5 Tips for Representing Buyers on FSBOs

ABR designation instructor Lynn Madison has you covered – and there’s more where these tips came from in the ABR Buyer Agency course through RE/MAX University

For Sale By Owner

How can you best represent your buyers — and yourself — when they’re interested in homes that are “For Sale By Owner?” Working with FSBOs can be more complicated because the sellers may not be up to speed on commission expectations and other important aspects of the transaction.

Here are five tips from buyer’s agency expert Lynn Madison that can help you reach a deal that both you and your buyer can be happy with.

For more of Madison’s expert tips, sign up for the ABR Buyer Agency course through RE/MAX University.

  1. Pick up the phone

Reach out and ask the seller if they’re cooperating with Realtors. Most are looking to save on the listing side and not necessarily on the buyer’s agent commission, but it’s best to be sure so you can prepare your buyers.

  1. Cover yourself

You have the option to write in a minimum commission requirement in your Buyer Representation Agreement. If the FSBO seller is offering less than your desired rate, you may be able to ask the buyer to fill the gap according to your contract.

  1. Ask how much the seller is willing to pay

A FSBO is not thinking about the nuances of your commission payment, so make sure to establish expectations up front. Ask if the seller will be paying the commission or if they expect it to come out of the sale price of the home. For example, say a home has a listing price of $100,000 with 3 percent commission offered. If the commission will not be coming out of the sale price, you’ll need to add $3,000 to the offer the buyers submit – with their full permission, of course.

  1. Break down the commission agreement for your buyer

Be transparent about how you’re getting paid. Your buyers need to know if your commission is being added to the listing price. If your commission will be taken out of the sales price, buyers need to know that, too.

  1. Make sure you have a representation agreement in place

Without a signed agreement between you and your buyers, there may be nothing stopping them from walking away from you.


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