For some real estate agents, For Sale By Owner (FSBO) properties can be challenging to prospect. For others, it’s an opportunity. In fact, this can become a very lucrative niche for those willing to get to work for their next listing.
The reason that sellers opt for FSBO listings is often because they think they can earn more money, eliminating the commission from listing with a brokerage. Maybe these sellers have had a bad experience with an agent or broker in the past, and simply don’t trust the process. No matter what their reasons may be, more and more sellers think they can sell their home successfully on their own. But it is your job, as the expert, to show them otherwise.
With the rise of social media, especially in this industry, as well as the many listing websites that allow FSBO listings, it’s becoming even more common for sellers to list their own properties. However, you can use these technology and social media advancements to benefit your business, gaining more clients and listing in the process. Whether you’re experienced with prospecting FSBO listings, or if you’re looking to take on this real estate niche, here are some tips for finding—and winning—FSBO listings.
Do your research
Though there are many ways to prospect FSBO listings—drive around town, check the classified listings, visit a FSBO listing site—social media is a growing platform for these sellers to promote their homes. Facebook Marketplace is a great place to start, but don’t discount Instagram. Even consider looking on websites like Craigslist, Ebay or other ecommerce websites for FSBO listings.
Utilize social media to your advantage when looking for FSBO listings by posting about your niche. Share past experiences and testimonials from sellers who started as FSBO, then ended up taking you on as their selling agent, and how it helped streamline the transaction process and ultimately, sold the home.
Showcase your value
Taking on FSBO listings as a niche means that you must be expert in this realm of real estate. From market knowledge to marketing, you need to bring true value to the table in order to turn FSBO sellers into clients. One of the best ways to do this is by sharing the benefits of hiring a listing agent, and social media is the perfect place to educate these sellers and show them why you are the best option if they want to sell their home. Highlight marketing strategies, time management, local expertise, the value of MLS and knowledge of market pricing. Even sharing free home staging tips can change the mind of a FSBO seller.
On top of sharing the benefits of hiring a seller’s agent, another way to prove your value is by creating a pre-listing marketing package to share with FSBO sellers. Whether one of these sellers took the bait of your social posts, or if you get connected another way, this is a strong selling point that can help convert them. A pre-listing marketing package can include:
- Estimated selling price – FSBO sellers often don’t understand or don’t have access to accurate market data when setting the price for their home. By offering this information, you are showcasing your expertise.
- Marketing plan – Without giving sellers your marketing secrets, provide them with the number of social media followers you have, the number of emails you can connect to and other quantitative information that will demonstrate your reach.
- Staging plan – Offer simple staging tips, and be sure to mention the multiple relationships you may have with professional listing photographers, videographers and staging companies.
- Branding materials – Many FSBO sellers don’t understand the value of working with an agent or broker, let alone their branding. Share any branded marketing pamphlets or recent listings that will highlight your reach and marketing efforts.
- Document checklist – A big reason why sellers choose the FSBO route is because they think it will be easier than dealing with agents. However, many don’t realize how much paperwork and time goes into the transaction process. Offer a partial checklist of some of the forms they will need to manage, and mention how working with you can take a major paperwork burden off of their plate.
Create graphics for your pre-listing marketing plan that can be shared across your social platforms to attract more FSBO sellers. Include positive testimonials from when you worked with FSBO sellers in the past, communicate how working with an agent or broker not only helped them sell their home, but assisted throughout the entire process, from marketing to paperwork.
Land the listing
If you’ve finally hooked a FSBO seller who is interested in your services, make an appointment to meet with them. Be sure they know that your goal for the appointment is not to list the home, but offer more information on how you can help. It is important that you respect their FSBO status, but are doing what you can to help them along. If the conversation or meeting goes well, and you have established a strong rapport, continue to build this relationship, both online and off.
Keep in touch over social media, email, phone calls and in-person. Be sure to continue to communicate your value each and every time you are in contact with these sellers. If you happen to convert them to your client, ensure you follow through with everything you presented them with, including all of the steps in your pre-listing marketing plan and continue to share helpful tips throughout the process.
If you have successfully converted a FSBO seller to a client, and get through the entire transaction successfully, be sure to get a testimonial so you can continue to promote your value as an FSBO real estate niche expert.
Paige Brown is RISMedia’s content editor. Email her your real estate news ideas to firstname.lastname@example.org.