By Paul Everett
The first indication from many home owners that they are seriously considering selling their home is often through a free listing on Zillow, Trulia, Craigslist, StreetEasy, or other regional and national For Sale By Owner sites.
With the expansion of FSBO advice companies as well as online listing tools—particularly Zillow and Trulia—an increasing number of home owners are feeling empowered to take a spin at selling their homes on their own, in order to cut out the potential fees associated with agent sales. As we all know, FSBOs most often learn after a few weeks that selling a home is hard work, and best left to professionals! Placing yourself and your real estate services in front of the home owner during this moment of realization is the key to securing listings from online FSBOs.
When the home owner starts feeling the frustration of selling on his or her own, this is the seed of your opportunity. Unfortunately, you won’t be the only one who knows the time is ripe. Rest assured that many like-minded and hardworking agents in your area will all be thinking the same thing at the exact same time. Therefore, timing and approach will mean everything if you want to be the one who gets the listing. Here are five tips for putting yourself ahead of the pack:
- Make sure enough time has passed since the listing was first posted to allow the home owner to doubt his or her decision about listing the home FSBO.
- However, don’t wait too long. Two to four weeks is the ideal window of time to act, depending on how strong the market is. By then, the home owner should have some sense of the level of direct response he is getting from buyers.
- When you approach the home owner, be prepared! Asking for a preview is an effective method to get in the door, so to speak. However, once you are in the door, your knowledge and professionalism must shine. At minimum, come prepared with comparables, and inform the home owner about your research and your opinion about his or her listing price in relation to the market.
- Let your clients know you have superstar research skills, are a brilliant multitasker, and can text faster than a speeding bullet. And don’t forget to show them how respectful, professional, and meticulous you are. This comes across in your dress, behavior, and manner of speech. Making a positive first impression with your client will ensure you stand ahead of the rest, regardless of age or experience.
- Always ask home owners if they are currently searching for a new home in the area. Showing new homes is one of the best ways to build rapport and earn trust with your FSBO prospects. Just don’t forget to remind the home owners that you’d like to sell their property too!
While not every owner will be responsive, you’ll be amazed at the number of listings you can realize using the above approach.
Paul Everett has worked as a residential loan officer in the New York City area and writes for SmartHippo and RateZip. Connect with him on Twitter @mortgagerate, or by e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org.