Your house hasn’t burned down has it?

Real Estate Agent with Keller Williams Realty

This is how the conversation went with a FSBO I met yesterday after he asked, "Why on Earth would I need an agent? I can do this on my own. You are just a glorified paper pusher that gets six percent for doing it."

Me:  "Your house hasn't burned down has it?"

Mr. Seller said, "No, why does that matter?"

Me: "You can put out a fire, can't you? Then why do you need fireman to come over? You have homeowners insurance to cover the home if you make a mistake and can't save the home, right? So, of course, since you are taking on this large of a transaction, than you must have Errors and Admissions insurance to cover you if you make a mistake on the sale of your home, am I correct in assuming that?"

Mr. Seller "Uh, uh, No?"

Me: "Let me explain that I do this everyday. I admit I've made mistakes, but I haven't had to use my errors and omissions and insurance yet, but if I do, I have it. What do you have to protect you from that? What would happen if you made a mistake on the 35-50 pages of documents that you have never worked with before and I just admitted I work with everyday and still make an occasional mistake on?"

Mr. Seller's wife: "Honey, what would we do?"

This is where I left the house with my informational packet on everything a real estate agent does. I am hoping for a real listing appointment once they realize that I do a little more than push papers for my 3% of that 6% commission.

Todd Clark - broker
Kastings & Associates
Phone: (503)524-9494
Fax: (503)622-8739

Posted by

Todd Clark (broker w/ Ken's Home Team)
Keller Williams Realty
Phone: (503)524-9494
Fax: (503)746-9573




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 I am a licensed Realtor who specializes in Washington County, Oregon and also work in both Clackamas and Multnomah Counties including the cities of Aloha, Beaverton, Canby, Clackamas, Gladstone, Gresham, Happy Valley, Hillsboro, Milwaukie, Oregon City, Sherwood and Tigard. All information contained in these posts are copyrighted and cannot be used without prior written approval authorization from the author me Todd Clark. If you are looking for an outstanding agent please give me a call I would love to help you with all your real estate needs.


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Comments 16 New Comment

Show All Comments
Richard Shuman
Realtor, Broker - Preferred Realty of Florida - ww
The Only B.S. I Have is from the University of Massachusetts

I won't even talk to a FSBO unless they ask for my help - most seem to think they know everything!

December 07, 2008 12:30 PM
Sarah Tingen
Exit Realty First Choice

I like your objection handling strategy.

Did you say this after the first visit to the FSBO? Were you door-knocking, or on the phone?

Let us know if you get the account.


December 07, 2008 12:32 PM
Harold "Hal" Place
A1 Connection Realty, Inc.

HI Todd,

Cold calls to FSBO's are usually less then rewarding, however I love the challange, don't you, Mr. Paper Pusher. LOL!


December 07, 2008 12:34 PM
Todd Clark
Broker - Beaverton, Oregon Real Estate Expert - (503) 524-9494
Keller Williams Realty

Richard, in this market I talk to anyone and everyone.

Sarah - This was a door knocking situation since I was in the neighborhood door knocking and saw that little red sign in the yard.

December 07, 2008 12:35 PM
Julie Staradumsky
Keller Williams Realty - Atlantic Shore

Todd, have the seller wondering!  I hope that you get the listing!  Have a wonderful holiday season!

December 07, 2008 12:37 PM
Anne Hensel
Realtor - Broker - St. Pete Beach, Treasure Island
South Beaches Real Estate Professionals

FSBO are a different breed. Not the easiest once to deal with.

December 07, 2008 12:39 PM
Missy Caulk
Realtor - Ann Arbor Real Estate
Missy Caulk TEAM

Todd, well have never seen that objection but I am sure you got the seller thinking. Let us know if they call you back. Of course you know that most FSBO's eventually list.

December 07, 2008 12:46 PM
Brian Burke
Broker & Advising Expert-Denver Luxury Real Estate
Kenna Real Estate

Todd - I love it. Great way to put it. Sometimes they just don't see it no matter what though. In that case... moving on to the next one :) ~Rita

December 07, 2008 12:48 PM
Kaire Downin
Keller Williams Realty Mid Willamette

Being new in town, not having a sphere to work with and get referrals, all I do is work with FSBOs and Expireds. I was lucky enough to take the Floyd Wickman SMART program one month into my carreer and I have to say, I have 3 listings and they were all EXP and FSBO, for only being licensed for 3 months, I feel pretty good about that. This is a great explaination of why people need us. It is an eye opener for sure! Thanks for sharing it!

December 07, 2008 01:05 PM
James Wexler

E & O insurance by using a realtor, for clients is a lot like life insurance, you hope never to use it, but you are really glad you have it in the outside chance you  may need it

December 07, 2008 01:21 PM
Tom Braatz
Waukesha County Realtor Real Estate agent,Waukesha
Re/Max Realty Center 262-377-1459


The people were asking you if you had E & O? Anticipation of something can be frightening. You are the master of handling objections.


Tom Braatz

December 07, 2008 02:04 PM
Angelia Garcia
Pure Realtors

Hi Todd,

that is a good tip to get your foot in the door.  Thanks.

December 07, 2008 08:48 PM
Fran Gatti
Realtor, CDPE, RDCPro - Crescent City CA Real Esta
RE/MAX Coastal Redwoods


Good job, but it's absolutely the truth.  I sold a home on my own before I became an agent. Yeesh, I'm really lucky all went well. 


December 07, 2008 10:15 PM
Janna Scharf
Coeur d'Alene Real Estate Pro
Keller Williams Realty Coeur d'Alene

Oh my gosh, how is it that the O&E angle never occurred to me before?  Thanks for sharing this, one more tool to use in those conversations.

December 08, 2008 12:35 AM
Fred Chamberlin
Oak Harbor/Whidbeynulls, #1 Experienced FHA Mortgage Consultant
Guild Mortgage Co - Oak Harbor WA

Hard to believe you actually made a mistake Todd. I did once, but I only thought I was wrong, but was actually right. Great rebuttal.

December 08, 2008 12:37 AM
Jason & Amber Gardner
REALTORS, Sherwood and SW Portland Real Estate
The Hasson Company

WOW, some people.

December 08, 2008 02:10 AM
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Todd Clark

Broker - Beaverton, Oregon Real Estate Expert - (503) 524-9494
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