WHAT QUESTIONS TO ASK THE SELLERs

13 Replies

Hey guys,

I'm new to wholesaling, tomorrow I'm placing my "we buy houses" signs out and getting the ball rolling. I want to make sure I don't miss anything when the calls start rolling in, so my question for you, is what questions do I need to ask the sellers that call?

I'm not too familiar with how to factor in equity, debt owed, leins, etc.

I understand how to find out comps and general rehab costs, but can someone give me a run down of how a typical conversation would go? And perhaps (greatly appreciated) a list of the need to know questions I must ask in order to be able to make offers?

I would prefer not to hear "if you don't know what to ask, then you're not ready". I am just getting my ducks in a row here and would like a last minute review/ tips before I dive in and do this. I would hate to be on the phone and miss something.

Your help is greatly appreciated!

Hey I have never actually done a wholesale deal before, we currently just buy and hold. I am interested in wholesaling and have been researching it, here is an article on bigger pockets that address some of the issues you asked about.

http://www.biggerpockets.com/articles/3207-talking-to-sellers-asking-the-right-questions

After the pleasantries and you confirming from what source they called you (exactly where was the sign they saw, so you can track your advertising), say "Tell me a little about your property, your situation, so I can better see how I may be able to help you -  why do you need to sell?"

Then listen.  You are trying to get to the WHY of their call.  Try to tease that out (if they aren't just spilling their guts) and then ask some basic questions about the property (beds, baths, how old is it, WHAT DO YOU THINK IT IS WORTH - I try to slide that in there in the general questions because then later in the conservation I already know what they think they are getting for the property and I don't have to ask it as a separate question).  A link was posted above about what to ask and I do think it's good for you starting out to have a printout handy that you can eyeball as you're talking.

Good luck!

I agree with @Christina R. That is a good place to start.  There is a website called the Red Pill Investor that has some scripts that you can use.  I like to keep in mind that I'm the one with the money and who is looking to buy so I'm the customer.  If I don't like the way I'm being treated than I go buy from someone else.  I have said this to defensive sellers in the past.  

If I am wholesaling I do like to be transparent about the fact that I intend to sell the contract for a profit.  I found out that if I try and sugar coat things the deal has a higher probability of falling apart at the last minute.

With signs I've found that 18 X 24 inch, with "We Buy Houses" 123-4567 (no area code), black on yellow work best for me.

Go get em!

The 5 Must Ask Questions

The first five questions tell the story. Unless your using multiple marketing media sources. If so, then your first question should be:

1. How did you happen to hear about us? Otherwise just ask the following.

2. Do you have a house you're wanting to sell? - Must be a Yes answer...

3. Is the house currently Listed with a Real Estate Professional? - Must be a No answer...

4. What do you think the house will be worth in today's market? - Must give a number...

5. What is your "Rock Bottom" price, the lowest amount you'll sell for FAST and FOR CASH? - Must be a number equal to or less than the worth value...

6. What is the address of the house?

Without the right answers to these five or Six questions I don't continue with the questions on the following seller questionnaire.

Call Date __________________________

Owner first and last name. (confirm spelling)______________________________________________

In case we get disconnected what is a good number to call you back on?_______________________________

Do you happen to have a cell number? _________________________

What is the best time to call you back? _________________________

Out of curiosity, why are you selling? __________________________________________________________

When do you want the house sold? _____________________________

On a scale of 1 to 10, 10 being highly motivated, how would you rank your motivation to sell? ___________

How did you happen to own the home? ____________________________________________________________

Is the Home Vacant or Occupied? Vacant Occupied

Occupants Name? ________________________________

Do You Know the Year Built? __________________

What is the approximate square footage? __________________

How Many Bedrooms? __________________ How Many Bathrooms? ______________ Size of the Garage? ___________

Knowing I buy "As Is" tell me a little about the condition of the property, does it need any repairs? Things like paint, carpet, roof repairs and such?

What do you think the repair costs are going to be? _______________________

Is that price "As Is" or fixed up? ___________________

Are your payments current or behind? Yes No A little In Foreclosure

If in foreclosure; You may owe more on your home than it is worth, would you agree?

Do you have an interest in NOT having a foreclosure on your record right?

Have you heard of a short sale? Yes No

Notes _________________________________________________________

I like this concise sheet from @Michael Q. 

 - print out 50 copies and make sure you always have 5 or so with you where you're at (office, car, bedroom, bookbag, etc).   I still refer to cheat sheets and I've been taking calls for several months, sometimes something comes up that makes me blank so it's nice to have it handy to eyeball.

Why not just ask: "When and where can we meet?" Then use the information on the above mentioned forms face to face.

@Eugene Finley,

I agree with you. Get the address and say what time can I stop by and take a look at your home.

Joe Gore

To Eugene and Joe: by agreeing to meet with everyone who calls before inquiring as to asking price and area wouldn't I be making quite a lot of trips only to find out these potential sellers were time wasters asking too much for their property?

You can still make an offer. If they choose not to accept your offer, you can put the offer in writing, with your phone number, and they might call you in 6 months when they still have the property.

Google search "live motivated seller calls".  There is also some real recorded calls at feedommentor.com under the free training sections.  I've listened to several of these and it really helps you get an idea of how a typical conversation goes.  I can't say that I agree with the tactics used in all of them, but still helpful.

Copy @Michael Q. post or just find a seller script online. Since you are new you definitely want to follow a script just so you don't forget to ask any questions. Ask about any liens on the property (back taxes, etc) because that will need to be built into your offer. Also make sure they are the owner/have the right to sell the property. It's much easier to just communicate with the individual who makes the final decision. Best of luck!

actually liens are only significant when buying either Sub2 or a short. I've bought many houses that the seller fed to sell.

As for ownership I've also negotiated with non constructive sellers and sellers advisors so all I confirm is that the decision makers are there.  

I remember the two mothers negotiating for their children who were divorcing so most everything is possible. 

All I care about is motivation. 

Create Lasting Wealth Through Real Estate

Join the millions of people achieving financial freedom through the power of real estate investing

Start here