List FSBOs with Real Estate Letters Offering Good Advice

Trying to list the FSBOs? This is what your marketing needs to emphasize.

You know why home sellers are trying to sell without your help. They think they are going to save a lot of money. And to be absolutely honest, those who know what they are doing, have nerves of steel, and don’t need to go to work every day can come up to what you can do.

As for the rest of them … their marketing should gently point out that they just don’t know what they’re getting into!

No, you can’t say that. Making a potential customer look or feel silly is definitely not the way to earn your business. Therefore, you must be gentle in your presentation.

You need to offer some help in the form of advice, or perhaps give them a hint about the various disclosure forms they will need. It can offer some advice on how to steel yourself against the insults they will hear when buyers try to drive down the price. (I used to laugh at the comments buyers made to me. Sometimes I wanted to ask why they wanted to buy the house, since they hated it so much).

And of course you need to remind them that buyers will try to point out that they are not paying a real estate agent, so naturally they can sell the house for less.

Before embarking on selling homes on their own, homeowners should ask themselves:

• Do I know how to determine the value of your home in today’s market?

• Am I willing to work with and pay a buyer’s agent?

• Do I know how to market my home and get it in front of enough buyers?

• Can I deal in a civil way with people who severely criticize my home?

• Am I willing to ask buyers to disclose their financial situation before taking my home off the market to negotiate with them?

You should touch on all of these points when you talk to FSBO sellers, and you can incorporate them into a special report or series of real estate letters to mail to them. If you like to write and have a few extra hours, you can create letters that are uniquely yours.

If you don’t like writing or don’t have overtime, you can buy pre-written real estate letters and just get to work sending them out.

Either way, real estate letters written this way are a gentle selling technique that will position you as a non-pushy, non-threatening agent who knows how to sell houses. With each letter, you will become a trusted advisor, so when they decide they need help, they will naturally turn to you.

But how do you first contact these people?

One way is to offer the special report on your website. Visitors choose to receive the report and their addresses are automatically entered in their automatic reply to receive the letters.

You can write the addresses and try to locate the names that go with them, or (Please, no!) Write to the Dear Owner. Personally, I think you should use a voluntary subscription on your site, even if you take the hands-on approach … which is to get out there and meet people.

I know, that can be a little scary. But if you decide what to say ahead of time and practice it, it will be easier.

Write a script that sounds natural to you. Something like “Hello, my name is Sally Jones from ABC Realty. I see you are offering your home for sale by the owner and I stopped to ask if you were willing to allow buyer’s agents to show it to your clients.”

If you say it all at once, they won’t have a chance to say “I’m not on the list” and slam the door on you.

Some of them may not have thought about the fact that some buyers want agent representation, so at this point you may need to explain the procedure. If you have a list of buyers that you email, you can mention it. If you use a single or one-part listing agreement, mention that as well.

If they say yes, they are willing to work with the buyer’s agents, request a tour and take notes. You could even take a photo to accompany your notes.

The important thing is that you do not request the listing at that time. (No, unless they throw themselves at your feet and beg you to take over this horrible job they’ve gotten themselves into. In that case, should Be a good Samaritan and help them. )

If they say they don’t want to work with buyer’s agents, be polite and friendly and say, “Okay, I’ll let the others in my office know so they won’t bother you.” You can also include something complimentary about the house and tell them that if they change their mind, let them know, because surely you would like to show it to them. Give them your card, of course.

Before you leave, tell them that you have a special report with tips for owner-sellers and would like to send it to them. That gives you the opportunity to ask for their names. You should probably also ask if the home address is your postal address, as some people prefer PO boxes to home delivery. Mail the special report as soon as you get back to the office and attach a nice handwritten note thanking them for speaking with you. If you can think of something more personal to add, please do so. For example, if you were about to leave for a boy’s soccer game, say that you hope your team won. That’s just to show you that they are more to you than a home address – you realized who they really are.

Be sure to include another card in case they flipped the first one in the minute you left.

Then every few days send out a new real estate letter with some new helpful advice. End each letter with an offer of help in case they decide not to do it on their own.

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