first caller

Had my first seller call today. Haven’t even done any advertising yet. The other day I got my 250 free business cards from vistaprint and left a little stack of them on the counter of a store I get diesel at every morning for work. Today a lady and her husband called b/c the picked one up. I thought I was all ready to go… with all I’ve read about what to say in the first conversations w/ sellers. Well, I managed to forget everything I thought I had ready to go. I mean I didn’t make myself sound bad or anything… I just thought I had this script all ready to go and would be all smooth… didn’t happen. Anyway, what I did get out of him was that the house was built in the 50’s, 2BR/2Ba, it’s about 1/2 updated (he said the kitchen was started and on bathroom needs to be completely remodeled), said the outside needs some work, he was hard to understand so he either said it’s 2400 or 3400 sf (it’s in a neighborhood where there are a lot of big, nice houses)… I asked if he had a ballpark figure of what he wanted to get from it… he said he had to find out the payoff tomorrow, but guesses about 165k.
Now I don’t even have comps yet…I’m going to call my agent first thing in the morning and see what she can find out for me. I’m going to ride by it tomorrow when I get off work and see how it looks before I meet him there. We are supposed to meet Wed. at 6:30pm for him to show it to me.

Well here is the whole point of this long post…

  1. How should I have handled this call? What questions should I have asked, etc?

  2. How should the conversation go when he shows me the house…what things to I need to find out?

I’m going to take a checklist w/ me to mark everything I see that needs work. I have a contractor friend… I’m going to see if he will go w/ me go get me an estimate on the repairs.
I’m pretty much just nervous about wednesday… I have never talked face to face w/ a seller before and want to be able to come off like I know what I’m talking about (even if I really don’t)


You’re putting the cart before the horse. Before you worry about any callers, I’d learn your market. I’m not talking about looking at websites or getting comps from a realtor. I’m talking about looking at dozens of houses in your target area so that you KNOW what houses are worth just by looking at them.

When I get a call, I simply ask the basics. Where is it located? What condition is it in? How much do they want for it? Why are they selling? Since I KNOW what houses are worth in my investing area, I instantly know whether this is a potential deal or not. If they want anything close to retail, I tell them that I’m an investor and I need to make a profit. I tell them that we never pay more than 70% of what I feel is retail value and usually less than that. If they balk, the call’s over.

This isn’t about whether the caller is motivated (the most overused and misunderstood term in investing). It is simply a matter of numbers. If the numbers work, it’s a deal. If the numbers don’t work, no deal.


Hi Shaun

I have a cheet sheet with questions to ask the H/O.
If you wanted I can e-mail it to you.

How is the towns in that area comming along?

sure, that would be great. everything is good around here where I’m at. seems like people are finally going back to new orleans and it’s not quite so crowded anymore.

Just a tip, just talk to the guy. Don’t try to remember the whole script. Distill it down to 3 to 5 things you need to know. Work those things into the conversation. You need to know where the house is, how much he wants from it (price), any time constraints he has and anything that is wrong with it. The secondary things you need to know but don’t need right now are why he is selling and that kind of stuff. But just talk to the guy.