prescreen seller when they call from ad - Posted by Franklin

Posted by Jay phx on August 15, 2002 at 18:24:04:

Do you cover all repairs or just up to a certain amount? If you do cover all repairs, do you pass this liability off to the new T/B? Thanks.

PS- Great post!!

Jay Phx

prescreen seller when they call from ad - Posted by Franklin

Posted by Franklin on August 15, 2002 at 09:38:37:

Any suggestion about how to handle calls from sellers from bandits signs, what questions to ask…, what should i tell them about myself if they ask… do i tell i buy properties below market value and/or with flexibles terms… or should i wait until i go to the house… to talk more about myself and how i can help them.

Re: prescreen seller when they call from ad - Posted by Jim Kennedy - Houston, TX

Posted by Jim Kennedy - Houston, TX on August 16, 2002 at 23:50:14:


I use a form that I keep at my desk where the phone is, to keep me on target as far as getting all of the pertinent information. Besides the usual information, (name, address, phone, # of bedrooms & baths, square footage, age, condition, type of construction, status of existing financing, etc.), here are what I consider to be the three most important questions:

MOTIVATION!! - - Why does the seller NEED to sell?
URGENCY!! - - How soon does the seller NEED to sell?
FLEXIBILITY!! - - Will the seller consider terms? How much cash does the seller NEED?

Once you know the answer to those three questions, you’ll know whether or not you have the possibility of structuring a deal that makes sense for both you and the seller.

BTW, these three questions are the same for any type of property. The other questions would vary depending on if it’s a SFR, multi-family, mobile home, commercial, etc.

If the conversation leads me to believe that either a “subject to” or a lease/option might be a viable solution to the seller’s problem, I broach the subject by asking something like “Mr. Seller, would it help if I were to make your house payments for you?”

Here are a couple of articles that I suggest you review: One is Joe Kaiser’s entitled “Get on the Same Page With the Seller”. You can find it at:

Another is Jim Piper’s article entitled: “How To Handle Telephone Calls”. It’s at:

Here are links to some posts in the archives that you might find useful:

Hope this helps.

Best of Success!!

Jim Kennedy,
Houston, TX

Re: prescreen seller when they call from ad - Posted by Clair-MO

Posted by Clair-MO on August 15, 2002 at 10:40:13:

Franklin, My name Clair, I’m a private individual who is looking to buy property in your neighborhood on lease option for 12 months then I will then find a lender to “cash” you out at that time. Is that something you are willing to talk to me about? Then ask the sellers about their home…Why are you selling your home? Is your asking price negotiable?
Is there a mortgage on your home? How much do you still owe on your home? Are you willing to help with financing? These are some general questions you might ask the seller if you need help please feel free to contact me.

Re: prescreen seller when they call from ad - Posted by Jim FL

Posted by Jim FL on August 15, 2002 at 14:33:50:

No offense, but I just don’t see a large volume of deals being signed when you pitch a lease option right away on the phone without first gathering info on the property and the sellers situation. I also don’t like the idea of putting the 12 month time limit on a deal right away over the phone with a seller, when I KNOW well and good that in all probability the deal will take longer to cash out.

When a seller calls me, I answer the phone with, "Company name, how may I help you?"
This sets a tone right away that the seller is calling me to get some help.
After they respond with something like, "Yes, I have a house I’d like to sell."
This is when we gather info about the house…"Mr./Mrs. Seller, can you tell me about the house? How many bedrooms, baths, etc.?"
Then listen.
When they are done, ask one key questions, and phrase it the right way.
Something like…"Well, it certainly sounds like a house we MAY be interested in…if you don’t mind me asking, why are you selling it?"
Then shut up and listen.
This is when you will determine their motivation if there is any.
Depending on the answer, we go further.
Usually when people call they are either curious as to how we buy houses, or they simply want debt relief.
This is when I’ll either get right to a short semi-presentation on taking over their payments, or explain how we work.
Something like this…"Mr./Mrs. seller, let me tell you how we buy our properties. We basically buy our properties one of two ways, either all cash for a SEVERE/MAJOR discount, or on terms. Before I can determine which way might work best for your situation I need to gather some more information. Is there financing on the house at the moment?
Then gather all info regarding that.
Payments? (do they include taxes and insurance? if not,how much are those items?)

If the numbers seem good, and terms seems to be the best fit, I’ll ask them this question…
"If we can take over your payments, cover all taxes, insurance, maintenance, repairs and basically everything to do with the house, does this sound like something that might work for you?"
If it does, we then set an appointment to come see the house.
I tell the sellers that we would need to meet with them, gather some basic information and inspect the house to see if it qualifies for our programs.
This places the burden on the sellers.
Now the seller needs to sell the house to me, I’m not selling my offer.
I will usually know before even going to the house whether or not the offer I intend to make will solve the sellers problem, so it is up to them to sell their property to me.
Frankly, after doing this a while, I will not even schedule a meeting with a seller unless I’m 90% sure they will sign my offer.

Bottom line, determine the sellers motivation, and IF it appears I can make an offer that will solve their problem and make me a profit, we will have a deal.
In order to do that, you need to gather information about the house, the sellers situation, and know your market well.

Once all that is in place the deal just flows.

Jim FL