I submitted a success story deal a few months ago to REIClub and received a free T-shirt as promised. The “UNEMPLOYABLE” on the front got more attention than any advertising or mailing I have done recently. People couldn't stop laughing and I always turned my back to them so they could see the other side “I BUY HOUSES”.
In Home Depot (where else would I be?), a fellow started talking to me about a FSBO near where he lived and that the Seller was very motivated (he had a terminal disease). He said he would buy it but he didn't have the money as the property was on a lake-front lot. I mentioned I paid referral fees but he claimed he didn't want anything. I drove by the house and spoke with the owner who was asking $499K. I explained I could pay cash and offered $405K. He refused my offer but I showed him comps for similar houses and all were in the $390K range (but not on the lake and where none had sold in the past 11 months).
As I always do, I called back in one week and the property was still available and after some dickering, he dropped his price to $450K. I explained how I would have to rehab the property and needed to make a profit so he was still too high. Local real estate brokers had told him it was good for $499K+ so he thought he had a gold mine, but time was against him and none of the realtors would buy it. I called back in another week and we haggeled (friendly) for 1/2 hour and arrived at a price of $415K with the agreement I had to close in 30 days (my deposit was $1,000, he had originally asked for $25K). I wrote the contract and made it assignable. I called a real estate broker and three wholesalers that I had purchased properties from and asked them to come by and look at the property. I asked the realtor to bring his wife as I knew she would appreciate the sunset over the water in the evening. They all arrived within 10 minutes of each other. But when the realtor and his wife arrived she swept through the house without saying a word and finally shreaked, in no uncertain terms, “I want this house!”. That was a Buying Signal!
He asked what I wanted and I explained I hadn't closed yet and I was thinking of keeping the property. After hearing his wife bullying him to buy it for 1/2 hour, I agreed to sell it to them for $475K but they had to pay all my closing costs and explained it was a reduction from the original offering price of $499K (which he knew because he had seen the property when it was first offered, but his wife hadn't). I asked for a $30K deposit which he gave me and we closed in 3 weeks. I did a double closing so the Seller was not aware of my selling the property as the HUD-1 did not show an assignment fee. My net was a true $60K for about 2 1/2 hours of my time and ONLY because of a free t-shirt and a little persistence on my part.
THINGS TO REMEMBER- If your offer isn't absurd, it's too high; the woman is the Buyer; call back until the property is either sold or you buy it; deal with people who HAVE to sell not ones who WANT to sell; and if the advertising is embrassing enough it will eventually get the desired result (just like car signs).
Keep looking and great investing,