When attending appointments, you want to be professional and put your best foot forward. It’s a sensitive time in the seller’s life most likely and while yes, you need to figure out if the deal will work out numbers-wise, you also need to be respectful and understanding of their situation.
As you go on more appointments, your ability to build rapport with the seller should get easier. That being said, there are some things that you should NEVER say to a seller.
Some are downright offensive.
Some can be portrayed as being insensitive.
Some can be seen as you only being in it for the money.
Don’t be this person. It’s not good business practice and it won’t work out well for you in the end.
We’re sharing some of our top things to never mention to a seller.
1. Don’t call a property or room ugly or any other negative descriptor.
This should be self-explanatory. You’re most likely talking to the people who live in the property unless it’s a probate or rental situation.
Their tastes might be different than yours but you don’t have to vocalize this.
Be respectful and find compliments for the property that you can highlight instead of bringing up the negatives.
2. Don’t blatantly devalue the property.
Some investors use this tactic. We don’t. It’s very obvious when you’re going down a list of everything that you see that’s wrong with the property. Again, they live there. They’re reaching out to investors because it’s most likely not in retail condition.
Ask them questions instead.
- Have you had someone come out to look at your roof?
- Have you noticed any new cracks in the walls?
They know there’s going to be repairs needed on the property.
Ask questions about the problems that might be behind the wall so you can come up with the best offer for both of you.
3. Don’t talk about getting a loan or approval letter.
As an investor, the seller is going to assume you’re a cash buyer.
Sellers do not need to know that you’re using financing for the deal… they will receive a check (cash) at the closing.
It is very important that you have a working relationship with your lender and have full confidence that you’ll get the deal funded. Your sellers are trusting you and relying on you to do what you tell them. If the deal is going to be tight and there’s a possibility of your lender having issues… be upfront and explain the situation to them.
4. Don’t bash the competition.
In a hot market like we’re in today, it’s common for multiple investors to be looking at a property. This doesn’t give you an excuse to talk about them negatively.
It’s perfectly okay to explain why your deal makes sense to take (explain repairs, quickness of close, ease of close, purchasing in ‘as-is’ condition, etc) but don’t even mention the competition.
You want them focused on your offer. Not what they might be able to get from the next investor.
If you’ve gotten to know the seller well enough, help them realize you’re a solution for their problem.
Explain what makes your offer strong (high earnest money, no termination option, etc.) and why they should work with you. Talking about these subjects will help them understand the contract and they’ll most likely analyze your competition’s offer with this new knowledge.
5. Don’t mention anything negative about the neighborhood.
The neighborhood could be in a “lower-end” part of town. Odds are is that the seller knows this. Don’t point it out.
Research comps and do a drive-around before the meeting but keep note of anything negative to yourself. It could lower your offer if you think it will be tougher to resell compared to a newer, updated neighborhood. They don’t need to be reminded of this.
Find a compliment to say.
- These large trees provide excellent shade in the summer months.
- I love how close you are to XYZ.
6. Don’t talk about your buying formula or your profit.
There is no reason for the seller to know what your buying formula is or how much you expect to pocket from the deal.
It’s like adding salt to a wound.
If you’re planning on rehabbing the property, let them know how you’re going to make it look even more beautiful.
When it comes time to talk about price, let them know your “best offer” based off of the repairs that need to be done.
7. Don’t mislead them.
If they ask you a question that you’re not sure on, don’t give them an assumptive answer. Let them know you’d have to look into it and get back to them.
You don’t have to know the answer to everything. It’s better to be honest than to tell them something that isn’t factual.
Also, if you’re going to assign the property as your exit strategy, let them know this! Let them know what your plan is for the property. If you don’t have plans to actually purchase the property, they have the right to know this.
When in doubt, turn any criticism into a compliment. Find the good in the property.
Imagine yourself in the seller’s shoes and listen to everything they have to say. This can help you with more insight into their motivation to sell the property while also giving them someone to vent to.
Even if you can’t help them by providing an offer that will work for them, give a suggestion if you’re able to.
Just because you aren’t the one to buy the property doesn’t mean you can’t help them out with a recommendation from your previous experience.
Be careful what you say and always be respectful.
For those who are wanting to get started in real estate investing but are looking for a mentor/coach to guide you, check out the Investor Machine. This 3-month program teaches you how to get started with the same systems and tools we use in our business and comes with a 24/7 network of like-minded investors!