Feb 15, 2019 by - Pat Hiban

Reverse Selling – The Secret to Getting FSBO Listings


Most FSBO strategies work the same way. The agent calls and runs through a script that somehow convinces the seller to agree to a listing presentation. Strategies like this do work – occasionally.

As a whole, however, they’re just not very effective. For every listing appointment the agent manages to set, they burn through dozens of leads.

For FSBO expert Brandon Mulrenin, there are two big problems with the standard approach to FSBOs. Not only are low-converting strategies like this a waste of time, but they can also actually hurt your business.

Think about it: calling these sellers and desperately trying to set up a meeting doesn’t come off as genuine or helpful. At best, it’s a mild annoyance. At worst, it casts a negative light on you and your business, making it unlikely that these prospects will consider using your services now or in the future.

To avoid both of these issues, Brandon created his own strategy for converting FSBOs, something he calls “reverse selling.”

Brandon’s Reverse Selling Script for FSBOs

During Episode 748 of the Real Estate Rockstars Podcast, Brandon describes this strategy in detail. Essentially, it’s a method of communicating with FSBOs in a way that aligns with what they believe – that they don’t need a listing agent. 

He doesn’t actively try to convert them; he doesn’t even push for a listing appointment.

So, how does Brandon get in the door with FSBOs without setting a listing appointment? Find out by reading his FSBO script below. Alternatively, you can hear it roleplayed in the following clip from the podcast interview.

Brandon: Hey Pat, it’s Brandon. I’m an agent and listen; I know you’re getting a ton of phone calls from people trying to list your home. Am I right?

Pat: Yes, definitely.

Brandon: I know that you’re selling your home on your own and I respect that. In this market, why wouldn’t you try to sell your own home? You don’t have to pay a commission, so obviously it makes more sense financially for you, correct?

Pat: Yep, that’s the reason I’m doing it.

Brandon: Okay, that makes sense. I have a simple question for you: with your strategy right now, are you open to an agent bringing you a fully qualified buyer?

Pat: Yes, but what’s in it for you? Would I owe you any money?

Brandon: Good question. Most sellers in your situation are open to buyer’s agents. So, if an agent comes in, they’ll pay them a two- or three-percent commission. They just don’t want an agent to list their home. Is that what you’re doing now?

Pat: Okay, yeah, I’m open to that.

Brandon: Great. So, what I’d like to do is stop by quickly to take a look at the house before getting to work. Do you want to try to get together Thursday or Friday?

Pat: No, I don’t get it. I mean, what are you talking about? I’m not interested in selling with an agent.

Brandon: Oh, I get it; I’m not interested in listing your property. I’m just going to stop by and look at the home. My job is to actually know the inventory, to know the properties that are out there for sale. I’m planning to just stop by and preview the property. Before you or I agree to do anything, I need to stop by to see what you have. Is that fair?

Pat: Okay, so you just want to check it out?

Brandon: That’s it.

The First Face-to-Face Meeting

With his initial call, Brandon’s primary goal is to meet with the seller face-to-face, not to set a listing appointment or pitch his services. When he first meets a FSBO, he continues with his no-pressure approach.

Brandon doesn’t worry about handling objections or pushing pre-listing packets, but he still manages to get far more FSBO listings than the average agent by following a simple five-step system during each initial meeting. 

Here’s what it consists of:

Step 1: The Home Tour

When Brandon meets with the seller for the first time, he sticks to his word; he doesn’t push the idea of listing their property. Instead, he tours the property as discussed during the call and ensures that the interaction is as pleasant as possible.

Step 2: Zillow Ad Review

If the seller is open to it, Brandon looks through their current Zillow ad, basically performing a free-of-charge audit. When going through the ad, he compares their views to those of neighboring properties, critiques photos, and makes suggestions on marketing language.

Step 3: CMA Presentation

Unlike most CMAs, Brandon’s FSBO-tailored CMA presentation isn’t the slightest bit salesy. During this step, Brandon simply presents market-related information in a helpful, no-pressure manner.

Step 4: Value-Proposition Presentation

Here, Brandon briefly covers the services he offers to FSBOs who do elect to hire him as an agent. However, he prefaces this by stating that today is not the day for them to move in this direction and that it may never come, this is just information he presents so that the seller knows how he can help if they need it.

Step 5: “The Seed Plant”

Finally, Brandon finishes his initial home visit with what he calls “the seed plant,” this is where he tells the seller that they’re in good shape and will likely sell the home on their own. However, he does encourage them to call if they run into issues. More often than not, they do.

Brandon’s Follow-Up Process for FSBOs

Over the next month or so, Brandon follows up with the FSBO seller multiple times per week. On Mondays, he calls them. On Wednesdays, he sends a video email with helpful advice for FSBOs. Finally, on Fridays, he sends a text to check in.

These follow-up attempts help Brandon maintain top-of-mind awareness while simultaneously providing FSBO sellers with value.

When these FSBOs have trouble selling on their own, Brandon is the first agent they call. Providing value without pressure helps him build excellent relationships with these sellers, and this gives him a considerable edge when it comes to getting FSBO listings in his market.

Altogether, Brandon’s script, five-step system, and follow-up process have had a significant impact on his listing business. Typically, he gets two FSBO listings per week, and the conversion process on average only takes 37 days.

For more details on reverse selling, additional FSBO scripts, and more, listen to the complete podcast with Brandon Mulrenin.


Weekly articles that cover every aspect of the real estate industry, growing your business, personal development & so much more.

Discover more stories