Posted almost 9 years ago

Unmotivated Sellers Will Suck the Life Out of You

What is a motivated seller?

It's not someone who wants to sell. It's not someone that wishes they could sell. A motivated seller is someone who MUST SELL! From their point of view, they don't have a choice. They've got to get rid of their house as soon as possible.

More time is wasted talking to, conducting due diligence on, and meeting with unmotivated sellers than any other part of the business. It's your job as an intelligent real estate investor to disqualify leads that don't work for your business model as quickly as you possibly can.

If you have ever thought to yourself, "Why would a someone ever sell me their property for pennies on the dollar?" Here's why.

13 Reasons Why Sellers Become Motivated

  • Job Loss
  • Divorce
  • Burnt Out Landlord
  • Facing Foreclosure
  • Military Move
  • Job Transfer
  • Death in the Family
  • Financial Distress
  • Vacant House
  • Expired Listing
  • Bad Tenants
  • Estate Sale
  • And Many More...

3 Sure Signs that You're Wasting Time with Unmotivated Sellers

1. You get stood up for the appointment.

If it's that important to a seller to get rid of their property, they'll make the appointment . . . period! Now, if you're thinking that emergencies do happen from time to time, you're right. But, they only happen about 1% of the time so don't kid yourself.

2. The seller is hesitant to answer all of your questions.

Any seller that won't answer your questions that you need answered to make an educated offer (i.e. What do you owe on the property?), isn't as motivated as we want them to be. If someone doesn't answer one of my questions when I talk to them on the phone, I simply say, "I cannot even submit your property info through our system without all of these questions answered. It doesn't really sound like it's that important to you to sell your home. Thanks though." And then I shut up. They typically will immediately answer your question and if not, you just saved yourself some time.

3. You get a million questions from the seller.

Reverse the situation and imagine getting grilled by a seller about who you are, what you do, how long you've been doing it, and a million other questions. I wasted plenty of time with these types over the years. Remember that as long as you're talking, you're not learning anything, and you're not in control of the conversation. Just because someone asks you a question, it doesn't mean you have to answer it or that the person even cares about the answer in the first place. You should be the one asking the questions. Find out their situation, figure out if they're motivated, and most importantly, if you can offer a win-win solution.


Motivated sellers will call you back quickly, listen intently, answer your questions, and agree to any reasonable offer that gets them out of their problem property. They're out there. It's your job to find them.

Comments (4)

  1. Tiny 1448387771 avatar ncarey

    Great Post Patrick. You see many questions in the forums here about how to deal with your points 1-3. For me, the best answer is to just move on the the next lead.

  2. Tiny 1491858518 avatar biggerpo

    Keep up the good postings!

  3. Tiny 1400598357 avatar patrickriddle

    Thanks Joshua! I appreciate it.

  4. Tiny 1491858518 avatar biggerpo

    Great post, Patrick. I'm going to plug it through BiggerPockets Bulletin!