Working With Difficult Sellers

If every deal was as easy as it looks on TV, everybody would consider working in real estate. However, closing a deal takes time, patience and plenty of hard work. It is not enough to find the perfect property; you must convince the owner to sell it to you as well. Your ability to work with difficult sellers can give you multiple deals every year. You don’t need to be a psychologist, but you do need to predict what the seller is thinking. Often times they need a little coaxing to sell, despite being in a seller’s market.

The first thing you need to do on any deal is find out the seller’s motivation. Are they looking for the highest price, are they looking for a quick closing, are they looking to stay in the house as long as possible or are they looking to avoid foreclosure? Regardless of what their motivation is, once you uncover it, you can now use it as part of your buying approach. Finding the answer is usually as easy as asking questions and listening to the answers.

If they contacted you, they are at least interested in what you have to say. Instead of telling them all of the great things you can do for them, start off by asking them what their intention is for the property. Keep asking questions until you are satisfied that you know what they want. Once you do, make that the focus of your offer.

Most sellers fear that they may be taken advantage of. You can eliminate this by addressing questions or concerns they may have before they can ask you. Yes, you are in this to make money. You don’t have to disclose how much you stand to make, but don’t run from the fact that making money is your goal. Tell them about all of the risks involved with their property and there is no guarantee that you will make money. If you are as straightforward as possible from the outset, they will trust you and not make your profits a main issue.

Most sellers are not familiar with the process and what is required of them. Stress the importance of getting back what you need in a timely fashion. You may have to hold their hand every step of the way, but that should be expected. They are going to have questions and call or email you multiple times a day. They are going to tell you about a friend of theirs who got a good deal on a house they just sold. If you get frustrated or upset by this, they will slowly start to look for someone else. Remember that they don’t have to sell to you. Their backs may be against the wall, but there is always someone else who could swoop in at the 11th hour if you are not on your toes.

For many sellers, this is the most difficult time in their lives. This may be just another transaction for you, but you need to know the impact on the sellers. If you make a habit of putting the seller’s interest first, you will end up closing more deals from difficult sellers. You may think you are a real estate investor, but what you really are is a problem solver. There will always be difficult sellers; how you handle them can make all the difference.