OREA Real Estate College

Breaking Into The FSBO Market


Reams of information exist on how homeowners can sell their own houses. In fact, there is a website dedicated to such an endeavour. While it is the owners’ prerogative to sell their own homes, you should not be reluctant to prospect FSBOs (For Sale By Owner) to obtain a listing.  

However, do not contact any FSBO on the National Do Not Call List. Check with your brokerage for access to the list.

Challenges to prospecting a FSBO:

•  Homeowners become FSBOs because they don’t want to pay a commission and think salespeople are not worth the commission.

•  You need to first educate a FSBO about the value of your services. Therefore, converting a FSBO into a client may be time-consuming.

FSBOs can be very negative and difficult to deal with. For example, they don’t believe the salesperson is acting in their best interests.

•  FSBOs are wary about listing with a salesperson. As such, they may want to talk to your past clients (to ensure you’re friendly and trustworthy).

•  FSBOs think they know it all, want to micromanage the process, and are more demanding than the typical seller.

Opportunities to prospecting a FSBO:

•  FSBOs want to sell their property, and you can obtain a listing.

•  You could obtain a referral from them (e.g., a friend or colleague of theirs that does not want to sell privately).

•  You could assist FSBOs with a purchase or refer them to another salesperson if they are looking to buy a home out of your area of expertise.

•  You may have a buyer client who is interested in purchased the FSBO’s property.

What should you tell FSBOs?

•  Because you have access to the Multiple Listing Service®, you can tell them what a property is actually worth.

•  If you have an impressive sales record, tell them how many houses you have sold, how quickly they sold, and for how much.

•  You have the knowledge and experience to negotiate successfully on their behalf.

•  You will handle the paperwork and ensure it is completed properly.

What should you offer FSBOs?

•  Come up with a realistic listing price based on the neighbourhood.

•  Provide current and accurate information about changing market conditions.

•  Give advice on staging.

•  Market their homes properly (e.g., ads, open houses).

•  Provide feedback about their home from potential buyers.

•  Be a good negotiator so they can elicit the best price from a buyer.

•  Follow up and keep in touch.

For More Information

For more information on FSBOs, please consult our A Mentoring Kit for New Salespeople: Training For Success at http://www.orea.com/~/media/Files/College/MentoringKit_flyer.pdf. This is a valuable resource for both brokers and salespeople.


Tell us about our experience prospecting FSBOs. What advice can you offer your colleagues?

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