sellers shopping offers

Wondering if you experienced investors come across the problem of sellers trying to shop offers betwixt and between all the I BUY Houses people in the papers.
I had another call this past Monday from a lady wanting out - wants to get her daughter away from influences at the school, etc. I did my homework, went to see the house, made an offer, which was about 15K below what she wanted, but I could have come up 5K if she countered me, and I have heard nothing from her all week. Followed up with a phone call on Tuesday evening and again THursday evening but now I think she’s just avoiding me. I popped a note into the mail with my business card stating to call me back so we could try to find a solution to her problem. I think she’s probably shopping my offer around. I’m still cautiously optimistic as with my last possible deal I was told that the longer you don’t hear, the better it is for you(me).
How do you handle these situations - I know one guy here who calls if he finds out the seller is talking with another investor; if he knows him/her, he’ll call and say that he’s made an offer and I guess the people sometimes back off.
Is there anything that can be done to mitigate this somewhat?
Thanx for the advice!


In my opinion, you still sound desperate to buy. I know that it sounds like a broken record, but being a desperate buyer is a terrible way to do business. In this case, YOU may have killed your own deal. If I were the seller and your were calling me repeatedly and sending me cards, etc, I’d think that you must know something that I didn’t - like the price was too low. You may have spooked the seller. In my opinion, you played this exactly opposite the way it should have been played. This seller knows that you are desperate to buy and therefore knows that they have an infinite amount of time to shop your deal. You sabotaged your own deal!

Often, in negotiations, the person that has (or appears to have) the greatest number of options will win. In this case, you should have made your offer and let the seller know that you were looking at other properties (giving you more options). Let the seller know that she only had 1 day to decide (make that the deadline for acceptance in your written offer). This limits her options. Then, don’t contact the seller anymore! If she is motivated, she’ll take your offer. If she isn’t motivated, that could change in a week, month, 6 months, etc. Just make certain that she has your number and then keep looking for the next deal.

Desperate never wins!

I’d suggest getting “The Weekend Millionaire’s Real Estate Investing Program” by Mike Sumney and Roger Dawson. There is some excellent information in the course on negotiating with sellers. The course is inexpensive and will pay many times the price with just one deal.


I agree with Mike here.

Immy - we LOVE your passion and enthusiasm for REI but this is a business. If you pester the seller too much you definitely look like a desperate buyer. I know you still want to complete your first deal, and I know you’re anxious to get some return on your marketing investment.

Don’t give up and keep on fine-tuning your methods. This website has a huge list of FREE articles on negotiating. Check it out -

Good luck, and let us know how it goes!

Alright, I get the point - everyone here thinks I’m desperate. I am learning quickly what to put into a post here and what to leave out. My problem is that I always feel I should put some background into what I’m posting and now I know I need to just get to the point.

Of course, I may have killed my own deal. Well, even if I haven’t locked up a deal in the past 2 weeks I certainly have learned alot for the next go around and I do appreciate the constructive criticism from those that have replied to my posts.

Now, back to what I should have written initially here because this is really what I want/need feedback on right now -

has anyone experienced sellers shopping their offers and if so, what did they do about the situation (if anything)?


Put a 24 hour deadline on your offers, after you do your research you should know your bottom dollar on what you can purchase the home for. With the deadline that will stop the shopping from the seller. If they accept great and if not on to the next one. On my very first offer I gave the seller only until 8pm that same day, they accepted at 7:30. It puts pressure on them and if their desperate with your offer in their hand their more out to accept.

Good luck,


You missed the entire point - AGAIN! It’s not what you put in your post that kills your deals, it’s what you actually do that kills your deals. The answer to your question was in my post and is to make the acceptance date very short in your offer. Only give them 24 hours to decide. There is nothing else you can do - other than NOT to appear desperate to the seller. Also, get some education in negotiating.

Do not call any other investors that may be bidding - that’s amateurish and won’t do a thing - except make you look even more desperate! The idea is to find a desperate seller - not to be a desperate buyer!

What’s the hurry? Are you sick? Being deported? Got to do a deal in 3 weeks or you’ll lose an arm? What’s the hurry?


Property Manager,
I really like the advice you give so I am going to just reassure you that no, I’m not losing an arm, nor being deported and leave it at that. I’ll just leave it by saying that everyone was a newbie once and some moved out of that status more quickly than others. I know all good things come to those who wait but it is hard. It is hard when you are spending money to find the sellers and you’re waiting for your ROI to start coming in. When you don’t have a lot of disposable income to devote to marketing, it is hard to be patient. So that is the root of my impatience. And I’m done with this thread.

I find it funny that newbies say they need a return on their marketing investment or that they do not want to be newbies. Some of you have been doing this REI thing for maybe a few months now. I looked for my first building for almost 6 to 9 months and went inside almost 100 buildings. I went through 4 realtors and countless FSBOs.

It was not until 1 1/2 years after my first purchase that I considered myself as having a little bit of know how. It was another year after that until I was able to analyze deals on the spot within 30 seconds. That is three years to be able to say that I am an experienced investor. 70 transactions in the last year and I am now comfortable enough to give a yes or no on the spot to buy a building.

To get to this point you need to know rehab costs and any other expenses when you are purchasing a property. Telling the seller that you need to bring in an inspector or contractor just delays your signing of the contract or getting that commitment from the seller. I do all my own inspections and rehabs. I am also still learning everyday I work on my buildings.

Also, Immy, you would have gained much of the knowledge you are seeking had you followed up with me, after you did not show up for our meeting, and met me last month at my building downtown. The offer still stands, but this is my last offer to you. Good luck.

My GOD - That is not what I said (“Newbies need a return on their investment or they don’t want to be newbies”)!!! I said that it is hard to be patient while waiting for a ROI and that is the root of my impatience; not that I’m throwing in the towel thinking this whole thing is a big waste of time! If I was would I be on here posting???

Since you put it out there Masoning, let me just clear the air that I did call you the day we were to meet - while on the road, driving down in front of Coppin State College in a bombed out part of Baltimore with my 9 month old in the back seat - at 11:15 for our 11:30 AM meeting to find out where the hell I was/ if I was lost and I did not get a return call from you until 11:45, when I had already decided I wasn’t going to risk getting lost in a worse part of town to meet someone I had never met before in a crappy part of Baltimore with a 9 month old! I had my Yahoo directions but they aren’t foolproof, obviously, which is why I called your cell.

By the time you called, I was in Catonsville headed back home and I told you I was not going to turn around at that point and head another 1/2 hour back into Baltimore. I think that is what I emailed to you to follow up phone call that same day! You said you show up for your appointments, and I believe you – unfortunately it just wasn’t in the cards to meet because I was headed into a progressively worse situation, block by block, and I had no idea where I was. So I did the smart thing and turned around.

So since you put it all out here for everyone to see, I just want to clarify that I think I made a reasonable decision give the situation and I think if the tables were turned and you were in my shoes, you would have done the exact same thing. This was NOT me just blowing off some meeting with an investor, especially driving 60 miles one-way from my house to meet you! And I am not anxious to repeat the process. So maybe we can meet each other at a MAREIA meeting or at some neutral site but in today’s day and age, and now that I have another life that I’m responsible for completely above and beyond my own, I think it’s not too unusual for people that have never met each other to meet in a safer environment.

And MY BIG mistake, and I take complete responsibility for it, was not pressing you on the initial phone call - when you offered to meet - when I suggested meeting at a coffee place or some fast food joint or someplace near your property site and you wanted to meet at the site.

You are correct, I had suggested that we meet at my building to show you that I was a legitimate investor. The building we were going to meet at is in the nicest part of Baltimore where the prices are in the $500,000 range and up. With that being said and what you had said to me that day, I was more than a bit surpirsed that you would come to a business meeting with your 9 month old child.

The point of the meeting was to meet each other and for you to see a building that was being renovated, no place for an infant.

I rarely attend the local REI meetings, but should our paths cross, then I will come over and introduce myself. I was offering you free counseling, however, it was not my fault that you were lost. In fact, you were just a few blocks from where we were to meet. Good luck and thank you for the clarification.

actually in some states, contacting the other potential buyer (investor) can be considered tortuous intereference. Just because you are not getting what you want from this seller does not make them wrong, it makes them savier than you. set a plan, make an offer and stick with it. if you are lowballing maybe your market will not bear that in which case you need to work your numbers tighter, or look for another market.

I bookmarked that link! :slight_smile: Keyword FREE information. I like that. Thanks for posting. ML