When A Friend Lists For Sale By Owner

Home seller tips

Written by

Diana Herdean

Published date:

Updated: Feb 26, 2024 by

man stands near a house with post for sale

Being a real estate agent kinda makes you the go-to person for friends and family who are looking into buying or selling a house. When you find out that a friend of yours is going about selling their house on their own, of course you know what this means. Aside from the tips and tricks that they might come to you for help with, it’s also the fact that you know what they are getting themselves into. Even if you do offer tips and tricks, there is little chance that they will get a fair price or even understand the real estate gibberish that comes along with the selling process.


If they are considering not using a real estate agent by selling a house on their own it means that they will take the route of listing the real estate for sale by owner (FSBO). This means they will sell their house on their own. This has become more and more popular online and there are many sites that offer guidance for this. FSBO are free of having to pay commission to a real estate agent of their own which is why it’s so appealing.


Considering the fact that this is a venture that revolves around a lot of money you can also suggest they work with another real estate agent. Telling a friend or family member not to list their real estate with you might not be in your financial best interest, but it might be better for the relationship you have with that person. Doing business with friends or family is risky so do tread carefully.


How to convince a FSBO to list with you

There are a few things that might make them understand why to use a real estate agent. Abilities that you have obtained over years of practice can’t be easily overlooked as well as all the reasons for which it would be better for them to use a real estate agent. FSBO listings are many as some sellers might consider this the best way for their situation. Make sure you understand why they want to go that way with their listing and present the potential benefits of working with a real estate agent. Finding your real estate niche might be easy if you appeal to FSBO, but considering their reasons is detrimental for being able to have a good business relationship aside from the personal one. 


You must also make sure that your friend or family can differentiate between the two. No matter how much profit a real estate might bring you, is it really worth it if it can jeopardize your personal relationship? You have to decide if they should hire you as their real estate agent. There are many other available real estate agents who you could suggest to them if they do decide to go through an agent. If, however, they prefer you because you know and understand them better then there are ways through which you can make sure that it’s a successful venture for all parties involved. You can work with a relative or friend by helping them out and it might even improve the relationship you have with them if done correctly.



young women holding money

One of the top reasons people decide to go the FSBO route instead of hiring an agent is because of the costs that come along with hiring an agent. First of all …when not in the industry it’s understandable, they don’t know what they’re getting themselves into.


Second of all, a study done in 2017 shows how properties sold FSBO don’t get the best prices for their homes, 30% less actually. It’s simple. As a real estate agent, you have years of experience in the field and you can help them improve the presentation of the house in such a way that it will add to their end profit. Furthermore, FSBO can also wind up paying for the services of the real estate agent the buyer is using, so why even bother with that argument? 

Setting the right price

An FSBO doesn’t have access to the behind the scene area or the other houses available on the market. You know what the competition is, know how to evaluate a property and how to present it to potential buyers. You can make sure the price is correct with information of how the real estate market is at that time. You are aware of what the buyers are interested in and how to improve a home for the final sale.


Why more money?

Because as a real estate agent you will help them with far more than the paperwork. Setting a home for selling is part of your training. You can tell them what needs to be improved, what can be presented better and what can be taken out or added. Knowing how to convert FSBO to list with you can be as simple as turning the page of a contract that's drafted to perfection. Setting up a house for sale is in the little things most often and you can make sure that potential buyers can see a diamond in the rough. If needed you can get in touch with designers to improve the aspect and make sure the most can be taken out of your property.



Coming to the decision to sell a home is one of the most difficult decisions of a lifetime. For an amount bigger than $100,000 or $200,000 one should not go on a whim and negotiation is part of the deal. For such a high amount of money for anything else, anyone would go look for professional advice so why not for a home? As a real estate agent, you can advise them throughout the processes that will follow, inspections and financial part. You can draft a legally binding contract so that the sale doesn’t fall through.

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the girl hand open door

FSBO often wind up inviting strangers into their homes with little protection available. As a real estate agent, you can make sure that anyone who crosses your threshold is safe after being pre screened and will always accompany them through the property. Checking everything is done in such a way that you and your property are safe is part of the job.



The amount of paperwork necessary for a property transaction might scare off the less experienced person. As a real estate agent, however, you are familiarised with every contract needed, from state to local and federal the documents required for a purchase are complex. It is one of the reasons why you had to do all the study in order to be an expert in the field. You do this pretty much every day not once or twice in a lifetime so chances of you overlooking something are slim to non-existent.


Fiduciary duty

Real estate agents are there for you through thick and thin. This isn’t just fluffy marketing, it’s the law. As a real estate agent, you are legally obligated to think of the seller’s best interest. Whether the seller is a friend, family or complete stranger, you are committed to make sure that they get the truth, complete confidentiality and, as a seller, they can file complaints in case they have reason to believe they were misled in any way. FSBO doesn’t offer that and the options like that would be very limited for them.



Figuring out how to convince a FSBO to list with you is something that each real estate agent needs to do at one point or another in their career. It is not detrimental that you do this but if the situation presents itself it’s good to know the best way to go about it. Just make sure you are confident in your ability and express the reason for which it would be better for them to list with you. FSBO’s can’t provide the expertise that you can and it is better for them to choose a more experienced option. If the only reason is money and they are difficult to persuade, make them understand that a smart person knows to surround themselves with people that are smarter than them, especially for fields that they have little to no experience with. 


Finally, it is their choice and it could very well be their loss. Real estate agents know their domain better than FSBO’s do. You’ll sign them up in no time and they will not regret it.


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