In step 2 of the step-by-step wholesaling breakdown, I’m going to tell you how to talk to homeowners using my motivated seller script. Well, it’s not really a script, but rather a list of questions (I’m not a script guy!). More importantly, I’m going to tell you how to uncover motivation by asking specific questions and how to schedule an appointment.
If you already completed step 1, you should have identified several distressed properties by driving for dollars. You should have large list of property addresses. If you followed my direction, you should have also left handwritten notes with your phone number. Now you need to prepare yourself to answer the phone and find out if these homeowners are interested selling their home.
Texting is Effective Too
If you did leave handwritten notes, make sure you ask the seller to call OR text you. Many people prefer texts these days. I do a lot of text message marketing in my wholesaling business. SMS marketing is our largest and most cost effective marketing channel. We use Launch Control and it has worked well for us.
Our motivated seller script (or list of questions) works well in text conversations too. You will get a fair amount text responses from your handwritten notes. As a newbie, it’s easier to have text conversation anyway and find out if they will consider an offer. Oftentimes, I will start out with texting to warm up the lead, then I will call them to book the appointment. Remember, the end goal is to schedule an appointment to see the house.
Motivated Seller Script
I am not a script guy. I don’t have anything against scripts, but they never worked well for me. I want the call to sound conversational and not come across as a telemarketer. Some people can sound conversational with a script, but not me. What I do like is having a list of questions in front of me. This way, I can stay on track when the conversation takes a turn and make sure I am gathering the info I need.
Here is the motivated seller script (or list of questions) we use when speaking with a seller for the first time:
“Are you the owner of 123 Main St?”
“Great, are you interested in selling that house?”
If they say no, move on. If they say yes, you can ask the next five questions.
“Why are you looking to sell the property?”
“What is the condition of the property?”
“When would you like to sell it?”
“What price would you like to sell it for?”
“Can I schedule a time to see the house?”
Don’t stress if you can’t ask every one of these questions. Again, this is not a motivated seller script where you must ask every question in this exact order. You are having a conversation and you don’t want to sound like a robot. These questions are designed to uncover any potential motivation. Many times, the sellers will open up and let you know what’s going on after asking just one of the above questions.
Of course, not every seller will be motivated. Many people won’t be in a rush or they don’t need to sell. These people area called tire kickers. Don’t spend too much time with these folks. We are seeking motivated sellers who will sell their house fast at a discount!
More Questions to Ask Sellers
During the conversation, you will gather some info about the property as well. There isn’t a right or wrong time to ask these questions. Sometimes I do it at the beginning of the conversation to break the ice, other times I’ll wait until the end. Don’t think you need to ask every one of these questions. You will have an opportunity to fully evaluate the property during the appointment.
Here are some informative questions to ask:
- How many bedrooms and bathrooms?
- What is the square footage?
- Is there a basement?
- Is there a garage? If yes, is it attached or detached?
- What is the general condition of the property? (Good one to get them to open up – can lead to uncovering pain points/motivation.)
- Have you made any updates in the past few years?
- What is the condition of the roof? HVAC systems? Hot water heater?
- Is there any newer electrical or plumbing?
If it’s a rental property:
- What is the current rent?
- What are the lease terms? (6-month, 1 year, month-to-month is preferred)
- Who pays the utilities?
- Who pays for trash pickup, lawn care, etc.?
- If it’s a multi-family property, are the utilities metered separately?
And finally, don’t be afraid to ask about price. Every seller has a number in mind. It’s your job to find out what that number is. The earlier we can uncover price, the faster we can decide if the lead is worth pursuing. I still recommend offering on every lead, even if they give you a price that’s too high. You might be surprised how many times that offer still gets accepted!
Questions to get price:
- Have you thought about what you would like to sell it for?
- Do you have a number in mind that you would be happy with?
- Is there a mortgage or any liens on the property? What would you like to walk away with?
If they won’t give you a number, don’t sweat it. Not everyone will show their cards right away. I’ll share some tips on how to get a number out of them during the appointment later in this series.
Handling Rejection and Tough Questions
Wholesaling is sales, and you will face rejection in sales. Not every conversation will be sunshine and roses. Always remember, every no gets you that much closer to the next yes!
Here are some tough questions you will get from homeowners and how to respond.
- How did you get my information?
- Your response: We use tax information found on public record to match owner information with mailing addresses.
- What is the name of your company?
- We are not part of a company. My wife and I (or partners) buy investment properties in the area and we are looking to buy 1-2 more in the next month.
- Why do you want to buy my house?
- Your response: We really like this neighborhood and want to buy more houses here. The values are going up and this is a good place to invest.
- What’s your offer?
- Your response: We usually need a little more information before making an offer and we prefer to see the inside of the house first. Is that okay?
- Can you show proof of funds?
- Your response: We use partners, private lenders and hard money lenders to fund our purchases.
- What do you intend on doing to the house?
- Your response: That depends. Sometimes we make updates and re-sell them as a flip and other times we keep them as rental properties.
Keep your cool, answer their question, see how they respond. If they keep jerking you around, they are probably not interested in selling anyway. Some people just like to play games. Don’t spend too much time trying to convert a lead into a prospect if there is very little motivation.
Book the Appointment!
Remember, the end goal is to schedule an appointment with the homeowner to see the house. You will need to see the house to evaluate condition and come up with a list of repairs. During the appointment, you will also take pictures of the house so we can share with our cash buyers later if we get the house under contract.