When’s the Right Time to Approach Potential Home Sellers?

When’s the Right Time to Approach Potential Home Sellers?

2 min read
Sterling White

Sterling White is a multifamily investor, specializing in value-add apartments in Indianapolis and other Midwestern markets. With just under a decade of experience in the real estate industry, Sterling was involved with the management of over $10MM in capital, which is deployed across a $18.9MM real estate portfolio made up of multifamily apartments. Through the company he founded, Sonder Investment Group, he owns just under 400 units.

Experience
Sterling is a seasoned real estate investor, philanthropist, speaker, host, mentor, and former world record attemptee, who was born and raised in Indianapolis. He is the author of the renowned book From Zero to 400 Units and the host of a phenomenal podcast, which hit the No. 1 spot on The Real Estate Experience Podcast‘s list of best shows in the investing category.

Living and breathing real estate since 2009, Sterling currently owns multiple businesses related to real estate, including Sterling White Enterprises, Sonder Investment Group, and other investment partnerships. Throughout the span of a decade, he has contributed to helping others become successful in the real estate industry. In addition, he has been directly involved with both buying and selling over 100 single family homes.

Sterling’s primary specialities include sales, marketing, crowdfunding, buy and hold investing, investment properties, and many more.

He was featured on the BiggerPockets Podcast episode #308 and has been contributing content to BiggerPockets since 2014, with over 200 posts on topics ranging from single family investing and apartment investing to mindset and scaling a business online. He has been featured on multiple other podcasts, too.

When he isn’t immersed in the real world, Sterling likes reading motivational books, including Maverick Mindset by Doug Hall, As a Man Thinketh by James Allen, and Sell or Be Sold by Grant Cardone.

As a thrill-seeker with an evident fear of heights, he somehow managed to jump off of a 65-foot cliff into deep water without flinching. (Okay, maybe a little bit…) Sterling is also an avid kale-eating traveller, but nothing is more important to him than family. His unusual habit is bird-watching, which he discovered he truly enjoyed during an Ornithology class from his college days.

Education
Sterling attended the University of Indianapolis.

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One of the biggest challenges for real estate investors today is finding deals. If you’ve tried hitting the streets and the internet to hunt for deals, you may have run into a lot of dead ends. Either homeowners say they aren’t interested in selling, at least at reasonable prices, or they have already sold. So, when it the best time to connect with potential home sellers?

There is a wide variety of seller scenarios out there. There are aging and financially struggling homeowners with distressed homes. There are amateur house flippers who have run out of money or who have miscalculated their numbers and the demand and can’t sell. There are heirs who have just lost family members and are inheriting property. When is the optimal moment to approach these owners to offer to buy their properties? 

real life

Related: 6 Tips for Negotiating Your Maximum Allowable Offer With Sellers

Owners in Need of Selling

As simple as it sounds, the right time to approach an owner is when they’re in need of selling. Still, many investors completely miss the messaging and fail to connect. Or they simply confuse their own perceived need with the needs and wants of the owner. The easiest time to connect and close is when an owner is actively looking for help, is serious about taking action, and is realistic about the outcome. That can be achieved with good outbound, inbound, off and online drip marketing funnels.

Smart investors can close this gap event further with better data. You can now use Facebook and lead list providers to hone in on specific life milestones and trends. For example, advanced marketers can progress with couples who recently got engaged through to their wedding to the point where they start their search for a new home. Other ways to spot ripe home sellers may be by targeting expired MLS listings, price drops on listings, or old “for sale” signs that are finally replaced with new ones.

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Related: The Top 3 Ways to Find Motivated Real Estate Sellers

Understand What Sellers Care About

When connecting with these property owners, investors need to know what their value proposition is and to align that with what the seller cares about most. You can talk about price, foreclosure, and repairs all day long when trying to get an owner to sell, but if what they care about most is finding somewhere for their family to move to, you may be completely missing it. Close this gap by listening, taking the time to put yourself in their shoes, and even investing in building the relationship in advance of actually getting to the point of drafting a contract. The transaction may not happen immediately, but it is bound to happen in the future if you stick with it. If you are in the industry for the long haul this is fine, but do not ignore opportunities to go for the close.

If a seller is not ready to sell or is not motivated by any means, then carry on. There are plenty of deals out there to be had; you don’t want to focus your time and energy on someone who does not want to part with their property. Just keep them in your pipeline—because anything can happen. An unmotivated owner can turn into a seller in an instant. This will be your time to capitalize and solve their problem.

How do you find motivated sellers in your real estate business?

Let me know with a comment!