Here is a secret for home-owners that are attempting to sell their house themselves... real estate agents and more afraid of you, than you are of them. Prospecting and drumming up new business is a part of our job- for many of us, our LEAST favorite part of the job- and to survive in this business we must develop and hone these skills. FSBOs are a great source of business, after all, they have a sign in the yard that may as well read "we have real estate needs"! Many agents get flustered and frustrated while attempting to work with FSBOs, and there is a simple change that can be made- their mental approach.
Most agents I've spoken with that struggle to convert FSBOs into business do so because they are trying so hard to convert the lead that they forget why they are there- to help people! Do agents want to sell your house? Of course, that's their job. But it's not because we are slick-talking salesmen, it's because we believe in our profession, our professionalism, and we love to help people buy and sell real estate.
Agents, remember this when approaching a FSBO. Some aren't ready to sell their home with an agent. Many are just "testing the waters", have had a previous bad experience, or aren't in a hurry to sell their home. Approach FSBOs with a clear goal- TO HELP SOMEONE. Now, if a FSBO is not in need of selling their home quickly and for fair market value, then don't waste your time. There are plenty of FSBOs and expired listings that have a real need to sell their home and could use your help. Offer advice, be sincere. Answer questions, be genuine. Don't approach as a salesman, approach as a professional that has an ability to help someone in need of advice, information or possibly their services.
Help people, the closings will come. It will make approaching FSBOs easier, because you won't be constantly worried about always "closing". It will also help your business, as it will give you more clients (and non-clients) that have a positive experience with you to share with friends, family, and whoever else will listen.
Good luck to FSBOs and Real Estate Professionals alike. I wish everyone nothing but blessings and happiness.
Greg Luczak, ERA Herman Group Real Estate