Most real estate agents find that the biggest hurdle to getting for-sale-by-owner (FSBO) listings is setting appointments. FSBOs don’t want to work with an agent, and they certainly aren’t interested in getting a sales pitch.
If you want them to give you the time of day, you’re going to need a really good script.
In this post, I put together three awesome FSBO scripts that have been proven for setting appointments and increasing agents’ odds of getting FSBO listings.
I pulled them from a discussion with one of the real estate industry’s most experienced prospectors, David Hill. He’s clocked over 30,000 hours on the phone with prospects — more time than it takes to earn three graduate degrees.
When it comes to prospecting, this guy knows his stuff.
3 tested FSBO scripts
During my interview with David Hill, we did a little roleplaying. He used his scripts on me — the reluctant FSBO prospect. Discover what he said to win me over below.
The potential buyer script
Many FSBOs have trouble generating buyer interest due to overpricing and poor marketing. Knowing this, Hill often asks FSBOs the following question:
“If I had a buyer who would be a fit, would that be helpful for you?”
When the prospect responds affirmatively (they usually do), Hill moves in with his close.
“Great. What I’d like to do is schedule a time to come by and look at the house to see if it would work for any of our clients. I’d also like to share some of the things we do to help FSBOs like yourself. Do you have time this afternoon, or would tomorrow work better for you?”
The net profit script
With any FSBO, jumping straight into a conversation concerning commissions is a losing strategy. You can’t argue with the fact that the seller will pay less in commissions by selling their home on their own.
You can, however, push the possibility of the seller netting as much or more money by working with you rather than going the FSBO route.
To do this, Hill starts by asking a simple question.
“Why did you decide to sell your house without hiring a professional agent?”
Most FSBOs respond to this question with something price related. When they do, Hill jumps into his net profit script.
“Yeah, I can understand that completely. Interestingly enough, 90 percent of the FSBOs I speak with tell me the exact same thing. If I could show you a way that I could net you the same or possibly even more money by using our services, would that be something you’d be open to?”
The reason-for-sale script
Pushing for a quick close often isn’t the best strategy to take with FSBO prospects. Sometimes, uncovering a seller’s motivations first is the only way to set an appointment successfully.
Obviously, this script requires more on-the-spot adjustments than the others. For it to work, you really need to listen to what the prospect is saying and respond accordingly. Below, I’ve written out the complete conversation between Hill and I to illustrate how it’s done.
Hill: “So, what’s the main reason for your sale?”
Me: “I’ve been transferred. We’re moving to Arkansas.”
Hill: “Oh, congratulations. And when will you need to be in Arkansas?”
Me: “We need to be in Little Rock in 90 days. Basically, what we’re trying to do is break even. We bought the house two years ago, and the value hasn’t really gone up.”
Hill: “Gotcha, so the clock’s ticking for you. And if the house doesn’t sell in 90 days, what’s your plan B?”
Me: “Well, we’re going to have to go — the house will just be empty.”
Hill: “Oh, yeah, I’d hate to have that happen to you. If I could sell the house, have you break even and get it done before you get to Arkansas, would that be a win for you?”
Hill: “OK, perfect. Why don’t we meet? I’d love to see if I can do that for you. I’ll be 100 percent honest with you. If I can do it, I’ll let you know. If I can’t, I’ll let you know that as well. How does that sound?”
Me: “Yeah, that’s fine. If you want to give it a shot, you can come on over.”
The key to getting FSBOs with scripts
Hill thinks of each script as a highway; it’s the quickest route to setting a FSBO appointment. When people give responses or ask questions that take him off script, the goal is to get back on it and work toward setting an appointment.
Hill also uses scripts to uncover sellers’ motivations so that he’s in a better position to overcome objections on the phone and in person. With most FSBOs, saving money is a major motivation, which is why Hill mentions that he can possibly get the seller as much if not more money than they would net selling the property on their own.
Opening sellers’ eyes to the possibility of meeting or exceeding their net profit goal by working with you is the key to setting listing appointments with most FSBOs.
If you can do that and are able to convince them of your ability to make it happen with a good listing presentation, you’ll have a high rate of success with FSBOs.
Pat Hiban sold more than 7,000 homes over the course of his 25-year career in real estate. Now, he dedicates his time to helping others succeed as agents and investors. As host of the Real Estate Rockstars Podcast, Pat interviews real estate experts to explore what works in today’s markets. He also founded Rebus University, an online training platform for real estate agents and sales professionals.