– How can you determine the real needs of the seller?
– How can you meet the seller’s needs and maximize your profits at the same
– Here’s how to get a quick decision from the seller-a decision that works
for you and works for the seller.
Most beginning investors walk in to meet with the seller and hand
them the completed, written offer and sit back and wait for the seller’s
response. The trouble is that most sellers will tell you they need to think it
over, or that they need to speak with a friend/spouse/relative/etc. before they
can agree with it. This puts the average investor in a very weak negotiating
position. They are in what I call “chase” mode-chasing after the deal.
You are going to do things different. Instead of laying your offer at
the seller’s feet and hoping they do you the favor of giving you the deal you
are going to qualify the owner before you do them the favor of presenting
them with an offer to solve their real and pressing real estate problems. I’m
sure that sounds pretty good to you, but you might be wondering just how
you are supposed to do that. Here’s how:
What you are going to do is leave your offer in your folder, or better
yet in the car. You are not going to present the actual offer until the seller
To qualify for your offer you and the seller both need to agree on four
key areas. The powerful thing is that when you finish with all four areas the
offer is basically all negotiated. And it is at that point that you can present
your pre-written offer, or get out a blank form and just fill it out on the spot.
Of course if you and the seller cannot come to agreement in each area
then you simply stand up, thank the seller for his time, and start to walk out.
Nine times out of ten the seller will plead with you to stay and present your
offer-their curiosity alone will get them to ask you to stay to finish working
through the four areas and to present your offer. This is the ultimate tool for
putting you in the role of the reluctant buyer. We have found it to be the
easiest, most effective way to help the seller feel good about talking us into
giving them an offer on the property. And this will help you to smoothly
transition the seller to say yes to your offer.
The first area is called the “Up-Front Agreement.” You simply
explain to the seller that you are a straight forward type of person and would
appreciate either a yes or a no answer from them. In return you will give
them your own yes or no decision. The key in this quadrant is to let the
seller understand that you will take any “think it over” answer as a NO.
The way that you do this is to tell the seller that you will respect his
and your time by giving a yes or no answer and you are asking for the same
courtesy in return.
Area two is where you are going to talk about the seller’s needs. Ask
the seller what they were hoping you could do for them. and then be quiet
and listen. As they bring up areas of concern the very best thing you can do
is to draw out those problems in an innocent and gentle way. For example, if
a seller’s problem is that he hates being a landlord you can say something
like, “The good thing is that you probably enjoy working with renters and
putting the time in to care for your rental property.” Because you say this in
a caring tone of voice the seller will most likely pour out his guts about how
he hates dealing with renters. This approach is radically different from most
investors where they will argue with the seller over all the problems the
seller faces. All that does is put the seller on the defensive.
Area three is about money. You are going to go over some specific
dollar amounts with the seller before you ever get your written offer out.
This could be the monthly payments (on a lease, or owner carry-back), and
the sale price. This way you know what the seller’s real financial needs are
and whether you can meet them and still make a profit for yourself.
Area four is the “What If?” step. Rather than give a seller your offer
and hope they will say yes, you are going to make sure they will accept your
offer before you ever officially give it to them. How can you do this? By
using the two magic words in all negotiations: WHAT IF.
“Mr. Seller, what if I were to cover your payments for two years and
then cash you out of the property? Would that work for you?”
“Mr. Seller, what if I were willing to give you $212,000 for the house,
would you be willing to carry back a second?”
These magic two words lets you make your offer in a completely
hypothetical manner. Then when you finally come up with the winning
“what if” scenario you simply write it up and get them to sign right there and
Now you know how to get a seller to say yes to your creative offer.
Good Luck with all of your investing, I hope you’ve found this helpful.
Peter Conti went from auto mechanic to self made millionaire in 3.5 years by tapping into the power of commercial and residential real estate. He has consulted with thousands of investors helping them to invest in apartment buildings, shopping centers, office buildings, warehouses, and land development projects. Today Peter invests across the country with a handful of clients and lives in Annapolis, MD with his wife on the Chesapeake Bay.