You’re meeting with a motivated seller in an hour.

You have no information about this seller and have done minimal research for the neighborhood and the accompanying comparables.

How do you get “in” with the buyer without having the background knowledge, and successfully build rapport with a seller?

Meeting with potential sellers isn’t all about the deal or the bottom line.

The sellers have a reason for reaching out to you, and you need to find out why they want—or need—to sell their home.

Before you start talking business, make it a point to get to know your customer to secure their trust and truly feel comfortable with you.

When you go to a car dealership, salesmen bombard you as soon as you walk onto the lot and start browsing. They all have various approaches, and some work better than others, but people innately gravitate towards sales representatives who are relatable. We all know they work on commission, but it’s the salesman that takes the time to get to know the buyer first that have an advantage. The little bit of extra time it takes to build a small relationship can be the difference in getting the deal or losing out to someone else.

Find out what their hobbies and interests are. You can also ask about their friends and family.

If possible, find a way to connect personally to what they tell you. Do they love grilling outside? Tell them about how you and your father would always grill burgers and steaks on Sunday when you were younger (for example).

If you don’t have a connection with what they’re discussing, let them know that you haven’t tried it, but it sounds interesting.

The next step is to make the appointment count!

After being invited inside their home, take a look at the overall condition of the home and take note of the following:

  • Is it well managed or in need of major repairs?
  • Do they have updated appliances in the kitchen?
  • Provide them with a positive compliment to let them know you appreciate and value their home.

Don’t be afraid to ask them questions!

The key is to be genuine and get them to let their guard down for you.

After getting to know each other and reviewing the status of the property together, you can discuss why they want to sell. This will help you judge their willingness to sell and how motivated they are.

  • Does their reasoning put a time limit on getting out of the house or can they take their time? Be prepared for emotional reasons that may still be raw for them, such as a family member passing away or inability to care for their home because of deteriorating health.
  • Let them lead the conversation and take notice of their story and how it applies to the situation.
  • Other problems such as divorce, a new job, difficulty paying bills, and increasing costs to repair the home are a few reasons why people might be motivated to sell.
  • Be sure to listen closely and read between the lines when they are discussing reasons for selling. Are they sad or disappointed that they have to leave or do they show a sense of relief?
  • If they aren’t leading the conversation, start with questions about the home. Find out through a conversation about the condition of the home, if there’s money owed on it, how long and how well they’ve cared for the property, what needs to be replaced, and their timeframe of needing to be out of the home. When asking these types of questions, be engaging and give them time to provide you with details. Ask follow up questions if you want them to be more specific.

build rapport

Simple relationships are essential. By building rapport with motivated sellers, you’re setting yourself apart from investors who are “goal-focused” on closing the deal.

The bottom line is, sellers want to work with someone they’re comfortable with.

Be that person for them. Spend the extra hour focusing on getting to know them so that when they decide who they want to do business with, it’s clearly you. Treat others how you would like to be treated and in return, more deals just might come your way.

I'm the content manager here at FlipNerd.com and have a passion for real estate investing and have a background in writing and business. I focus on providing content that is aimed for newer real estate investors and those who have the drive to become a full-time real estate investor. With so many strategies to utilize within the real estate investing industry, I aim to break down any barriers and showcase that real estate investing is obtainable and can truly bring financial freedom.