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Hey Home Owners, Leave the Hard Work to Us!

Paul Everett

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:

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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: pknag@ratezip.com.

Comments
  1. So you suggest asking for a preview of their home to gain access to show them how hard working you are. This would seem to me to show how dishonest your are. FSBO’s today are much smarter than that. I was hoping our industry was moving on from these type of tactics….this is just bad advice.

  2. “Before you think you are the answer to their dreams–find out what they’re dreaming about!”

  3. Damon, I don’t feel like asking to do a preview is dishonest or misleading in any way. We as agents preview all of the new listing that come on the market in our area and FSBO’s can be part of that. This is a great time to get to know the property, speak with the owner to see if they are open to paying a commission to a buyer agent and to introduce yourself as the area expert to the owner. If they like you chances are you will be at the top of the list when they decide to bring in a pro. Don’t be misleading in your communication with the owner and you won’t have any problems.

  4. Georgia Thornber

    Does your site have a contact page? I’m having problems locating it but; I’d like to send you an email… I’ve got some ideas for your blog you might be interested in hearing. Either way, great blog and I look forward to seeing it grow over time. Pickering Roofing Pros, 1284 Kingston Rd., #131, Pickering, Ontario, L1V 1B7, Canada, 289-275-1555

  5. Erica Christoffer

    Yes, Georgia, take a look under the “About” tab at the top of the blog. Feel free to contact us if you have any questions.

  6. Eva Moser

    I disagree with Damon that previewing a FSBO is “shady”. I do this on a regular basis and keep up with details on those houses. I don’t just list property in my marketplace but I’m expected to be knowledgeable about the inventory. Nothing is more awkward than having a buyer ask about a FSBO when you have no idea about it. Previewing introduces you to the seller. Allows you to make notes about the property. You now have information for interested buyers and the FSBO has a resource should they need one. Nothing shady in that.

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