by Maria Giordano
Most people I have met, including many of my students, are hesitant about talking to sellers. They fear it simply because they don’t have the experience or the confidence to do it. They’ve been told that they need to negotiate with the seller. Just the word negotiation sounds intimidating and puts the fear in most people.
In our society (The United States) we don’t haggle (negotiate) on a daily basis or discuss price. When we walk into a market or store the price is the price. In fact, generally speaking, the closest we get to haggling is when we buy a car. Many people simply hate to go car shopping because they may need to negotiate on the price of a vehicle, and they don’t like it. As a society we believe we should be given the best price upfront and if we don’t like it, we simply go someplace else. Very rarely do we ever consider sitting down and talking about the price of an item.
What we fail to realize is that as a child we learned all sorts of negotiation techniques, but something happened during those teen to young adult years. During that time, we simply stopped negotiating for what we wanted. Have you ever watched a child negotiate for something they really want? They are focused and persistent. Think back to when you were a child. When you really wanted something! Were you not 100% all in? You didn’t just sort of want it, you “WANTED” it. As a result, you “negotiated” as if your very existence depended on it. I’m not telling you to go out and nag at sellers to get what you want, because that will have a complete opposite effect. However, if you follow these 7 simple tips to talking with sellers you are going to find the process way simpler, and you will be able to close even more deals and use less of your money to do it.
Here Are My 7 Simple Tips For Talking With Sellers – And Winning More Deals
Guaranteed this will make your talking with sellers a little bit simpler and a lot easier.
1. Do your homework. Doesn’t matter if you are buying a property, selling it, or wholesaling the deal, you must know the comps for the area. You should also know what the area demographics are, crime, schools, sex offenders, etc…
2. Practice knowing your numbers. You need to get good at knowing what your potential repair costs are. No SWAG (scientific wild ass guess). Since you have your comps from step 1, you should be able to know what your realistic ARV (after repair value) for the property is. This information is valuable when it comes to effectively negotiating on price.
3. You are talking to sellers with real estate problems. What are those problems? What are the sellers’ needs? Why are they selling? What are their pain points? Is the seller motivated or just kicking tires? Is the seller really all about the cash or is there something else that can help you later in the negotiation process? Other things that can come up may be moving costs or closing costs. This can especially be a problem if there isn’t a lot of equity in the home. If the property is from a probate maybe they are overwhelmed with cleaning out their parent’s belongings. There can also be another problem that you haven’t thought of yet. Therefore communicating, getting to know your seller, and asking open ended questions are so important. Sometimes, when you can solve another problem for the seller, they are willing to take less money for the property.
4. From what you get in Step 2 you can now decide on what your desired outcome is. This is where you start to think about price vs. terms. What is more important to you on this specific property? You can also negotiate a combination of both, price, and terms.
5. Do you know what you want to do with the property or what your end result will be? This is often called the exit strategy. This step can play a huge role in negotiating on Step 4, price vs. terms.
6. How do you talk with sellers? Are you the one doing all the talking? Are you a nervous chatter box? Are you coming on strong as a know it all? If the seller knows more about you than you know about the seller, you have a problem. You need to use pauses. Periods of silence. Silence is very, very uncomfortable, but a very simple and powerful tool in your negotiations. Silence gives the seller an opportunity to respond to you and tell you more about their situation or needs. Remember, talking with sellers is really a give and take. There is never a need to beat up the other party involved. If their property is distressed, they know it. No need to point out every little thing that is wrong with the property. Both parties need to feel like their needs have been met. It isn’t always about the money for the seller to create that accepted offer.
7. This last tip sounds kind of dumb. Are you listening to your seller? I mean really listening to what the seller is saying. Or are you doing what most people do in a negotiation, busy thinking about what you are going to say next? This can be a common mistake. Often people tend to listen to respond and not listen to what the other party is saying. When you listen to respond you don’t hear valuable pieces of information. Information that can mean the difference between getting the deal or losing it. Information that can mean the difference between negotiating an okay deal and a great deal. Also, people know when you aren’t listening to them. They don’t feel like they are being heard. Talking to sellers can seem scary and even a little daunting, but with a little bit of practice you will be able to negotiate killer deals like a professional. You just need to start. Deals usually won’t just find you. You need to do the marketing, send the letters, pick up the phone, call the property owner, and see the property. The majority of my deals were created out of nothing. By that I mean most people would have passed over the deal and not have taken the time to see what the seller needed and what the property had to offer. This is how you create the deal. In the vast majority of cases, especially when doing seller financed deals or creative deal structuring, deals are created and not found. Slow down and let your negotiations simmer.
Lastly, negotiating the property with the seller can take a while, so you need to follow up. I’ve had deals I’ve followed up on a year later and closed. I never would have gotten those deals closed if I didn’t follow up. When I initially contacted those sellers, they just weren’t ready. The seller wasn’t motivated. No doesn’t always mean no. No can mean not now. Get out there and start talking to sellers and doing some deals.