Title: Unmasking the Power of FSBO Scripts: Turning Real Estate Foes to Friends
When it comes to listing strategies there’s a 4 letter word that is almost certain to make agents shudder.
These are sellers known as For Sale By Owner (FSBO). Which means they chose to independently sell their own property (instead of paying an agent). Just that decision alone makes them naturally cautious and cynical of real estate professionals…which is why FSBOs are notoriously tough prospects.
Here’s what compounds this challenge: FSBOs are constantly being hard sold and cold-called by agents that are trying to convince FSBOs to reconsider their original decision NOT to use an agent! It’s a comical scenario if you zoom out and think about it, but the FSBO is certainly not laughing throughout the barrage of calls from random agents.
So that’s why FSBOs are difficult prospects. But the fact of the matter is that they are solid sources for listings IF you can crack the code in convincing them to give you a chance. And cracking that code is often a function having the right words.
And we’re here today to talk about those words. Having an amazing FSBO script can transform your results and lead to getting more listings. So below are the categories we’ll cover when it comes to FSBO scripts, objection handling and much more:
- End-to-end FSBO Scripts that agents can use
- Questions agents can ask FSBOs
- Scripts for closing FSBOs
- FSBO Objection handling
- Strategies and Resources for FSBO sales scripting
End-to-end FSBO Scripts for Agents
When effectively used, FSBO scripts not only represent an agent’s expertise but also substantiate the value of their services. In this section, we’re going to give two scripts you can try:
Here’s a FSBO script for agents to use when cold calling FSBOs. You can even load this into your power dialer so you can easily follow along.
Here’s a script from legendary coach Mike Ferry. Like many scripts it’s based on assumptions around how the prospect responds to different questions… so you’ll need to ad-lib a bit if your FSBO prospect takes you off course.
FSBO scripts for different phases of the process
In reality you may not get enough time to run through an end to end script with a FSBO. Plus it could be off-putting to even attempt rushing from introduction to asking for an in-person appointment. So we’ve broken up the process into some stages below.
Opening and Qualifying Questions
A lot of the early conversation with FSBOs is asking probing questions that either help you build rapport OR showcase your expertise.
During this process where you’re primary goal is to keep the conversation going you also want to qualify your prospect to make sure they’re open to working with an agent (even if it’s a very slim chance)
Here are bunch of questions that agents can ask FSBOs to move the convo forward in these early stages:
- “Why are you looking to move?”
- “When you sell this home, where are you moving to?”
- “So, how long has your home been on the market?”
- “How many showings have you had?”
- “What date do you have to be moved by?”
- “How did you determine your listing price?”
- “Why are you selling the property yourself? Did you consider using an agent?”
- “If you don’t sell the home before you have to move, what options will you consider to help sell the property faster?”
- “What is your timeline before interviewing prospective real estate agents?”
Scripts for closing FSBOs
Now that you’ve qualified the FSBO and have developed some rapport, it’s time to close them (which means securing an appointment with you). Here are some closing scripts for FSBOs:
- “If I prove my marketing tactics are significantly different than my peers, are you willing to pay me a 3% commission when I get you a qualified buyer?”
- “Let’s get together for 20 minutes and let me show you what I’m doing differently. If it’s not completely different than what you’re doing and what your previous agent did, I don’t expect you to go with me. Does today at [time] or tomorrow at [time] work better for you?”
- “Are you at least open to sitting down with me for 20 minutes if I can help you net more for your home and sell it faster?”
- “Is 20 minutes of your time talking with me worth potentially netting [insert $$$ amount] more from the sale of your home? Does tomorrow at [time] work to meet?”
- “I’ll bet I can bring a buyer for your FSBO quicker than you! And, if I don’t, you’ll owe me nothing!”
- “Let me list your house at a marketable price, and if you don’t get 10 showings in 2 months, you can fire me. Tell me how that sounds to you.”
- “I would really like to take a look at your home because I have some potential buyers – one that didn’t get their offer accepted on a nearby property.”
Also if you don’t land the appointment here, remember sometimes it’s about timing. At some point many FSBOs become ready to hear from agents…so follow up even if you get brushed off here. Being kind and being helpful are the best way to get their business.
Well you didn’t think it’d be as simple as reading off the script right? FSBO objections are some of the hardest to overcome because these sellers have made a conscious decision NOT to work with agents like you already. Better believe they are going to be prickly as you attempt to win them over afterwards when they’ve invested their time and energy.
The good news is that there are just a few types of objections agents are most likely to hear from a FSBO. The bad news is that these objections can be delivered with a mix of unfiltered rage and seething resentment.
This is why you need to effectively address concerns with these FSBO objection scripts:
- FSBO: “I net more without paying your commission”
- Background: FSBOs often believe avoiding agent commissions means more profit. However, homes typically sell for more when listed by an agent because of wider buyer access, targeted marketing, and the ability to attract qualified buyers.
- Agent: “Studies show homes listed by agents often fetch higher selling prices, easily covering the commission and netting you more profit.”
- FSBO: “Ok if you are saying you’ll be able to net more than me even after factoring in commissions, do you plan on increasing the listing price?“:
- Background: Many agents that we’ve heard from during our research, mentioned that FSBOs pricing can actually be too high, which adds an extra challenge to convincing them that a professional will net them more. If you want to try and reset their expectations, use comps and/or a CMA to prove your point.
- Agent: “Let’s take some time to look over the comps and a comparative market analysis first. If it sits on the market, it may spook buyers even after you do a price reduction so you want to tread carefully [and if you think you can get away with a little humor, use a dating analogy: if someone’s single to long others become cautious that something’s wrong with them]”
- FSBO: “I Can List on the MLS Without an Agent”:
- Background: While FSBOs can list on MLS and other platforms, many qualified buyers work with agents. Many agents hesitate to consider FSBO listings due to concerns about the seller’s real estate knowledge, potentially making transactions difficult.
- Agent: “While you can list on MLS, most qualified buyers work with agents who often hesitate with FSBO listings due to potential transaction complexities.”
- FSBO: “I’m going to see if I can sell it on my own with the advice of my Realtor friend”
- Background: It’s essential to know if this friend is a full-time, experienced realtor. Part-time or less experienced agents may not provide the best advice compared to full-time professionals.
- Agent: “It’s invaluable to work with a full-time, experienced realtor to ensure you get the most current and effective advice.”
- FSBO: “An agent doesn’t know about my house the way I do”
- Background: While homeowners have personal attachment and knowledge, selling is emotional. Realtors can provide an objective perspective, helping to sell the house without emotional bias.
- Agent: “An agent provides an objective perspective, helping to market and sell your house without the hindrance of emotional bias.”
- “I priced my home to sell fast and can’t afford to pay a commission”
- Background: Selling fast is a function of demand. Sure, price plays into that but so does exposure…and FSBOs are disadvantaged with maximizing exposure compared to agents. Not to mention agents ability to negotiate on terms like contingencies and understand how aspects like financing can affect time to close.
- Agent: “The best way to sell a home fast is to maximize demand and then select a buyer that can meet the terms that lead to a quick closing. If there was a strategy to accomplish this AND it actually netted you more, would you be open to hearing about it?”
- FSBO: “I’ll think about it IF you’ll cut your commission in half”
- Background: Professional realtors invest in marketing and efforts for each listing. Reducing commission could mean compromising on marketing quality, potentially leading to lower offers and extended market time.
- Agent: “My commission reflects the extensive marketing and professional services I offer, ensuring your home attracts the best offers in a timely manner.”
- FSBO: “I don’t want people going through my home without me being here”
- Background: Constant presence limits showing flexibility and extends the selling time. Homeowners may not recognize deceitful behaviors, making them potential targets for theft. Agents have safety protocols to protect both the home and homeowner.
- Agent: “With my safety protocols and professional approach, I ensure secure showings that respect your home and potential buyers’ comfort.”
Also in our research we heard great things about Coach Jackie Kravitz’s FSBO scripts. Here’s a video she did on FSBO scripts to set qualified appointments:
Strategies and Resources for FSBO sales scripting
Many agents will tell you that reciting scripts isn’t effective because you’ll lack authenticity. There may be something to that…so let’s get into some higher level info that’ll give you some building blocks to tailor your own FSBOs process.
General Framework of FSBO Script
- Build rapport and try to get them to open up
- Ask probing questions that will help demonstrate your expertise and qualify them as a potential prospect for using an agent
- Address either the challenges of selling FSBO OR the clear benefits of working with a professional
- Reinforce the value of your expertise and close by setting an appointment
FSBO Follow up
FSBOs list with an agent sooner than you’d think so err on the side of following too frequently instead of not enough. In addition to phone calls here’s what you can do:
- After a good conversation, send a thank you card and a CMA, Homebot or a HomeIQ for their property
- Then call or text everyday or every other day for a month OR until there’s an indication the motivation is decreasing
- If it’s been a month or more, move the call cadence down to weekly
NOTE: if you get the sense that text is their preferred way of communicating, you can replace calls with texts, but still try and call every so often as it’ll maintain the personal connection more
Other FSBO sales resources to checkout:
- A great book to read on selling scripts is called SPIN SELLING.
- There are great FSBO and Expired tips on The Modern Real Estate Agents podcast
- Here’s a FREE guide on selling to FSBOs that’s well regarded by many real estate agents: Product FSBO Seller Guide by Brian Icenhower Coaching
Also, we’re big fans of watching “live cold calling” to learn from some of the best in the biz in a real unvarnished setting. The best part is that these videos are recorded live so are 100% unedited.
Here’s a video with Brandon Mulrenin doing 30 minutes of live FSBO calls and after each call he does a post-call recap of the call highlighting what worked and what didn’t.
While timing and persistence and ability to handle rejection are all part of the FSBO prospecting process…but having the right words does matter!
Hopefully our deep dive into FSBO scripts helped spark some ideas to go after this proven source of listings. And now that you’re armed with FSBO scripts and tactics aplenty, we hope you’re ready to turn that FSBO battlefield into a playground.