How to Talk to Sellers and Buyers If You’re Just Getting Started in Real Estate

Posted on October 9, 2013 by

OK! So you have decided you want to get into real estate investing and you have gone to some real estate seminars and classes and read some books. Great! You have learned that the next step is to put out some marketing to get leads coming in, like people that want to sell their house, and hopefully at a discount. So you have started doing one or more of the following:

  1. Mailing letters to home owners that say you want to buy their house
  2. Put out bandit signs on the side of the road that say something like “We Buy Houses”
  3. Have set up a website or websites that people find when they search “We Buy Houses” or other various search terms (“Sell my house fast”, “Sell your house fast”, etc).
  4. Have put an ad in the newspaper or Craigslist that says “We Buy Houses”, “Fast Cash for your home in as little as 3 Days”
  5. Have put out flyers around town with similar messages as the above.
  6. Or one of the other (96) marketing strategies that Dustin teaches us.

And then what happens? The calls start to come in. YEAY LEADS!

So you have either set it up to go to your cell phone or an office line or straight to a voice mail greeting where they can leave a message. Depending on your situation – maybe you have a full time job and don’t want people calling during the day so you have it going to the voice mail – not a bad idea. So you see you have a motivated seller call that left a message and now you have to call back. This part scares a lot of people including us in the beginning. Nervous? What do I say? I don’t want to say something stupid. I don’t want to look like I don’t know what I’m talking about. I don’t want to lose the deal.

All very common worries. Bottom line is that we need to get comfortable talking to sellers (and buyers). The best way to get better at it is thru actually doing it – real life practice – you will definitely get better at it over time and you will convert more deals over time because you keep getting better.

But first a warning: MOST of these calls will not be “a Deal”. You want to separate the “Deals – Motivated Sellers” vs the “Tire Kickers” – people that just want to see what you will offer. You can waste a lot of time with the “Tire Kickers”. You want to get off the phone quickly with them – they will tell you their life story – when you SHOULD be talking to “Motivated Sellers”.

But let me let you in on (3) Magic Questions to qualify or disqualify your leads – these determine motivation and you only need to ask these (3) questions:

  1. “Tell me about your situation” – then shut up and listen
  2. “What do you want to have happen?” – then shut up and listen
  3. “If we were able to come to an agreement, how soon would you want to sell?”

If the person’s situation sounds pretty serious, and they want to sell TODAY, you have a “Motivated Seller” – congrats!! If they give you the run around on the phone, don’t need to move right away, are asking full price, they are “Tire Kickers” and move on quickly – just say politely – “this probably won’t work for us”. We have to guard our time – it’s our most precious commodity.

I could write all day about what else to say to a motivated seller, but I have to wrap this up soon. Here is one more useful tip I have for somebody just getting started to help overcome their fears of taking those calls:

Act “As If” You Were Already a Millionaire Real Estate Investor

You probably grew up wanting to be an actor at some point right? Here is your chance! Being good at building rapport and negotiating are going to be what sets you apart from average investors. There are a couple of really good ways to “Act” when talking to sellers and buyers.

  1. Act Confident – like Donald Trump confidant – like you have done 1000 deals. Visualize yourself as Donald Trump – or anyone you look up to as being supremely confident – then act like that.
  2. Act like you could care less about this deal – you have 20 more deals you have to go look at today, this one either works or it doesn’t (maybe inside you REALLY want this deal – don’t let it show – never act desperate).
  3. When talking to sellers, let them know “the Market” is why you can’t pay them full price – tell them you would love to, but “the Market”, won’t allow you to. You have an obligation to your family to not overpay on a property, and there are plenty of properties you can get at below market value right down the street. It’s You & The Seller vs “the Market”. Make “the Market” the Bad Guy.
  4. Always make the seller say their asking price before you make any offers. If they insist, just insist they tell you what they think their house is realistically worth in “today’s market” and if you paid all cash tomorrow, what’s the best deal they could give you. If they insist that you make an offer, say $1, with a laugh, and hopefully they laugh too.

Well I could go on and on, but Dustin is making me keep this short. So if you want more tips, be sure to reach out to us and we’ll see how we can help. Final tip of the day – never quit!

To your success,

Matt Larsen

Matt LarsenMatt Larsen started buying and selling real estate in October 2012. In the last few months, he and his wife Courtney have done over 40 wholesale deals with no prior real estate investing experience, very little cash and none of their own credit. Now they are both full time real estate investors, work on their own schedule and report only to each other.

Contact Matt Larsen

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