Find An Agent

How to Get Listings: 5 Ways to Convince FSBO Sellers to Sign

Constantly trying to find clients can be exhausting. However, you may be missing out a lucrative untapped market: the FSBO seller. While persuading a FSBO seller to work with you can be a challenge, there are a few strategies you can utilize to convince FSBO sellers to sign with you.
Constantly trying to find clients can be exhausting. However, you may be missing out a lucrative untapped market: the FSBO seller. While persuading a FSBO seller to work with you can be a challenge, there are a few strategies you can utilize to convince FSBO sellers to sign with you.

It’s understandable why many real estate agents are wary of FSBO sellers and tend to shy away from that potential client pool. FSBO sellers, or for sale by owner, have actively chosen not to work with a real estate agent.

A lot of agents don’t want to waste their time trying to convince someone that their decision to sell on their own is completely wrong — it doesn’t seem like a particularly pleasant conversation.

While some FSBO sellers refuse to work with agents because they believe they have the necessary skill set or they had a bad experience working with a real estate agent in the past, the majority of FSBO sellers opt to sell on their own simply to save money. Commissions can add up.

You know, however, that FSBO sellers rarely save money when they attempt to sell on their own. In fact, more than 80% of FSBO sellers fail to sell their own home and end up having to work with a real estate agent to finally sell their home.

You just need to make sure the agent they choose is you.

So how do you convince a FSBO seller to change their mind? Here are five ways you can persuade a FSBO seller to sign with you.

1. Show Them the Numbers

Again, money is the driving motivator behind FSBO sellers; high commission fees are the main sticking point. In this case, it’s best to let the numbers and the data speak for themselves.

For instance, according to the National Association of Realtors (NAR), on average, FSBO sellers sell their homes for about $190,000 while the average home listed and sold by a real estate agent sells for $250,000.

That’s $60,000 the FSBO seller is missing out on and nowhere near the amount they would pay in a 6% commission fee. They’re not saving anything by going at it alone.

2. Explain the Tools and Skill Set They’re Missing Out on

If numbers don’t alone convince a FSBO seller, you’ll want to show them how you’re indispensable throughout the entire selling process.

Reasons FSBO sellers typically fail are overpricing their home, being unable to attract qualified buyers, failing to market properly, bungling crucial and complex paperwork, lacking negotiation skills, staging poorly, and insisting on being present at showings.

Prove how you can help with all of these issues. Show how you can effectively market their home and attract multiple competitive offers using professional photos, video tours, listing on the MLS, and through your professional connections and network.

Be sure to highlight your years of experience at negotiating and navigating complicated and legal documentation along with your expertise at accurately pricing their home so it sells quickly and for the best possible price.

3. Present the Non-Tangible Benefits

On the rare occasion a FSBO seller possesses all the skills and expertise needed to sell their home, you can still provide an incalculable value. Selling a home is stressful.

It takes an inordinate amount of time and energy to market your home, clean and stage it, fix any repairs, manage buyer offers, ensure you fill out the right documentation and send it in on time, handle negotiations, and juggle scheduling open houses around your free time.

In reality, when selling a home by yourself, you have no free time.

Show the FSBO seller how working with you can alleviate the majority of stress and anxiety that comes with selling a home. You’ll be taking care of all the unexpected problems and minutiae that always comes up when selling a home.

4. Be Upfront About Your Selling Strategy

While it may seem counterintuitive to put all your cards on the table and present your selling strategy to a FSBO seller, it’s actually in your best interest. And even if the FSBO seller steals your strategy to try themselves, they’ll be hard-pressed to replicate it effectively without the tools and experience.

So why should you be upfront with your selling strategy?

Being transparent and honest will help you build rapport and trust with your potential FSBO client. In a few cases, the FSBO seller has had a lousy experience working with real estate agents in the past. You want to show them the past won’t repeat itself when working with you.

And even after you share your strategy, it’s unlikely the FSBO seller will jump on board with you immediately. Be patient. Give the seller some time to mull over your offer and how you’ll be able to help them sell their home for more. After some time, be sure to follow up and see if they’ve considered accepting your services.

5. Consider Lowering Your Commission Rate

Lowering your commission rate can help seal the deal with FSBO sellers. By reducing your rate by even a little bit can make a big difference with FSBO sellers. They’ll feel like they’re getting a deal and you’ll still be able to come out ahead, especially if you’re selling in a competitive market.

Join Clever as a Partner Agent

If you’d rather save your time and energy, instead of persuing FSBO sellers, you could just let high value leads come to you. By joining Clever’s Partner Network, you’ll get connected with motivated sellers.

You only pay a referral if and when a deal goes through. This means you can save time on marketing and client acquisition without upfront costs. Get started and become a Clever Partner Agent by reaching out to Clever.



Ben Mizes

Ben Mizes is the co-founder and CEO of Clever Real Estate, the free online service that connects you with top agents to save thousands on commission. He's an active real estate investor with 22 units in St. Louis and a licensed agent in Missouri. Ben enjoys writing about real estate, investing, personal finance, and financial freedom. He's a serial entrepreneur, having run several successful startups before Clever Real Estate. Ben's writing has been featured in Yahoo Finance, Realtor News, CNBC, and BiggerPockets.

See all Ben's Posts

Clever Has Partnered with Top Agents to Find Investment Properties

Learn how you could save thousands when you buy or sell investment properties with Clever!