Here are the best (and worst) ways to respond to the three most common FSBO objections. Find out what works and what hurts when it comes time to close.

For-sale-by-owners (FSBOs) aren’t the easiest leads to work with, but that’s not the reason most agents fail when cold calling stubborn sellers. Most agents simply go about it the wrong way.

So, to help agents learn the right approach, this post covers three common FSBO objections along with the right (and wrong) response as well as a brief explanation as to why it’ll help or hurt agents when the time comes to close.

Objection 1

‘I really just can’t afford you guys. I don’t want to pay $7,000-$8,000 to cover the cost of the commission.’

Say: OK, so if there’s no other reason to sell it yourself than to save yourself the money, tell me this: Is it more important to save $7,000-$8,000 on the commission or to make an extra $30,000 or so on the final sale price?

Planting the idea in the seller’s head that working with a real estate agent might net him or her more money often opens them up to potentially hiring one.

Don’t say: Well, we might be able to work something out. I’d be willing to take a smaller commission than most other agents in the market.

FSBOs are typically eager to save money on the commission, even if it’s lower than average. This response just isn’t compelling and is unlikely to lead to a successful close.

Objection 2

‘I’ve worked with agents before, and they just didn’t really seem to do much for me. They weren’t worth it.’

Say: You know, if I had used agents in the past, and they didn’t get me more money, I wouldn’t be eager to use them again myself. Let me ask you this: If an agent could get you more money than you think you can get yourself, would you consider using one?

Again, in order for FSBOs to consider hiring you to sell their home, you need to offer value. For most FSBOs, the best value an agent can provide is a higher sale price.

Don’t say: I’ve worked with over 50 sellers in your area, and all of them have been quite happy with my services.

Although there’s a time to discuss satisfied clients, this isn’t it. During an initial prospecting call, it’s important to stay on the seller’s side and to address his or her specific concerns.

Objection 3

‘I’ve already listed my home online, and I’m holding open houses. I’m not sure what else an agent can really do for me.’

Say: Oh, that’s great. You know, you sound a lot more sophisticated than most people who try to sell a house on their own. That will definitely help in getting your home sold. There are a few things I can do to get your home in front of even more potential buyers. Would you like to hear about them?

Complimenting the sellers on their efforts will go a long way when it comes to winning them over. Plus, if you do offer unique ways to market sellers’ properties, it doesn’t hurt to cover them briefly to increase your chances of landing a listing appointment.

Don’t say: Honestly, without an agent’s expertise, it’s difficult to nail the right pricing and marketing strategy to get a home sold in this market. I can help ensure that everything’s done correctly.

Not only is this somewhat insulting to the seller, it doesn’t really suggest that you’ll be doing much more than has been done already. Instead of offering a vague response, focus on the specific benefits you bring to the table.

Advice on overcoming any FSBO objection

Each seller is unique, and agents must be prepared to handle every objection they encounter. The following three strategies will help you overcome any FSBO objections while prospecting:

Don’t make them wrong

Disagreeing or arguing with a prospect hardly ever results in a successful close. If possible, make FSBOs feel smart to start building rapport. Most importantly, never offer a response that makes them wrong.

Uncover the FSBO’s core motivators

Identify a FSBO’s core motivators as early as possible. Once you do, you’ll be in a better position to overcome objections as you encounter them as you’ll know what to expect. In most cases, FSBOs don’t want an agent because they’re trying to maximize their profit.

Be believable

If you’ve managed to identify a FSBO’s core motivators and are responding to his or her objections appropriately, you’re well on your way to setting a listing appointment — if they believe you.

Saying the right things goes a long way, but saying them with confidence will take you even further because it helps to convey that you’re actually capable of delivering.

Use this advice to help overcome any objection you might encounter during a FSBO call. Apply it during your prospecting sessions, and watch your close rate soar.

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.

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