FSBO Sales Appointments Part Two: Heading over to a FSBO's house for a basic preview appointment? Read this first for tips on building rapport so it's easy to list them later!
When you meet the sellers face to face for the first time on a preview appointment, it’s important to earn their trust and respect. As you go through the introductory process, note all of the following:
- Check eye contact, smiling, facial emotion. Are they serious or relaxed?
- How is the handshake? Firm or timid?
- How is the chemistry between the couple? Are they on equal footing or does one seem to wear the pants?
- Are they “house proud” or ready to ditch the place?
Remember FORD - Family, Occupation, Recreation, Dreams
People love to talk about themselves, so let the sellers share their story. The secret formula of FORD - Family, Occupation, Recreation and Dreams - is a good rule of thumb for driving the conversation at a first meeting. And these tidbits you learn about the sellers can help you bond with them and get the listing.
According to Rick Culp:
“Everybody likes to talk about their family, what you're doing for a living, what kind of sports and activities they are involved in. So, you're walking around the house, take notes.”
Touring the home
A little honey will catch these homeowners, so don’t be dry in your request for a tour of the home. Compliment something that you see right as you walk inside, such as the foyer or stairwell, and be genuinely interested in seeing more.
Say something like:
“I love this room; it’s so elegant. Why don’t you show me your favorite qualities of your home?”
“What a beautiful house! I would love for you to show me around and tell me what you love about living here.”
Remember, it’s important not to gush over the house, but to point out the key features that buyers will like.
As Rick points out:
“...Show reserved enthusiasm. Don't say, ‘Oh, I think your house is just so great.’ I mean, they'll see through that ...but, show some reserved enthusiasm, and if you see a feature that they would think would be special, compliment them on it.”
Questions to ask during the appointment
If you haven’t covered all of the below questions at other points of the marketing campaign, take advantage of discussing them face-to-face.
- Why are you selling this home yourself?
- I’m curious- Did you have a bad experience with a broker?
- How did you determine your price?
- What is the buyer's motivation for buying from you? (If the home is listed at the top of the market, will the buyer agree to the price?)
- Is it hard to show the home with your schedule?
- Do you have an attorney preparing the paperwork? How much are they charging?
- Have you prepared the State Disclosures?
- Are you offering a finder’s fee or willing to pay for a buyer?
- Do you feel that you can get as much for the house as a broker can?
- What title company will you be using?
- Who will hold the earnest money?
- How will buyers, inspectors and appraisers access the property once you are under contract?
What does it mean to create doubt? It means to make the FSBO seller realize that the amount of work, time, negotiating, legal “tape” and other factors involved in selling a home is beyond their own expertise. Ideally, your entire campaign has urged them to doubt themselves and build faith in you.
For Rusty Johnson, an agent in Columbia, South Carolina, creating doubt effectively has led to a great deal of success with FSBOs:
“I have learned that about it takes a different number of weeks to get that nut to crack, but in that 8 to 10 week time frame is about when they'll say, "You know what, Rusty, you are right. You were right all along. I've got a job; I've got a family. What little personal time I get to squeeze in, I'm trying to sell my house. Why don't you come over here and tell us what you can do to help us."