FSBO Sales Appointments Part One: Are you planning to use the "I Have a Buyer" Strategy? Read this first, and understand why you'll need to build trust with the FSBO lead before you use this line.
Let's start off with the “I have a buyer” sales appointment. If you use the line “I have a buyer” and it’s just a lie, that breaks trust, because when sellers see that you really don't have a buyer, you’re suddenly on really shaky ground. The conversation and the relationship are going to crumble, and you're going to have nothing to stand on.
Even when you have a buyer, sellers can be skeptics.
Don’t get me wrong; I've converted FSBO sellers with the “I have a buyer” line. The difference is this: I actually had a buyer! In my experience, FSBO sellers can be pretty resistant until they see the buyer. It still took me building enough trust and rapport after telling them the news -- a “we’ll believe it when we see it” situation.
The reason they are skeptical is that they have likely been beaten up by a slew of agents with the same one-liner, and those agents did not have a buyer. So keep that in mind. If you really do have a buyer, make sure you describe the buyer and tell a story about working with the person to make sellers see that your buyer is real.
Here’s what Rick Culp, one of our agents, had to say:
“Just be honest with them. And don't lead them into believing you've got a buyer. ...They can read right through that. And once again, you lose trust. So you say, you know what, I don't really have a buyer today. However, I've been doing this for a while, and I pick up new clients on a regular basis. I'd love to see your home. There's not a lot of inventory in your neighborhood, and it looks like a really nice home. Can I come over and take a look at it? And if you just approach it like that, typically my experience has been that they're willing....”
Rick has a great point: be upfront and come across as trustworthy in your delivery. If you're squirreling around and beating around the bush, we as humans pick up on that lack of confidence and it does not make us feel comfortable.
A seemingly successful trick can backfire later.
Be aware, I’ve seen dishonest agents use an “I have a buyer” line and successfully trick the seller, even get the listing -- but then the listing doesn't sell because there's no trust and rapport. It's going to crumble, and if it doesn't crumble before you get the listing, many times it crumbles during the listing.
I've talked to many FSBO home sellers that have so much resentment for agents who do this. Smart FSBO sellers evaluate agents for values, character and trustworthiness. Many of these sellers are harboring a mental list of agents who lied, who didn't give them what they wanted, or who they generally just don’t want to talk to again.
This is why if you're going to use the “I Have a Buyer,” approach with FSBOs, it’s important to build relationships. FSBOs can be different than expireds; they're sometimes going to go longer before they list. Therefore it's worthwhile for us, as agents, to nurture these relationships and cultivate them into a listing.
Getting a buyer is only half of the battle for you and for them.
If you actually present a buyer, some sellers will be satisfied and will insist on just paying you 3 percent without listing with you. Worse, they might tell you they already have a buyer on the line, thanks to another agent.
If this happens, you could say:
Did you know that when someone brings a buyer to your house, they have a fiduciary agreement or a legal requirement to get the best offer for their buyer and to only do what's in the interest of their buyer? So therefore, they are not representing you. They're representing the buyer. And this can be a really scary place to be if the agent and buyer are trying to negotiate you down and get you to sign something that is not in your best interest.
Let me represent you. That way, I can make sure you get the most amount of money and the representation that you need to sell your home.
I hope this helps clarify the I have a buyer strategy. If you're using it, great -- just make sure you have a buyer. If other agents are using the line irresponsibly, set yourself apart as knowledgeable and trustworthy at the same time by shedding light on the lie that other agents are using.