By Don Cook
Page 1 of 33 Don Cook, Realtor® 214-734-7629
For Sale By Owner...................................................................................... 2
Preface......................................................................................................... 4
The 4 P’s of Real Estate Marketing ............................................................ 4
Chapter 1..................................................................................................... 5
Planning ...................................................................................................... 5
Commitment ........................................................................................... 7
Security ................................................................................................... 7
FIRST THINGS FIRST .......................................................................... 8
YOU NEED TO KNOW WHO’S COMING, TOO!.............................. 8
Build a team .......................................................................................... 10
Chapter 2................................................................................................... 12
Preparation ................................................................................................ 12
Chapter 3................................................................................................... 16
Pricing ....................................................................................................... 16
Chapter 4................................................................................................... 19
Promotion.................................................................................................. 19
News ads. .............................................................................................. 19
FSBO DREAM DEAL ..................................................................... 20
Yard signs. ............................................................................................ 20
Open house............................................................................................ 20
FSBO OPEN HOUSE....................................................................... 21
Post cards. ............................................................................................. 22
Take Away Package.............................................................................. 22
Chapter 5................................................................................................... 25
Showing, Negotiating and Closing ........................................................... 25
Chapter 6................................................................................................... 30
Your 30-Day Action Plan! ........................................................................ 30
For Sale By Owner
This workbook has but one goal -- to give you as much
information as possible to assist you in selling your own
This may sound a bit odd coming from a real estate agent, but
happy people are my best resource for future business. As you
read this manual and hopefully employ my concepts, my reasons
for helping out will become clear.
The “For Sale By Owner” concept is as American as apple
pie. One of the most treasured rights we have as citizens is the ability to
buy and sell real estate – with or without using an agent.
Page 2 of 33 Don Cook, Realtor® 214-734-7629
First, let’s set the stage by dispelling a common myth.
Selling a home has little or nothing to do with real estate!
It has everything to do with basic marketing techniques.
So, this workbook starts with explaining the basic tenets of real estate
marketing that agents employ on every sale. Understanding the intricacies
of the real estate marketing process can help you sell your home faster and
for more money.
Included in this workbook is my 30-day action plan designed to attract a
number of qualified buyers to your home within the first month.
Experience has shown that you can expect to have an offer made on your
home within the first 10 qualified showings. My plan will enable you to
boost the total number of qualified showings, which should produce an
offer to purchase.
Most For Sale By Owner (FSBO) properties become so because the owner
wants to save the commission on the sale. Others become so due to
curiosity or a bad experience with an agent. Whatever your reasons, I
really do want to help.
As an agent, I derive my livelihood through the buying and selling of real
estate. While helping someone sell the home without my help may seem to
be a contradiction to my personal goals, it is not.
Real estate is a business based on personal relationships. If I help you
reach your goal, you will likely tell others about your positive experience
with me. Of course, sellers often become buyers and I would appreciate
the opportunity to assist you on your next purchase.
Last, a good percentage of FSBO properties change to an agency sale after
a short time. In the event that happens, I hope that my marketing plan and
approach has gained your trust and earned your future business.
Good selling!
Don Cook
Page 3 of 33 Don Cook, Realtor® 214-734-7629
The 4 P’s of Real Estate Marketing
In every business endeavor, there are basic concepts that act
as the foundation to success. Ignore these fundamentals and
the business is poised for failure. Embrace these same
ground rules and the business will likely flourish.
Selling an individual home is a business venture. This
venture has but one product to sell and when it is sold the
business can cease to operate and distribute the final
profit, if any, to the business owner – YOU!
For those reading these materials that have taken
marketing courses, the concept of the 4 P’s is readily understood. The
building blocks of modern marketing are: Product, Price, Place, and
Promotion. Going into each of these elements is beyond the scope of my
program, so I will instead relate the same concepts to real estate.
In real estate, the 4 P’s are: Planning, Preparation, Pricing, and Promotion.
Each warrants attention in a successful sale yet some are weighted more
heavily when measuring their impact on the selling process.
Your FSBO venture will benefit from a faster and more prosperous
outcome when you take the time to apply these principles. Remember that
this is a business and a good business needs and deserves a good business
Page 4 of 33 Don Cook, Realtor® 214-734-7629
Chapter 1
Go ahead and admit it: When you first put the FSBO sign in your yard you
had the dream that someone would stop by within the first few days and
see your home as you do. This ideal person or couple would have money
and good credit, and your home would suit their purposes beautifully.
They would offer you a fair price and the two of you would amicably sign
a contract and then meet at some title company where you would get a big
fat check. End of story.
Most of the time, it doesn’t work out that way but sometimes it actually
does. The purpose of this workbook is making sure the chances are in your
favor that this story unfolds as easy as our example.
We start with a good plan because Planning is the first “P” in real estate
Think of Planning as being shaped like some giant Tinker Toy. In the
middle is Oversight, which is surrounded by Budget, Promotion and
This shape is important, because a lack of oversight is one of the most
common elements of an unsold property. In our Tinker Toy example, if
you pull out the wheel in the middle the whole structure falls apart. When
something goes wrong in the selling process, you can almost bet the farm
that someone dropped the ball on a critical issue that may have seemed
trivial at the moment.
Here’s a real life example, but I will leave the actual name of the agent out
of it because I don’t want to embarrass him (OK, it was me). During a
follow up phone call to someone who had attended an open house, this
conversation could be overheard…
Agent: “I just wanted to check back with you because you said that
the house I was showing on XX Street was what you were looking
for. Are you ready to sit down and make an offer?”
Prospect: “We did love that house. But, we bought another house
this weekend because we needed to be in by the end of the month
because our apartment lease is up. You told us the seller’s new
house wouldn’t be ready for two or three months. We liked your
house better, but this seller would allow us to move right now on a
Page 5 of 33 Don Cook, Realtor® 214-734-7629
temporary lease and the agent just wrapped the lease amount into
the contract. Sorry.”
Agent, shoulders drooping to the floor: “I’ll bet we could have
done the same thing with this house. The owners probably would
have moved into an extended stay hotel to accommodate you if
they had known it would make a difference.”
Prospect: “Well, I wish we had known, because your house was
our first choice. But, we’ve already signed the contract and the
seller has accepted. Sorry.”
Shoulda, coulda, woulda. Now, how would better planning have prevented
this lost sale? Part of the planning process is determining where you are
moving when you sell, and how fast you can make the move. If you are
building a house that won’t be ready until a few months down the road,
then having alternate living arrangements in place is a must.
In this case, the lack of written plans prohibited the agent from knowing
what planning had been done. It was someone else’s listing and there was
no information showing that moving prior to the new home’s availability
had ever been discussed. Of course, the agent could have asked!
That’s just one example out of many situations that could arise, and you
can use the grid below to make certain key elements are covered. The
subjects in the grid are to trigger your imagination and are not meant to be
all-inclusive. If you are using a FSBO Coach, he or she should help you
cover all of the bases.
Each section of the grid is a topic for discussion with every family
member and everyone on your selling team. Someone needs to coordinate
the overall activity so that each topic is covered and nothing is duplicated.
Schedule regular update meetings. This may seem to be overkill if you are
the only person on the team, but even when handling everything yourself
it is best to have a set time each week to review your plans.
Title Work
Where To
Disclosure etc.
Page 6 of 33 Don Cook, Realtor® 214-734-7629
Off Site
Write your plan down. When something is in writing it has more validity.
That doesn’t mean that you can’t change something as new information
becomes available, but when you see your plan in black and white errors
or omissions become easily identified.
More times than I can count, I’ve heard new FSBOs say, “I want to try
selling it myself for a few weeks first, if nobody want to buy it then I’ll
list.” Does this sound familiar?
If it does, your FSBO venture probably is destined for a short life. The
lack of commitment to the FSBO process is usually followed by the same
lack of dedication to implementing a sound make-ready and advertising
Think about it. How comfortable would you be with an agent that started a
listing presentation with, “I’ll try listing it for a month, but if it doesn’t sell
soon you should go FSBO”?
There’s some serious money at stake here. Going FSBO isn’t something
you try, it’s something you do. Anything less than full commitment will
shortchange your selling effort.
With that said, it’s a completely different situation when you say, “I have
a plan that I want to enact that gets my house ready to sell at a competitive
price. I’ll promote it heavily, but if I don’t get at least ten qualified buyers
to look at it within thirty days, I’ll put it in the MLS system and open it up
to agents.”
The difference may be subtle, but it is significant. With the first attitude,
the FSBO is passive. The second FSBO is aggressively marketing the
property with a plan, but knows that exposure is the only missing element.
It shouldn’t be this way, but it is.
Security of people and property must be considered when your home is on
the market. Here’s why.
• There are people that look at homes as a prelude to burglary or
other felonious acts.
Page 7 of 33 Don Cook, Realtor® 214-734-7629
People showing homes - EVEN SEASONED AGENTS - have
been assaulted too many times to mention.
How do you protect yourself, your family and your belongings? You can
start by putting in place the same safeguards that most real estate agents
Before my first visit with a new client, I tell them to bring the following to
our first meeting: A driver’s license with photo and a pre-qualification
letter from a lender. When a new customer calls to see a listing;
1. I never meet them at the address they want to see; they must come
to my office first. I ask them to fill out a simple form that supplies
their name, address and phone, plus I make a copy of their driver’s
2. I ask for a copy of their pre-qualification letter from their lender. If
they can’t produce one, or if I can’t talk to their lender on the
phone right away to get a verbal approval, I respectfully decline to
show them the listing. If they can’t buy, why waste my time?
3. When showing the home, I ask them to please stay with me during
the showing and let them know that this is for security and safety
purposes. This is especially true if they have small children,
because the liability issues of showing a home are just too great. I
don’t let anyone wander off on his or her own while in a seller’s
4. Depending on the feeling I get from the prospect, I watch where I
stand. I make sure to position myself between the door and the
prospect. This keeps the possibility of a means of escape easier
should the need arise.
Sound like too much? I don’t think so. People today are more accustomed
to security measures and should readily comply. If they don’t, what does
that tell you? Frankly, I’ve never had a complaint from a client because of
these measures. In fact, I think there is a sense of respect on their part that
I am so careful with my seller’s property.
So, how do you accomplish the same type of security as a “For Sale By
Owner”? Here’s what I suggest.
1. If possible, have at least one other adult present during the
2. Never show the home to a “walk-up”. This can be dangerous.
Always request that an appointment be made to see the home. If
anyone does stop by and wants to see the home without an
appointment, just be firm and tell them no.
Page 8 of 33 Don Cook, Realtor® 214-734-7629
3. Tell the prospective buyer that you will require verification of their
lender’s pre-approval letter before showing. You can soften this
the same way I do by saying something like: “I’m sure you
understand that I can only show the home to someone who can
afford to purchase it. So when you come, would you mind bringing
me a copy of your pre-qualification letter?” If they don’t have one
yet, tell them that your lender will call them and then call you back
when they are pre-approved.
4. Ask for their current address and phone. Tell them that you have
arranged with a friend or neighbor to know who is seeing your
home and when.
5. When the buyer asks what time you can show the house, never say
that no one will be home during the day even if that is the case.
Always say something like “Well, I’m in and out all day but
around 6:30 tomorrow night or Saturday afternoon will work best
for me.” Similarly, when showing the house to them, don’t let
them in on your schedule.
When they arrive, be friendly and cordial, and ask “Did you bring your
pre-approval letter?” If not, tell them that you would be glad to arrange the
showing at another time, but you must have the letter before they can tour
the home. Tell them you have a friend that is an agent and he said it would
be better this way. (I’m that agent, so you told the truth). If they have the
letter, great!
Before the tour starts, let them hear you call a neighbor or friend and say
“The Smith’s are here to see the house, I’ll call you back when they
leave.” When you hang up, say something like: “I’m sure you understand
why I have to be so careful. He always makes note of the make of car and
license plate number of anyone who sees the house. I think he’s paranoid,
but he says that’s a sign of the times”. If you don’t have someone you can
call, you can always call me since I know what you are trying to do. After
the call, just dismiss the whole issue as being trivial.
Suggest that they stay with you during the visit. You can tell them that this
is for insurance liability purposes. (Call your insurance agent if you wish
and they will tell you this – you won’t be telling a fib!)
Before the showing, pay special attention to the
These are the targets for most home robberies along with electronic items.
Since you can’t take your TV and computer out every time you show the
house, you just do what you can.
1. Hide any jewelry and jewelry boxes. This isn’t necessarily because
they might be stolen during the showing, but because they might
become the target later.
Page 9 of 33 Don Cook, Realtor® 214-734-7629
2. Conceal all prescription drugs. Temporarily take them out of the
normal storage area and put them in a cardboard box in the garage.
You can put them back after your prospect leaves.
3. Make sure all weapons are stored off-site during the entire time
your home is on the market.
If someone asks about your security system, such as “Are the windows
alarmed?” just say that your system is flexible and if they purchase the
home it can be set to their standards. Don’t tell them how your system
works on the first visit; after all, most people see a home 3-4 times before
making a purchasing decision.
While these measures may seem impractical, they aren’t. Don’t become a
statistic. There are dangerous people out there that target homes for sale.
Build a team
Realtors® never work alone. They have office staff for the mundane
tasks, plus they have experts in every field of real estate to help them
cover all of the bases. Selling (or buying) a house is simply too much
work if you have to do everything yourself.
I have several mortgage experts on speed dial, along with title companies,
home inspectors, home warranty people and so on. It doesn’t cost me a
penny to have the best advice available when I need it. It won’t cost you,
As part of your planning process, sit down with a loan closer at a title
company for a little chat. Learn what to expect when you come in with a
contract and what forms you will need. Find out if you need an attorney to
help you draw up the documents. If your buyer has an attorney, do you
really want them to call the shots?
A loan officer, mortgage broker or mortgage banker can provide
invaluable assistance to FSBOs by helping you pre-approve prospects.
They can also help with financing plans that can make your property more
attractive to buyers.
Consider hiring an agent as a coach in the selling process. Many are happy
to do so, and some will even offer extended advice for free because they
hope you will end up listing your house with them.
Use the checklist after this chapter to get ideas on areas that need
planning. After you browse the checklist, try to honestly answer the
following questions.
1. What is my primary goal in selling FSBO?
Page 10 of 33 Don Cook, Realtor® 214-734-7629
2. How fast can I move if I sell my house?
3. Do I have everything I need to complete a sale?
Page 11 of 33 Don Cook, Realtor® 214-734-7629
Chapter 2
Builders call it a “Punch List”. This is a list of repair
items that are insignificant when looked at
individually but can be time consuming and expensive
when viewed in the entirety. While you don’t want to
turn your house into a money pit, there are
certain to be items that you should pay attention
to before you put your home on the market.
An item on a punch list may read, “caulk
baseboard on east wall in bedroom three closet”. “No big deal”, thinks the
painter that will do the work. But, to the owner buying the home the
missing caulk shows a lack of attention to detail in building the house. If
something as obvious as this has been overlooked, how many hidden
defects are there?
In older homes, the list can be voluminous. You don’t see them anymore
because after a while it is human nature to overlook them. Some defects
are bothersome, like a sticking door or window that is hard to open. Even
though we know about them we rarely have them repaired because the
repair is more bothersome than the defect.
When I do a new listing, I use a pre-listing checklist to make note of
defects or go through each room and point out obvious problems. This is
painstaking and usually results in a lot of groans on the part of the
Invariably I’m asked whether or not a certain item must be repaired in
order to sell the house. I always have the same answer: I don’t know.
That’s the truth because I don’t know which crack in the wall or sticking
drawer will cause the potential buyer to turn away. I don’t know for
certain that you have to paint over the purple walls in your child’s room or
remove Grandpa’s WWII Nazi memorabilia from your family room. What
I do know is the cumulative effect of repair items and décor issues will
make other homes look more attractive. Why give them more reasons to
say no to your house?
Pay particular attention to the theory of CKB – Curb, Kitchen, & Bath.
When you have a tight budget, spend your repair money on these items
first. Curb appeal is essential. If your house doesn’t look good from the
street you are going to have a tough time making them feel comfortable
Page 12 of 33 Don Cook, Realtor® 214-734-7629
inside. In real estate, we often feel that a purchasing decision is made at
the curb and confirmed inside.
Curb appeal encompasses the lawn, landscaping, paint condition and
color, roof, neighborhood and so on. Maybe you can’t do anything about
your neighbor’s choice of house paint, but it’s possible you can ask him to
help you maintain a good appearance while your home is on the market.
Make sure your front door looks good and opens and closes easily. If your
hardware is showing signs of age, change it. Chances are, your prospect
will be standing at your door waiting for you to answer. While standing,
they have nothing better to do than stare at any defects. Stand on your
porch for a full two minutes. What do you see?
Once inside, the rooms that will be most closely scrutinized are the
kitchen and bathrooms (including the half-baths). Make them spotless and
odor free. While your home is on the market, keep cooking to a minimum
if at all possible. If you must cook, avoid food that has pungent odors.
When you visit a new model home that has been professionally furnished,
the rooms are deceivingly spacious. On close inspection you become
keenly aware that no normal family would actually live with the sparse
furnishings displayed. Not for long, at least.
If your potential buyer is typical, he or she is looking for a home with
more space than they currently have. It’s human nature that most of us
want more than we have, even if we already have plenty.
Clutter Kills.
One of the reasons we want more room is that we are creatures that
accumulate. Knickknacks, souvenirs, collectables, clothes, and the like
make our homes seem smaller over time. Every closet and cabinet is
stuffed with things we will not discard even if we no longer have a use for
Personally, I use the services of a Home Staging Professional to help my
listings sell. Take a tip from the professional new home decorators by
turning your house into a model home for the entire time it is on the
market. Remove clutter from your house to make it appear larger and
therefore more attractive to prospective buyers. Remember, you are
leaving anyway, so why not pack as much as possible and get it ready for
the moving van?
Start with closets. Remove all out-of-season clothing, sporting gear,
hatboxes and so on. Make each closet appear to have room galore. If
Page 13 of 33 Don Cook, Realtor® 214-734-7629
needed, add potpourri to eliminate clothing odors and make sure that the
shelving and carpet is clean.
Use the same techniques with the pantry and kitchen cabinets. Remove
any oversupply of pots, pans, utensils, and dishware. Don’t forget other
spaces such as linen closets and attic storage. Your goal is to reduce any
sense of overcrowding in these areas so that the buyer feels they will have
plenty of room. Most of us use very little of the items we have, so
inconvenience to your family will be minimal. Remember, you only have
to do this while your home is on the market.
Now it’s time to work on the rest of the house. It helps to make this a
family project, so enlist all of the help you can. In every room, make a list
of furnishings you can do without through the selling period. Can you
remove a corner table, exercise equipment, extra seating, toys, and etc.
without affecting your lifestyle too adversely? Maybe it’s time for a
garage sale to help recoup some of the moving costs you will face.
If your budget allows, rent a storage unit to store the overflow instead of
putting it all in the garage. People want garage space too, so making it
seem small with all of the above stacked inside may not maximize the
desired result. If the garage is your only option, go for it and just remind
buyers that you are moving and are just trying to get a head start on
During the selling period, convince your family that you must act as
though you live in a vacation resort. There may be some complaints, but
they can do without the clutter and the superfluous material possessions
that normally surround them if it helps the house sell quickly. The faster
the sale, the faster everyone can get on with their lives.
While we’re on preparing your house to sell, let’s talk about home
inspections. One of the major reasons a sale fails to consummate is the
breakdown of negotiations about repair issues arising from the buyer’s
home inspection report. In Texas, home inspectors are licensed
professionals whose sole purpose is to find out how many skeletons are in
your home’s closets.
Usually, the inspection follows the seemingly successful arrival at a
selling price of your house formalized by signatures of all parties on a
purchase contract. At this stage, most contracts move to the “option”
period in which the buyer has the opportunity to substantiate that the
condition of your home is as you say it is.
Not all contracts have an option period, but it is rare that a contract is
written in such a way that prevents the buyer from taking due diligence in
Page 14 of 33 Don Cook, Realtor® 214-734-7629
regard to a home purchase. If the buyer is working with an agent, you can
be almost certain that the option period will be in force.
The results of an inspection can be startling to an unsuspecting
homeowner. The inspector may say that you have less than 2 years of life
in your roof, or that your foundation is suspect plus conditions are
conducive to termites. The list can go on and on. The net result is that a
buyer may demand an amendment to the contract adjusting the sales price
to compensate for repairs. Real estate transactions are famous for the
“treble damage” rule: If something costs $1000 for you to repair, the buyer
will want you to drop your price $3000 if they have to fix it.
The best way to protect yourself is to have a preventative inspection
before you put your home on the market. Call a licensed home inspector
and have them prepare a report for you as though you were purchasing –
not selling – your home.
The cost of an inspection is about $200 and well worth the investment.
Having your own inspector prepare a written report will assure you ample
information about any necessary repairs without resorting to price
concessions later on. You can also present prospective buyers with a copy
of the report and receipts for the repairs you made. Your negotiating
posture will be improved throughout the selling process in ways far
exceeding the initial cost.
Take a moment and candidly question yourself in the following areas.
1. How much money am I willing to spend to get my home ready to
sell if repairs or updating is necessary?
2. Have I had an objective opinion from a disinterested party as to my
home’s condition and market appeal?
3. Have I looked at the competition in my price range to see what
they offer?
Page 15 of 33 Don Cook, Realtor® 214-734-7629
Chapter 3
You simply must understand the basic
premise of the real estate market. Price your
home too high and it will stay for sale
I wanted to get that out of the way first,
because pricing is perhaps the most
sensitive issue that agents face when listing
a house. Just because you are going FSBO
doesn’t mean that pricing correctly and
competitively have lost any importance.
In theory, FSBO properties should be priced
lower than similar Realtor® properties simply because there is no
commission involved. Actual real world conditions regularly prove this
FSBO properties are normally priced over the competition, resulting in a
frustrating cycle of advertising, showing and negotiating offers. The
reasons are many, but the reason doesn’t really matter if the house doesn’t
sell, does it?
Let’s talk for a moment about how the majority of Realtors® arrive at a
suggested selling price for a property by using the Comparison Market
Analysis (CMA). In a nutshell, the subject property (your house) is
compared to recent sales of like properties in the area and priced
The CMA is designed to parallel the Uniform Standards of Professional
Appraisal Practice (USPAP) theory of “Substitution”. Substitution is a
technical term used by professional appraisers, and could be viewed as the
process of determining how an informed buyer would spend his or her
money when presented with an array of similar choices. Think of
Substitution as being an “apples to apples” comparison.
Substitution doesn’t care what you paid for the property or improvements,
nor does it care how much you still owe on your house. It doesn’t care
what your relatives or friends think you could get for your property, and it
doesn’t take into consideration how much you want. It is a cold,
impersonal, unbiased, and objective comparison of your home to
alternatives in the marketplace.
Page 16 of 33 Don Cook, Realtor® 214-734-7629
A professional appraiser under the USPAP guidelines does not consider
other properties currently for sale when arriving at their estimate of value.
Why? Because the selling price is often different from the asking price.
For that reason, only actual “sold” properties are considered as
comparables to your home’s value. The end result of the appraiser is the
published finding called a Uniform Residential Appraisal Report (URAR).
The difference in a URAR and a CMA can be dramatic at times.
Appraisers are licensed by the state and must conform to the USPAP
standards in determining value. The URAR process usually takes about 4
hours, and follows a rigid format. A Realtors’® CMA, on the other hand,
is often no more than a quick average of sales prices in a given area and
reduced to a square foot price projection. Some Realtors® go into greater
detail than others, but usually the process takes less than an hour.
In addition to the time and format differences, there is a fee for the URAR
while Realtors® usually offer the CMA at no charge.
The middle ground – and the one I personally recommend – is the
Broker’s Price Opinion (BPO). This is the format that Fannie Mae and
Freddie Mac normally require for their own properties when establishing a
selling price. The complexity matches the URAR, but also includes the
estimated selling time, marketing plan, and budget for any required
repairs. The BPO compares your property to current listings as well as
recently sold properties, plus it rates the marketability of the your property
before arriving at a value.
The BPO is a time-consuming analysis that you can normally get free
from any Realtor® that is familiar with the process, but you have to ask.
Otherwise, you’ll get a CMA.
As a FSBO, the single most important marketing decision you will make
is setting your selling price, which may be different from the market value.
Remember that market value is not as important as the selling price you
actually set for your home. As an example, let’s say that a homeowner’s
CMA, URAR or BPO suggested a market value of $150,000 on a home,
yet the selling price was set at $159,000 so they could have some wiggle
room to negotiate.
The end result would little or no showings because of the perception of
overpricing. So, instead of wiggle room, the homeowner in our example
would have no offers at all. In our example, the price was only six percent
(6%) above market value yet the property sat on the market. This situation
happens in real life on a regular basis.
Page 17 of 33 Don Cook, Realtor® 214-734-7629
For every one percent (1%) you overprice, you will drive away a
significant pool of potential buyers. Here’s why. At market price – the
actual best projected selling price of your home – you will appeal to
seventy percent (70%) of the buying public. Drop the price by five percent
(5%), and you will appeal to eighty five percent (85%).
But, when you raise the price by five percent (5%), your appeal level
drops to about fifteen percent (15%). If our pool of buyers was an even
one hundred to begin with, we only have fifteen who would even look at
the home when we overprice by five percent (5%). It goes downhill fast
from there until there are no buyers left that will tour your home.
If no one is looking at your home, you won’t get offers and
discouragement will set in. So, by raising your selling price above the
market value you incur more carrying costs, advertising costs and the
hassle of keeping your home in constant showing condition. Before long,
you decide that the selling process is too difficult and you list your home
with an agent hoping to get the whole thing behind you.
Look at setting the price as just another task that has to be tweaked for
mass appeal. If you painted the outside of your home to make it sell faster,
you wouldn’t pick hot pink with purple trim even if you really loved those
colors. You would pick safe, middle-of-the-road colors that would appeal
to the majority of buyers. The same could be said about pricing. Use the
price that appeals to the majority – price at market value or slightly below
and you’ll end up with a sold home.
With few exceptions, the overpricing of For Sale By Owner properties is
the key reason they don’t sell. Don’t be another statistic – price it right!
Here are a few questions to ask yourself about pricing your property.
1. How did I arrive at my selling price?
2. Do I look at my selling price weekly to see if it is still competitive?
3. What data can I provide to prospective buyers that my home is a
strong value?
Page 18 of 33 Don Cook, Realtor® 214-734-7629
Chapter 4
Since it’s your job to introduce your home
to the buying public, let’s look at
marketing. Where do you spend your
money? And since we mentioned money,
how much are you prepared to spend to
advertise your house?
Do you run newspaper ads? What about
yard signs and information boxes? Do you
do an open house? Do you mail postcards
around the neighborhood? Do you need a
“Take-Away” Package (TAP)?
Let’s make this an easy test – the answers to all of the questions above are
“yes”. Your home needs exposure to the marketplace so qualified buyers
can find out about it.
News ads.
This is the second most used medium for advertising a home for sale.
Newspaper ads can and do help, but don’t bet the farm that a news ad will
sell your house.
When you look in the newspaper, you will notice that a huge number of
Realtors® running big ads with pictures. What you may not know is that
most of these agents are not trying to sell one particular house in the
advertisement. Instead, they are enticing potential buyers to call them
because they offer so many listings. Agents also use these big ads to show
potential home sellers how they will advertise their property if they decide
to list with them. Agents know that newspaper advertisements are helpful
in creating the critical mass of buyers required to consistently sell a large
number of listings.
Of course, you don’t need a steady flow of buyers – you only need one!
Your ad doesn’t have to be big or fancy; it just has to be effective. So,
don’t waste your money on big ads or daily placements. Sunday is the best
day to run an ad and usually will give you all of the exposure you will
need with this medium.
Here are a couple of sample ads:
Page 19 of 33 Don Cook, Realtor® 214-734-7629
HOT! FSBO Special
3/2/2, 175K
3/2/2, 175k
The second ad plays on the reality that people look at FSBOs for “The
home of their dreams at a deal of a lifetime”.
You can add volumes of information that will increase the cost of your ad
but have little or no impact on the results. This comes from my own
personal experience of placing hundreds of newspaper advertising
formats. People browsing ads look at 2 key elements – the amenities
(3/2/2) and the price. If you have a pool, go ahead and say so because it
will filter out the people who don’t want one.
Always put in the price! There is no need to field calls from people
looking for a home far above or far below yours. Never put your address
in the ad! If you do, you’re setting yourself up for security issues. Do offer
the fact that you are FSBO in every ad. Some people are more comfortable
calling a FSBO than an agent ad because they feel the agent will hassle
them (obviously, I disagree with the whole “hassle” issue).
Yard signs.
The majority of yard signs that FSBOs use are the ones purchased at
hardware or home improvement stores. They’re inexpensive and look it.
Most of the time, the phone number will be written in with a marker.
Your option is to go to a sign shop and have one made. It may cost a little
more but it is a good investment. A professional sign will make your home
look as though it is professionally marketed and not just a trial run.
Open house.
In the same way that they don’t run a newspaper ad to sell a specific
property, Realtors® don’t hold an open house to sell that particular house.
They do so to attract buyers who may or may not be interested in that
specific property. Realtors® see it as just part of the overall process of
For Sale By Owner properties are perfect for open houses. In fact, I
recommend that it be your primary method of showing your property. You
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can tell every caller that your home will be available for preview on the
weekend. If you are using a dedicated phone line for taking your calls,
make sure you advertise the open house in your message. By consistently
having your home open on the weekends, prospects feel more at ease to
drop by during the open house time than when making an appointment.
It’s definitely safer for you, because ne’er-do-wells never know when
someone else will come to the door. Plus, your family is disrupted less
because you are showing at a specific time every week.
Maybe you will elect not to use an open house as your primary tool. You
should do at least one open house, targeting your particular sub-division or
neighborhood. That’s because people like to live around friends and
family and your neighbor’s curiosity will help you sell. I suggest post
cards, flyers and phone calls when possible to attract your neighbors to
your home. It may be their family or friend that will be the buyer you are
looking for.
It’s also a good time to solicit comments on better ways to show your
home. I suggest offering an incentive drawing to fill out a showing card
for all of the neighbors that attend the open house. If they fill out a card,
they have a chance to win a $50 gift certificate to a home improvement
store (or something similar).
Advertising an open house is as easy as posting signs on the street corners
in your neighborhood. Usually, 4-6 well-placed signs will be sufficient
and be sure to add a sign directly in front of your home. Balloons or flags
during the event will help you attract visitors. If you feel you want to
advertise your open house in the newspaper and invite the public in
general, keep the ad simple and offer something special. Here’s an
3/2/2, 175k, 2-4 This Sunday
2020 Main. Prizes, Free Stuff!
Grab bags with candy, pens, scratch pads and such make a good giveaway. You can usually get the pads and pens free at a title company. Put
these items in small, white paper bags and tie them with a red ribbon for
handing out. Have your guests sign a card with their name and address for
a drawing you will hold at the end of the event for a $25 gift certificate to
Home Depot or some other store.
The best results I’ve had when doing an open house is to hire some
teenagers to hold up signs at key intersections for about two hours. They
jump up and down and attract a lot of attention. This cost about $50, but
it’s worth it if it brings in more lookers.
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Post cards.
Realtors® send out “Just Listed” and “Just Sold” postcards with
regularity. Again, this is usually done for self-promotion and not to sell a
particular house. As a FSBO, you don’t need self-promotion, but you do
need to keep the fact that your home is for sale in front of your neighbors
at all times.
Within a 60-day period, I was personally involved in two sales where the
home was purchased by a neighbor for an elderly parent. This may sound
like an incredibly rare event, but remember I am one agent out of
thousands in my market place. If it has happened to me, it has likely
happened to them also.
Your postcards will say “New On Market” rather than “Just Listed”. Make
them as simple as your newspaper ad when writing the copy and have a
big picture on one side. You can purchase the postcard blanks at any office
supply store.
Take Away Package
This is a folder that will include all of the pertinent data about your house
and neighborhood.
It will have a flyer, seller’s disclosure, tax information, utility costs, copies
of applicable warranties and so on. The more information you include the
better, because people like feeling as though you are telling them
In your TAP, also promote your neighborhood. Stop and think for a
moment about all of the places you go that are only a few minutes from
your door. A great place to eat, a hardware store, the gas station, your
favorite grocery, and the dry cleaner you use are examples. Use this
memory exercise to jot down all of the amenities that surround your home
and make it a great place to live.
When you purchased your home, it probably took you a while to become
comfortable with the neighborhood. You didn’t know the people next door
or how many children lived on the street.
People who come to see your house may not be familiar with the
neighborhood or even the DFW area. They may not know the best places
to eat and shop and are probably unaware of the local school system. They
need your help.
One service that Realtors® provide prospective home buyers moving into
North Texas is a welcome package that promotes the area and includes
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coupons for area businesses and brochures about attractions. You can pick
up a look-alike at your Chamber of Commerce and have it ready to show
If your candidate is already familiar with the area, it is likely that they still
may not know about the schools that serve your address. Make a list of
them and be sure to include phone numbers and names of administrators.
Schools are fiercely proud of their accomplishments, so be sure to include
any exemplary ratings they may carry. Most administrators will be happy
to write a letter telling about their school while welcoming prospective
new students. Be sure to include data on private schools and day care as
well. You may not know the information yourself, so don’t be afraid to
ask neighbors or look in the Yellow Pages.
Maybe this sound like overkill, but remember that the buyer may not
know local neighborhoods as well as you do. The things you take for
granted might just be the incentive someone else needs to push the
purchasing decision your way.
They may be concerned about driving time to work or somewhere else, so
go ahead and prepare for the questions. How many minutes does it take to
drive to Legacy Park or the Dart rail station from the house? How about
downtown Dallas? How far is DFW airport or Love Field? When you can
produce the answers on all of these questions on a printed page, you have
just elevated your home from the competition and helped to increase its
value as a place to call home.
Many buyers may attempt to trivialize this information because they feel
that appearing to be impressed may hurt their negotiating posture. But
remember when all is said and done, they want more than a house; they
want a home.
Now a few wrap-up questions about promoting your property.
1. How much am I willing to invest to promote my FSBO property?
2. How much time each week am I prepared to spend on marketing?
3. Do I have a good method to keep track of what I’ve spent and
4. Do I know what marketing avenues I will try next?
Page 23 of 33 Don Cook, Realtor® 214-734-7629
Page 24 of 33 Don Cook, Realtor® 214-734-7629
Chapter 5
Showing, Negotiating and Closing
OK, we’ve done our marketing in hopes that someone will want to see our
house and sure enough, the phone rings! Now what?
When a prospect calls you have to change from homeowner to real estate
agent in the blink of an eye. The same sales rules apply to you as they
would to any professional selling any product or service. When you call
someone for information, you appreciate when they exhibit:
• A firm, upbeat voice.
• A friendly attitude.
• Informative but not pushy answers to your questions.
For FSBOs, the circumstances are a little different than when you’re an
agent fielding the calls. As agents, we rarely get calls from investors on a
property unless we advertise the fact that it is being marketed as an
investment. And, of course, we don’t get calls from other agents wanting
the list the property themselves.
Both are common with a FSBO property. In fact, the majority of the calls
you receive might well fall into one of these categories. Neither may
immediately identify their intention although it is the law that a real estate
salesperson must tell you that they are a licensed agent.
There seems to be a plague of investors in the area currently, maybe due to
the uncertain economic climate we face. These well-intentioned
individuals have often just completed some seminar or audiotape series
that promised them there was a fortune to be made in FSBO properties.
Agents call you to check your psychological pulse – hoping that you’ve
become tired of the selling process and are ready to list your home.
Here’s the best way to get around both while improving your customer
service to actual prospects. Get a dedicated cell phone. Simple, quick and
hassle free for all involved.
Never answer the phone directly. Instead, use the outgoing message
feature to record a quick commercial about your home. This will take
between 20-30 seconds and will let them know if the home is something
they want to see in person.
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At the end of the message, have the caller leave a name and number in
order to schedule a showing. Respond to all messages as promptly as
possible, but never before you have all of the information about your
home in front of you.
If the caller wants to see the home, ask if they have been pre-approved by
a lender. This is critical! If they have been pre-approved, go ahead and set
a time after you have verified the information with the lender. If it is
impossible to contact their lender for verification before the showing, my
suggestion is you wait until you can.
What about the occasion where the caller is not been pre-approved, but
promises that it won’t be a problem? I personally don’t schedule a
showing when this happens, but you are in charge so follow your instinct.
The main reason you are asking for the pre-approval is for security
although not wasting your time is important also. This is one of the
reasons I suggest you have a mortgage team member on call, so you can
tell the caller that your lender will call them right back to get some quick
information. If they balk at that, what does that tell you?
Let’s assume the best – the caller is pre-approved and wants to see the
home. Don’t let them in on your personal schedule, but be as workable as
possible around their required times.
One-half hour before they arrive, go through the home with a fine-toothed
comb. Light some candles, turn on all of the lights and open the blinds and
drapes. This helps the home to look roomier. Soft music at a low sound
level helps the home seem more inviting.
Pets should be contained because some people have adverse reactions to
animals. Children should suspend any loud or distracting activities. Turn
off the TV, and make sure no cooking odors linger.
When the guests arrive, meet them quickly at the door and bring them
inside. Always tour the inside of the home first. The best way is to give
them a quick recap of your home’s size and amenities, and then ask if
there were anyplace in particular they would like to start.
Resist the temptation to state the obvious. You don’t have to tell someone
that they are looking at the kitchen. They should know. Let them know
that they can browse freely and you’ll be close by if they have any
questions. (Check the section on security for more detailed information.)
Don’t suffocate them, but don’t be hard to find either because you never
know when they might need an answer. Be forthright with all responses
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and you will avoid any feeling that you are hiding something. Buyers are
skeptical by nature, especially with FSBO properties.
Make sure you have everything handy to accept an offer! Contracts,
deposit requirements, moving schedules, and so on. If they make an offer,
stay calm!
Buyers are looking for “The Home Of Their Dreams With The Deal Of A
Lifetime”. If you are the one doing the selling, this may seem like an
unrealistic attitude and can lead to tension during negotiations. You are
not about to sell your home at a discount just so the buyer can brag to
friends about the deal they brokered.
Agreeing to a sale price is one of the most difficult issues surrounding a
For Sale By Owner. In an agent based sale, the two agents involved argue
back and forth about price, closing costs, possession, timing, etc., and only
involve the parties when needed to finalize the transaction. This keeps the
buyer and seller insulated from the process and eliminates any bad
feelings that could cloud the deal. The agents have the luxury of being
somewhat disinterested, because the sale is only one of many they may be
working on at the time. It’s not personal to them, merely business.
When buyers and sellers interface directly, the tenor of negotiations
changes. As the seller, you may feel insulted with what you see as a lowball offer, and the buyer may be just as insulted with what they interpret as
your attempt to gouge them. So, how do you keep such an adversarial
position from ruining the deal?
First, mentally step away from viewing your property as your home, and
look at it instead as a house. This is not a trivial distinction, but one of
emotional investment. A home is where the family exists; a house is
merely a structure that could turn into a home under the right conditions.
Next, look at any offer as better than no offer. In fact, instead of being
offended at a low offer, be offended by someone who looked at your home
and made no offer at all. Don’t answer questions such as, “What’s your
bottom number?” Rather, answer back that you’ll consider any reasonable
offer if it is in writing with a check for earnest money. This lets them
know you’re not playing games.
Likewise, don’t answer questions concerning your mortgage payoff, your
timing for needing to sell, or any other question that could signal any
sense of urgency on your part. Investors are famous for taking such an
invasive posture. If asked, answer that those issues are irrelevant, and
refocus their attention to some feature of the house.
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Look for buying signals. More often than not, it will be a couple that will
be looking at your property. Listen for one of the strongest buying signals
around: One will turn to the other and ask, “What do you think?” The
other will respond with, “I don’t know, what about you?”
If you hear a similar conversation, respond immediately by asking in a
calm voice how they want their name to appear on the deed. You’ve got a
fish on the line – make sure you have a contract and pen handy.
Sometimes an offer is made that is simply too low to even consider. Let’s
spend a couple of minutes talking about counter offers.
A few years ago, some marketing consultant/guru coined the term “WinWin” to describe a negotiating scenario where both sides came out feeling
as though they had won. The operative in the sentence above is “feeling”,
because actual negotiations rarely produce two concrete winners.
So, when some other agent tells me that he wants a deal we’re working to
be “Win-Win”, I start getting tense and instinctively protect the wallets of
me and my client. Your prospective buyers may very well use the phrase
with you.
Here’s what they mean when they say “Win-Win”: Meet them in the
fictitious middle of some arbitrary number they have thrown your way.
Example; you want $200,000 and they offer $180,000 but are willing to
negotiate for $190,000 because they want it to be a “Win-Win” situation.
After all they posit, what could be fairer than meeting in the middle?
Surely, the story goes, you will split the difference and settle the deal!
The problem with this is that the middle is determined by where they set
the beginning. The middle would be $150,000 if they started at $100,000,
and $199,000 if they started at $198,000. Since they chose the beginning
number, they can make the middle be anywhere that suits their purpose.
(Of course, if they did offer $198,000 for my $200,000 property, I would
whip out my pen and be writing the contract before they finished the
Here’s something that has worked for me over the years, and I hope you
can put it to good use. Please remember that I am normally working with
another agent representing the other side whereas you will likely be
negotiating directly with the buyer, but the technique works the same.
In the first example above, your potential buyer has just offered $180,000.
First of all, you don’t flinch or bat an eye at such a low-ball offer. You
respond with, “I appreciate the offer. Give me a minute to massage the
numbers.” Then you play with your calculator and scribble something on a
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notepad that they can’t see. You spend at least 2 full minutes mumbling
unintelligible numbers under your breath while keying the calculator.
After the time pause, lay down your pen and say, “I don’t think we’re that
far apart.” Let that phrase sink in for about 10 seconds, because it makes
them feel as though you are about to make a huge concession. Your follow
up is, “I can drop my price all the way down to $198,416 if you will pay
for my title policy at closing.”
If the buyers are truly interested in your property and are not trying to steal
it as an investment, they will move their number up substantially. Coming
off of your price with an odd number after careful deliberation sends the
signal that you are at your bottom line. Splitting the difference is no longer
seen as an option to them, and they will begin either to move toward your
price or away from the deal entirely.
Let’s recap what we’ve learned by asking ourselves the following:
1. Do I have a showing method rehearsed and ready to enact?
2. What measures have I taken to protect my family and myself
during showings?
3. Do I have someone I can call for a quick mortgage pre-approval?
4. If someone makes an offer, am I ready and able to complete the
sale on the spot?
5. Do I know what I will do if the buyer wants an option period?
Contingency sale? Owner finance or second lien? Lease purchase?
Page 29 of 33 Don Cook, Realtor® 214-734-7629
Chapter 6
Your 30-Day Action Plan!
Now it’s time for the meat and potatoes – putting together a plan to attract
qualified buyers to your home.
Your action plan is designed around the following philosophy: One
prospect in ten will make an offer on your home.
Of course, we don’t know which one out of ten will make the offer, and
this is a broad statistic based on agent’s experiences. You may get an offer
right away and you may have twenty people come and receive no offers.
But, day in and day out, the general rule we follow is that one in ten will
make an offer.
Our goal then becomes to attract ten qualified buyers to our home within
thirty days. If we do, it is likely that one or more will make an offer. This
statistic is most valid when:
1. The home is competitively priced.
2. The home is priced according to condition.
3. You have been available to show the home when required.
4. General economic conditions are conducive to the sale.
As an agent, I spend the majority of my time marketing to other agents
because they are involved in over 90% of all sales. I don’t spend a lot of
time or money marketing to the general public for the same reasons. As a
FSBO, your tactics will be a little different.
Let’s start with discussing how I personally arrive at a marketing budget
and strategy. Before that, let’s dispel a rumor: Real Estate Agents make a
lot of money. How I wish that were true! Your agent probably makes
about 45-50% of the commission on their half of the transaction after
splits with the broker, marketing, insurance, listing fees and association
expenses. The math on a house selling at $165,000 is ½ of the commission
on the listing side, or $4,950 (supposing a 6% fee) will go to the agent that
lists the property. Of that amount, the agent receives about $2,200-$2,500
before taxes. Industry average is that it takes around 110 man hours to see
a house through until closing. That means that your agent could earn as
high $22.72 per hour to monitor your sale and protect your interests.
However, about 20% of listed homes do not sell, and about 35% of homes
that do are not sold by the original listing agent although they invested
their time and resources. After deducting the latter from the hourly rate,
we arrive at a probable wage of $14.77 per hour. When you think of the
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educational requirements, the hours on call and the liability involved, it’s a
wonder that anyone wants to sell real estate for a living. And remember,
that wage is not guaranteed! Maybe this helps you understand why
commission rates are as they are.
Those wages are one of the key factors in the growth of discount realty
firms. The premise is that if fewer hours can be directed toward the sale by
offering fewer services, the actual hourly wage can increase. If you charge
$495 for a discount listing but only invest 20 hours because the
homeowner is doing most of the work, you make $24.75 versus $14.77
when offering full service.
On with the budget. As a general rule, I set aside one-half of one percent
(.5%) of a home’s target retail value as a marketing budget. On a $165,000
home that amount would be $825.
That means that when I take the listing, I am prepared to spend $825 of
my own money up front to market the house. My normal listing period is
ninety days. This gives me time to market the home adequately and allow
for market forces to move in my favor.
The next step I take is to make a monthly marketing budget. The first
month is when the most activity takes place on a new listing simply
because of putting it in the MLS. In the first thirty days, I spend 65% of
my budget. Every plan is shared with the client because I feel they have a
right to know how much I invest in marketing their property and where
and when I spend the money. This makes us partners in the success of
selling the home.
As a FSBO, you can achieve the same psychological results by seeing
your plan written down on paper. This is no small thing! Written plans are
more likely to be followed than plans that we keep inside our head. If you
plan to spend x dollars on a marketing activity, you are more likely to go
through with it if you have committed the action to paper and have
budgeted the money.
The second month, I allocate 25% of the marketing budget and the
remaining 10% is spent in the third month. The latter months require less
expense because of the impetus of activity generated by the money spent
in month number one.
Activities are broken down into two broad categories: “Agent” &
“Public”. Agent activities are those in which my marketing dollars are
spent to advertise your home to my fellow Realtors®, and Public activities
are monies spent on items such as newspaper ads.
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Further, I break down the activities to each of these into two more
categories: “Broadcast” & “Target”.
Here’s an example. Let’s assume your home is in Serenity Acres, a
pleasant subdivision of $200,000 dollar homes. I would find every agent
who has sold a home in Serenity Acres within the last year and personally
e-mail them about your listing. This is an “Agent-Target” marketing ploy
that has zero cost but highly effective.
If an agent has had two or more transactions in your subdivision, then I
know that they focus on the area. Within this group, I hand-deliver a CDRom with a Power Point presentation about your home. This is
economical to produce and it gets their attention every time. Remember, I
have allocated $650 for the first month of marketing in this hypothetical
You can probably see why money spent wisely goes a lot farther than
funds spent on newspaper ads.
Post cards in the neighborhood are “Public-Target” because they have a
specific audience. Newspaper ads are “Public-Broadcast”, and flyers sent
to area real estate offices are “Agent-Broadcast”. I’ll bet you get the
Your marketing will be geared to the public, but you can use the
broadcast-target sub-categories if you like. I suggest you spend the
majority of your dollars on target marketing within your neighborhood
because it has the highest return possibilities. FSBOs almost always
neglect this pool of potential prospects, opting for newspaper ads as the
primary tool.
Open your 30-day Action Plan and look at the weekly calendar. Starting
with the month you want to plan put the date along side the day for the
entire month. On the right-hand side, put in the amount you allocate for
the first 30 days. Next, browse the A-Z marketing suggestions at the
bottom of the form and choose an activity.
Let’s say you pick “B”, the New On Market Post Card and you plan on
mailing them on the 3rd day. Put the letter B on the calendar on the 3rd, and
then also put the letter B in the first box on the budget and expense
column. Write in the amount you spent and the date when you wrote the
It’s as simple as that! Fill in the entire calendar until you have allocated
your first month’s budget. Now you know what you will spend, and when
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and where you will spend it. If you have acquired a FSBO Coach, ask
them to go over your plan before you enact it.
In the area below the calendar you will see the Marker Legend. Use a blue
marker to indicate every phone call or e-mail inquiry about your home
whether or not the contact is from a qualified prospect. You’re just
counting “hits” to your marketing.
Use a red marker to indicate any showing to a qualified buyer and a green
marker to show you received an offer. Using colored markers may seem
unnecessary, but this quick visual will show you where you stand at all
On the back page you’ll find the Prospect Tracker. Here’s an old sales
gimmick: Most people make major purchasing decisions after the 5th
contact and most sales people quit calling on prospects after the 3rd turn
down. Persistence pays off.
Start with a Thank You card and then find a reason to call 5 more times! If
you have a valid reason you won’t be seen as pestering them. Ask you
Coach for hints on this one or call me. I make it a point to call every agent
that views one of my listings 5 times. It’s a habit and I don’t even have to
make myself do it any more because the system is on autopilot.
If you have adequately exposed your home to the marketplace and it is
competitively priced, you should receive an offer within 30 days. Keep
tweaking the plan as necessary to increase the number of qualified
showings. Remember, your goal is to get ten in thirty days. At the end of
the thirty days, review your plans with your Coach if you have one. Think
of what could be done in the next month to increase showings. Don’t give
up or give in.
If you work the plan effectively, it will pay off in a Sold Home!
Good Selling!
Page 33 of 33 Don Cook, Realtor® 214-734-7629