“Too many Realtors take the situation and they react negatively,” says Robin Telfer, a Re/Max agent in Calgary. “They’re afraid of FSBOs, they’re afraid more homes will be sold in this type of scenario. That’s not the case.”
Instead, Telfer says agents should take advantage of the situation, using the prevalence of FSBOs – and their well-documented failures – to promote the invaluable services that professional sales reps offer.
“As Realtors, we should start thinking outside the box and legally transform FSBO scenarios to our economic advantage, instead of advocating fear and trepidation,” he says.
“Realtors should be smart about it … these FSBOs and discount brokerages are here to stay, so work with them and make more money.”
Telfer says agents need to think for themselves in order to come out on top when dealing with FSBOs. He suggests explaining the extra cost to buyer clients who are interested in a for-sale-by-owner property, and says fishing for new clients in FSBO pools is a great way to work on your presentation skills.
“Seize the opportunity and make it work for you,” he says. “We’re all taught in our real estate courses that commissions are negotiable, so start negotiating and think for yourself.”
Telfer’s Top 3 Tips for making FSBOs work for you:
1 – Find new clients on FSBO websites
Telfer says agents can raid FSBO websites for warm prospects.
“We’d explain that they’re not being properly represented,” he says. “Instead of door knocking, you go to this website. You have a better chance of closing them than cold calling.”
2 – Knocking on FSBO doors is great practice
Having conversations with sellers who think they can close the deal themselves is a great way to refine your sales rep skills.
“It’s great practice,” Telfer says. “You’ll refine your closing, listing, and marketing skills with them. You’re dealing with someone who is interested in selling their property, so you can counter any of their objections.”
3 – Get a great testimonial
Being able to claim that you successfully converted a FSBO client is a great accolade, but having that client sing your praises is even better.
For-sale-by-owner companies and discount brokerages aren’t going anywhere – so make them work for you, says one industry player.