If you've written off For Sale By Owner (FSBO) properties as a waste of your time, it may be time to rethink your approach.
FSBOs are an exceptional lead source for real estate brokers who know how to work them. They’re warm leads because you already know they want to sell. But they can also be difficult to convert to clients because they have specifically decided to sell on their own instead of hiring a real estate broker.
Here’s a simple three-step program for converting FSBOs to listings.
Step 1: Find FSBOs
Before you can land FSBOs, you need to find them. Sites like Zillow and Trulia are a good place to start. You can filter by “agent listings” or “other” (which are the FSBOs).
The downside to finding FSBOs this way is that the information is available to every other broker as well. If you don’t contact the owner within the first few hours of their listing going live, you can bet many of your fellow brokers have already contacted them. They may already be so sick of hearing from brokers that they refuse to talk to you.
The alternative is to find motivated sellers before they even list their homes on the market. This shouldn't be too difficult in a hot market, and Fannie Mae stated that 77% of people think that it is a good time to sell, so now is a great time to look for eager sellers. With PropStream’s nationwide search, you can cross-reference lists from divorce filings, bankruptcy cases, tax records, and pre-foreclosures to find homeowners who are most likely to sell in the near future. With PropStream’s built-in skip tracing, you can quickly and easily collect contact information for these owners so you can reach out to them directly.
Step 2: Make Contact and Offer Genuine Sales Advice
Instead of contacting your list of FSBOs to pitch your services, contact them with something that will be truly valuable to them. If they’ve expressed the desire to sell without an agent, you won’t change their mind on the first contact. But, you can stand out by providing resources to help them sell on their own.
You could email or direct mail a "Guide To Selling For Sale By Owner," full of real advice for pricing, staging, and conducting home tours. Or you could invite them to a free FSBO seminar where you walk them through the selling process.
When your FSBOs see exactly how much knowledge, skill, time, marketing expense, and effort are involved in selling a home, they’ll likely decide to list.
Step 3: Invite the FSBOs To Contact You
If you really want to show potential clients the difficulty of selling FSBO, be sure to include statistics that demonstrate the harsh realities. Note that the average FSBO home sold for around 26% less than the average agent-listed home in 2020. Also mention that 92% of sellers choose to use an agent to avoid all the stress involved in managing the sale themselves.
Then invite contact. Let your FSBO leads know that you are happy to answer their questions as they sell their home. If they decide that hiring an agent is a better fit for them after all, you would be honored to list their home on the market and put your years of experience to work getting them top dollar for their home.
Converting FSBOs to listings isn’t easy, but with the right tools (like PropStream’s search tools and skip tracing) and a little patience, you can tap into this lucrative pool of leads.