FSBO Scripts and Advice from Successful Agents

Renae | May 8, 2018 | Best Practices

FSBO Scripts and Advice from Successful Agents

For-sale-by-owner (FSBO) properties will always exist as long as real estate does. Homeowners hope to save money and believe that they can handle the entire process, from start to finish, to successfully sell their homes. For real estate agents, “it’s the low-hanging fruit” for those “who don’t pay to advertise and don’t have a big pipeline,” according to Ryan Stewman, CEO of Break Free Academy.

It’s important to understand the place of FSBOs in the greater landscape of real estate. This requires a special script to encourage them to eventually list with you.

Making FSBOs a Part of Your Listings

Variety is key to ensuring that you cover all sources of leads. FSBOs can be one of those important lead resources. Justin Davis with Keller Williams in Albuquerque, New Mexico, prospects FSBO leads every day. For him, consistency is key.

“In 2017, about 25 percent of my business came from FSBO leads that I converted to listings, and then to sales and commission checks!” he says.

David Hill, CEO/Realtor for Hill Team Associates and HergGroup Central Massachusetts at Keller Williams, has a schedule that he follows.

“I typically call on Mondays, but it really depends. Most FSBOs will list in 30-45 days, so we want to be there when they are ready. I always ask if it’s okay to check back in with them.”

Bring Value to FSBOs

Calling on FSBOs is a great idea, and you surely aren’t the only agent who’s thought of it!

“Agents need to understand that when they are calling a FSBO, they are one in 25+ that are calling,” says Stewman. “In order to truly stand out, they must be different and have value.”

Appleton, Wisconsin, agent Dylan Diersen of the Riesterer Team with First Weber Inc. feels the same way. For years, he’s contacted FSBOs to discover that value is a huge part of nailing clients in this area. He’s come up with four ways to bring value and be consistent.

  1. Reach out with a helpful mindset.
  2. Follow up regularly.
  3. Best time of day to reach out is between 4 and 7 nightly and anytime on the weekends.
  4. Pay attention for signs that the prospect is ready to concede and list.

If you are in a strong seller’s market, [homeowners] know they can sell on their own, even if they are losing out on thousands,” says Diersen. “They don’t realize that they are losing out because they see the
REALTOR paycheck as very high. In a strong buyer’s market, it is much easier to get FSBOs to work with you.”

Finding FSBO Leads

There are a couple of ways to find FSBO leads. The first way is to use an FSBO lead generating service. The second is to search for FSBO leads on your own.

FSBO Lead Services

FSBO lead services scour hundreds of newspapers, websites, and other lists to find FSBO leads. They then combine those leads and place them onto their specific platforms. See below for two of the top FSBO lead services on the Internet along with their monthly rates.

  1. Redx – $39.99
  2. Land Voice – $40

Few differences exist between Redx and Land Voice, which is why their rates are so similar. Before deciding on either one, make sure to do your own research. You want to be comfortable with whatever FSBO lead service you choose if you decide to go that way.

Find FSBO Lead Services on Your Own

Owners looking to sell their home on their own won’t just put up a for sale sign. They’ll also ensure they get potential buyers by advertising on Craigslist or in their local newspaper. They might even advertise on Zillow, on local newspaper websites, or on forsalebyowner.com.

Finding FSBO leads on your own does take time. Essentially, you will be doing the same process that Redx and Land Voice use to find FSBO leads.

How to Convert Your FSBO Leads

It’s not that hard to convert your FSBO leads. In fact, converting FSBO leads into actual customers is easier than you think.

Here are a few reasons why you shouldn’t have much trouble converting FSBO leads once you discover them.

  1. They have no idea how hard it is to sell a home

It seems easy, right? Selling a home? We know it’s not easy because we’re real estate agents. Someone who thinks it is easy might try to sell a home on their own only to discover that such a thing isn’t that easy to accomplish.

  1. You know exactly why they’ve decided to become an FSBO

Most home owners don’t just decide to sell their homes. They often decide to go it alone because they’ve had a bad experience with a real estate agent in the past. Although that’s a barrier you must knock down, you can easily knock it down by explaining and showing how you are different than their past experience.

  1. Use an FSBO Script

It’s important that to convert leads you use an FSBO script. Scripts do several things including giving you a starting off point, keeping you on track, and helping you use specific FSBO conversion language. Talking off the cuff can work at times, but it’s best to use a script when dealing with FSBO prospects.

Why You Need an FSBO Script

If an FSBO prospect has had a bad experience with a real estate agent, you will want a script to help you immediately get that bad experience out of their minds. In addition to using a script to break down barriers, real estate agents can also use FSBO scripts to:

  1. Set up expectations
  2. Explain why you’re the best real estate agent to help them with their sale
  3. Make sure things move forward after the initial conversation.

You can either create your own FSBO Script, or you can go ahead and use one that’s already prepared. Let’s take a look at an actual script and break down its key components.

How to Create Your Own FSBO Scripts

You’ll need an introduction and a hook for sure. But, you’ll also need to get to know your FSBO lead. We’ll take a look at a single script by Ryan Stewman, who calls himself the Hard Core Closer.

Introduction

I noticed your home is for sale in x neighborhood. Is it still for sale?

Great!

What’s the first thing to notice? Ryan doesn’t introduce himself as a real estate agent. He first wants to establish that the home is for sale.

Your FSBO Script “Hook”

I’ve got a couple of buyers looking in your area, and your price range. Would you mind if I come by tonight at 7pm and preview it for them?

Now check out Ryan’s hook. This is a fantastic hook. It implies that Ryan has a couple of buyers already willing to purchase. The key with this hook is to get the FSBO interested in welcoming you over to their home.

One thing about this hook that you might want add is that you’re a real estate agent. Ryan doesn’t do that because it’s implied that he is. If you’re uncomfortable just implying, just say that you’re a real estate agent before using a hook like Ryan’s

Getting to Know Your FSBO Lead

You get to know your FSBO lead during the initial meet and greet. Make sure to ask them why they decided to list the home on their own. Doing this will help when you go to close the appointment. You should also get an idea of their expectations as well as critically assess what they’ve done so far to sell the home. If the criticism is valuable, they’ll realize that you’re the expert and they aren’t.

Closing the Appointment

Closing the appointment means they decide to make you their listing agent. This could take more than a single appointment. Or, it could only take one. Closing is the key. Nothing else matters. The real key is to let them know that not only will you ensure they sell their home for as much as possible, but that you also will make sure they sell their home quickly.

Check out the section on How to Convert Your FSBO Leads for tips on closing the appointment.

FSBO Script Examples from Successful Agents

The best way to learn how to write successful FSBO scripts is to read scripts from successful real estate agents. See below for profiles of successful real estate agents before actually reading their FSBO scripts:

Ryan Stewman – The Hardcore Closer, Stewman is a successful real estate agent that goes for it right away. If you wish to emulate him, make sure your willing to be aggressive right off the bat.

Justin Davis – Davis is a real estate agent with Keller Williams.  Davis’ style is cheerier than Stewman’s. Davis’ FSBO scripts get the job done, though.

David Hill – Hill is also a Keller Williams real estate agent. He’s actually more than that, though. Hill runs his own company, Hill & Associates, under the Keller Williams banner. Check out his company’s Facebook page.

Now that you know who Stewman, Davis, and Hill are, check out some of their successful FSBO scripts.

From Ryan Stewman:

I noticed your home is for sale in x neighborhood. Is it still for sale?

Great!

I’ve got a couple of buyers looking in your area, and your price range. Would you mind if I come by tonight at 7pm and preview it for them?

“This gets you in the door, from there you gotta close them down on listing with you.”

From Justin Davis:

This is Justin Davis with Keller Williams and I’m giving you a quick call because I work with a lot of buyers and sellers in our area and I was just wondering… how could I help you?

“Usually, you can expect them to say, “Bring me a buyer!’”

“I repeat and affirm throughout the call.”

You’d like me to bring you a buyer… that makes sense to me.

“I then transition to qualifying questions.”

Well, let me ask you this… if you don’t mind me asking, where do you plan on moving once this house sells?

Oh, that’s exciting! What brings you out there?

How soon do you have to move?

How long will you continue to try to sell on your own before interviewing some of the better agents in town?

I’d like to meet with you sooner than later so that you can size me up and see if I’m someone that you would like to work with and likewise I take a look at the property and tell you whether I think I can sell it or not.

“Then, I close for the appointment: ‘Would later today at 5 be ok for me to stop by? Or, would tomorrow at 4:30 be better for you?’”

“Every call is different, but this is the basic framework for qualifying and getting appointments. If there is a point in the call where I can build common ground, I take full advantage of that to build rapport with the prospect.

Oh, you’re moving back to New Jersey? That’s where I’m originally from! Just got divorced? I’ve been there, done that and know how that goes! It’s never an easy process. (both true statements!)

“The objective of the call is to get the appointment and get in front of the prospect. If I don’t get the appointment right away, I follow-up and check-in every week or so to let the seller know that I’m here for them if they need anything. This builds trust and a relationship over time.”

From David Hill, CEO/Realtor for Hill Team Associates and HergGroup Central Massachusetts at Keller Williams.

If I could show you how we can net you what you need after our fees would you list with me?

What’s most important? Selling your home, yourself, or what you put in your pocket at the closing table?

Hill finds that the best time to have these conversations and to call is “as soon as they hit the market. I try to be the first agent to make contact. However, I just listed one who said I was number 14.”

Commission is another objection that Hill finds he must combat often with FSBOs.

“I feel 9 of 10 will list if they believe we can net them what they need (or want) to make on their home sale. Utilizing the scripts I mentioned above does help convert the leads.”

“I personally do not do home tours for buyers. I tell them that I want to come by and discuss our marketing and see if we can help them net what they want and am very clear that there is no obligation to hire me which takes some of the stress off them.”

From Desare Kohn-Laski, broker of Skye Louis Realty, which has more than 100 agents:

“When it comes to a seller who is choosing the ‘for-sale-by-owner’ way, it can be challenging to change their minds. However, it is possible.”

“One of the most helpful scripts has been the Tom Ferry scripts.”

“I also suggest calls between 8 to 10 AM.”

“Following up is never a bad idea, but don’t be annoying and scare them off. When conversing with a home seller, the main objection is always ‘Why would I hire a realtor when I can put an extra 6% in my pocket?’ A counter point to this is that FSBOs sell at 10 percent less than MLS-listed properties.”

“The smartest decision for a seller is always going to be to stick with a professional and let us negotiate with buyers for you. Not only will we secure the best deal, but we also know all the updated information on the important guidelines that structure these deals.”

The Ferry Scripts

All real estate agents should have some knowledge about Ferry Scripts. The father-son Ferry duo have been two of the top real estate experts in the United States for a long time. Father Mike Ferry has been the top real estate coach in the U.S. since 1975.

Tom Ferry, Mike’s son, is also a top real estate coach. Tom Ferry is also a motivational speaker, author, and the CEO of Ferry International. Tom is located in Santa Ana, CA.

Both Mike and Tom have created excellent FSBO scripts.

Mike Ferry Scripts

You can find Mike Ferry’s FSBO opening along with script ideas here. We’ve reprinted it from Mike’s pdf document for you:

Hi, this is ______ with ______, and I’m calling about the home for sale … is this the owner? I’m doing a survey of all the FSBO’s in the area and I was wondering …

  1. If you sold this home … where would you go next? (LA) That’s exciting!
  2. How soon do you have to be there? (3 months) Fantastic!
  3. How would you rate your motivation to move … on a scale of 1 to 10? (5) Good for you!
  4. What methods are you using for marketing your home? (Sign and ads) That’s great! 5. How did you determine your sales price? (Other agents) Fantastic!
  5. Are you prepared to adjust your price down when working with a buyer? (Within reason) Terrific!
  6. Why did you decide to sell yourself … rather than list with a real estate agent? (Save the commission) Great!
  7. If you were to list … which agent would you list with? (None in mind) Fantastic!
  8. How did you happen to pick that agent? ( ) Good for you!
  9. If you were to list … what would you expect the agent to do … to get your home sold? ( ) That’s great!
  10. How much time will you take … before you will consider … interviewing the right agent for the job of selling your home? ( ) Excellent!
  11. What has to happen … before you will consider … hiring a powerful agent … like myself … for the job of selling your home? ( ) Perfect!
  12. Are you familiar with the techniques I use to sell homes? ( ) You’re kidding!
  13. What would be the best time to show you … __________ or __________?

Tom Ferry Scripts

Tom Ferry created What You Say Matters – Agent Script Book. In the Agent Script Book, Tom has an entire section on how to handle For Sale By Owner prospects. He includes information on contacting For Sale By Owners as well as providing info on The System to turn FSBOs into clients. We pulled a few excerpts from Tom’s FSBO scripts from What You Say Matters – Agent Script Book.

WHAT TO SAY TO GET THE PREVIEW APPOINTMENT

“Are you cooperating with agents on the sale?”

If they say “what do you mean?” respond with “If I bring you a buyer and you net the money you want, will you pay me a commission?”

A FEW CRITICAL QUESTIONS TO ASK TO GET AN APPOINTMENT

“Realistically, how long will you try to sell this on your own before you will list?”

  • Use drama when asking this one. “Mrs. Seller … you mentioned on the phone you’d try for 30 days. Clearly you want to move to San Fran right away … you’ve got a couple kids … a husband … a full-time job … I mean selling on your own is a full-time job in itself! Based on all that … realistically, how long will you try to sell this on your own?”

APPOINTMENT SETTING DIALOGUE

Hi, I’m looking for the owner of the home for sale. This is (name) with (company). As an area specialist, my goal is to know about all the homes for sale in the market place for the buyers I’m working with. Do you mind if I ask you a few questions about your property? Excellent!

  1. I know the ad in the paper said it had (#) bedrooms and (#) baths,
  • Are the rooms a good size?
  • How is the kitchen?
  • Have the bathrooms been remodeled?
  • Would you tell me about the yard?
  • Tell me about your neighborhood: do you feel it’s nice for raising a family?
  • Is there anything else that is important to know?
  1. Sounds like you have a great home, why are you selling? (Great)
  2. Where are you moving? (Terrific)
  3. How did you decide on that area? (Fantastic)
  4. Who did you want to sell your home to: a friend, neighbor or a relative? (Great)
  5. How much is the new house you are buying? (Good for you)
  6. So, do you have to sell this home first to close on the new one? (Great) FOR SALE BY OWNER 13 “
  7. What is your time frame? Okay …
  8. How did you determine your sales price? Got it.
  9. You know, with as many homes as are on the market right now, what are you doing differently to market yours? What else?
  10. If there was an advantage to … use me … to market your home would you consider it?
  11. Normally at this point … I would say … let’s get together for 20 minutes or so … so we can discuss how we can help you achieve your goal … I have some time (___) or would (___) be better for you?
  12. I’d like to have some information delivered before we meet … where should I send it, to your home or office?
  13. I look forward to meeting with you on (___), thanks again and have a great day!

Tom also has an entire section under FSBO titled four types of buyers’ dialogue. We pulled out the set up and then the scrips on the first type of buyer.

FOUR TYPES OF BUYERS DIALOGUE

  1. Just out of curiosity how many calls did you receive last week?
  2. How many of those were from Realtors?
  3. That leaves ___ potential buyers.
  4. Out of ___ how many came to see your home?
  5. Out of the ones that came to see your home how many gave you an offer?
  6. Do you know why they didn’t give you an offer?
  7. There are 4 types of buyers …
  8. The first are serious and in a hurry, they may be relocating from another city and have 3 days to find and buy the right home. Or they may be someone who’s home sold last night and today they need to find their replacement home.
  9. Because they are in a hurry do you think they will be with a Realtor or do you think they are reading every ad in the paper looking for fsbo’s?

Both Mike Ferry and Tom Ferry scripts can be incredibly valuable for real estate agents looking to sign up For Sale By Owners. Make sure to look over these scripts before creating your own. Before you know it, your FSBO scripts will work just as effectively as Mike’s and Tom’s!

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Renae