Is this seller playing games with me?

70 Replies

I recently engaged in a negotiation to buy a portfolio of rental apartments from a seller whom just inherited these properties from her late father. The properties were off market. I contacted her to discuss if she might be interested to sell the whole portfolio and she immediately said she really wants to get rid off it because it is too much for her (a white woman with little kids) to deal with low income tenants in the "hood". I managed to get an appointment with her to discuss the price and terms. After a couple of weeks and some back and forth she finally told me the price she was wiling to sell. I agree to pay the price she asked because I believe it was a fair price. This is a 50+ units apartments deal for a seven figure cash deal. During all the negotiation I was very proactive calling her trying get the deal done. She never called me once (even when she always promised to call me a certain time). I felt like I was chasing her all the time. She just did not acted like a person interested to sell. I asked her many times if she is "really interested to sell" and she assured me she was but she is always so busy she does not have time to reply emails or phone calls (how busy can a person be that chooses to ignore a buyer willing to buy cash for seven figure deal and pay her full asking price).

Anyway, last Friday we agreed on the phone on the price. It was the price she wanted and she confirmed verbally that we have a deal. Then I proceeded to send her the sales contract on Friday giving her the weekend for her to go thru the terms. I called her 6 times on Monday and she finally answered my phone late afternoon confirming she received my contract and she will send to her attorney to review and get back to me tomorrow. Once again "tomorrow went by" and she did not called me back as promised and did not pick up her phone during the whole day. I finally got someone to pickup the phone at 7:30pm today. It was her husband and he told me she is at bed now and asked me to call her tomorrow during from 9:00 to 3:00pm (yeah but you guys never pickup the phone during that time). 

I'm an investor and I've done many transactions before and this is the first time that I'm dealing with a seller that does not respond professionally and does not pick up the phone or call you back. I've finally sent her an email today asking her to contact us if she still wants to close the deal or not otherwise we will take our money to pursue other deals. The only reason I have not quit this deal is because it is a good deal that fits our portfolio. I'd love to hear what do you guys think about this seller? What will you do in this situation?

Why can't the husband do the deal?

Property belongs to her she got it from her father that just passed away. Husband does not get involved.

She might be going through the grieving process.

You're not dealing with a professional investor or likely a professional anything.  You're dealing with a mother of small children.  She likely doesn't actually need the money.  Therefore, since you are not one of the ones screaming, crying and pulling on her skirt, you're not a priority.  Believe me, I understand how maddening it is.  

Maybe. Her father passed away 4 months ago.

Originally posted by @Hattie Dizmond:

You're not dealing with a professional investor or likely a professional anything.  You're dealing with a mother of small children.  She likely doesn't actually need the money.  Therefore, since you are not one of the ones screaming, crying and pulling on her skirt, you're not a priority.  Believe me, I understand how maddening it is.  

 You could be quite right about it. I have 3 kids myself and I know how it is. I'm very used to deal with professionals that is why I can understand it. I have to switch my mind and not see her as a professional but instead a busy mother...

Yeah...sometimes it's days before my sister even responds to texts from me, and she loves me!!!  ;-)

@Will Wu    She may also be feeling overwhelmed because she just lost her father and this is outside of her knowledge and comfort zone.  It depends on her life experiences.

You called 6 times in one day!  That would piss me off and I consider that rude. 

You are acting like a motivated buyer. That is not a very good negotiating tactic. It wouldn't surprise me that this deal blows up becuase you are pushing too hard. 

I doubt the seller is playing games with you, she probably has too much on her plate to handle. Slow down and build repore with the seller. Make sure that when she is ready you are the one she wants to deal with.

Medium crab1 copyNed Carey, Crab Properties LLC | http://baltimorerealestateinvestingblog.com/

@Will Wu  I think you are borderline harassing her with all those calls. Slow down...she's a wife, mother and daughter who just lost her father a few months ago. She's not a savvy investor who's used to wheeling and dealing for a living. She's probably not completely confident this is the right thing to do or the right price, etc. She needs some hand holding to get through this, not someone pushing her into making a decision. Give her some space. 

Medium buysellinvest.2Dawn Brenengen, Trailwood Realty, LLC | 919‑840‑8692 | http://www.trailwoodrealty.com | Podcast Guest on Show #101

I agree, if she just lost her father (4 months is not that much time) and have 3 kids to deal with, AND her husband is not helping her in all this, think of how you would feel.  Sometimes people need time to process and deal with things.

Dawn Anastasi, Core Properties, LLC | http://www.coreprop.biz | Podcast Guest on Show #29

Geez, I wouldn't call you back either...ever. What a pest!

Do you know anything, anything at all about sales? 

Do you want the BP community to start publicly speculating on the conversation this person is having about you with her friends and family? 

This is why I don't understand people who say they don't spend money on training. This may be an expensive education for you. 

The better oath would have been to ease in to the situation, offering assistance, and slowly becoming and inside, the natural choice as buyer. But no, you went the obsessive route. 

Here's a new word for your toolkit: "Patience". 

@Rick H.  


Let me make sure I got this straight I should or should not call a girl 12 times in a day that I am trying to get a date with?

"I called her 6 times on Monday"

You called her 6 times on Monday?

"I'm dealing with a seller that does not respond professionally"

She's the one who's not responding professionally?  You called 6 times in one day!

John D., Palm Vacation Rentals | [email protected] | 4155195039

@Will Wu  

Hope your deal eventually goes.  I don't know the 50+ unit market or 7 figure area.  But I would guess if you back off a little that probably aren't that many players in that arena.  If I were working on a 7 figure deal, I would want to get it done too.

& truthfully you never know she could be talking to a commercial Realtor to see if she can get it sold for more.

Be careful.  IMO you've become the enemy, even if you've made an acceptable offer in which she is interested.  I'll sell to other buyers for less before I'll sell to someone who calls me 6 times in one day.....just so I never have to return your call.  You've pegged the seller here, on a public message board, as a "white woman" with little kids.  What do you think she's pegged you as?  Seriously.  Think on that.

Put your offer in writing.  Send it where it needs to go so that it is in front of her.  Check on your offer once a week, always stating that you'll be "happy to hear from her" anytime.  Start being a solution and stop being a problem she has to deal with.  

Originally posted by @Ned Carey:

You called 6 times in one day!  That would piss me off and I consider that rude. 

You are acting like a motivated buyer. That is not a very good negotiating tactic. It wouldn't surprise me that this deal blows up becuase you are pushing too hard. 

I doubt the seller is playing games with you, she probably has too much on her plate to handle. Slow down and build repore with the seller. Make sure that when she is ready you are the one she wants to deal with.

I think Ned is right on. Place one..two calls at the most. If they want to talk to you they will call. I don't know that I would be angry, but I certainly would start wondering why you are in such a hurry. Even if you are...don't show it.

No company avatar mediumJohn Thedford, John Thedford | 239‑200‑5600 | http://www.capehomebuyers.com

Thank you for your advice. I have taken a step back and will not call her that frequently. The reason on my 6 calls on Monday is because the sales contract deadline was on Monday and we had to pull many strings to get the money from investors and lenders and I was under limited time to get this deal done and secure the funds. Without the contract the investors will move on to other deals. It's not like we have the cash sitting in the bank just waiting for her to make up her mind about it. But you guys are right. I should not push her that hard. Thank you for the precious advise. 

I completely understand your approach will. When you have that much money on the table and your made the arrangements to get those funds. Your investors/bankers are working on a timeline and so are you. 6 Calls in one day is a bit much. But, fall back a bit and talk with your bankers and tell them the exact situation and see if those funds can be allocated for that transaction - which is wishful thinking but worth the ask - but also search for and line up another deal where those funds can be applied. 

[edited]

Originally posted by @Will Wu:

Thank you for your advice. I have taken a step back and will not call her that frequently. The reason on my 6 calls on Monday is because the sales contract deadline was on Monday and we had to pull many strings to get the money from investors and lenders and I was under limited time to get this deal done and secure the funds. Without the contract the investors will move on to other deals. It's not like we have the cash sitting in the bank just waiting for her to make up her mind about it. But you guys are right. I should not push her that hard. Thank you for the precious advise. 

 In that case a SECOND call explaining the deadline might have been in order if you didn't mention it the first time. But never more than that. Once you said that, any additional calls would be unwelcome and harassing. 

Originally posted by @Moziah Scott:

[edited]

She is a PARENT with three kids. Regardless of gender. And she is not selling as part of a business, this is a situation thrust on her suddenly. Be real, people have a right to a life and not be harassed. Their priorities don't have to be yours!

Originally posted by @Moziah Scott:

I completely understand your approach will. When you have that much money on the table and your made the arrangements to get those funds. Your investors/bankers are working on a timeline and so are you. 6 Calls in one day is a bit much. But, fall back a bit and talk with your bankers and tell them the exact situation and see if those funds can be allocated for that transaction - which is wishful thinking but worth the ask - but also search for and line up another deal where those funds can be applied. 

[edited] 

 Wow.  This has nothing to do with equal rights.  I wouldn't respond to someone harassing me either, unless it was to tell him to shove his contract somewhere dark.

She can get another buyer; the OP admits this is a "good deal."  She doesn't seem like a desperate seller.  He needs her more than she needs him.

I don't understand why people are saying the OP was harassing her? All she had to say if she didn't know what she wanted to do was " i need time to think about it". But instead she yeah that's a good price lets do it. The OP did his part got the money together then she changed her mind. IMO if she doesn't know what she wants to do then she should of said something. We are not talking about one house either its a 7 figure deal.

Also how do you think it makes the OP look when nothing happens with the deal. It makes the OP look stupid or that he doesn't know what he is doing. That alone would piss me off. I say move on to the next deal this lady isn't worth dealing with IMO.

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