How to Turn FSBO Leads Into Listings

By TradeCasa Team

Converting for sale by owner leads into listing is easy, does not take much effort, but requires some patience and time. In fact, the process can be quite rewarding to yourself and the homeowner.

A homeowner has made the decision to sell. They do not need convincing that now is a good time to sell, in fact they are already on the market. Best of all they have not committed to using any other agent and could in fact list with you right now. Wow what a lead! That sounds so easy, but it is a for sale by owner lead, not so rosy any more huh? Well it should be, in fact there is no reason why you cannot acquire every single FSBO lead that does not sell on its own.

Converting for sale by owner leads into listing is easy, does not take much effort, but requires some patience and time. In fact, the process can be quite rewarding to yourself and the homeowner. Most agents are simply doing it all wrong. The important element is to eliminate the “negative” approach and distinguish yourself from the herd by taking the high road.

It is difficult to understand why the common play book for an unlimited source of hot leads is all the same. Negative and dishonest. Perhaps, there is a logic in telling FSBO leads that their chances of success are not good, that they will sell for less, or that they are simply not experienced enough to navigate through the negotiation process. But, the minute their FSBO listing appears, every agent in town is sure to call and/or email with the very same message. Often vesting hours of work in creating comparison lists and charts of listings that have not sold or sold for less, which you and the client already know are tinged with a bias. And perhaps this is where and why the playbook really falls apart. The message is not only based on principals of fear but is improperly delivered, dishonest, and most certainly overplayed!

To win the heart and soul of a for sale by owner, you need to be very different from the rest of the “agency” herd, most importantly positive and genuine! You already know that some for sale by owner homes will sell and some will not, regardless of what you do or say, so just don’t say it! You must also understand the FBSO client segmentation. In most cases these people are far different from the rest. They are often business owners, business executive, sales professionals, and even lawyers. They like to be in control of their sale, exhibiting traits such as stubbornness, higher intelligence, and persistence. These folks are independent thinkers and are not always going FSBO just to save money, but feel more comfortable with this process than going the traditional route! They will be quick to judge and put you in your place if you are full of it. Yet, there is a way to get their attention and their business almost every single time!

“Hello, my name is John Smith and I noticed your home for sale. I am a licensed agent, but do not have a buyer nor do I wish to sell you my services at this point. I am simply calling to let you know that I am aware of your sale and will be sure to keep you in mind if I happen to come across a buyer. I would like to offer you my free and unbiased professional advise. If it helps you sell that’s great, I hope you will tell your friends and family about me, but if you require a plan B in the future, I would also hope you would consider my professional services.”

You get the point, feel free to paraphrase the message and break it up into an open conversation. Congratulations, you now have the attention of the FSBO lead, now fire away at the advice. You should have a list of things to offer when you make that first call. Look at their online listing, give them staging advise, showing advice etc.

“I had a closer look at your listing online, your photos look great, but I would suggest removing the magnets off the fridge. Also, the dog cage in the living room should be moved. When you show your home, be sure to turn on all the lights and open your blinds. It makes you home more spacious and inviting.”

By offering professional and helpful advice, you have just opened the door to building the relationship with the FSBO vendor. Your advice should be genuine, but you do not have to give away the farm as they say. By looking at their online listing you should be able to come up with many specific useful tips on staging and selling the property. Make that first call a good and positive conversation. The FSBO vendor should feel enlightened and thankful for your contact. “If you have any questions throughout your sale, please feel free to call me anytime, your success and potential business in the future is very important to me. Would you like me to follow up with you if I have any other ideas or suggestions?” End your first contact with the permission to call them again, because this is where the magic begins to happen.

The seed has been successfully planted, now foster the growth. Do not hesitate to stop by the property and drop off your business card and/or thank you letter in the door, perhaps, even some sort of branded merchandise. This will keep you memorable and reinforce that you are there if they have any other questions. You should follow up within 14 days, again offering friendly advice and checking to see how the sale is going. By the end of your second contact, your relationship should sprout, you may wish to even offer a free pricing assessment. Stay creative and helpful. Time is on your side. Most FSBO listings are on market for an average of 30 days. They either sell or they go the traditional route, so use your time wisely.

Every FSBO home vendor has a plan B, just like you do for your clients. Some will succeed and some will not. For those FSBO vendors that sell on their own, your involvement will be remembered. Next time they sell they may very well consider you right from the start, they are also likely to share your contact with friends and family. So be sure to ask for referrals. But, if the FSBO vendor fails to sell on their own, your hard work has just paid off. You should feel rewarded, not because the home did not sell FSBO but because you did not contribute to its failure and now have something better to offer! At this point, you will likely find yourself as the agent of choice, securing the listing and hopefully turning it into a sale soon. Now imagine, if you could scale this formula across all the available FSBO leads in your market.

TradeCasa™ is an industry-leading homes for sale by owner real estate marketplace, offering comprehensive FBSO marketing services to consumers and realty professionals in USA & Canada. We host thousands of buyers daily, and save vendors millions in realty commissions each year. Once you are ready to sell or rent your home, visit us at and sell/rent commission-free!