For-sale-by-owner (FSBO) real estate leads are a great source of prospects for agents. However, FSBOs are often more skeptical of agents and require special techniques to win them over.
Selling FSBO means saving on listing agent commission fees (around 3% of the sale price). However, it can take time to manage all communications with buyers.
Look for Expired Listings
Real estate agents have known for years that FSBOs and expired listings are a valuable source of new clients. But many need help using outdated prospecting methods, such as knocking on doors or manually tracking FSBOs.
One way how to find FSBO leads is to purchase a list of expired homes in your area. Then, reach out to them with a letter that explains how you can help them sell their home and answer any questions they may have.
Unlike cold calling or other lead sources, converting FSBO prospects requires an empathetic approach and a carefully crafted script. To do this, practice your script with a fellow agent or a friend and make sure it sounds natural and conversational. A good FSBO script can distinguish between closing a deal and losing the homeowner’s business. Several online services provide lists of expired properties, but some are more expensive than others. To avoid spending money on a list that isn’t worth it, look for a platform that offers affordable prices, data accuracy, and a lead management system.
Reach Out to Sellers
Many sellers list their homes for sale without an agent because they believe they can save on commission fees. They may also need more marketing experience and resources that a real estate professional can provide. Often, they rely on yard signs and internet listing sites to generate interest in their home.
While FSBO leads can be difficult to convert, diligent follow-up and providing value can help you build trust and rapport. However, overly-aggressive sales tactics can be counterproductive. The homeowner might interpret them as abrasive or pushy, which can turn them off from working with you.
Once you have established contact, schedule a preview appointment with the seller. During the appointment, discuss the property’s strengths and weaknesses, the current market, and your strategy for converting the property to a sold listing. Remember to emphasize the importance of a full-service listing agreement, which includes preparing and distributing disclosures, conducting showings, scheduling home inspections, negotiating offers, handling qualification checks with lenders, and facilitating the closing. This information often convinces the seller that they need an agent to represent them.
Use Relationship Selling Techniques
FSBOs are only sometimes real estate agents’ most-preferred lead sources. That said, approaching them with the right mindset and effective strategy can be one of the best ways to generate and convert leads in your market.
Persistently reaching out to FSBOs is one of the best ways to convert them, but it’s important to moderate your approach. Many sellers are already frustrated by the need for more responses from other agents. They may interpret overly-aggressive selling as an indication that they made the wrong decision to sell on their own.
To avoid becoming an annoyance, focus on building rapport and offering valuable advice to FSBOs. Start by asking questions like, “When did you fall in love with this home?” or, “What are your top concerns when selling?” Showing empathy for their situation will help you build trust and credibility, making them more likely to listen to you. Hyper-local advertising can also be a great way to reach out and engage FSBOs. Read more about how to use this strategy effectively here.
Offer to Help
On paper, FSBO leads appear to be a real estate agent’s dream. After all, they’re individuals already trying to sell their property and are likely to recognize the value of working with a professional.
However, agents may need help converting FSBO leads into clients. Bridging this gap can be challenging if they need help to justify their commission rates or deal with an objection.
Thankfully, there are several strategies real estate professionals can use to help make this process easier. For example, leveraging FSBO lead generation software can help agents identify potential listings and quickly follow up with the owners.
Another way to generate FSBO leads is by asking for referrals. It is an effective strategy because it helps build trust and rapport, which is crucial in building rapport with a prospect. In addition, a referral can provide valuable information that a prospect might not know, such as how much their home is worth or how to market it.
Offer to Help Distressed Sellers
FSBOs are often distressed; a compassionate approach can help you convert them. For example, if they mention that their family is moving or they’re divorced, try to empathize with them by asking how you might help.
You can also offer to help them complete their real estate paperwork. It is an easy way to show you care and help them see that you can add value during home-selling. Bring them a sample offer contract, mortgage approval letter, inspection report, and a partial checklist of documents to complete and sign.
FSBO leads can be some of the most valuable prospects you have. But it’s important to nurture them effectively and be persistent. If you continue to provide value and follow up consistently, converting these leads into clients will become easier and faster.