Most investors do not know the answer to the question, “What price and terms did every past seller you’ve spent time with finally sell their properties for?” While this question may seem daunting at first, a simple change in your business practice may provide you with much more practical sales data for your niche and may lead to closing more seller leads.
According to Follow Up Success, 80% of sales are made between the fifth and twelfth contact with a seller. Additionally, 48% of sales people will never follow up with a client. This article will discuss just a few of the ideas to consider when calling sellers back. We will also cover how to follow up with sellers you have already made purchase offers to — these sellers have previously said “no” to your purchasing attempts, and thus no win-win purchase offer has yet been reached.
What Can I Learn From a Home That’s Already Been Sold?
First things first, if the home is not technically sold, then there is a chance the potential buyer will bail or be unable to close, thus giving you the continued opportunity to create value with the property seller. However, if the property did sell, then this would be a good time to ask the following.
- When did the home sell? This will give you additional information about the number of days on the market for this street/area in your market.
- Did the home sell to another investor or an end-user? Who is working in your general area? Did another investor pay a higher price or give more favorable terms? If yes, is there anything else you could have done or learned to do differently?
- What was the final sales price? Learn how low the seller was really willing to drop the asking price. In the future, it would be wise to remember this negotiation and the seller’s final price and terms.
Related: 8 Negotiation Techniques That Will Help Every Newbie Land a Better Deal
Remember: Be positive and upbeat when asking these questions. See below for a script outline.
Example of a Call Made to a Seller 30 Days After Our Last Conversation
Me: “Afternoon, Mr. Jenkins. This is John giving you a call back about your 3-bedroom mobile home for sale in Kings Village MHP. We spoke about 4 weeks ago and made you a few offers on your property for sale at the time. I was curious to hear if you have had any more showings or interest from potential buyers since we last spoke.”
Seller: “Hi, John. Yes, the home was sold yesterday to a nice young couple.”
Me: “Wonderful! I am really glad to hear that for you. I am curious, what price did you end up selling the home for?”
Seller: “We sold the home for $15,500.”
Me: “Congratulations, Mr. Jenkins! I am very happy for you and your family. The home was worth every bit of that. The buyers got themselves a beautiful home. In the future, if you or anyone your know have any other real estate concerns or mobile homes for sale, please don’t hesitate to ever call me anytime. Congratulations again.”
Following up with sellers should already be a mandatory part of your real estate investing business. To assume a seller’s previous “no” (in response to your purchase offer) is permanent can be unwise and simply untrue.
Sellers typically become more flexible over time. Continue following up with sellers as long as their homes are showing “for sale” and the sellers are still happy to hear from you. The proximity between phone calls and/or letters may depend on the motivation level of the seller and how close to a win-win deal you are both becoming.
3 Benefits to Following Up With Sellers
Simply calling sellers back allows them to hear your voice and name again. Additionally, being proactive and genuinely interested in helping each seller is a great way to expand your circle of influence. Sellers often know of other sellers/owners who may/will need to sell eventually.
2. Firsthand Information
Ask these questions to better understand your negotiations and the seller’s true current situation.
- “Has anything changed since we last spoke?”
- “Have there been any showings to potential buyers since we last spoke?”
- “Any new potential buyers since we last spoke?”
- “Any purchase contracts accepted?”
- “Is the asking price still the same?”
Always aim to provide clarity and help to every seller you interact with. Besides simply offering a fair price for most properties, we investors should aim to listen to sellers and provide quality advice and options to improve sellers’ situations.
3. Being Remembered
Sellers understand that you are a real estate investor. As real estate investors, we purchase and are knowledgeable in real estate matters. The more time a seller spends with you and remembers your name, face, message and phone number, the further in the front of their minds you may remain. When the time is right and a seller must sell, your name may be the first/only buyer a seller calls.
Start following up with your past sellers. Aim to say hello, reintroduce yourself, and get an update from each seller as to what has changed since you both last spoke. Begin with the past 4 weeks and call the sellers you have made unsuccessful purchase offers to. Do not call with the expectation of making any deals. Simply call for a quick chat or quick voicemail message. If a seller does not remember you or that you buy homes, it is not their fault. Make sure to be following up with sellers regularly. Some sellers will have sold. Some sellers will have decided not to sell. Some sellers will have not changed anything. Still, other sellers will realize their asking price/terms were too high and that your original purchase offers are looking fair and reasonable.
How do you follow up with sellers?
Let me know your process!