Seller Meeting Guide – Questions You Need To Ask

Here it is! Here is your guide to meeting with a seller if you want to buy their property at a discount. It’s free. No catch. This is what the best of the best are using…the investors buying 50 – 1000 properties per year.

Meeting with a Home Seller
Notes: Throughout the entire meeting you must be a little reluctant to buy to set up the right dynamic between yourself and the seller. This approach will encourage the seller to start trying to “sell” you the property instead of being defensive and reluctant to share information with you. Feel free to modify this document as necessary to more closely reflect your business model and needs.

Advance Agreement
Purpose: To relieve any pressures, fears, or anxieties that the seller may be feeling and set the stage for an open and honest conversation.

Anchor: “Thanks for inviting me over. While I’m here I’d like to get a look at the entire property so I can finish putting your offer together. After the walk-through, I’ll crunch some numbers and give you the offer. If you love it, we can write it up. If for some reason is not’s going to work for you, that’s completely ok, too. You know, if it works that’s great, and if not … at least we gave it our best shot.”

Tour/Rapport Building
Purpose: To assess the condition of the property and establish a connection with the seller (rapport).

Anchor: “Would you mind giving me a tour?”
As you tour the property, comment on what you see and make small talk. Get your seller talking and sharing. Make good use of your softening statements. A softening statement followed by silence will prompt the seller to continue talking and sharing. The more the seller talks and shares, the more rapport will be built.

Presenting the Offer
Purpose: This is where we will attempt to build greater motivation, systematically address all possible “deal killers” and make our offer.

Anchor: “Is there somewhere we can take a seat to talk this through?”

Motivation
Purpose: To help transition the seller from a purely analytical mindset to an “emotional” state in order to build motivation and create an urgency to take action.
Anchor: “Is it OK if I ask you a question?”

Problem Questions
• “Why are you considering selling this place?”
Impact Questions
• “Is that a big deal”
• “How long has that been going on?”
• “Now, does that impact ______ at all?”
• “Does that have any effect on _______?”
Picture Perfect Scenario Questions
• “If you get this place sold…”
• “where will you go?”
• “what do you think you’ll do?”
• “what would that be like?”
• “would things be very different for you?”

Deal Killers
Purpose: To proactively uncover, and help the seller overcome, any potential roadblocks that would stand in the way of them taking action.

Anchor: “You know, the money piece of all this is usually the easiest. Even if we want to buy, you want to sell, and the money works, there are a few things that can prevent us from doing anything. Is it ok if we talk about those things for a moment?”
Risk/Discomfort
• “if you did decide to sell, what would your biggest worry be about it all? Would you be concerned about anything at all?”
Relationships
• “Would anyone be upset if you decided to sell? Is there anyone else who would have something to say about all this? Is there anyone who will give you their thoughts on all this whether you asked them to or not? What would they say? What would you say?”
Time
“If you did decide to sell, when would you actually like to do so (move or turnover the keys)? Why then?”

Competitions/Options
• “I’m not your only option. And I’m really not sure if we are your best option or not…what about/have you considered:”
o “Listing the Property”
o “Renting the Property”
o “Keeping the Property”
“If for some reason I couldn’t buy the property, what do you think you’d do?” (This will uncover your true competition. Your only real competition is their preferred course of action; not every possible option they are considering.)

Solution/Offer
Purpose: To demonstrate how the buyer is uniquely qualified to help the seller escape act on their motivation and move towards their “picture perfect” scenario.

Anchor: “So, I’m going to outline exactly what we’d be able to do for you. If something doesn’t feel right, if timing is off, or if you don’t like the offer I put together, will you be OK giving me a very clear “NO” today?” (Wait for answer) “And, if you like everything I put together, is there anything standing in the way of giving me a clear “YES” today?”
If the seller is not able to commit to a “yes” or “no” answer, it’s a signal you’ve missed something (a decision maker, deal killer, etc.) or you have not built up enough “pain” or urgency to take action. Proceed with caution or go back and spend more time in the area of concern.

Present Direct Solutions to Pain
• “You mentioned (pain or opportunity #1). Here’s how we will address it…”
• “You mentioned (pain or opportunity #2). Here’s how we will address it…”
• “You mentioned (pain or opportunity #3). Here’s how we will address it…”
Check for consensus
“Assuming our offer is acceptable, did I miss anything?”

Set Price Anchor
• “Some houses around here have sold for as low as ______.”
• “Take a look at these…are you familiar with these homes? (Hand sellers the comps) Where are they? How do they compare to yours? What did they sell for?”
Initial Offer
You should be reluctant to buy and uncomfortable about giving your offer at this point. This will ensure your low offer is not met with anger or resistance. The more uncomfortable you are, the more likely your seller will console you and justify why your offer is what it is.
• “What would you say if I offered $______?”
o From here, negotiate using smaller increasing increments, an odd final number, and non-financial concessions if necessary. Share your problems with your seller and ask for help. (example: “How do you think I can get you what you need while ensuring I don’t lose money on the deal? I’m sure there is a way, but I’m struggling a bit here. What do you think we should do?”)
• When you get close to an agreement…
o “Well, I can say yes to that. Are you able to say yes to that?”
Softening Statements (Rapport Builders)
Use “softening statements” to build rapport throughout the entire conversation.

Here are a few softening statements to use in response to questions:
• “Good question.”
• “I’m glad you asked me that.”
• “I was hoping you were going to bring that up.”
Here are some softening statements to use in response to statements:
• “That makes a lot of sense.”
• “I know exactly how you feel.”
• “I can appreciate that.”
• “That’s an excellent point.”
• “Thank you for sharing that with me.”
Miscellaneous Scenarios
Handling “Maybes” /” Think-It-Overs” /” I have to get other offers.”

Anything other than a “yes” is a “no”. Notify the seller is a very nurturing way. This will help uncover deeply held concerns or objections that have not yet been dealt with.

• “I know it’s a lot to think about it. I completely understand. But, I have more houses to see today/this week. If I buy this one, I might not buy one of the others. And if I buy one of the others, I might not want to or be able to buy this one. So, unfortunately, we are going to have to call this a “no.” I just can’t leave an open contract with you. And I want you to know it’s 100% ok….I don’t expect to buy every house I see. No worries or hard feelings here.”
Hesitant/Resistant/Hostile Sellers
• “I’m sorry. I think I must have said or done something to upset you or make you uncomfortable. I’m not sure what it is, but I feel horrible about it. Should we stop here?”
Justifying the Offer
• If you are going to walk the seller through what they would list it for and subtract closing costs, insurances, commissions, etc., you must make sure you use their numbers and force them to do the math. Sellers will reject our numbers and math, but they will believe their own. You can gently guide, but do not “tell.”

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