I’ve got good news and I’ve got bad news. The good news is that food is the way to a seller’s heart and the bad news is that sex isn’t (sorry fellas).
One of the strategies that I always use when meeting with a seller is to bring them food. I usually end up bringing some type of pastry such as a pie or muffins. There are two very important reasons that I do this.
First, almost everyone loves food. It’s a very polite gesture to show up at a seller’s house with something to give to them. I am always harping about how you need to stand out and be different from your competition. How many other investors out there do you think bring a delicious apple pie to their seller’s house?
Not too long ago, I had a meeting with a seller about a lease option deal. I was running behind that day, so on my way to his house I quickly ran into the grocery store to get him something. I was in such a hurry that I grabbed the first thing I saw in the bakery section and it was some type of twisty looking pastry with a fancy sounding name (to this day I have no idea what in the heck I bought.) When I arrived at the seller’s house I handed him the pastry and told him “I thought you might enjoy these” (even though I didn’t know what these were). He took the pastry from me, we walked into his kitchen and I ended up doing the deal with him. Later that week, as we were going over some of the details, he commented to me how generous it was that I brought him the pastry and how good they tasted. Now of course that wasn’t that only reason I got the deal, but every little bit helps.
The second reason that you need to bring food to the seller is because it will lead you to the kitchen table. When you give someone a gift of food they almost always take it to the kitchen and put it on the counter or the kitchen table. This is exactly what you want to happen. You want to sign the paperwork (remember it’s always called paperwork, never a contract) for the deal at the kitchen table. For many families the kitchen table is a “happy place” where people sit, chat, relax and enjoy each others company–it is their comfort zone. You want the sellers to be relaxed and in a familiar setting when you sign the paperwork. It is also a much easier place to sign everything. If you have ever tried signing paperwork while leaning forward and writing on a coffee table it’s not a comfortable position whatsoever.
What do you do if the seller heads into the living room with your pastry or somewhere else besides the kitchen? You simply ask them to go to the kitchen. Say “Mr. Seller would you mind if we went to the kitchen table, that way I could easily lay out the paperwork for you, so I don’t forget to go over anything?” The majority of the time they will say yes.
Decide now, that you will not go on any more visits without bringing food. You want every advantage when trying to close a deal don’t you?