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Converting FSBOs Into a Viable Client Base

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By : Dylan Taft    99 or more times read
The whole point of the “For Sale by Owner” (FSBO) sign is that the owner sells their property without having to pay Realtor® fees. However, it takes a lot of knowledge and experience to sell a home, as many would-be solo sellers can find. FSBOs are a great niche to get into, if you know how to find and approach their owners.

FSBOs are a great target market. The owners are motivated sellers. You already know that they own their home. They are serious about selling, since they’ve gone to such lengths to sell on their own. They have already done part of the job of marketing their place through their own efforts, leaving you to list it on the MLS. Since most FSBOs fail to sell as owner-sold properties, somebody must be doing the work of selling them – it should be you!

Finding FSBOs is relatively easy, since these people are trying to get their listings seen. Look in newspapers, Craigslist, local community forums, and magazines. is the site of a company that compiles listings from FSBOs; signing up for this could provide you with some good leads. Keep note of FSBO signs as you drive around. Remember to ask family and friends if they’ve heard of people going the FSBO route.

Approaching sellers requires tact and diplomacy. Abide by the stated instructions for communication – if the ad says to phone or email, phone or email. Once you’re in contact with the owner, don’t try to intimidate them. You don’t want to come right out and say, “Your home is never going to sell unless you hire ME!” Instead, start with introducing yourself and handing them a business card. Offer some simple suggestions for improving their home’s “curb appeal” or their listing ads. The likelihood that they will sell after using your suggestions is miniscule; however, if it does happen, they will remember your tips and if they decide to buy or sell again, they might just keep your card handy.

Check up with them every couple of weeks and see how they are doing. As the weeks roll by and the home doesn’t sell, the home owners are likely to become more and more amenable to having you do the work of finding buyers for them. With only 3 out of 10 FSBO homes selling, they may well decide that home selling is best left to an expert!

FSBOs can be a lucrative market to target, as 70% of FSBOs don’t sell on the open market. There are always exceptions, but out of those 70%, you could build a thriving niche business. Be polite and professional and you could take full advantage of this underutilized resource for leads.

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