Posted by Irwin on October 18, 1998 at 08:56:29:
If you’re getting nasty responses from people, it’s probably because they’re either tired of the phone calls from people who just want to make money on them, or you’re saying the wrong thing.
My opening line (at the front door) is: "Hi! I’m so and so. I work in real estate, and I see that you have a problem with a foreclosure. (Now here’s the tricky part.) I usually ask them if they are trying to keep the home or if they would like to sell it, and see what they say. Then I ask them if there’s anything I can do to try to help them do what they want to do.
Keep in mind that foreclosures can be very complicated matters. I once went to a house 2 days prior to the sale. There was substantial equity in the home and it was in a very good neighborhood. The guy was mowing the lawn and I told him who I was. He said he had it all taken care of because he had a new loan approved and was to close the next day. But something else he said told me that someone had given him bad info. I said I would be happy to check on everything for him the next day just to make sure everything was okay, which I suspected it wasn’t. He said that was okay with him. I was right. There was no loan, and his house would have gone through the sheriff’s sale the next day.(The loan broker wasn’t a crook. She just didn’t realize the the loan would require approval by a bankrupcy court, which I knew couldn’t be obtained in 24 hours.) I took a deed, paid off the judgment to stop the sale, and made a deal to lease/op back to him.
The main thing is to let the homeowner do the talking while you figure out what, if anything, you might be able to do to make a deal that works for both of you.