It's no secret that marketing to Motivated Sellers is one of the best ways to consistently find discounted homes. And after we go through the effort and expense of marketing, we soon will be answering our phone with those precious calls as they come in.
Well, believe it or not, there is a certain way to interact with sellers on the first call with them to make sure you maximize your time and energy you'll spending talking with them.
I'm not one that's into exact scripts or making things seem robotic, but there's nothing wrong with a general strategy that you can adopt and put your own personality into it.
So, after years of talking with thousands of sellers, I've come to the conclusion that there are 2 crucial questions that you should ask near the beginning of your first contact over the phone with the seller.
1. What Makes You Want to Sell the Home?
This question is very powerful. It allows you to really find out exactly how you can help them and make a win/win deal where both parties are satisfied. I've had plenty of deals where extracting every last nickel out of the home wasn't their main concern. An example of a recent deal was where they just wanted to sell quickly because they had medical bills that were going to force them into bankruptcy if they didn't pay them immediately. On top of that, they had no apartment to go to after they sold to me, so they needed to stay in the home 30 days after closing.
This example solved 2 problems. It solved the problem of the medical bills, and it also solved the problem of not having the first month's rent and security deposit for their new apartment. I solved both by asking why they were selling and letting that conversation organically develop into something where they slowly revealed where they needed to be.
2. How Soon Do You Want to Sell?
This is also a very powerful question. It really reveals how motivated they actually are. If they say they need to sell in the next few weeks, then obviously their motivation level is through the roof. You'll be able to negotiate a better price in exchange for solving their problem of needing to get out ASAP.
If they say something like, “We are not in a rush”, or “hopefully within the next 6-12 months”, then you know you are dealing with someone who isn't very motivated.
I will say, though, that over the years of doing this, some people may say one thing, but really mean another. They might be trying to conceal their true answers because they don't want to come off as desperate. They may feel like if they reveal their true motivation or desperation, that someone would take advantage of that.
The point here is that you just want to operate with integrity, and sincerely pry into their situation so you can understand what they truly want to accomplish. If you spend some time with them, and build some real rapport, most of the time you'll get the answers you want so you can know how (and if) you're going to proceed.
If the answers to these 2 questions reveal that there is no motivation at all, you've just saved some gas and time by not going over there to look at a house where no deal would be made.
If the answers to these questions reveal some motivation, you'll go look at the house, build some more rapport with the seller, and hopefully move forward to a win/win deal where you solve their problems and buy a great deal with a healthy profit for you.