how to talk to ALL potential sellers

36 Replies

Hello, colleagues first and for most i would like to think you for letting me be part of your networks. As an new investor the information i receive from other investors such as yourselves is very valuable to me and others like me. Anywaaaayss lol... ladies and gents, Ive been trying improve my cold call ratio and i need a formula for how talk to a potential seller/ and how finding out if an seller is motivated. i am a new investor as of which i have completed 1 deal and am in the process of completing an second deal, but :violin: for some reason this which i believe its due my mechanics and experienced level when talking to an potential sellers i got of-course get hang ups, and the I'm not selling for no real reason for as long as i live lol...... :protest: no matter how crappy the property is, but then u find a seller who wants to sell, but how do u determine if that seller is motivated from beginning to end. if u guys have any scripts that you can post, that would help us big in getting us going the right direction or anyone :idea: has an proven system that works over and over again it would be a big help in getting us out of this rut and and on our ways to the next level of investing and its glorious challenges :superman:

Thanks Rod
The grasshopper

Here is how you tell if a seller is motivated:

You have a question form you ask every seller (bedrooms, baths, mortgage balance, etc.) and if they won't answer the questions then they are not motivated.

If someone won't tell me how much they owe on the property, then I know they are not motivated, because motivated people will tell you anything and everything you want to know.

yeah, but i was thinking more along the lines of after you boil it down and get to the ones that want to sell, how do u convert that want into a need on the sellers part

Quite simply if they are truly motivated to sell, then they will want to sell it to you.

Ive been reading a lot of sales books that state consistently that u have to lead your prospects to an choice by giving them choices that leads them makes them from emotion to rationalization while at the same time helping cont to an conclusion. now i know some people don't want to sell but in talking about the unsure of the situation so the answer is not that simple. but i also believe that u need to know there motivation but what do u ask that's or how should u say to to keep it from being or feeling threatened.
also if u make cold calls how many do u make and day, and if so how is your % .

One of the best ways to find out if a seller is motivated or not is to get them to call you. I never, ever, ever call a potential seller...they always call me. How do I do this? Killer marketing skills!

Since I can't advertise an sites or anything on here, feel free to contact me privately and I will be happy to give you some info on where you can get amazing info on marketing to potential sellers.

This goes for anybody on the forum...I'll be happy to share...just don't want to get in any trouble for doing so. :lol:

Please feel free to share you methods and techniques here. You shouldn't run afoul of the "no advertising" rules if you're describing your systems.

Now, I am in no way experienced, but I've been doing some serious learning. One way that I've heard to weed out motivated sellers from no so motivated sellers is to ask them WHY they're selling. If they're like "well, I'm moving down the street" or some matter-of-fact reason then they're not motivated. If they give you a more indefinate answer like "I'm moving out of state and selling this house is the last thing I need to do...I just want to get rid of it", then you know they're a little more motivated than the average seller. I think the biggest key is listening.


Can you remember back to when when you guys first started investing? Do you really think just responding with "Just figure out if they are motivated" would give you the answer you need? He said he would prefer an exact script. I also am looking for an exact script, and for some reason no one has taken the time to provide one in any of the posts in the forums. Yes, it takes a little bit of time to type it out, but if you are on here to try to help other people, isn't that a good use of your time?

I still don't have a perfect script either, seeing as I haven't tested a bunch of techniques, but I think reading this:
should get you on the right track. There is a chapter on what to sell to sellers on the phone, as well as what to say when you get to their house.

First, I don't have any exact script I could type out.

I have been to a number of guru pitches (i.e., the one hour talks they give where they talk about their product), where the speaker says "buy my course, it has a script of what to say on the phone." If that's what you're looking for, you might just have to break down and buy someone's home study course.

But, do you really think this works? I mean, you're talking to a real person. They're going to wander all over the place. Who knows what they will say or ask. Plus, I'm sure you've had a phone call from some telemarketer who's working off a script. Its pretty obvious they're just following an outline, and asking you very specific questions so you don't wander off the rails and get them confused. They sound like idiots. Would you sell you house to someone who sounded like this?

How to Talk to Banks and Homeowners with Bill Twyford does anyone have this product, its suppose to be good its supose to be a good tool for your tool box

I also am looking for an exact script

When talking to prospects I too am looking for motivation. The way to find motivation is to find a problem. If the problem is big enough, then you know you have opportunity.

I agree with Wheatie that scripts sound scripted. However, there is nothing wrong with continuously rehearsing a conversation that you are bound to have hundreds of times throughout your investing career. Call it a script or call it preparation, but I see it as essential preparation for communicating with prospects.

Here is an old realtor "for sale by owner" script that has done me very well over the years. It definitely is not set in stone and is only effective when it is a natural conversation. If you think about it, a FSBO is really the same as an investor script. The purpose of both is to seek truly motivated parties. Tweak to fit your circumstance. The structure gives a brief intro that serves only as a lead in to ask questions. The sole purpose of the questions is to find problems. All potential problems are questioned to gauge severity.


Agent: Mr. Seller, I call all for sale by owners knowing that when they fail to sell their homes, they will interview real estate agents for the job of selling their home...and I was wondering, when do you plan on interviewing agents....?

FSBO: I'm not interested.

Agent: I understand, other than the fees, is there any other reason why decided to sell on your own?

FSBO: nope, it's just the fees.

Agent: Well let me ask you this, why did you decide to sell the home?

How long have you lived there?

Did you enjoy living there?

How did you select that neighborhood?



I could go on for hours with the question asking and that is where the motivation question will get answered. At some point the seller will say something that is "painful" to them. Divorce, illness, financial trouble, loneliness, job transfer, spousal dispute, empty-nesters, house too small, house to big, etc... OR, they will find a way to get off the phone. If they aren't motivated it's no big deal, just talk to someone else.

In addition, you will know the problem that needs to be solved in order for your deal to work. Obviously, you will not be able to solve the actual problem, you can only potentially solve the real estate portion of the problem. The real estate portion of the problem is quite often a major hurdle to the ultimate problem getting solved. Master the art of asking questions and opportunity will present itself.

hope this helps.

Those are great rebuttals that's just want I'm looking for, not to make them but to help them realize that selling is something they should consider, and granted that may not want to sell but,
most of them time they just dont know what to do and it is our job to lead them to that end conclusion. not to force like some have suggested i was asking but if done correctly they well at least think about and that is the goal so when you or i decided to go back and touch base with them in a month
1 you have built a re pore with the seller
2 they have been thing about the conversation or the issues of holding on to the property
3 they also have been thinking about the benefit of selling the property

the end result is a better fellow up and increased chances of getting a deal and at fairly good price, because u have helped their motivation, by letting them tell you the reasons why they should sell

such as:
Tax payments
loan payments
up keep
distance if there out of town

now anymore ideas on how to get the seller to loosen up more


They will only loosen up through trust.

Those are great rebuttals

Not to be picky, but you don't want rebuttals, you want an understanding of their problem.

The greatest sales lesson I ever learned is the most simple. It is a commitments that I will never propose a solution to someone's problem until I fully understand the problem.

As an investor, you can make money by solving problems. As a salesperson, you can make money by solving problems. I make a living helping people sell their houses through short sales. At every appt I go on, I have to remind myself that this is the first time that the prospect has gone through this, even though I have been through this same meeting hundreds of times.

Be patient. Be understanding. Solve problems.

Get paid.

I truly respect your apparent desire to learn the sales process, that's what it all really boils down to.

Jason I think your point about them answering all of your questions is a good one. If they are trying to negotiate and fumble around then you probably wont get the best deal.

Being a good listener is a key point I think and from there if you pick up on a little motivation factor, just repeat what they said, and then ask 'why' 'when' and 'where' questions to get them to open up. The point of reiterating by repeating just sets in stone that they are calling for a reason. Cementing that they are indeed motivated. For instance.. Seller: "I'm moving to take care of my mom". you: "So, its very important for you to move closer to her to help her?' Seller: "I have been wanting to do that for awhile" you: "You have been thinking about it for a long time then, huh?' It makes it seem like YOU are listening and are on the same wave length, and you are letting them hear that and stiring up those emotions they are going though a little.

Great point Rita.

Be careful of the advice Bill and Dawn Twyford (investor's Edge University) give you. I bought a $10,000 mentorship program from them and got bad advice, some of which would have landed me in jail. They have numerous complaints online from people they ripped off, just like me. In addition, their advice is sometimes ridiculous - e.g. when negotiating with the banks around a short sales threaten the banker and play all types of manipulative games that most people in the industry laughed at, stating it would sever any type of future relationship with that bank / banker and kill any sale. In addition, they promote double closing which is illegal in Illinois and a bunch of other nonsense. In addition, they are fraudulent and did not following up on any of their mentorship and refusing to refund my money. Please google their name before moving forward.

Hey look guys I'm still new to REI but have been in sales for quite a while. I mean really all of us sale something each day. OURSELVES!! The best tool I found for finding if a seller is motivated is rapport. I love getting on the phone or my preference is being in person and finding out about the potential seller. Asking questions like if they have a family, what's their occupation, what do they do for fun...etc. These are all key points that will lead to why they want to sell. If you truly listen and are genuine, most folks will open up like a book. My philosophy is everyone has a story that wants to be heard.

P.S. Laughter is key. If you can make a person laugh within 10 minutes of meeting them, usually you create a strong bond.

@Jeff Fairchild ^ Excellent book! That was the first book I read by Peter Conti and David Finkel which spells out the basic concepts. But there is another book they wrote which fine-tunes some of the information in the first one. It's titled Making Big Money Investing in Real Estate Without Tenants, Banks, or Rehab Projects; same authors. Highly recomended.

Reviving an old thread. I disagree that you can tell whether someone is motivated by whether they will answer your questions or not. There are 2 parts to their motivation:

1. Whether they need to sell

2. Whether they want to sell to YOU

Yes, you should chat with them, empathize with them. Don't read off a script, you will look inexperienced. But you can have a list of items you want to ask. By the end, you should leave them thinking that you are their first choice of people to sell to. 

Here is one podcast about what to say on a call, of course all calls are different:

I would say to talk to them like a normal person. You don't need to over "sales person" this up. You need to build rapport and be like able to the seller. If they don't like you then they won't sell to you. I just talked to the owner of two duplexes and built a good relationship. We moved from talking about the buildings to talking about his kids and our favorite beer. Be likable.

Originally posted by @Jeff Fairchild :


Can you remember back to when when you guys first started investing? Do you really think just responding with "Just figure out if they are motivated" would give you the answer you need? He said he would prefer an exact script. I also am looking for an exact script, and for some reason no one has taken the time to provide one in any of the posts in the forums. Yes, it takes a little bit of time to type it out, but if you are on here to try to help other people, isn't that a good use of your time?

I still don't have a perfect script either, seeing as I haven't tested a bunch of techniques, but I think reading this:
should get you on the right track. There is a chapter on what to sell to sellers on the phone, as well as what to say when you get to their house.

 @Rod Coleman I noticed that you started this thread back in 08 so I hope you have moved past your 2nd and 3rd deal by now. :)

@Jeff Fairchild I understand where you're coming from as far as your frustration over people not actually sharing.  Here is the problem, just as there is no cookie cutter one size fits all way to buy a property.  There is no cookie cutter, one size fits all script to talk to an owner.

What you can have is a set elevator pitch or ice breaker and a general guideline by which to go by.

That being said, let's talk elevator pitch:

First impressions are the most important, they say a woman knows within 30 seconds whether she will give you a chance or not. Same thing applies to your home owner.

Based on the specific circumstance of your target market, you can adjust your elevator pitch to fit the situation.

Example pre-foreclosures:  "Hi my name is David, I own property in the area.  I was doing work in public records where I saw your name come up in regards to a situation.  We help people out in situations like this all the time, can we talk?

One, I have common ground with them as owning property in the area.. (anywhere in the county is in the area) 

Two, I do not mention foreclosure, just a situation 

From this point on, use the greatest problem solving tools and negotiating tools God gave you, your ears!!

If you listen to anyone, they will tell you their problems and if you listen long enough, they will even tell you how to solve them.

Of course you will ask them the specific questions like balance and owed, though most of the info you should already have.  This is the time to listen, to build relationship and offer solutions. (But don't rush to the solutions, and don't always assume that you buying the property is always the right solution)

Anyway, I hope this helps

Thank you  Chris L. For the link to the call... Very helpful... Also thanks to all the other responses as well.


I am a new realtor with Weichert in Pembroke Pines, Fl. I have been calling FSBO I receive from ForSaleByOwner. I am very tech savvy and have been using this to my advantage. How can I improve my call ratio with FSBO and Expired listings.



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