8 Common Phrases a Seller Uses to Delay Accepting Your Wholesale Offer

by | BiggerPockets.com

Talking with sellers can be difficult. The hardest part is presenting your offer. Here are 8 common phrases a seller will use to delay accepting your offer (and what to do about it).

Presenting the Offer

Lets discuss presenting the offer first. Most people believe the hardest part of wholesaling is the initial conversation with sellers. This may be the case for some, but for most, the hardest part is presenting your offer. I tell people that if you’re not embarrassed to give the offer, you’re more than likely being too generous and offering too much. As investors, you have to buy right or everything else will fail.

Presenting the offer is challenging because all the rapport you’ve built with the seller before that moment will be at risk. People take offense to low offers, and they take it personal. They may assume you think they’re ignorant. I’ve seen rapport get crushed in the offer exchange. When you thought you were in the sellers good graces you can quickly become the villain.

When presenting your offer, you will need a few things:

  • How to justify your number (comparable properties that sold)
  • Market analysis
  • Rehab justification
  • Transaction expense (holding and closing fees and taxes)

If you have these things, you should be able to close the deal. However, a seller will work to either negotiate, delay, or reject your offer.

Related: The 3 Ways to Wholesale Real Estate (& Why I Prefer One Over the Others)

Here Are Key Phrases Sellers Will Use & How You Can Pivot & Solidify Your Argument

1. “How do I know this is not a scam?”

You have to create credibility:

“This is a great question, Mr. Seller. I understand there’s no reason why you should trust me. However, I am going to introduce you to the escrow officer that will be handling the file, and she can provide validity and credibility of my professionalism.”

Of course, this can only be done if you have closed deals with the escrow officer. Also, if you’re a licensed agent, you can inform them you have to do everything according to the department of real estate standards. Finally, if you’re a business, get registered with the BBB. This is basically a stamp of approval.

What to do if this is your first deal? This is more challenging, but it’s doable. If this is your first deal, you may have a buyer who you will be sending the deal to. Use their credibility as a source, especially if you’re working with a known buyer. You will have to get permission first, of course.

2 & 3. “Why should I sell to you and not another investor?” or “I have other investors that are interested.”

In these instances, the seller is questioning your performance. You can use the same strategy as above for credibility or:

“Mrs. Seller, this is my career path, and I know I will be able to provide the service and the result you’re looking for. You need to sell the property, and I am highly interested in purchasing it. Looks like this is a match made in heaven. Let me help solve your problem.”

4 & 5. “Your offer price is too low” or “I can’t sell at that price.”

“Mr. Seller, why do you believe my price is too low? Compared with what? I’ve done a market analysis on your home and the area, and the price that I am offering you—without any closing fees, transaction fees, and as is—is very comparable to the neighborhood. Look at this CMA and I’m sure you will agree.” 

Being prepared helps rebut their pricing concerns.

Related: How I Made $5,000 on My First Wholesaling Deal — & Why You Should Consider This Strategy

6 & 7. “I need to sleep on it” or “I need to talk it over with the wife (or other family member)”

“Mr. Seller, I’m sure your family will want you to do the right thing, and I’ve shown you the benefits of how this will help you and your family move past this issue. Wouldn’t it be great to tell your wife (family) that this is done and we can move on with our lives? Mr. Seller, it’s a matter of time, and the best time is now.”

8. “I’m not ready yet.”

“Mrs. Seller, sure you are. This is the reason why we are discussing it. You look like the type of person who handles business. I can identify with that, and this is the reason we’re here now—because you want to handle business. You understand the value of a person’s time, and how limited it is. So I know you’re not interested in wasting time. Here’s my pen. Lets use this time wisely.

These are a few of the techniques my team and I use to close deals. We’ve found it successful, so I decided to share it with you. Sellers can be procrastinators, and they often need someone to show them the light at the end of the tunnel. Use these techniques to close more deals.

If you have other strategies or have heard other excuses from sellers, please share.

Let’s discuss them in the comment section below!

About Author

Marcus Maloney

Marcus Maloney G+ is the Executive Officer of Equity Realty & Investments as well as 3rd Generation Management & Holding LLC, both are family owned and operated real estate investment firms. The firms' goal is to provide affordable solutions in real estate while providing exceptional opportunities for community redevelopment for the residents of Phoenix, Arizona and Chicago, Illinois. You can follow Marcus on Twitter


  1. Red flag phrases:
    Looks like this is a match made in heaven.
    Wouldn’t it be great to tell your wife (family) that this is done.
    You look like the type of person who handles business.
    You understand the value of a person’s time, and how limited it is.

    If you used any of those phrases on me, I would show you the door.

    • Marcus Maloney

      Katie, it’s not for everyone. Thanks for your input I’ll keep that in mind but it has worked more than not. The conversation is different depending on the audience. Thanks again, please share your rebuttals to these obstacles if you have any.

        • Marcus Maloney

          A complement or flattery is manipulative….interesting!

          I don’t say anything that’s not genuine. Again, it depends on the receiver. I appreciate the feedback.

        • Dumitru Anton


          I would consider Katie’s comment as a signal some people may react negatively to first approach.
          Nothing wrong with a friendly warning.
          Th fact you took the time to write many articles on the subject, while not peddling your business, in my book gives you credibility!

        • Marcus Maloney

          Humbly, @Dumitru I do welcome Katie’s response, this blog is for everyone to learn including me. I do understand that this approach may not work for everyone. However this is not the only approach to take. It depends on the receiver and their personality traits and make up. I’m aware that you can not approach everyone in the same manner and Katie addressed this and confirmed the last paragraph of the blog “These are a few of the techniques…..” I completely get it and thank you Katie again for clarifying that this is a people business and no one is the same and should not be treated as such.

          Dumitru thank you for reading and all input is receptively received.

    • Jeremy VanDelinder

      I’m with Katie. I’ve been on both sides of the table (although, admittedly, I’ve never been a distressed seller), and I’ve gotten up and walked out when salespersons pull this “you have to decide now” trick. If you don’t want me to spend a little time analyzing it, somethings up.

      • Marcus Maloney

        Great response Jeremy and this is not for everyone. After years of wholesaling and being a successful real estate investor and not just in the wholesale arena at times there are those whose personality trait is to procrastinate and put off making decisions. I’ve had a seller that owned a house that was vacant for years and he needed assistance and showing him the benefits that we offered. We did allow the seller to think about it but at the same time its the goal of myself and the investors I work with to make our investment dollars turn and by having money sit on the sideline is not good for business. Its not a sell to us now or forget it. Its be up front if you’re not interested in our offer, tell us that so we can move on.

        Thanks for you input again

    • David M.

      Hello Marilou,
      May I ask what were some of the things you did to get your investor business going, important steps, resources, tech tools, anything to help you progress from one step to another?
      Thank you.

  2. Christopher Smith

    I think I would be careful with some of these “come backs”. If you’re dealing with an unsophisticated seller they might work, but I think might appear just a little transparent to a more seasoned seller.

    If I were a seller I wouldn’t necessarily be put off by all of them, but none of them would sway me to alter my price one iota. In my world only “true” substance rules, but then again everyone is not like me – which is probably a good thing. 🙂

  3. Sorry but any buyer who came at me with such responses I would simply ignore. It’s too slick suit type and your responses are very dismissive and condescending. You’re treating theseller as if they were a child. I would laugh at you as I got up and walked out.

    This approach may work with a frustrated first time landlord/investor who is in over their head. But anyone seasoned would laugh at you

  4. Marcus Maloney

    Rob, thanks man for the feedback. This is not for negotiating so keep that in mind at no time am I attempting to be slick or condescending. I will evaluate this and come up with a new perspective. I appreciate the comments.

    • Understandable. It’s human nature to attempt to buy for the lowest price and sell for the highest. I have sold and purchased properties in the past and will most likely do so in the future so I understand your tactic.
      Whenever I dealt with a husband/wife seller I always included the wife in the transaction negotiations. Why? Because if she wants to move and he is on the fence she’s going to get him off that fence faster than you can. Men (in a lot of cases) will not make such decision without their wife’s. In fact a lot of times the decision is made by the woman.
      Whenever we had a big transaction we (my wife and I) made such decisions together. Equally. And pretty much never on the spot in front of the buyer/other person.
      In fact we pretty much digest any big decision before we have a answer.

      I hope you understand I wasn’t trying to be rude. If I came across as such I apologize

      • Marcus Maloney

        Rob, no offense taken. I understand your logic. Our aim is to ensure we provide a value to the seller as well as a value to the buyer and often this is not possible. We receive more “NOs” than “Yes” and this comes with the territory when trying to get a deal on anything. No is part of the vernacular in anything that goes against the grain of tradition.

  5. Paul Ewing

    “Wouldn’t it be great to tell your wife (family) that this is done”

    This is probably the most dangerous of the slimy wholesaler pressure tactics. In most cases the spouse will be on the deed for the property. Even if you have just the husband’s name on the sales contract, when the closing comes the spouse will have to sign the deed over so he should have damn well talked it over with her before agreeing to”sell” to you. But by then you will have gotten your assignment fee and split and left the real end buyer who the seller doesn’t even know to try to clean up the mess.

    I am in this situation I on a property closing next week. Luckily it is just a new inexperienced listing agent that didn’t get all the information and the sellers are still married and both wanting to sell but it did add a wrinkle in what should have been a quick and easy closing since they are not living together currently and the title company is having to set up a remote closing.

    • Marcus Maloney

      Paul, we deal with a lot of probate leads and not often are the husband and the wife on the deed. IT could be the husbands immediate family member that is deceased and the property was willed to him or her. So there are many instances we’ve come across where one spouse on title and the other is not.

      Also as it pertain to the rebuttal this is in the case of the property being a hassle for the family. As a wholesaler and anyone in negotiations you look for the motivation the other party may have, and in this example the motivation is a property that was inherited and the executor now have a property with a mortgage that can not afford to pay the mortgage on their primary residence and the mortgage on the inherited property. Context is key and maybe I assumed the readers understand when wholesaling it is important to find the pain point of the seller and assist them in relieving that pain.

  6. Paul Ewing

    “Mr. Seller, why do you believe my price is too low? Compared with what? I’ve done a market analysis on your home and the area, and the price that I am offering you—without any closing fees, transaction fees, and as is—is very comparable to the neighborhood. Look at this CMA and I’m sure you will agree.”

    If this was true, there would be no room for your 10-20%+ commission, opps you call it an assignment fee.

    • Marcus Maloney

      Paul a CMA takes into consideration like properties and that includes the condition. You can not compare a house that’s been rehabbed to a property that is in the original condition from 1966. A CMA will show the property value but you have the educate the seller on the reason why they can not compare their property to other properties thats been updated. So you use the cma and show them why they wont get market value for the property and help them understand the real value of their property in their current condition. Once this is done and the property is under contract then yes you can either close on the property and do the rehab/flip yourself or yes collect an “assignment fee”

      • Katie Rogers

        As a buyer and seller, I have been on both sides of agents CMA tricks. It is all very subjective, but agents know how to choose three properties and tweak the numbers to get the outcome they want. Just recently, a buyer’s agent prepared a CMA for me. They usually pick three comps. Comparing the subject (not a rehab)) property to one comp that was practically a twin showed that the subject list price was too high. But the other two “comps” were rehabs that naturally sold for a higher price. The agent averaged the low unrehabbed price with the two rehab prices to get an amount nearly equal to the subject property’s list price and then concluded that I should offer list price because “numbers don’t lie.”

        If your CMA is accurate, then no problem, but in my experience, both buyer and seller better check the comp properties themselves and verify the accuracy of the CMA. In my experience, an agent-created CMA tends to support whatever conclusion the agent (whether buyer’s agent or seller’s agent) is trying to lead their client to conclude. It is interesting how often my own CMA does not agree with an agent’s CMA.

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