JL's Columbia SC Real Estate Blog: FSBO Mojo


 Is this a talent that you are blessed with? Lately I have been focusing more time with working on the FSBO market. I must admit that I have not had the most luck just yet, but I am still tweaking my system.

 Basically what I do is put together a packet for the FSBO, with helpful information. This includes a CMA, comps from houses that sold in the past six months in their neighborhood, and what is actively on the market in the neighborhood. I also include a blank property discloser statement alond with a message they are responsible for providing any purchaser of the property with a signed copy of the statement. It is the law in South Carolina, whether or not you list with an agent.

 I also include cards for closing attorneys, real estate attorneys, lenders, home inspectors, and home remodelers. Anything that I think would be helpful information for the seller, I include in the package and set it up in the form of a nicely put together presentation. Then, I follow up a few days after mailing the package with a phone call to see if the information was helpful or not, and if I can help them any further. Then, I will call again periodically to see how things are going.

 Again, I must admit that I have not gotten a great response. Most of the FSBO's have listed with other agents. Do you have any advice on improving my ability to work with FSBO's? What do you do? What has been successful for you?


This message brought to you by http://www.jlboney.com/.


JL Boney, III - Columbia, SC Realtor - Coldwell Banker Residential Real Estate

 I specialize in Columbia, SC real estate and the surrounding areas, including Blythewood, SC, Kershaw County, Fairfield County, and Lexington, SC. If you are in the market to buy or sell a home in Columbia, SC or any of the surrounding areas, I would love the opportunity to speak with to see how I can help. Thanks for reading and feel free to contact me if I can be of service to you.

Office- 803-788-1450     Cell- 803-730-9601     Email- James_Boney@Yahoo.com

My Columbia SC Real Estate Website

My Columbia, SC Real Estate Blog



Subscribe to JL Boney's Columbia SC Real Estate Blog by Email


Comment balloon 20 commentsJL Boney, III • April 04 2008 11:45AM



The package idea is great and it works. But I think you need to hand-deliver the package. Once you give it to them, ask if you can have a look around the house to see if it matches any of your clients needs.

Then, let them know that in no uncertain terms that if they are going to talk to any agents, to please let you show what you can do! That has worked well for us!

Posted by Richard Weisser, Richard Weisser Retired Real Estate Professional (Richard Weisser Realty) about 11 years ago
I have a system similar to yours.  However, I must admit that I haven't gotten a great response, either.  Therefore, I'll be watching the comments that you get.  :) 
Posted by Debi Ernst, GRI, e-PRO, Broker/Sales Associate (St. Charles County, Missouri - Prudential Alliance Realtors) about 11 years ago

Richard- Thank you for the advice my friend. I will start to hand deliver them and see if this improves anything for me.

Debi- I hope our luck improves, maybe someone will come through with some solid suggestions like Richard.

Posted by JL Boney, III, Columbia, SC Real Estate (Coldwell Banker) about 11 years ago


I think the key when working with FSBO's is definitely to go over to their home in person.  There are many reasons they aren't listed with a brokerage, but a lot of times its because they've had a bad experience with an agent, or they don't value what we do.  Once they see you are a nice person, that is offering a valuable service, they tend to have a different point of view.  The key with FSBO's is to be consistent, and to ask them for a chance to earn their business.  You have to ask or you are wasting your time.  Good luck out there!

Posted by Ben Myers, CEO/Designated Broker (The Broker Ben Group at Realty Idaho) about 11 years ago
Ben-Thank you for stopping by and lending some advice.
Posted by JL Boney, III, Columbia, SC Real Estate (Coldwell Banker) about 11 years ago

For me, also, the key is "in person".  Your packet sounds very helpful, and if you deliver it in person, getting to know them while you are there, I think you'll see a big turnaround.  Follow up every week or two, with a note or phone call, and when they finally get tired of it, you should have a good shot at the listing!  Good Luck!

Linda Schulte, Atlanta

Posted by Linda Schulte (Keller Williams) about 11 years ago
Linda- Thank you for the advice. I will certainly give the in person approach a try.
Posted by JL Boney, III, Columbia, SC Real Estate (Coldwell Banker) about 11 years ago
JL - HabitatBOOM.com has been a great resource for me while working with FSBO's.  Most agents may not be thinking as progressively as you are, which is a GREAT advantage for you. BOOM's now a free site to Realtors & Mortgage Professionals looking to convert Owners.  Check them out & hope it helps! Email rob@habitatboom.com & he'll be happy to walk you through the system...
Posted by Josh Perrington (Arkshire Financial) about 11 years ago
Josh- Thank you very much for the info, I will check this out.
Posted by JL Boney, III, Columbia, SC Real Estate (Coldwell Banker) about 11 years ago

You have a great idea, but I think you need to go back to square one and plan your attack differently.  As several people have said already, face-to-face is about the only approach that works with FSBOs unless you have a big team, a big budget and brass.  Most of us don't even have one out of three.
I went thru Floyd Wickman's training, Walter sanford's boot camp for FSBOs and half a dozen other trainings.  The only thing that I really took away from all of them is that you need drop off helpful materials to them  ONE-AT-A-TIME.  give them the impression that you are and endless source of good stuff. and use this as a lever to build a relationship.  After all, it is the relationship that will get you the listing, not the materials that you left them.  And, I must say, if you send them a package of goodies, what else do they need from you?   If you are not listing these people, then obviously, they don't feel that they need you any further.
Another thing to consider is this:  If your bag of goodies does not stimulate the recipient to contact you, then maybe the contents are not what they consider useful.  Remember that we look at things differently than a FSBO sees them.  Maybe the FSBO has done this before and has a lawyer and a TITLE COMPANY that take care of all of the details?  Then what value does the FSBO see in your bag of goodies?
To me, it all comes back to the relationship.  Better to make a friend and give him little than to spread "useful" stuff all over the world and not have any relationship whatsoever with the recipients.
I like to go for long walks in my neighborhood/farm.  My area has a lot of retireds, so they are out with the garbage cans in the early hours, getting the paper, etc...   so I find them early.  People with young families tend to be around in the early evening, I find.   Surprising how many conversations I strike up while I'm out for a walk!  Just be sure to carry along a small notebook  (like the policeman uses)  to jot down notes before you forget things (like the address).   I like to say a few words, drop a business card and move on.  They are usually surprised that I did not try to engage in some long-winded talk about me.  Then if I don't see them out for a few days, I go knock on the door.   At this point the story changes for every situation.
Good Luck!  You are trying!!!

JimGibson, Florida Realtor, MBA, E-PRO

Posted by Cape Coral Florida Golf Course and Waterfront Homes (Gulf Coast Realty Network, Inc.) about 11 years ago
Good luck JL. I am actually trying to compose my own FSBO strategy. I am anxious to see what other responses you get!
Posted by Nancy Kent, RE/MAX Hill & Valley, Western Mass (RE/MAX Hill & Valley) about 11 years ago

Jim- Thank you for the tip. I also walk around my neighborhood and talk to people I see outside.

Nancy- Best of luck to you Nancy.

Posted by JL Boney, III, Columbia, SC Real Estate (Coldwell Banker) about 11 years ago

JL, great topics and some interesting responses for me to contemplate as well. I plan to visit some of your commenter's blogs and check out recommendations. In a nutshell, this is what I learned about some FSBO's: some are outrageously out of whack price wise, they know it and insist on staying there. Some are overwhelmed by the multitude of REALTORS that they are aquainted with or related to--that they dare not list with anyone., some are just waiting for someone to be gutsy enough to stop by.

Believe it or not here is a method I used that got attention--nothing fancy, mind you. Download a parcel map with their home on it, or some other way to show you are aware of that specific home. Hand write a note: If they are not home, slide it under their door.(Note: this is not the same as leaving a brochure and business card.)  REgards

Posted by M. Suzi Woods (Gravenstuk), Suzi Woods, Prior Independent REBroker in MS (NOW Sharing the life and spice of the GC one day at a time) about 11 years ago
Suzi- Thanks for the comment and the suggestion, I will have to try it out.
Posted by JL Boney, III, Columbia, SC Real Estate (Coldwell Banker) about 11 years ago

I have my own own website that people can list their home for free on, no strings attached just a free professional site for their geographic area.  Oh by the way I am a mortgage lender.  The site has banner ads for my shop that are linked to my page. 


The website captures the sellers contact information.  Better yet, it caputres the potiential buyers information.  In order for the buyers to look at the details of the listings they must register.  I have only had it up for a couple weeks and have had good luck in contacting buyers and sellers.

 You can check it out at www.mymifsbo.com.

 Let me know your thoughts on it!



Posted by Jake Rossi (Purchase Money Connect) about 11 years ago
Well I hope you get more ideas from others, I too am wanting to target fsbos but dont know what approach to use.
Posted by Bart Whitmore, Real Estate Agent (Keller Williams- Louisville) about 11 years ago
Once FSBO's realize that they may not know how to prepare their house for sale, realize that they don't understand marketing concepts for the property, that they could get themselves into legal trouble, that they don't have any negotiation skills, that they don't know how to price a home, that they don't know how to screen buyers and sift the real ones from the phonies and that they don't know how to close the sale, you should have some converts taking a seat in your congregation. Nice post and good thoughts.
Posted by David Saks ((retired)) about 11 years ago

Jake-Nice looking site, I hope is working well for you. I have thought about telling FSBOS that they can advertise their house on my website.

Bart-Check in later, hopefully there will be some info you can use.

David-Thanks for the comment David. I am hoping some will sign on with me shortly.

Posted by JL Boney, III, Columbia, SC Real Estate (Coldwell Banker) about 11 years ago
Jake, I also am a loan officer and we're on the same page but we take it  a step further.  We work with a few local realtors and allow them to provide a free property specific website to the property owner.  It allows the realtor to build the relationship and provide value without really any cost.  It also gives the realtor a reason to stay in touch...."I see you got 22 hits on the website this week, any offers?"  Eventually the relationship can turn into a professional one.  Of course, there are links back to our website for our benefit as well.
Posted by Marko Vucurevic (VanDyk Mortgage) about 11 years ago
Marko- Thanks for stopping by.
Posted by JL Boney, III, Columbia, SC Real Estate (Coldwell Banker) about 11 years ago