How to win FSBO’s hearts - and listings

Services for Real Estate Pros with Marte Cliff Copywriting

You know that in almost every case, home sellers will net more by hiring an agent.

However, those homeowners don’t know that, or they wouldn’t be FSBO’s. So, should your approach For sale by ownerbe to teach them the error of their ways? Should you work hard to show them the benefits of listing with you?

You could, but I think telling people they’ve made a mistake is a mistake in itself. Do you appreciate it when someone tells you you’re wrong?

I think there’s a better way to win their hearts and be the agent they’ll call when they’re ready to end the struggle.

That better way is to offer advice, but without doing any of it for them.

  • It is to hand them a to-do list that just might look overwhelming to a homeowner who has other responsibilities and obligations in life.
  • It is to offer cautions that show why having an agent is a protection - without screaming "You can't do this yourself."
  • It is to become a friend - one they'll naturally turn to when they decide they've had enough of trying to do it on their own.

That’s why I wrote a set of prospecting letters specifically for FSBO sellers.

These letters offer advice – and do it in a manner that demonstrates how much work goes into getting a home from “For sale” to “Sold.”

The set begins with a special report that outlines tasks ahead for those who choose the Do it Yourself approach.

After that come ten letters that go into more detail about each of the points outlined in the first letter. The letters cover everything from getting the house ready for market, to pricing, to marketing. They offer cautions in showing to avoid weakening the seller’s bargaining position and caution against opening the door to those who show up without an appointment.

Then they get into negotiation, which is never easy without the buffer of a “middleman.”

Letter #11 explains why FSBO’s sell for less.

The subtle message throughout these letters is that selling without an agent is hard work. Even settling on the correct listing price is hard work when you don’t have access to statistics about what’s for sale and what has sold.

If you’re talking to homeowners who haven’t yet decided whether to list or to become FSBO sellers…

Consider using my second FSBO letter set: “Why Home Sellers Need Agents.”

This set outlines the advantages of using an agent and touches on the fact that sometimes the most difficult part of getting a home sold comes after the buyer and seller have come into agreement.

Here's a screen shot of the letter titles:
why sellers need an agent










This set could also be used for homeowners who have used your site to get an automated value of their homes.


Image courtesy of Stuart Miles at


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Bob "RealMan" Timm
Alliance Real Estate - Minot - Minot, ND
Bob Timm, Broker Associate, Alliance Real Estate

Good stuff Marte Cliff . I used a very similar approach when I courted FSBOs and it does work.

May 20, 2018 04:32 PM #1
Sham Reddy
H E R Realty, Dayton, OH - Dayton, OH

FSBOs are a differemt breed of people!!!

I think there’s a better way to win FSBO's hearts and be the agent they’ll call when they’re ready to end the struggle. That better way is to offer advice, but without doing any of it for them.

May 20, 2018 08:02 PM #2
Marte Cliff
Marte Cliff Copywriting - Priest River, ID
your real estate writer

Bob "RealMan" Timm - I've always thought helpful worked better than pushy - maybe because pushy sends me running the other way.

Sham Reddy - Just misguided. They've believed some poor advice.

May 20, 2018 08:34 PM #3
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