For-sale-by-owners can be a lucrative pillar of lead generation, but they can also be a tightrope walk between gaining a listing and angering a homeseller.

For-sale-by-owner’s can be a lucrative pillar of lead generation, but they can also be a tightrope walk between gaining a listing and angering a consumer.

Although there are many different strategies for flipping FSBOs into sellers who want to use a real estate agent, we need to be careful in our approach. Here are four ways to guarantee a FBSO will never want your help.

1. Be a know-it-all

Often well-intentioned real estate agents like to show off their knowledge of the market, and the real estate industry in general, in an attempt to show their competence and worth to a potential client.

Although in many situations this knowledge is impressive and can certainly sway a buyer or seller off the fence and into your corner, when talking with a FSBO you need to be more tactful.

One of the main reasons sellers might consider selling their home without an agent is that they feel they know enough about the market to sell their home themselves.

Sure, you as a licensed agent should know much much more than they do about the selling process, but you need to be careful not to cause them to become defensive of their own knowledge. If they are wrong about something, it is your job to correct them, but do so in a way that won’t offend them or put them off.

Be a teacher, one that is respectful and encouraging.

2. Only talk about money

We all know the No. 1 reason people choose to FSBO — they think they can save money. We also know that this is rarely the outcome of selling your home without an agent.

Because of this, many agents tend to focus on the money aspect of the transaction when approaching a FSBO when they should be more focused on building the relationship with the potential client.

If the sellers’ focus is on the money, and all you talk about is the money, they will be more entrenched in their ideas that real estate agents only care about the dollar signs and not the people involved.

It’s important to let them know that agents sell houses more quickly and for more money than a FSBO, but this should be just a small portion of your presentation and pitch to list the home.

3. Make it all about you

This can be true of all potential clients, not just FSBOs. The agent who makes it about the seller and not about himself or herself has the best shot of getting the listing.

We are in a service industry, and that means that the client should be the focus of all we do. A long-winded listing presentation about how great you are and how many homes you have sold won’t convince a FSBO that you are the answer to their problems.

You need to connect with them on a deeper level and create a relationship. Take time to talk to the sellers, get to know them and the home, foster that relationship as early as possible, and you will be on your way to earning a new client.

Once they like you, it’s much easier for them to trust you with their confidence and their home.

4. Sell under false pretenses

Unfortunately for us, salespeople can be seen as untrustworthy, disingenuous people. That is what Hollywood has portrayed throughout the years, and that has taken hold of a lot of people’s mindsets when it comes to real estate agents.

For most agents this couldn’t be farther from reality, but approaching a FSBO with false pretenses can foster that distrust and ruin your chances at a listing.

When calling a FSBO, only tell them you might have a buyer for their house if it’s the honest truth.

The seller will quickly be able to tell if you are sincere or just trying to get your foot in the door, and if they deem you untrustworthy, you may as well give up right where you stand.

David Stroh is a Realtor with Re/Max Plus in Frederick, Maryland. Follow him on Facebook or Instagram.

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