OREA Real Estate College

How to market your services to FSBOs


The good news is – homeowners want to sell their homes. The bad news is – homeowners don’t want to hire a REALTOR®, for whatever reason, to sell their homes.

While it is the homeowners’ prerogative to sell their own homes (and plenty of information exists on how to do so), Realtors should not be reluctant to prospect FSBOs (‘For Sale by Owners’) to obtain a listing.

What can and should you do?

First, consider the legislation.

Bill C-37, which became law on June 30, 2006, deals with unsolicited telecommunications, known as telemarketing calls. The Act gave the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) the authority to establish and enforce a national Do Not Call List (DNCL), a registry of consumers’ telephone and fax numbers telemarketers, including Realtors, are prohibited from contacting without consumers’ express consent.

The Act does provide some exemptions for brokerages. For example, if the consumer has an existing business relationship with the brokerage or specifically agrees to be contacted. However, it’s prudent to check with your brokerage first.

Canada’s anti-spam legislation (known as CASL), which became law on July 1, 2014, addresses the use of electronic channels for promotion or marketing purposes. The Act prohibits the sending of commercial electronic messages unless the persons to whom the messages are being sent have consented to receiving them. A commercial electronic message is any message sent via text, sound, voice, or image (e.g., email), and applies to social media platforms such as Facebook or LinkedIn. Consent can be express or implied. If consent is express, it must be obtained through an opt-in mechanism, not an opt-out. Brokerages have 36 months from July 1, 2014, to continue contacting existing business or non-business individuals under implied consent; after which, express consent is required. Again, it is best to check with your brokerage first.

Second, consider the challenges.

Homeowners become FSBOs for several reasons, such as:

  • they don’t want to pay a commission
  • they believe Realtors are not worth the commission
  • they don’t believe Realtors are acting in their best interests
  • they think they know what selling a home entails

Third, consider the opportunities.

FSBOs want to sell their homes. Your first task is to educate FSBOs about the value of your services. For example, because of your education, knowledge, and experience, you can offer FSBOs the following:

  • access to up-to-date property listings
  • realistic listing price based on the neighbourhood (e.g., how many houses sold, in what timeframe, and for how much)
  • current and accurate information about changing market conditions
  • advice about home staging
  • appropriate marketing for their homes
  • feedback about their homes from potential buyers
  • being a good negotiator so they can elicit the best price from buyers
  • handling all the paperwork and ensure it’s completed properly

For More Information

A Mentoring Kit for New Salespeople: Training for Success – http://bit.ly/1CvaJrh.


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




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