Entry by Melinda Hendershott

Negotiation to closing services for FSBOs


Mollie, I am interested to hear more about your experiences offering services to FSBOs who had found a buyer for their home. I want to know more about how you packaged this and how you charged for it. If you have already posted something about this, just point me to it, I haven't run across it yet.

Thanks! - Melinda


Hi Melinda,

I did a large percentage of my consulting business with sellers who found buyers on their own as well as (although less often) buyers who found a home on their own. What's interesting is that many times, they weren't even formally on the market. A lot of these deals came together informally. Someone would mention at work that they were thinking of selling their home and someone would reply that their daughter would be interested. My hunch is that with the help of entities such as Craig's list, buyers and sellers will increasingly find each other without the help of a professional.

Where I think I differentiated myself is rather than discourage people's efforts in this way, I would approach them that if they wanted to try to find a buyer on their own, that was fine because once they did, that's when they REALLY needed my services. Most FSBO's found this refreshing from the typical agent that was trying to get them to list.

I set up a negotiating and troubleshooting package at 6 hours since that was the average amount of time that it would take me. I explained that the 6 hours was the minimum and that I would let them know if we were going to go over that amount of time. This was at the fiduciary (or professional) rate. I go into more detail in the workbook.

I did a lot of business this way because I had virtually no competition. Most agents are not equipped to handle negotiating and troubleshooting alone - they are trained to list at a percentage which encompassed marketing which many of these FSBO's did not want (at least not initially). By giving them the freedom to try on their own, it was no skin off my nose and I set myself up as a resource that they turned to if they could not procure a buyer on their own. I had almost no competition for their listing if they decided to put their home in the hands of a professional, either by fee or by traditional commission.

That's kind of an overview of what I did. Again, I want to stress that the secret of my success was getting the word out that I provided contract to close services. It really set me apart and provided a great source of business.

I would be interested in hearing from other ACREs who either have worked with FSBO's or are contemplating doing so.

Mollie, what kind of agency agreement and/or contract for services did you use for this service? Were you only representing the seller?

Mollie, how do you approach FSBO's. When I am see a FSBO sign, how would you advise in approaching to engage in a conversation that I am a consultant?



Jacqueline, next month we will be starting a series of webinars called "The Skill Series" and FSBO's will be our first topic. Please join us and we will be going over all of it!

Thanks Mollie, however, can you give me a small push, as I am trying to start. I have seen a FSBO and I called because I had a possible buyer and wanted to view the property. The FSBO has not returned the call and I want to try and make a connection.

Jacqueline, before approaching FSBO's from a consulting perspective, it's important that you first get your toolbox stocked. If you have not yet done so, you need to determine your hourly rates for functionary and fiduciary. Next, start to think through what services you can offer someone looking to sell their home. One that I used frequently was a negotiation/troubleshooting of the transaction package. In other words, I would encourage them to try to locate their own buyer but explain that once they have found one, that's when they need me most. 

By doing so, you are differentiating yourself from the pack in that you are encouraging them to use technology to do the marketing for/finding the buyer but then also encourage them to turn to a pro for the tasks that they would be doing themselves a big disservice in trying to do themselves.

This is a bit of an outline, but should get your thought process started. I appreciate your enthusiasm but would caution you against jumping into targeting any group until you've done your homework regarding what services you want to provide and how you want to provide them.

I'll go into MUCH more detail during the upcoming webinar. Hope this helps you get started.

This page contains a single entry by Melinda Hendershott published on February 24, 2011 5:14 PM.

FSBOs was the previous entry in this blog.

Letter to Broker is the next entry in this blog.

Find recent content on the main index or look in the archives to find all content.