Expired Listings – Negotiating with the Seller

November 10, 2016 — Leave a comment

Expireds and cancelled listings are generally overpriced.

I knock on their doors for sub2, wraps, and lease option – lease purchase offers.

I act as a principal buyer.

If you can negotiate well, you can have sellers sell on terms versus sell on cash.

Let’s use an example of what we mean by that negotiate well.

Let’s say that Bob and Susan Johnson, live at 123 Frost Ave., in Des Moines Iowa. Let’s say that they bought at the top of the market. Could be 2005, 2006, or 2007. But say they bought FHA with 3 and 1/2 percent down. Let’s say their payoff amount is $200,000. Comparable Sales are $210,000. And market rent is $1200 a month, and their PITI payment is $1359 per month.

Bob and Susan tried to sell an agent for six months. They hired an agent for six months with no written offers. Because they had very little equity, they did not get their asking price of $210,000.

Enter into the situation Gary, who owns a “We Buy and Lease Houses” business.

Gary sends out postcards and yellow letters to houses that were purchased in 2007, 2008, and 2009.

Bob sees postcards and yellow letters come to his house over three months, and ignores all of them. But on the fourth mailing, he calls Gary and tries to get more information.

Note: It is important understand that when you market for motivated sellers, it takes a frequency of 4 to 6 times of the mailing to the same household to get them to call you, the real estate investor.

The conversation goes someone like this:

Bob: Hi, I got this postcard mail and I understand that you buy houses.

Gary: yes thanks so much for calling, I appreciate you giving us a ring, I would like you to just jot down a couple pieces of information on that marketing piece, do you have a pen handy, I’m happy to wait…

Bob: Uh, yeah sure just a second,… I have a pen, shoot.

Gary: Just for your information is what you write down my name, Brian Gibbons that’s G-I-B-B-O-N-S, and my cell phone number which is xxx xxx xxxx

This is important because if you like what I have to say then you’ll have a way to get a hold of me. So again that’s Brian Gibbons, xxx xxx xxxx

Bob: okay great, I got the number.

Gary: I’m sorry… your first name was?

Bob: yes my name is Bob.

Gary: thanks Bob, to put very simply, our company buys houses. If we like your house, the floorplan, etc…. we will give you a written offer. If it doesn’t suit what you and your wife were looking for, we will be able to tell you in less than 10 minutes.

However, if we love your house, we will write an offer on the spot. I assume you want to sell your house, otherwise you wouldn’t be calling me, right?

Bob: yeah, I guess so.

Gary: just one more thing, if we like the house we just need to look at your house file folder when you bought the house, there’s a legal description on the paperwork, if you could show that to us, then we could note the legal description and place that on the offer, is that a problem to have that file folder available so we can just look at the legal description?

Bob: sure, that is not a problem.

Gary: most of the people I talk to work 9 to 5 and it’s hard for us to see the house during daylight time, so we generally write offers on the weekends, do both you and your wife work 9 to 5?

Bob: yes by wife works 9 to 5, and so do I.

Gary: okay, I have two slots available on Saturday at 10:30 AM or is Sunday afternoon at 1 o’clock better for you?

Bob: I have to check with my wife but I imagine 1030 am would be better on Saturday.

Gary: let’s great, if you can do me a favor and contact your wife, I’m sorry her name was?

Bob: Susie

Gary: great so if you could call Susie and just ask if 1030 is okay, and to reassure you only take 10 minutes for us to say “yes” this is the house we want or “no” its not our kind house that we want to buy. I’ll be on time right at 1030, we have a busy day ahead of us. I’ll call you 30 minutes before to confirm and let you know that we will be on time. I look forward to your call confirming Susie says it’s okay at 1030.

Bob: okay I’ll call you right back.

Gary: thank you, I look forward to your call in a couple of minutes.


This script helps you get into the house favorable basis to do lease option assignments. It also helps you make sure that both decision-makers are there in case you can bridge over from buying the house for cash to doing a lease option assignment.


The negotiation training summary (for sellers) contains the following five steps:

1. The rapport step

2. the upfront agreement step

3. The motivation step

4. The money step

5. The “what if” step

1. The rapport step

Allowing them to get more

The rapport step number one, allows you to build rapport with seller, allowing them to get more emotionally while most all with involved with “liking who you are”, and “what you’re about”.

People want to do business with people that they like and they trust.

This step takes no more than five minutes, but is very important in the very beginning. The danger of doing this step poorly is that the will not be open to what you have to offer, which is a terms offer.

2. The upfront agreement step

The upfront agreement step is a vital part to having the seller understand that you are (1), in a business to make profit, and (2), you’re not there to waste anybody’s time, either the sellers time, or your time. If this step is done properly, you will avoid the objection “let me think it over.” If this step is not done properly you may have to keep coming back on your appointments, and you will not be able to do one step closes.

3. The motivation step

The motivation step takes a good amount of talent and execution by the real estate investor. Your purpose is to figure out what the real motivation is from the seller, and what their timeline is. We do this by using negative phrasing and NLP, which is neurolinguistic programming. People tell you the truth if you phrase your questions correctly. This motivation step takes sometimes 45 minutes to even two hours. You have to know what their motivation as if you are going to the design a terms offer that makes sense to them. In comparison, the first two steps only take a few minutes.

4. The money step

The money step has to do with the detail of the offer regarding financial terms. If you do a good job on step three above, the money step should be fairly easy.

5. The “what if” step

The “what if” step has to do with throwing out an idea and testing the waters. It does not make a commitment from the real estate investor’s perspective, but if the sellers say “yes they would be open to the idea”, then you can move further to go from general to specific terms. If you asked them a question, “Would you consider this solution?”

They can say no to that, and your dead as far as the negotiation is concerned.

But if you said something along the lines of,

“Bob and Susie, I don’t know if you would consider this a good idea, and you might probably hate it, and I would need to clear it with my business partner, but what if we could find a way to get you a payment every month that would match your PITI payment of $1359, and then pay off your mortgage of $200,000 down the road, would that be something you would even consider… or probably not?”

The “what if step” helps you never have to take a “no” and then pack up your bags because you couldn’t close.

Good luck!

Also market to FSBOs, landlords and other wholesalers.

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