According to the National Association of REALTORS®, For Sale By Owner (FSBO) listings have dwindled to under 9%. But due to nationwide low inventory, agents are still desperate to land these "sure thing" sellers. While some FSBOs may be swayed by the cost of marketing or the annoyance of drawing up legally binding paperwork, the majority of them have one thing in mind when nixing an agent: commission.
Here are three proven ways to open up a conversation with a FSBO seller without dropping your commission.
1. Hire me to earn more — even after commission
Before you meet with a FSBO seller, do your homework on local sales numbers. Across the U.S., sellers earn 22% more from their home sale when they use an agent from start to finish rather than selling FSBO (NAR). National numbers are great for setting the tone, but local numbers are what seal the deal. Find the stats for FSBO sales in your area, then show the homeowner that by using you, they could earn more from their home sale —even after they pay out your commission.
Your opening line:
"I understand that most For Sale By Owner sellers are trying to avoid paying the commission fee for an agent. But home values have fluctuated greatly over the last decade, and most homeowners don't know the exact value of their property in today's unique market. In fact, in the Seattle area, FSBO sellers have been selling for a median home price of $470,000 but the median price of homes sold by Realtors is $507,000*. If you work with me, we'll price your home correctly so you earn as much as possible, even when taking commission into account."
2. Get more offers, faster, by leveraging the MLS
According to NAR, only 7% of FSBOs list their home on the MLS, which of course leads to fewer online visits, in-person showings and potentially, fewer (or no) offers. While newspapers used to be an even ground for FSBOs to promote their property, these sellers are missing out now that 92 percent of homebuyers "shop" online before looking at homes in person. Explain to them that in our current market, high online and in-person traffic can lead to multiple offers and a higher selling price.
Your opening line:
"When there are plenty of homes for sale, sellers often wait for the one buyer willing to pay their listing price. For Sale By Owner sellers also operate on this mode, by advertising their homes in fewer places online and offline and waiting for just one buyer to bite. It's fine if you aren't in a hurry to sell — but I don't want you to leave money on the table.
Right now, we are seeing a lack of inventory across Seattle and buyers are actually competing for quality homes like yours. If you list your home with an agent, the property will go on the MLS and be added to local real estate sites, as well as national sites like Zillow and Realtor.com. When more buyers see your home online, it can increase everything from showings to offers to your final sales price. Meanwhile, even in low inventory markets, it's rare for a FSBO listing to get multiple offers — simply because buyers don't know the home is for sale."
*These numbers are meant an example, and are not reflective of the current Seattle market.
Ready to move from small data to big data?
Landing a For Sale By Owner listing is great, but predictive data can help you move past one-off listings and into a robust seller pipeline. To learn how to predict sellers in your area and follow up with them via targeted online and offline marketing, reach out for a free demo today. You have nothing to lose but a higher commission potential.