Posted on: June 15, 2020

If you’re new to virtual investing (or wholesaling in general), then you probably have not experienced seller ghosting yet. However, it is crucial that you are aware that ghosting does not only happen when you’re dating someone. It can also happen in the wholesaling and virtual investing world as well!

While it is reassuring to know that seller ghosting is a rare occurrence, it does happen from time to time. In fact, it would be safe to assume it’s something you’ll most likely experience at one point in your business or another.

Fortunately, in this episode, our resident virtual investing mastery coach, Lauren Hardy, shared a few simple tips on what you can do when a seller ghosts you. If you want to equip yourself with the right knowledge to effectively deal with seller ghosting, don’t forget to tune in!

Key Takeaways

  • Why it pays to give seller the benefit of the doubt
  • What filing a memorandum document does
  • Why it pays to be honest (and firm) with the seller

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Episode Transcription

Lauren Hardy:
Hey, what’s up guys? This is Lauren Hardy. Today, we are going to talk more about some fears and limiting beliefs, things, real-life situations that come up in virtual investing. Today, I wanted to talk about what you do when a seller ghosts you. All right guys, let’s get into it.
What does it even mean to be ghosted? Okay. So in like the dating world and in the urban dictionary, ghosting means when somebody you are talking to just basically turns into a ghost, and disappears, and never talks to you again. They don’t answer your calls. They don’t answer your text messages. They don’t answer your emails.
I like to call it seller ghosting because it does actually happen. What do you do when you are talking to a seller lead, and you get a contract signed by them and you are ready? You’re going to do inspections, and you’re somewhere in the escrow process and the seller just goes dark, completely ghosts you.
This actually happens quite a bit. I know a lot of people that this has happened to. Say, if you’re doing enough deals and getting enough contracts, this is probably going to happen to you at one point or another. I just wanted to share with you what I do. So, here’s what I do.
First things first, benefit of the doubt. Okay. You don’t want to go all crazy and assume that like you’re being ghosted when maybe the seller was in the hospital, maybe a family emergency came up. First week, I would just send text messages, emails saying, “Hey, I just want to make sure you’re okay. This is really weird. I haven’t heard from you, and we’re trying to get these documents signed or escrows trying to get a hold of you,” or whatever. You want to explain why you’re reaching out to them and that you’re concerned because you haven’t heard back.
After week one, the next thing I would do, and this is what I would do if I had a contract with the seller and this is a property I really want. I wouldn’t really do this if it was something that wasn’t that important to me, if it’s a property, good deal, it’s something that’s important to you. In my state, it is my right to file a memorandum showing that I have equitable interest in the property.
So, what I would do is I would file a memorandum document with the county showing that I do have a contract to purchase this property. What that does is it stays on title. If that seller was trying to sell at a later date maybe to another investor, or maybe they got a better offer and now they’re talking to that other investor instead of you, what have you. Well, when they pull title, they’re going to show that there is actually like … There’s not clear title on the property, and the title insurance company will not give that next buyer title insurance because of that memorandum.
So, what happens is they then give me a call because the memorandum has my number. It has my name, and it has a copy of the contract. They will call me and say, “We see this on title. Can you get it off title?” That’s where then I would go the next steps. Depending on how important the deal is to me, I would either demand that the seller not continue with our deal. I might even hire an attorney to write an email to that seller saying, “Hey, this is a valid contract and you’re breaching it.” That’s about what I would do.
Often in this situation, I’ve had it happen a couple times in my career. It’s not very often that this happens. Usually what will happen is I will tell the seller, “Hey, by the way, I’m filing a memorandum,” and then they start texting me back. If they really go dark and they still don’t text, I usually will file the memorandum, and I will ask the seller, “Let’s keep going with our deal because that’s fair. At this point, I probably had spent some money on it already. I’d probably paid for somebody to go out and inspect. So, let’s be honest and just let’s do the deal.”
You can take it from that point on. I am not an attorney and I’m not here giving you guys legal advice, and I want to be very clear about that. I am just sharing what I do in this situation of seller ghosting. Now remember, these are fears, limiting beliefs here. These are things that you might be afraid. What if this happens? I’m here to tell you. It doesn’t happen very often. This is like once a year, this happens and we’re doing heavy volume.
It’s not all the time, but it does happen from time to time and that’s how I handle it. I do put my foot down. I do get a little firm, and I do try to secure my deal. I secure my interest in the property, but as far as like, “Do I take it to suing a seller?” That’s up to you if you want to do that. That’s up to you and what your attorney thinks you should do. I’m not here to give you legal advice, but that is just something to do and this is something that happens. So I thought, “Hey, it’s a fun topic to talk about seller ghosting.”
So you guys, I hope you liked today’s quick tip. If you like what you hear and you want to learn more about virtual real state investing, investing in real estate out of say, your home territory, negotiating deals over the phone, and my awesome, awesome, awesome one-on-one coaching program, please visit www.wholesalinginc.com/virtual. Hope you guys have a great day and thanks for listening.

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