It’s certainly acceptable to let the seller know that you are a real estate investor when you meet with them, but as with everything, there is a right and a wrong approach. Don’t be too aggressive at the meeting instead, simply explain clearly and confidently what you can bring to the table and why the seller should work with you, rather than with anyone else. Remember that the seller is almost certainly going to work with someone, and it may as well be you, rather than someone else. If you are wondering exactly how to work with motivated sellers, the following tips can help you to make that meeting a positive experience.
Think About Your Approach
One of the most important things is to establish the right rapport with the seller, and this can be a big factor as to whether the meeting is a success or not. The seller wants to feel comfortable with you, and feel that they can trust you and will enjoy working with you. You may want to dress more casually than you would for a board meeting, and dressing too formally can give a negative impression or perhaps even intimidate the seller. It’s acceptable to use humor and to make a joke, perhaps one about yourself, and making small talk about the neighborhood, the weather, the latest sports scores or anything else is nearly always an effective tactic to put someone at their ease. The homeowner will also feel more at their ease if you take a casual walk around the property before sitting down and getting down to business. There should be no uncomfortable atmosphere and the two of you should be relaxed and at ease once it is time to actually talk about the sale.
Of course it is okay to ask questions, although you should already have done your homework on the property and any questions asked, you should already have an idea of the answers. It is also acceptable if you have to go off topic once or twice, if something comes up in the discussion that you weren’t expecting to talk about – you don’t want to give the appearance of being too rehearsed. Be sympathetic to the homeowner’s situation for example if they share with you that they are selling because of a death in the family, or due to divorce, show some interest and sympathy. Most of us connect more effectively if we fell that the other person is sympathizing or empathizing with us, and a motivated seller is no exception. You probably have a script of your planned conversation with the homeowner, but remember that it is not a problem if you deviate from that script.
Listen To the Answers
Listening to the answers given by the homeowner is just as important as asking the right questions and being prepared to go off topic if necessary. The seller is much more likely to have a positive experience and be more inclined to work with you if he or she feels that you are actually listening and taking an interest in their situation or reason for selling. As mentioned above, they may be selling because of some crisis or upsetting event in their lives, and it is your job to listen to what they are saying and make the necessary supportive comments. Just as importantly, be prepared to answer any questions that the seller might put to you, even if it deviates from your planned scrip of how the meeting should go. Unfortunately there are scammers out there, and don’t be upset if the seller asks you to verify your identity or credentials.
Ask About Goals
Understanding the seller’s goals is an important factor in making the meeting a success, including their timeframe for selling the house, and of course how much they want to sell it for. It can be a challenge to make progress without understanding exactly what the seller wants, especially if they are somewhat unrealistic and have expectations based on a friend’s experience of selling. Of course, the two of you aren’t going to move forward unless you can agree on a sale price, and any meeting will inevitably involve some discussion about this. You can argue your case for the figure you have in mind, by using current listings prices and the history of similar sales to back up your figure, and this will be especially important if the two of you don’t have the same sales figure in mind.
Don’t Be Too Pushy
What you do next will depend on just how the meeting went, and of course on how close the two of you are to agreeing on the price and the timeframe. You don’t want to discourage the seller by being too aggressive or pushy, and demanding answers, but at the same time you want to have some sort of answer so you can figure out your next move. One solution is to pinpoint a specific date at some point in the future, and suggest that on that date the seller has a definite answer for you. The seller has a really important, perhaps life changing decision to make, while for you this is probably just another deal and not quite so critical.
If you have been puzzling over how to work with motivated sellers, the tips above will hopefully make the process easier. Remember a motivated seller wants to sell their home you have to help them to make that decision.