Why Realtors and FSBOs Need Each Other

December 12, 2016 Jennifer Smith

In today's changing real estate market, smart Realtors and FSBOs know each are keys to the other's successful sale. 

Traditionally, real estate agents and those homeowners choosing to sell their own homes (FSBO) have been a bit at odds for a variety of understandable reasons.

Most notably, FSBO sellers often feel they can save more of their earnings money on commissions, avoid the hassle of an open, public listing or feel their home is worth more than Realtor market survey would justify.

Realtors often steer clear of FSBO sellers because they feel they won't earn what their marketing, time and effort is worth or they feel most FSBOs are not open to working with them at all in the first place.

In both cases, there's some truth to each side's position, but, in this time of change in the real estate market with - amongst many other things - Millennials poised to drive the future home market and more and more buyers wanting to see ALL homes that are on the market in a given area, there's never been a better time for Realtors and FSBOs to put aside their differences and work together for mutual gain. 

 

How Realtors Can Help FSBOs

For FSBOs, the number one obstacle to a successful sale is exposure. If buyers can't find your home n their search, it won't get sold. Quite possibly the number one positive represented by Realtors to any home seller is that they're incentivized to work hard and market your home for sale. That means more people see your home online when they search by virtue of your Realtor putting your home into MLS.

But it's often something more than just marketing MLS:

 

  • Realtors always have a network of buyers who are looking but have not yet found what they like
  • Realtors have a network of other agents who have buyers who are looking
  • Realtors have sellers who want to move when their home goes under contract

 

All of these things mean more exposure for your home (and thus a better chance to sell), but there's still that little problem of the money thing. FSBOs are FSBOs because they want or need to save money on commission.

So how can it work?

These days, business-savvy and forward-thinking Realtors know that there's no reason to leave an untapped market, well, untapped just because "that's how things have been done."

You see, what many traditional Realtors don't know is that many (if not al)l FSBOs are open to some form of a reduced commission if someone - Realtor or otherwise - brings active buyers. Well, smart FSBOs anyway. Many up and coming Realtors are reengaging FSBOS in new value-oriented ways aimed at helping them sell their home faster by:

 

  • Bringing FSBOs more buyers for an agreed-upon, reduced commission
  • Listing and more effectively marketing FSBO homes when they fail to sell for reduced commissions

 

For FSBOs, no messy contract or paperwork need be exchanged. In many cases, Realtors come to "hand-shake" terms with sellers, help them market their homes better for free (like posting on www.homepocket.com!), tapping their network for buyers and reducing their commissions by a 1% or more.

Realtors who approach FSBOs in this way and establish themselves as clear experts in dealing fairly and honestly with FSBOs can turn one or two FSBO sellers into a whole "cottage industry." 

What do FSBOs get? Why, a higher chance of a sale, of course.

 

How FSBOs Can Help Realtors

These days, homebuyers - Gen X and Millenials in particular - are well aware that not every home that's for sale in an area is listed in MLS. They know great buys and homes they may like exist in the form of FSBO and hidden "pocket listings" too. As most Realtors know, buyers can be finicky. They want what they want and most don't stand a chance of closing a deal until the home they're looking at is "just right."

That means more choice and more options helps Realtors get to the closing table faster and more directly. For Realtors to show buyers ALL homes available in an area only helps be sure they have the right inventory when customers come to call.

As well - and more importantly - smart Realtors know that a "stocked cupboard" of listings in their area being marketed on the web brings more buyer leads. The more lines and tasty types of bait in the water, the more fish you can catch. It's just that simple.

The bottom line?

Realtors who develop expertise and relationships with FSBOs in their areas get more leads than those who don't. Can't put it much more plainly than that. Plus, Realtors who develop reputations as "off-market" specialists have much better chances of getting FSBO listings when their sales don't move as fast as they had hoped. And that's not to mention happier, more "repeat buyer" customers.

In short, when Realtors partner with FSBOs, both sides are clear winners.

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