If You Want to Buy More Houses, Stop Making Offers!

By: William Tingle

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I don't like giving a seller multiple choices. Instead of making offers, I generally offer solutions. This is why it is important to know the seller's & the property's current situation. This is why I do 95% of my deals directly with sellers and not on the MLS.

I routinely buy properties from sellers I never meet all through FedEx. Geography never even enters the picture. We talk, I listen and offer a way to get things done that solves the seller's problem as well as being profitable for me.

Here is an example for you...........

Seller has a house listed in the MLS about to expire. He has moved over 1,000 miles away. The property is listed for market value and is in great shape, just no offers. Probably an agent who just lists and waits for another agent to sell but that is another story.

He calls me needing to sell. I listen to how he spent xxx on the house painting, new carpet, etc. before he moved to MI for his new job 6 months ago and how he hasn't been able to make the payments on both his old house and his new apartment for over 4 months and how they are getting ready to foreclose on him. He owes 4k to his mgt company or they are going to foreclose soon.

Here was the kicker, he only owed 48k on the house! Market value was around 100k. It was a 15 yr term VA loan with 7 years left @ 7% interest. The payments were over $800 a month PITI but $400 month was going to principal!

His new job had not worked out and he was sick of the entire situation.

What was his solution? Debt relief, of course but with all his equity, he did expect something out of the deal.

I offered to make up the back payments and give him 3k cash. He countered with making up back payments and giving him........get this........$3500 cash. We did the deal through fax and FedEx. I took it sub2 and lowered the price to 89,900 and closed 38 days later with a retail buyer netting 30k after fees & closing costs. I was only in the house 2 times. I never had to make a single payment on the house beyond making up those back payments.

Some of you might be wondering why his agent didn’t recommend lowering the price or something else to sell it quicker but the fact is the agent probably didn’t even know about his situation. In my previous life in restaurant management, we were always striving to train our out front service personnel to be customer service professionals instead of “order takers”. Where an “order taker” would just let you tell them what to deliver to your table, a customer service professional might inquire as to if the evening was a special occasion and suggest something appropriate or suggest a wine that might compliment the main course. In other words, the entire experience was more personal with the employee now instead of just “taking your order”, they would also inquire enough about your situation to be able to suggest things to improve your experience.

In my experience the typical agent is simply an “order taker” not a true service provider. If she really provided a service, she would have asked questions to better know his situation and make suggestions that would possibly solve them, not just list his house and wait for it to sell.

In the case with the seller I mentioned above, I asked the questions nessessary to determine what the problem was and what would work to solve the problem. I offered a solution that solved his problem and was profitable for me at the same time.

I know this story was long and possibly boring to some of you but it was to make a point. Forget about making offers and start offering solutions. Listen to your sellers. Don’t be afraid to ask questions to fill in the blanks. You will find a solution for their situation (and a deal that works for you) in their story......every time.

William Tingle
(c) Copyright 2007, All Rights Reserved.

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