“Mr. FSBO, You’re an Idiot and I’m Not!” Yeah, that’s persuasive…

By
Education & Training with Sell with Soul

(The other day I promised to do a little series on applying Go-Giver principles to real estate - while this blog wasn't written with that in mind, I realize that it DOES indeed reflect a Go-Giver philosophy! So, let's consider this the first in that series, k?)

I was just talking to an agent who is going through a corporate-sponsored FSBO training program.

Sigh.scared

It’s typical stuff. Under the guise of being helpful, the program advises you to scare the guy to death about everything he doesn’t know about selling a house. Bring in a stack of complicated contracts and disclosures, “just so that he’ll be prepared if an offer comes in.” Include intimidating documents that he won’t actually need at contract (like a deed of trust and personal property bill of sale) just to beef up your pile. Provide a “helpful” info-sheet about the dangers of letting strangers into your home.

Again, your basic FSBO scare-tactics.

And again, sigh.

Hey, someone decides to FSBO their home because they think they can do it. They think they’re smart enough to do it and they don’t see the point in paying some smarty-pants real estate agent a whole bunch of dollars to stick a sign in the yard and do an open house. In most markets, they can pay a few hundred bucks to get on the MLS and borrow a For Sale sign, so they’re good to go.

And you know what? Maybe they are smart enough. But it doesn’t matter if they are or they aren’t; what matters is that they think they are. So, when you come in with your brow all furrowed with faux concern and your “helpful” material in hand, all you’re really doing is insulting the seller’s intelligence. You’re basically saying “You’re an idiot for trying to sell your house yourself! You can’t possibly succeed without me because I’m SO much smarter than you are.”

Oh, I know that’s not what you’re saying, but that’s what he’s hearing. And we wonder why FSBO’s can be hostile to us smarty-pants real estate agent types!

How about let’s be straight with the guy? If you think you can actually help this guy sell his house, then PROVE it to him. BE helpful without strings attached. Authentically CARE about his situation instead of mastering that look of faux concern. Be genuinely willing to walk him through contracts and answer his questions. Provide informative market reports to help him price properly.

Contrary to popular belief, demonstrating your expertise by sharing your knowledge won’t eliminate the seller’s need for you. I hope not, anyway; shoot, if it’s so easy to sell and close a house that we can explain it in an hour or two, that seller truly DOESN’T need us!

No, being cheerfully and genuinely helpful, caring and GIVING is gonna go a whole lot further with a suspicious FSBO than all the scare tactics in the world!

 

 

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Re-Bloggged 5 times:

Re-Blogged By Re-Blogged At
  1. Chris Webster 08/28/2010 03:20 AM
  2. Don Spera 08/28/2010 06:14 AM
  3. Randy Elliott 09/03/2010 01:48 PM
  4. Sue Puleo 09/03/2010 02:25 PM
  5. Michele Hanigan 06/12/2011 12:10 PM
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Topic:
Real Estate Sales and Marketing
Groups:
Introverts are (Sales) People, Too!
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Comments 62 New Comment

Rainmaker
427,749
Jennifer Allan-Hagedorn
Author of Sell with Soul
Sell with Soul

Julie - anything that makes you gag is just WRONG! What is it about our industry that doesn't understand that simple concept? Good for you for trusting your gut.

September 05, 2010 10:45 AM
Rainer
9,033
Jason Grams
none

Best article I have ever read about working with FSBOs.  You NAILED it!

January 09, 2011 03:00 AM
Rainmaker
427,749
Jennifer Allan-Hagedorn
Author of Sell with Soul
Sell with Soul

So glad you enjoyed it, Jason! I know I enjoyed writing it...

January 09, 2011 07:31 AM
Rainer
22,351
Michele Hanigan
Realtor - Dallas & Plano Real Estate - (214)738-5555
Keller Williams Realty Plano, Texas

Jennifer, great blog.  I've kinda been on the fence with FSBo's, and this blog just reminded me why!  Probably the best route is just to be patient and when their home doesn't sell after a longer period of time, and then sweep in and offer help.  Asking them questions at that point is probably less offensive, as they now know their way didn't work.  No-one wants their nose shoved in it. Who wouldn't want help if offered in a kind, respectable manner?

 

I think I just answered my own question on to FSBO or not to FSBO.  :)

June 12, 2011 12:09 PM
Anonymous #62
Anonymous
Kerry Carloy
Jennifer, This blog is very timely for me! I was thinking about approaching a FSBO owner to just start being acquainted. I'm genuinely interested in this seller's odyssey. I want to offer to do a CMA on the house (forgive the choice of words) and, as you say, establish a no pressure relationship where I really appreciate the courage of this individual in selling his own property.
August 15, 2011 02:07 PM
Rainmaker
427,749

Jennifer Allan-Hagedorn

Author of Sell with Soul
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