No investor would be successful without an ability to close the deal. When working with sellers, investors must be able to see their perspective. Sellers can be facing any number of situations, from divorce to probate, short sale to foreclosure. These types of sellers are looking for a quick close, and competition for these deals is everywhere. Here are five tips to help you close more deals with motivated sellers.
One of the worst approaches in closing a deal is to “wing it.” Have an idea of what you want to say to the seller ahead of time. You do not need to memorize the full speech, but you will be more successful if you spend time planning out your key points. Often, you have had a brief conversation with the seller prior to meeting in person, so you should have an idea of the circumstances surrounding this potential deal. Bring a notebook when you visit the property so you can take notes. Have questions ready. After the meeting, you should have a clear picture of the seller’s motivation, time frame, and expectations.
This is likely a difficult time for the seller. Separate yourself from the pack of interested buyers with a lighthearted comment, or mild humor—anything to create a comfortable atmosphere. If you can make some kind of connection with the seller, whether over sports or a current event, you may be the welcome relief he or she needed to distract from the circumstances of the pending sale.
Homeowners need a very clear understanding of what to expect next. With all of the misinformation that seems to exist, many sellers are unaware of the actual process. Let the seller know what the next steps are, and what those time frames are likely to look like. Honesty and straightforwardness go a long way toward clearing up misconceptions, which ultimately help you close the deal.
Give the seller a reason to close the deal with you. Do not leave that in-person meeting without knowing where you stand. The seller may not be ready to commit completely, but if you answer all of his or her questions, and you outline what he or she needs to do next, you have a much greater chance of closing the deal than if you leave the conversation with loose ends.
If a seller is not quite ready to commit, but seems receptive to your information, offer to follow up within a day or two. And then follow through on that. Time may be of the essence for multiple reasons, and you will not do yourself any favors if you forget to check in with that seller when you say you will. Likewise, if you do close the deal, you will need to continue your follow-ups as you move through the process. Even if you are at a point where you are waiting on the bank to take action, continually checking in will let the seller know that everything is on track.
Working with sellers is a balancing act. You need to learn when to push a little, and when to back off without being forgotten. Using these tips will help you close more deals by setting yourself apart from your competition.