Posted by Matt B on April 05, 2000 at 11:35:16:
Thanks for the recognition.
Here’s how I pre-qualify a seller. I start out by asking them to describe the house to me. As amazingly simple as that is, I have had people go on and on, and start dropping their price or telling me that they just want “someone to take it off their hands” or “just want to get rid of it”. (Hint: That’s a clue that they’re motivated.)
Of course, many times, I have to probe a little deeper. I will ask them why they are selling. Or sometimes I will ask if they need an all cash sale, or are they willing to work out some kind of terms? The point is that I never mention any specific type of deal until I find the seller’s “hot” button. You always know it when you find it, because they start talking up a storm.
After I get the facts I need about what the house is worth, what the payment is, what is owed, why they are selling, and what they truly need from the transaction, I will then briefly describe the type of deal that I think may fit the situation. For example, for a lease option, I would say, “It sounds like this may be a candidate for a lease option deal. (I used to say “my lease option program”, but many people made too many wrong assumptions about my business and got confused about the deal.) What I would do in that type of deal is I would make your monthly payments, take care of any maintenance or repairs that the house needed, and put a tenant/buyer in the house. The tenant/buyer would be someone who I pre-qualify to be able to buy the house in the near future. Does that sound like something that might interest you?” At that point, if I have listened close enough, and understand the sellers needs, they will hesitantly say, “yeah, I might be interested, but I would need to know a little bit more before I could decide.” (By the way, did I mention all sellers say almost exactly the same thing?) I respond with, “Oh, sure, I understand. I don’t even know if that’s something I can do in this situation. I would need to see the house, take a look at comparable property values, and a lot of other things before I could decide if it’s something that would work in this situation.”
I have also had people that I’ve been able to disqualify in less than 2 minutes. Like the guy I talked to who said that the house just appraised for $140,000, but he wanted $144,000 because it had a shed! He also told me that he had to have an all cash sale. (OK, thanks for your time!)
Just learn to ask questions and shut up. This is advice that’s been repeated to me a million times, and works like a charm. Here’s another thing to consider. The person that is asking the questions is the one who is in control of the conversation. Let them talk. They are telling you how you need to sell yourself or a lease option, or whatever to them. I have actually found that the unmotivated sellers are the ones that don’t talk all that much. Isn’t that interesting? They usually give a brief description of the property and a price.
Well, I hope this helps some. It is by no means the absolute best approach or only approach, but it works very well for me.