Entry by John Brennan



I was wondering what info would be good to take out to a FSBO.  I want to be able to go out to them and tell them about the different services that we can offer instead of just trying to get them to list their house with us. A lot of FSBOs dont want to use an agent, but if I can offer different services at certain prices that might open a different door for them and for us.  So I wanted to know if there was some kind of info that you can send me, or direct me too that I will be able to present to these FSBOs.

Thank you very much 


Let them know that you are available to them to help them with the closing, and what your rates are.

Think about what the FSBO believes, versus what is reality. For example:

The "real" challenge is finding the buyer, but once you find them, it's a simple matter of "paperwork"

Often, "finding" the buyer is the easy part. There's a difference between getting them on paper, and getting on paper what is in your best interest

If they find a buyer who has an agent, THAT agent will make sure the paperwork is taken care of and the deal closes

THAT agent is looking out for the BUYER'S interests ... EVEN IF DOING SO HURTS THE SELLER! AND that agent negotiates for a living....as a homeowner, you're not negotiating on a level playing field

If I don't hire an agent, I can save myself that big 6% commission

In many cases, maybe even MOST cases, the "6%" commission is NOT what is routinely charged for full service. Even if it is, however, many, likely most, FSBOs don't really sell their homes by themselves .... there is an agent representing the buyer. And that buyer's agent will negotiate a fee for themselves for their work putting the transaction together. That amount can vary significantly, but it's fair to estimate they would charge the fee they would "likely" get if they were selling an "mls" listed property...perhaps a bit more since they will be required to do more work. In other words, any "savings" the seller would likely see would be substantially less than they think.

It's MY house...I can sell it for anything I want that the buyer will agree to

That's assuming the buyer has all cash. Your home needs to appraise as well. Sellers need to understand what the REAL market is like...what is happening with their competition, what about the "distressed" market, how do recent sales compare to their home, etc. Being ignorant of all that is a recipe for frustration and disappointment. It's one thing not to get a contract; it's yet another to get one, think everything is fine so you prepare to move on, perhaps purchasing another home yourself...only to have it all fall apart because the buyer could not get a loan BECAUSE YOU HAD OVERPRICED YOUR HOME in the first place.

The buyer SAID they had great credit and would have no problem getting financing

A good agent gets substantiation of the buyer's ability to get financing (or ability to close using their own funds) BEFORE you agree to your contract, greatly reducing your risk that the deal won't close.

Those are the things that popped into my mind...hopefully you find them helpful.


John, I'd recommend a couple of things:

Rather than approaching it as having "stuff to show them" (which is what a lot of salespeople do that they probably don't like), approach it as an opportunity to reach out and listen to what their needs might be. You might say "I'm a consultant, not a salesperson, and in that capacity, I provide choices in the services consumers can obtain as well as how those services can be paid for. Perhaps I can be of help to you." Then listen.

Make sure that you have your rates and some applicable fee packages honed and ready. Then you're in a position to help.

A couple of resources to get the wheels turning would be:

1. in the course book under "A World of Applications", check out the FSBO section. A lot of good ideas.

2. Check out the post by Melinda a couple of days ago "Negotiation to closing services for FSBOs". You two might want to put your heads together.

Good luck and let us know how you're doing with this. I did quite a bit of consulting work with FSBO's (and as I said in my comment to Melinda's post, FSBO's who weren't even FSBO's yet). It's a great application for consulting services and will only increase as outlets for sellers and buyers finding each other proliferate.

Other ACREs out there: do you have ideas for John? Let us hear from you.

I like your style Mollie! I too will look at the FSBO section you mention, thanks!

This page contains a single entry by John Brennan published on February 24, 2011 1:16 PM.

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