What should I say to a realtor? - Posted by supercar28 (Denver)


Posted by Paul Belli (StL MO) on January 26, 1999 at 08:39:56:


Thank you for taking the time to answer my question. I greatly appreciate it. Some of what you’ve suggested about a “buyer’s agent” I already knew but seemed to let slip by in the rush to learn and apply other things. Thanks for the refresher.

I like your “cover myself with a time excuse, and run to this board to post.” GREAT idea. That definitely adds to our professionalism.

The “Subject to the approval of partners” will work great down the road when I have that need. Nice placement. Thanks again for your help.

Best regards,



What should I say to a realtor? - Posted by supercar28 (Denver)

Posted by supercar28 (Denver) on January 21, 1999 at 12:51:06:

I have been trying to get a realtor to work with, since I have some private inestors now. I called several realtors, they either don’t return my calls, or don’t understand what I am looking for.

What is up here? This is what I say to a realtor when I call. “I work with several local private investors who are looking for sfh below market value. These investors will pay cash. These properties include but not limited to distressed, fixer uppers, and pre/forclosed homes. I would appreciate it if you (the realtor) would call me when you think you have a deal and let me present it to my investors.”

After the conversation the realtor seems to be at a loss when I say this. They don’t know what I am looking for. I even had one realtor send me her entire MLS list. I am saying something wrong? or should I take another approach. I would appreciate any suggestions.

Thanks in Advance


Re: What should I say to a realtor? - Posted by George

Posted by George on January 23, 1999 at 21:48:22:

Did you look at her MLS book? Did you find anything? Of course not. The deals aren’t in there. The stuff in the book has been priced by the realtors at market value. If it needs work, the repair costs are simply deducted from market value. I am an investor first and a realtor second. If I got your phone call, I’d have a difficult time finding you a deal in my area from the MLS books. Only when I have personal knowledge of the sellers motivation/situation can I find a potential good deal. If that seller is one of my office’s listings, I cannot disclose that info to you. I’ve had my license for 5 months now and I’ve been through the books cover to cover and I run updates on the computer every day and I’ve only found 1 property and I have an offer pending on it.
If you called me, I’d put you in my database and someday I’ll call you with what you’re looking for.


Re: What should I say to a realtor? - Posted by Jim IL

Posted by Jim IL on January 21, 1999 at 22:23:34:

Sadly, I too tried this approach over a year ago. It did not work.
I then tried the suggested approach, and it worked for some RE agents and not others.
I even had one, laugh at me, and send me a faxed list of REALLY BAD deals.
Thats okay though, the deal we just closed, she was the listing agent, and I used a “buyers agent” taking half of her commission. (heheheheheh)
Then after the closing, while walking to my car, she stops me in the parking lot, and asks, “Do you have any business cards with you?”.
I said, nope, sorry, I do not, but I’m in the phone book, when you get a good deal, call me. I then finished handing my lawyer a new business card in front of her.
Oh, and my “buyers agent” is showing me more properties this Saturday.
Bottom line, if one agent will not work with you, there are 100 more that will.
IF you approach them with Professionalism.
Good Luck,

P.S. I think we got our next deal today, and all looks great (couple of little details to work out), another “flip” and it is only Thursday.


Re: What should I say to a realtor? - Posted by Rob FL

Posted by Rob FL on January 21, 1999 at 21:36:02:

I want to take JPiper’s advice a bit further.

Look for a realtor who represents the sellers of these junker/fixer-upper/REO properties. Check the newspaper and drive neighborhoods or just call and ask them if they have properties for sale that need lots of work. Any realtor who has a bank-owned house for sale may be someone who specializes in these type of properties. This is the guy you are looking for. Don’t just call the first Realtor in the phone book. Go directly to the source. The realtor who already represents junkers and REOs.


Re: What should I say to a realtor? - Posted by JPiper

Posted by JPiper on January 21, 1999 at 14:30:48:

I would never present myself as you?re describing.

?I work with several private investors???.. I don?t like this for several reasons. One is it makes you sound like you?re not the principal. You?re not the decision maker. These private investors are. Second, the word ?investor? is not a word I personally ever use to describe myself. It brings up negative connotations in my opinion to most Realtors.

I save words like ?below market value? for another time and place. The fact that you?re looking for fixer uppers, properties that need work is enough. These will be below market. And later when you submit your offer you can explain to the Realtor that you do the fix up so that you can make a profit.

?Call me when you think you have a deal and I will present it to my investors??? without wishing to be redundant, you?re not the principal, someone else is. Maybe you even need a license for this.

In short, you?re getting some feedback?.it?s not working. You need a new script.

First, I wouldn?t call Realtors for the sake of calling Realtors?..just a personal opinion. I would call a Realtor about an ad that struck your interest in the paper. Let?s say you call a Realtor?s ad that says ?Fixer-upper?. Call and introduce yourself. Tell them you saw their ad. Ask about the property. During the conversation at some point when the Realtor asks you a few questions, tell them you ?like to buy properties to fix up if you can make a buck at it. You can close quick, and you will pay cash.? That?s enough. If the property is of some interest, go see it. Start creating a relationship with the Realtor. Call the Realtor back periodically, ask them if they have any new properties that need some fixup. Don?t automatically expect the Realtor to call you with deals. That may come after they see you performing, but probably not in the beginning. That?s OK though, stay in touch. You can call more than one Realtor, that?s OK too.

Notice I?m not using words like ?investor?, or ?my partners?. These types of words are like warning bells to Realtors, saying that here?s a guy who?s going to lowball and waste my time. Realtors aren?t interested in the fact that you?re an investor, or that you have partners. Realtors are interested in making commissions, and if they perceive that you?re not real, that you?re not a principal, you?re out of there.

Listen to what the Realtors have to say. While you?re discussing the property that you called on, ask them about their business. Ask if they get many fixeruppers. Ask if they ever deal in REO?s. Get to know them, create relationships.

And get rid of that spiel.



Re: What should I say to a realtor? - Posted by Paul Belli (StL MO)

Posted by Paul Belli (StL MO) on January 25, 1999 at 20:01:34:


Hi. I’m curious, what is “the suggested approach”? Could you go into a little more detail please.

And how do YOU define “Professionalism”?

Also, how is a “buyer’s agent” any different than finding an agent to find you property? Or are they one and the same?

Thanks in advance, Jim.

Paul Belli


Re: What should I say to a realtor? - Posted by Al Miller

Posted by Al Miller on January 21, 1999 at 21:32:37:

Great reply. Would also say it really helps to have
some Moxy! Dont know if thats spelled right but you
need a feel for people and their motivations.
Address realtors from their standpoint. Would you get
excited about your speil.
A realtor gets a call and says afterward "wow! I just
got a call from a guy I can work with. I`m going out
right now to find some properties for him. We really
hit it off!“
Or does he say " Oh brother! Another idiot looking for
a great deal like everybody else.” Duh!


Re: What should I say to a realtor? - Posted by SCook85

Posted by SCook85 on January 21, 1999 at 16:47:23:

I won’t be redundant and say everything over that Jim just said but I thought the exact same thing as Jim. I would never have taken you seriously if you called me.
I work very well with 3 realtors. My suggestions which varies a little from Jim’s idea is that you shoudl find one realtor regardless if they have a property to offer or not. The idea is not to have them find you one property at a time. If you do this you will buy maybe 1 or 2 properties a year. You need for them to print off lists of all foreclosure, REO’s and Handyman Specials. Have them print a seperate list for each so that you don’t only get REO’s that are Handymans.
Then you do the rest. You decide which ones are of interest, go out and see the properties. If still interested ask for comps and have the realtor show you the homes. I make about 10 offers every time I get a list. Out of that I usually get one. It’s a long hard road if you are making one offer at a time with realtors. You are playing a numbers game.
When approaching realtors just tell them that you are a cash buyer of fixer uppers. You don’t need to say anymore. Tell them exactly what you want as far as a list goes and do your thing. I always make it a point to get back to them the next day or two with my offers.



Re: What should I say to a realtor? - Posted by Jim IL

Posted by Jim IL on January 26, 1999 at 01:16:04:

The “suggested approach” to which I was refering was from the other posts here.
AS for a “buyers agent”, well, frankly, I can only go on my own experience (which is limited), and that has been that I do NOT hire a realtor myself. Because then I’d be paying them for thier services. I meant that when I deal with a realtor, I try to get them to show me proerties that they are not the listing agent for (unless it is a GREAT deal). This way, they are acting on my behalf, and still getting some of the commission. If they were the “Listing agent” then they are employed by the seller, and may not be as helpful. Which is understandable. They are after all, hired to get the best possible deal for their seller, not me.
As far as professionalim, well, I cannot define it in a single sentence. This is how I approach it. I always try to appear to be proffessional, I dress decent, I make sure that I know what I’m talking about, and if something comes up that I’m not studied up on, then I simply cover myself with a time excuse, and run to this board to post. I also make sure that I return phone calls in a timely fashion, and show up to all appointments on time. And if I cannot make it, I call ahead and tell them. Nobody likes to have there time wasted. I also will come right out and tell an agent if a property looks alright or not. If they show me a real BAD deal, that I know I cannot work, I don’t lead them on. I simply say, “This one will not work, what else have you got?”.
I never tell them that I represent several different investors, the only place for that type of info is in the contract, where we put “Subject to the approval of partners”. This way the seller and the agent know that I am the principal, and will deal with me accordingly.
I hope this helps,