“Why does a seller over the phone need motivation?” you might ask. In this episode, Lauren Hardy will uncover useful tips on “How to Extract Motivation from a Seller Like a Surgeon.”
Well, when negotiating with sellers for their homes, it can be difficult to get them motivated if they don’t have any interest in selling and seem apathetic or even just hard-selling themselves into believing that no one will buy from someone who doesn’t seem interested at all.
Lauren suggests that a more friendly tone of voice would work well during these types of conversations because an excited customer makes others feel like there is potential money coming out of nowhere; this encourages people not only to bond but also to work together better than ever before. Lauren will give you tips on how to get more out of your conversations with sellers that are beneficial for building rapport and successfully closing deals.
How to Extract Motivation from a Seller Like a Surgeon
In this episode, I’m going to share with you how you can get the motivation out of a seller over the phone when you are wholesaling virtually. Getting the seller’s motivation is very important to do because it helps you in your negotiations. When you can figure out why the seller is truly motivated to sell that home, you can describe to the seller how you can solve that problem for them. When you can do that, the seller is going to feel like they can trust you and be more inclined to choose your offer over a competitor that didn’t convey that they can solve their problems. Another way I like to look at this is to think of it as the seller’s pain button. What is their pain button?
You want to push the pain button, and what I mean by push is not to cause them more pain but push it by offering solution after solution to give them the remedy from that pain. You want to think up as many solutions as you possibly can and drop them into conversations so the seller feels confident that you are the one that is going to solve their problem. What would you do if a seller is tight-lipped? What would you do if this is the poker face seller who is not showing you their cards and not revealing what their true motivation is? What does this seller even sound like?
When you are talking to a poker face seller and they give you some answer like, “You called me. Anything is for sale for the right price.” Those are the sellers that act very nonchalant, and it is very common to put that lead in the dead section or the cold section because the seller doesn’t sound that motivated. There are some people that don’t like being vulnerable, and that’s okay. Not everybody has to divulge their private lives.
There are some people that are more private. There are also sellers who are good negotiators and know not to reveal their cards. That’s okay too, but does that mean that you don’t figure out the motivation? No. Trust me. I will figure out the motivation by asking questions. The first part of the process is I want to get the seller to like me, and I’m using my initial seller script to do that. I established trust head-on by being very straightforward about who we are and what we do.
You want to push the pain button by offering solution after solution to give them the remedy for that pain.
I do not lie and act like I’m going to buy their house and live in it. I let them know that I’m a house flipper. I often assign my contracts to other investors, and this is an investment property for me. I am not here to use the property for any other purpose other than making money. Sellers appreciate that you are not pretending to be somebody you are not because your competition usually is.
We also try to find some commonality with the seller so we can be relatable to them. Try to be the seller’s friend. If you hear a dog barking in the background, make sure to ask them about their dog or if they happen to drop any detail about their personal life, make sure that you take note about that, and you ask them again in future conversations.
Often, you get sellers that are super tight-lipped, and they are not giving you anything to work with. It can be tough. It can get difficult to get this seller to like you or at least to act as they like you. When we get a seller like that, we usually near their energy. If they are very quick to the point speaking and short with us, then we were short too, because that is a sign that this person doesn’t want to waste time on the phone. They want to get the offer and be done with it.
That does not mean that they are not motivated to sell. That means that maybe they are busy in their lives or that type of person where they are not very sociable and don’t want to chit-chat. That is fine. You want to mirror and match that energy. If they are giving you an answer like, “You called me,” when you ask questions like, “Why are you trying to sell?” You know that this is somebody a little bit shorter and to the point, and they are not going to give you any reason.
You want to ask as many questions as possible because the motivation is going to lie in those answers. The seller is not going to give you their motivation. They are not going to straight-up tell you, “It is because I am getting a divorce now, and I need to liquidate this asset.” They are not going to tell you that stuff because it’s their personality type to not do that.
You are going to have to make assumptions based on the answers to all your questions. Let’s talk about some questions and assumptions you can make. If this is a tenant-occupied property, usually the motivation lies that they don’t want to be a landlord anymore. There is some tired landlord situation, so I ask, “How are things going with your tenant?” They might say, “Fine, or they haven’t paid in a while.”
There you go. You’ve got your motivation that you’ve got a bad tenant or you can ask, “How long has your tenant been there? What rent rate are they paying?” The motivation in those questions could be that the seller has had the tenant for twenty years, and the seller cannot get themselves to raise the rent on that tenant. Maybe there is a loyalty where the seller feels bad raising their rent because that tenant has been with them for so long.
That is a very common situation where the seller does not want to be the bad guy. If his or her answer is it is below-market rent, you know it’s very obvious that they are not charging what they could. I can guarantee that is their motivation, and they don’t want to be the bad guy and raise their rent. Instead, it is easier for them to sell the property to someone else and we become the bad guy.
Make an offer to everyone. Even if the seller doesn’t seem motivated, make an offer.
Often, the motivation can be in the condition of the home. You want to ask a lot of detailed questions about the condition like, “When did you last replace the roof? How has the foundation been? Are there any cracks in the walls?” They will most likely tell you that everything is fine, so then you want to dig a little bit deeper and ask, “What was the last time you remodeled?”
This is a subjective question because what was remodeled to the seller might not be remodeled, so you want to ask further questions like, “When did you last replace the cabinets in the kitchen? When did you last replace the tile in the bathrooms?” That is when you are going to start getting the real answers. It might be that the last time these things were replaced was in 1979, and the property is very outdated.
The motivation lies in the condition of the home that the property does need a lot of work. The seller is not going to say that. He or she is a good negotiator. They are not going to put those cards on the table. They want the highest price possible, and they know that you are over the phone, so they think that they can get away with it by saying, “The house has been remodeled. It’s in good condition.”
It is when you ask these questions that you can now make the assumptions based on the seller’s answer and roll with your assumptions. You don’t need a sob story from the seller. You do not need to be invasive and ask them all these personal details because they don’t need to share that with you. Get enough where you can make a basic assumption with the situation at that property and make an offer to everyone.
Even if the seller doesn’t seem motivated, make an offer. We have done deal after deal with sellers who are unmotivated. I bet that there were a lot of wholesalers behind or before me who probably thought this seller wasn’t motivated enough. It’s a tire kicker, never gave them the offer, and we were the ones that took them seriously. Make sure that everybody gets an offer and ask a lot of detailed questions so you can make an assumption.
Don’t forget to ask when they want to sell. If they say as soon as possible and they can sell now if you had a good offer for them, there is some motivation. If they are ready to sell now, there is something behind it. Make sure you are asking that question. After you have made some assumptions as to what the motivation is for this seller, remember to push the pain button.
I know that sounds like I’m saying put them through pain. I don’t mean it like that. What I mean is to make sure that you come up with five different ways that you can solve that problem and say it casually every time you talk to the seller. If it has something to do with the tenant, put in the offer that you are going to buy the property with the tenant in place. Don’t even bring it up to the seller and make the assumption that the seller wants to leave the tenant in place and not deal with it.
If the property is in very rough condition, make sure you stress over and over again, “Mr. Seller, I’m going to buy this property as-is. You don’t have to make any repairs. I’m not going to ask you for any credits at escrow because of any issues we found during the inspection. This is an as-is sale.” When you give the seller these types of comments, it is going to go into their brain and instantly feel like, “This is somebody that is going to solve my problem, and I can trust this person. She knows what I’m going through. She must be a professional because she knows how to handle someone like me in this situation.”
These are ways that you can deliver that trust to the seller. That is all you have to do to deliver confidence to the seller and get the motivation out of them. If you want to get started on your wholesaling journey, I want to help you. Go to www.VirtualInvestingMastery.com and fill out an application. Somebody will reach out to you, and I cannot wait to have you a part of our Tribe. Thank you so much. We will see you next time.
About Lauren Hardy
Lauren Hardy is a Virtual Investing expert and Real Estate influencer who owns multiple companies in the real estate industry including real estate investment, coaching, and software companies. She is also a Wholesaling Inc coach and co-host of the Wholesaling Inc Podcast.
Her experience in the last decade has been focused on real estate investing and creating products and services to serve the real estate investing community. If you are interested in investing in real estate virtually, house flipping, or virtual landlording, Lauren’s your girl.