You’re right. Speaking with unmotivated sellers is depressing and time consuming. So STOP!!!
In my area, FSBO ads are generally overpriced even if the property is in good shape. My guess is that that is generally true in most areas (unless you’re in a boom market) because a homeowner doesn’t understand how properties are valued and don’t know how to price them. So by calling on FSBOs, you not only have to weed through the tons of calls to get to a potential deal, you also have to convince them that their price ain’t FMV. Bummer.
If you feel that the FSBOs ads are something worth pursuing, then try this. Instead of calling them up and explaining what you do, what you can offer, etc. etc., call up and ask the basic questions everyone would ask about the property. What is the price, heated square feet, number of beds/baths, age of property, etc., etc. Two very important questions to ask early in the conversation are 1) Is this your personal home (was this your personal home if they mention that it’s vacant) and 2) why are you selling it?
Both of these questions a knowledgeable buyer should ask, but sometimes (and especially if not asked tactfully), these questions may not get a warm-fuzzy response. If you’re asked on #1 “what does it matter if its my personal res or not?” The simple answer "I’ve called on several ads that were RE agents or investors selling properties (which will be true if you’ve called ads). I simply didn’t want to waste either of our time if you didn’t actually own it or had lived in it.
On #2, sometimes you’ll get a 30 minute answer of why they’re selling, sometimes you’ll get “we just want to sell.” If you’re asked why you need to know, simple answer, “hey, if you’re selling it because it’s sitting on a toxic waste dump, I’d like to know.” (okay, don’t get smart, but you get the idea. Most states require the seller to some type of disclosure statement [which most FSBO don’t know are required], so they’ll have to tell you sometime anyway if there is something wrong with the property).
Anyway, make the phone call as short and sweet as possible. No need to even mention that you’re an investor and want to buy this property at a discount (or sub2, l/o, or whatever you’re trying to do). Your goal is to find out the property address and it’s as simple as saying “what’s the address of the prop? I’ll ride by and if I like it, I’ll let you know.”
With the addresss, you can actually find the property and decide if it’s an area that you want to be in, and then you can find the address of the owner. How? Look it up in your county’s tax office. Send a post card, letter, flyer, etc to that address, explaining what you can do (buy their property), why they should do it (sell fast, cash in pocket, relieve stress, etc.), and how to contact you if they want to sell it (phone, fax, email, website).
No more depressing phone conversations.