case), you have the tools to send documents electronically, and you work with dozens of qualified professionals in different fields to help along every step of the way. 


While these things are a part of your job description and seemingly come natural to you, they are HUGE pains for the seller. They can’t exactly drop everything to show their home, they don’t have the time to learn every ethic and code, and they don’t have the experience and knowledge that you have to properly facilitate the deal on their own.


They need you! And it’s your job to convey that in a way they will A) respond well B) appreciate and C) feel inspired to list with you and trust that you can deliver exactly what you’ve promised.



It really is that simple.


Go get em' tiger




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