FSBO's can be a gold mine for real estate agents if approached the right way. Let's take a look at 4 FSBO scripts to help you convert them into leads.
Dealing with For Sale By Owners (FSBOs) can be intimidating. Not just for new real estate agents but also for seasoned veterans. FSBOs are, after all, home sellers that feel like they don’t need the services of a real estate agent such as you.
However, FSBOs provide an excellent opportunity. They are homeowners clearly interested in selling their homes as quickly as possible. In fact, they are the closest you can get to someone just outright shouting “I need to sell my home NOW.”
But where would you start if you wanted to convince them to give you a chance? Let’s take a look at 4 FSBO scripts that can help you do just that.
Why bother with FSBOs?
The main reason why home sellers decide to sell their home themselves has nothing to do with you. Don't let anecdotal evidence fool you: the majority of FSBOs DON’T HATE real estate agents per se. Instead, they don’t SEE the value of using one.
Maybe they had a bad experience with an agent in the past. Perhaps they had previously bought or sold a home to a friend or relative, and the process went relatively straight forward. Or most likely, they just want to avoid paying the agent’s fees, thinking that this will lead to more earnings for them.
But the truth is that the majority of FSBOs end up using an agent anyway. That’s because they soon realize that selling a home on your own isn't as easy as it looks. It’s difficult to coordinate home showings, finding your next home, dealing with all the paperwork involved, while keeping a full-time job AND meeting your family responsibilities.
To put it plainly, FSBOs don’t have the training, skills and marketing tools that a real estate professional has.
So don’t assume they don’t want to deal with you. Instead, think of them as clients that just haven't realized they need your services yet.
If you're able to demonstrate the value you bring as an agent, there’s a good chance they will want to work with you. If not right away, perhaps a few weeks down the line. But to get to that point, you need to break down the initial objection of “why should I use you,” and convince them to meet you in person so you can demonstrate your value.
But how do you convince them to meet you in person? That's where these scripts come into play.
SCRIPT 1 - The Classic FSBO Script
Hi, this is (name) from (brokerage). I’m looking for the owner of the house.
(This is the owner)
I’m a real estate professional that specializes in (area name). I’m giving you a call because one of my main responsibilities is to know where all the houses for sale are in our area. That way I can help the buyers I represent to find the home they’re looking for.
Do you mind if I ask you a few questions about your home?
(Sure. Go ahead)
I drove by your For Sale by Owner sign, and found your ad at (Zillow, the newspaper, the internet, Facebook, etc.). It mentioned that your home has (#) bedrooms and (#) bathrooms. I saw the pictures, but I wanted to get a few specifics.
How big are the bedrooms? Would they be large enough for a family with two young children?
What can you tell me about the kitchen? Was it remodeled recently?
What about the bathrooms?
What can you tell me about the yard?
How’s the neighborhood? Is it safe to walk around at night? How are the schools? Is it a good place for a growing family?
Is there anything else I should know about it?
How much are you asking for the home?
It sounds like you have a really nice home. If it’s not too much to ask, why are you selling it?
Do you already have a home to move to? What area is it in?
So what attracted you to that area?
How much is that home going for?
Ok, so you mentioned that you’re asking $xxx,xxx for your home. If you don’t mind me asking, how did you determine your sale price?
I’m asking because there are several homes similar to yours in the area. For instance, there’s (mention a couple of comparable properties in the area) So what are you doing to market your home in a way that can compete with those?
Do you need to sell this home before you can move to your new one?
I understand that you’re selling your home on your own for a reason. And you know what? I can respect that. But I have to ask. If there was any advantage of using me as an agent to market your home, and it got you a higher sales price, would you be against it?
(No. But I don’t want to pay 6% in commission. I just want to get it sold.)
It sounds like you have a lot on your mind right now, and you probably have a ton of things you need to do.
While I can’t solve every problem you have to deal with, I think I can help you sell you ease your mind when it comes to selling your home.
Why don’t we meet for a short 20 minutes conversation and show you how I can help you sell your home faster and at a price where the commission won’t be an issue?
I’ll be upfront with you. If I can make that happen, I’ll let you know. But if I can’t, I’ll let you know as well. How does that sound?
(Well, ok. Come over and we’ll see.)
I’m available on Tuesday at 3 PM and Wednesday at 4 PM. Which one works for you?
(Tuesday at 3 PM is fine).
Why Does This FSBO Script Works
This script (which is a modified version of one of Mike Ferry's FSBO scripts) works for a number of reasons.
First of all, this conversation is framed around the seller. You’re not dominating the conversation by talking exclusively about what you can do. Instead, you get sellers to talk about the house, how large it is, their life in the neighborhood, and how they determined the listing price.
People love talking about ourselves, so by inviting sellers to talk about themselves, you're helping to build rapport.
Secondly, you’re framing the conversation not as an attempt to “sell yourself” to the buyer, but rather as an information-gathering exercise in order to better serve your clients. And this is not a trick or a white lie. It really IS your responsibility as a real estate agent to know all the listings in your hyperlocal area of operations.
Thirdly, your transition to your call to action is pretty organic. Although you’re using a FSBO script, there’s no reason for it to SOUND scripted.
And finally, although you’re pretty confident about your real estate skills, you’re humanizing yourself (and reassuring sellers that you don't want to waste their time) by admitting that if you’re unable to sell the seller’s home, you’re won't take the listing.
Whether you get the listing or not, the information you get from this call doesn’t go to waste. You can always call down the line if their home doesn’t sell, and use it as leverage to pitch your services again.
Script 2 - The Diagnostic
Hi, this is (name) from (brokerage). I noticed you have a home for sale at (address). Is it still available? May I speak with the owner of the house?
I understand you’re selling the home by yourself, and I respect that. I was just wondering if you are cooperating with buyer’s agents?
And by cooperating I mean, if one of the clients were to make an offer, are you willing to pay me the standard (insert your percentage here) commission in our area for a buyer side only?
Ok, that’s great! Could you tell me a little more about your home? (Ask about details such as room size, age of home, what the neighborhood is like, etc.)
I have a few buyers right now, and I think that they could be interested in your home. Is there a time I could come by and take a look at the property before bringing my clients?
I understand. By the way, I was wondering how much you’re asking for the house?
Let me ask you something. What made you decide to sell your home without hiring a professional agent, and without cooperating with buyer’s agents?
(I don’t want to pay that much for a real estate agent, I had a bad experience with an agent, my son is a computer wiz who can list the home online, etc.)
I see. In fact, you’re not the only one that feels that way. Lots of For Sale By Owners have told me the exact same thing.
Again, I respect your decision to sell on your own. But assuming that I could show you a way that I could net the ($xxx,xxx) you want for the house, possibly even more by using our marketing plan, would you be open to it?
(I just want to get rid of my home, I don’t want to complicate things, a lot of realtors have told me the same thing, etc...)
I hear you. If I may ask, what’s the main reason for your sale?
(We’re moving to a home closer to my workplace, we’re downsizing, we don’t like this neighborhood, the monthly payment is too high, etc...)
Ok, that makes sense. (Congratulate the buyer if the move is a positive one). And when do you need to be in your new home?
(In 2-3 months.)
Gotcha. So you have at most (number of days) to sell your home, do all the paperwork, and deal with the move. So what happens if your home doesn’t sell by then? Do you have a backup plan?
(I don’t know. I’d rather not think about it. We’ll deal with it as we go along. Stay with my parents. Rent an apartment, etc.)
Sounds like you’re not too happy about any of those options.
Hypothetically, let’s say that I was able to sell your home, get you the highest amount the market is willing to pay for your home, and help you avoid (unpleasant backup option), would that be a win for you?
(If you could do all of that, yeah, I guess it would.)
Tell you what, why don’t we meet for a short 20 minute chat? We’ll take a look at your situation, do a property analysis, and I’ll let you know if I can make it happen? If I can’t, I won’t waste your time. I’ll tell you immediately.
(Ok, why not. Let’s see what you have.)
Great! I’m available this afternoon at 5 pm. Would that work for you?
Why Does This FSBO Script Work?
Behind every home seller, there’s a pain point behind the decision to sell his/her home. This script helps uncover that pain point.
Instead of forcefully reminding FSBOs that they're making a mistake by selling the home themselves, you show respect to their decision. However, this script DOES remind them that there's a possibility they won't be able to sell their home on their own, and that there are consequences for that decision.
Finally, the script shows the home seller that that pain point CAN be fixed if they use your services. All they have to do is give you 20 minutes to prove it to them.
Script 3: The Objection Sidestepper
Hi, I'm calling about the home for sale at (address). Is this the owner of the home? My name is (name) from (agency name). I'm a real estate professional that focuses on the (area name).
I see that you're selling the home on your own.
I'm calling you because I work with lots of buyers and sellers in the area, including many For Sale By Owners. I'm calling you to see how things are working out for you?
Do you already have a home to move to once you sell your current home?
How quickly would you like to make all of that happen?
Do you cooperate with buyer's agents? (Explain what cooperation means if necessary)
I'm curious though. What's the main reason you're selling your home on your own instead of hiring an agent. Is it the commission?
If I was able to show you a way to sell your property for more money than you could on your own, even after my commission is paid, would you be interested in that?
(I don't see how you could do that.)
I see where you're coming from. After all, if you felt that an agent could do that for you, I'm sure you would have hired one already, right?
But hypothetically speaking, if there was a financial benefit of working with me rather than selling the home on your own, and I could PROVE it and show you the numbers, would you at least consider it?
That's why we need to meet in person. I'm available at 2 pm and 5 pm today. Which one works best for you?
Why Does This Script Work?
This script tackles the most common objection that prevents FSBOs from hiring a real estate agent: the agent's commission. And instead of avoiding or downplaying that objection, this script acknowledges it and respects the intelligence of the seller.
At the same time, it opens up the possibility that if you can prove that you can indeed prove that you can get the seller a higher closing price than the seller could on his/her own, it only makes sense to hire you.
Finally, it sets up an appointment for the same day so you can get to work while the iron is hot.
Script 4: The Elevator Pitch
Hello, may I speak with the owner of the home for sale at (address)? Is it still for sale?
My name is (name) from (brokerage). I see that you’re selling your home on your own. Are you be open to cooperating with a buyer’s agent?
Can you tell me more about your home? (Size of rooms, age of home, etc.)
Listen, I got a few buyers that are looking for a home like yours. Would it be ok if I go and take a look at the property before bringing in my clients?
Why This FSBO Script Works
This script is short, sweet, and to the point. It immediately identifies if the FSBO is open to cooperating with buyer’s agents, and focuses on getting you in front of the seller in person.
Instead of waiting for both of you to agree on a date to meet and talk about your marketing skills, it just gets you there.
It would then be up to you to demonstrate your value once you meet the FSBO in person if he/she lets you tour the house.
And the best part? It’s quick and efficient, and easy to memorize, just like an elevator pitch. It’s the kind of script you can fall back on if you’re having an off day.
FSBOs are a golden opportunity for real estate agents willing to put the effort into approaching them. As always, real estate is a numbers game.
You won't be able to convince every single FSBO to use your services, but these scripts can help you increase your conversion rate, and help you feel more confident calling them.
Do you have any tips for dealing with FSBOs? Share them in the comments below.
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