For Sale By Owner Listings: The "Write Way" To List FSBOs (PART III)

In this final installment of this article series you will learn how to help independent sellers become educated about safety issues in relation to showing their home and will effectively debunk the myth that selling a home solo saves money.

The “Write Way” To List FSBOs (PART III)

In last month’s PART II, your contact with the FSBO folks took a turn toward reality and you addressed some of the tougher issues associated with selling a home as an independent. In this month’s final installment we will help independent sellers become educated about safety issues in relation to showing their home and we will debunk the myth that selling a home solo saves money.

NOTE: This is the 3rd and final installment in a three-part series about making and maintaining mutually beneficial contacts with members of your community in the FSBO market.

You have made contact with the local FSBO crowd and offered them the information they need. You have followed up with additional information during a second contact phase and have anticipated and helped them with some of the difficulties they are sure to encounter. Now, in the third contact, you will give the FSBO folks a glimpse of why working with a realtor – with YOU – makes good sense for them.

Some of the issues you may address are safety issues, tax and legal considerations and the unpleasant task (for most people) of negotiating during the sales process. As with the second “wave” of contacts, you may want to split this contact into multiple sets of shorter contact letters with each individual. You have their best interests in mind and should tell them how and why you are concerned and how you can help. Then, you must offer that help directly.

An Example:

Dear Mary and John –

I hope all is going well as you show your home. I want to take this opportunity to offer some safety tips to be sure you keep yourself and your family as safe as possible this season.

Safety considerations when showing your home:

  • Get pre-qualifying information from anyone coming to see the house BEFORE they arrive.
  • At a minimum you should know their name, address, phone number, drivers license number and the type of car they drive. Should anything happen, this information will help police identify the visitor. Keep these records until after the house is sold.
  • Set up a time to confirm your appointment and call the phone number they provide well before their arrival to be sure it’s a valid number.
  • Never show your home alone. If you are planning to show the house, be sure another adult is onsite and visible during the showing.
  • If you own a cell phone, keep it with you when you show your house. If you don’t own one, borrow one.
  • Never go into a room alone with someone you don’t know, especially bedrooms and other “isolated” rooms. You may direct them into a room and wait for them at the doorway.
  • Never lead a prospect; this will put you in the position of having them behind you. Instead, drop back and direct them so they stay in front of you during the showing. Do not turn your back to a stranger in your home.
  • Before a prospect arrives, check all windows and doors to be sure they are secured. Some would-be burglars pose as prospects to create an easy means to access your property later. As soon as a prospect leaves re-check all windows and doors. If any have been opened or unlocked, you may want to report it to your local police.
  • Follow your instincts. If someone makes you uncomfortable, refuse them entry, cut the showing short, or ask them to leave.

For more safety considerations when showing your home to strangers, visit our website and print off the safety checklist we offer.

If you have any questions about maintaining your safety, tax or legal considerations
of selling your own home, or any other topics, please feel free to call. I would welcome the opportunity to help you.

Joe Agent

Come Sell With Us Real Estate

After offering safety tips for showing the house, you can follow up in a week or so with the following final solicitation and contact letter:

Dear Mary and John –

If you are concerned about safety issues, if you are worried that there may be tax or legal considerations you have not covered during the process of selling your home, or if you dread the thought of the negotiation process and haggling over your asking price, I would be happy to help you.

There are several reasons why you may want to consider using an agent:

  • You no longer want to be responsible for all the details required to sell your home.
  • You want to get your life back for yourself and your family instead of being tied to your house every day and every weekend.
  • You want to list your home in the multiple listing system, to show your house to a larger audience and command a better price.
  • You have discovered that buyers will “lowball” you because they feel they should save the agent’s fee, since you are selling the home yourself.

If you want to regain a “normal” life, I can help. I can take over the tasks of showing your property, listing it for greater exposure to qualified buyers, and handling the mundane details, legal contracts, and financial/tax considerations (with the assistance of your attorney and CPA).

Selling homes is what I do best and what I enjoy most. Let me help you get back to what you enjoy most. I’m here to help. Call me tonight, and reclaim your life as early as tomorrow – 1-800-sell-w-us.

Best wishes for a joyful holiday season,

Joe Agent

Come Sell With Us Real Estate

By developing a planned FSBO campaign, you can offer these independent sellers the information they need when they need it without appearing pushy. As the tough situations arise, if you remain available and offer solutions, you establish yourself as a valuable resource.

Once the FSBO individuals have been dealing with the stresses of marketing, showing, and selling their own home for a period of time, your offer to handle it for them may be a welcome relief. Instead of feeling threatened, they will see you as the type of agent you are – one that has been quite supportive throughout the process – and will continue to do your best to help them achieve their goals.

The right approach with a FSBO can turn a one-time independent seller into a lifetime client.

© Copyright 2004 by Angela Allen Parker of Wicked Wordcraft

This January 2004 article appears in the monthly “Word Magic” column
in the newsletter.