The main purpose of this page about FSBO Realtors is to give you an idea of a variety of approaches that different real estate agencies might use and an explanation of each.
If you know their approaches, you can then have a plan of action which we will also cover on this page. So let's take a look at some of the different approaches and possible responses, shall we?
The Sneak, Peak, Drop and Run
The Approach: This Realtor may be a little terrified of you, the for sale by owner.
Their method is to quietly approach your house when no one is visible to them, drop a flyer or a card in the mailbox and make their escape.
The Payoff: They hope that you will read their literature and call them later to list your house. Chances of that happening? A real LONG shot.
Your Response: Not much to do on this one. You may want to look at their literature and either toss it or set it aside for future reference should you feel it may come in useful.
For other information about Realtor's select any one of the photo links below.
The "I'm Here to Help You"
The Approach: With this FSBO Realtor they will arrive at your home, ring the bell and then start their pitch on how they are going to help you sell for sale by owner.
They may offer to do a Valuation of Your Property, make up a feature sheet of your property, or give you a list of things to do as a for sale by owner so you have a better chance of selling.
The Payoff: This FSBO Realtor may offer other services, all for free, but you get the idea. "I've helped you try to sell by owner, so you should list with me if you don't sell."
Your Response: Hey, let them. If the real estate agent wants to make you up some nice free feature sheets, why not go along for the ride. You have no obligation to them, so free is free.
The "You Can't Sell Without My Help"
The Approach: When this FSBO Realtor drops by for a chat, it is all about how you are wasting your time trying to sell on your own.
They may mention that the real estate agencies have all the buyers and no real estate agent will show your house.
They will tell you that you need a professional and may say that the buyer's that do look at your house will only be unqualified buyer's that can't buy anyway.
The Payoff: These salespeople are hoping to put doubts in your head and make you think that you should maybe list with a real estate agent.
These types of agents will probably return several times to try and wear you down.
Your Response: Don't argue with these salespeople. Be polite, nod your head perhaps and let them have their say.
You can tell them that you prefer to sell for sale by owner and if you ever decide to list with a real estate agent, you may consider them.
Ask for their card and do whatever with it.
The "I Can Get You More Money"
The Approach: When these FSBO Realtor's arrive at your doorstep, they are all full of promises that I just call lies.
There has been lots of unbelievable "data" that has been fed to real estate agents about how when you list with a Realtor, homeowners will actually put more money in their pockets, than if they sell by owner.
I did almost 13 years as a Realtor and over 4 years as an owner/operator of a for sale by owner company and my data tells me just the opposite.
In the majority of cases, for sale by owners do a great deal better when it comes to the bottom line, then if they sell through one of the real estate agencies.
The main problem has been the success rate of the for sale by owner, not the cash-out. That is why I made this website. If you follow the advice here, you will now have more money in your pocket, PLUS a much higher success rate. :-)
The Payoff: Like the "You Can't Sell Without My Help Agents", these folks are hoping to put doubts in your head. They go a step further by making false promises of putting more money in your pocket.
Your Response: Smile, nod your head and politely say that you are going to continue selling by owner, for now. Again, ask for their card.
The main thing here is not to get into an argument. You might also mention that you have a Certified Appraisal so you know the value of your property.
The "We're All Going to Die!"
The Approach: This is The Intimidator FSBO Realtor. This is just plain scare tactics.
They will probably approach you all friendly and helpful and then turn things around by trying to make you think that all the "buyer's" that approach you, just got out of the "Big House" 3 weeks ago. The for sale by owner buyers are either in bad need of drug money or other terrifying wants.
The Payoff: These real estate salespeople are hoping that their tales of horror will convince you that it is unsafe to let any strangers in your house for fear of your life. Just let your friendly neighborhood FSBO Realtor handle everything, and you'll be just fine.
Your Response: Let the agent know that you have everything under control and thank them for their concern. Again, be nice and don't argue.
The "You Better Hire a Lawyer Now"
The Approach: Much like The Intimidator FSBO Realtor, this agent tries to convince you that without a professional handling all your paperwork etc., you will be faced with all kinds of legal problems, lawsuits, bankruptcies and other nightmares because you didn't know what you were doing.
The Payoff: They simply hope that you will be terrified into listing with a "professional" so you don't have all these horrible things happen to you.
Your Response: Explain to the real estate agent that you have a real estate lawyer looking out for your interest and all offers have to go through him or her for approval. You can find the clause that I used on This Page.
The "I Have a Buyer"
The Approach: The "I have a buyer FSBO Realtor, is as old as the hills. Big smile, all friendly a cheerful good-morning and then the "I have a buyer" speech.
The Payoff: Beware this agent. Some of these people may actually have a "potential" buyer and others may not. This is why you have to be careful where you go on this one.
The real estate agent's agenda may be to show good faith by bringing "someone" over to view your house, and then when they don't buy, convince you to list with them.
They may also try and "trick" you into a listing. There is no reason to ever sign a listing agreement whether it's a "24-hour listing" or a "buyer listing" when you are for sale by owner.
Your Response: This one is up to you. You may tell the real estate agent that you are not cooperating with Realtors, or you may tell them you would be happy to pay a Finder's Fee if their buyer decides to buy your property.
If you sign an agreement with the FSBO Realtor, I recommend a flat fee, not a percentage. The "listing" should be for that one buyer's name, not for an open amount of time without a name.
The "If I Had a Buyer"
The Approach: This type of approach is similar to the one above but the agent doesn't have anyone they can show at this time.
They will therefore only ask if you would co-operate with them if they bring you a buyer. After the initial approach, there will be probably several more "friendly" visits.
The Payoff: This is really another version of the "helpful" agent. If they show up enough and be friendly enough, you might just list your house with them, because they are now like a friend.
Your Response: Like the example above, you can say you are not allowing FSBO Realtors to show the property, or you can tell them you will pay a finder's fee, if they introduce a buyer that purchases your property.
The Approach: This is the worst kind of FSBO Realtor. These are usually obnoxious annoying people not only in their career but also in life generally.
They will hound you, lie to you, use one or several of the approaches above and just make your life miserable.
Fortunately, these agents are few and far between, but I've seen them in action and it "ain't" pretty.
The Payoff: These agents usually have no moral conscience, no soul and they just try to wear you out mentally until you just say, "List my House!, I'm going out of town until it's sold, so here's my cell phone number!".
Well, maybe not that bad. :-)
Your Response: This type of FSBO Realtor isn't worth your time. Ask them to leave and if they get obnoxious, you can tell them they are trespassing and if they don't leave immediately, you will call law enforcement to have them removed.
This is one time you don't have to be nice. :-)
For More Information about Using Realtor's
Select any one of these photo links