Motivated sellers are every real estate investor’s preferred client. Why? Because motivated sellers usually represent a warmer than average lead with an excellent chance to secure lucrative deals. Depending on the motivation of the seller, you may be able to finalize deals for superior margins or at a close at a faster pace. However, some real estate investors find approaching new clients to be difficult. Despite their advanced real estate knowledge, it can be can be a nerve-wracking process for those real estate investors who don’t have a strong sales training background.
For those real estate professionals who may feel squeamish when making these calls, it is important to make sure that you have a plan before contacting any potential motivated seller. The best plans include two parts: understanding the different types of motivated sellers and having a script to guide the conversation towards your sales goals.
What does Motivated Seller Mean?
A motivated seller is an owner that is eager to sell their property. They are ready to part ways from a specific property in their possession for a particular reason. For some motivated sellers, their reason for selling the property may be touchy or emotional.
Because of this possibility, any real estate investor should exercise caution and tact when approaching a conversation with a motivated seller. It is also important to make sure that your motivated seller script can help you identify these situations to navigate them accordingly.
Real estate investors often seek out motivated buyers because sales can move much faster than a typical closing time frame. With most motivated sellers, there are even opportunities to negotiate better deals than other potential client leads. Propositioning a motivated seller is always easier than convincing someone who lacks any incentive to sell.
Unless you are locked in on obtaining a specific target property, you will make much better use of your time and effort by pursuing deals with prospects that are already open to selling their properties. This is better than draining your resources by persuading a lead to sell. The most important thing to keep in mind when working with motivated sellers is that you can help create a mutually beneficial transaction (win-win). You can best do this by understanding the underlying motivations for a prospect’s desire to sell their property.
Common Reasons Owners Become Motivated Sellers
Sellers can be motivated for a variety of different reasons. Maybe the seller is facing divorce or an unexpected job loss. Motivated sellers could be looking to downsize or change locations. There is also the possibility that the seller inherited the property following the death of a loved one, or the property has been owned for many years, but the owner is no longer physically or financially able to care for it.
Ultimately, there are hundreds of reasons a property owner could classify as a motivated seller. These can range from new job opportunities (positive) to unfortunate family emergencies (negative). Investors must prepare for the most common reasons a property owner may want to sell quickly to approach each conversation appropriately. Here is a quick list of some of the most common motivations for sellers:
- Divorce & Family Emergencies: Often, property owners are forced to sell due to personal issues. While the seller may not go to great lengths to explain these details, real estate investors need to recognize the signs and approach these situations carefully and with respect.
- Job Opportunity: Some property owners may need to sell due to accepting a new career opportunity in a new area and have to move to a new location on short notice. These types of motivated sellers are more likely to desire speed and will be eager to hurry through the closing process.
- Inheritances: Some property owners unexpectedly inherit properties and may be unable to provide the necessary repairs, keep up with mortgage payments, or make a quick sell to provide funds for another primary property. Regardless of the intent of an inheritor, these can be excellent investment opportunities.
- Tax Laws: On occasion, there can be changes in regulations or tax policies that could potentially motivate property owners to liquidate an asset. It is important to keep an eye out for any changes to these regulations so you can identify these opportunities when they arise.
Preparing to Call Motivated Sellers
Now that you have identified the potential types of motivated sellers you will come across, it’s time to make the call. For some real estate investors, this can be the most difficult part. Taking the plunge and calling sellers and investors can be a huge source of anxiety for newer real estate professionals.
The fear that they will come across as unknowledgeable or disingenuous when reaching out to prospective leads can be massive. What are the right questions to ask a motivated seller? The good news is that this fear is only temporary and primarily comes from a lack of preparation and experience. One of the best things you can do to ease these fears when making calls is to utilize a motivated seller script.
Motivated Seller Script Blueprint
Great news! You’ve finally received a warm lead from one of your marketing efforts. The prospect sounds like they may potentially be a motivated seller. Your next step is obviously to call them back, but what should you say?
Successful real estate wholesalers and investors use a formula to call motivated seller leads. This takes the form of a motivated seller script.
These scripts are designed to work with different types of customers and ultimately to do one of two things:
- To identify and eliminate unqualified leads
- To lock in scheduled appointments with qualified leads.
A good motivated seller script should be clear, concise, and actionable. It is a good idea to download a motivated seller script pdf to reference or study before making a call.
All good scripts will feature the following questions to ask motivated sellers:
- Intro: When starting out a call it’s best to lead with your own name and the name of the business you represent. Do not lead with asking the lead’s name first.
- Confirm the lead’s details: After introducing yourself, make sure to confirm that you are speaking with the appropriate decision maker for the property.
- Property Eligibility: Use predetermined qualifying questions to determine whether the property is available for purchase.
- Seller Motivation: Probe the lead to determine how motivated to sell they are and whether the seller approximate target price range is.
- Set an Appointment: If everything has gone well up to this point then it is time to lock in an official meeting. Once that client has signaled their interest, reserve an appointment time allowing all decision makers to be present.
- Appointment Refusals: It is common for sellers to be hesitant at first despite whatever motivations they may possess. If this is the case, make sure to not pressure the potential client, and allow time before following up with the seller. Often showing patience, restraint, and respect is often a strong way to build trust with a potential lead.
- Cover your Bases: Once you have locked in the appointment, it’s important to secure additional contact info so that you can keep quality contact with the prospect. Multiple phone calls may push clients away, so things like obtaining an email address can be extremely handy.
- Disqualify if Needed: Not all the leads that you chase will end up being realistic property acquisitions. Knowing when to call it quits will ultimately save you time and energy. Therefore, it’s important to remember that a potential property can be eliminated off your list as easily as it can be added.
Putting the Motivated Seller Script into Practice
After you have compiled the list of questions that you want to prioritize during your conversation with a motivated seller, then it is time to mold them into a script so you may utilize them in conversation. The script format is important so that you can present these questions naturally within the flow of a conversation and not grill your lead like they are the subject of an interview.
The type of lead your are contacting will ultimately determine what script you should use. Different leads have different characteristics and a good script will reflect that. For instance, you might open a conversation with a referral differently than you would a cold call.
Besides the introduction, the rest of each script will for the most part be similar for all your potential motivated seller leads. This unchanging portion of the script will contain the important qualifying questions that you developed beforehand. While this part remains consistent, you will achieve a customer-friendly personal approach by structuring the introduction based on the lead’s motivation or other key details you may have on file.
The following section contains some sample introduction scripts for approaching phone calls with different types of motivated seller leads. These samples are simply foundational and function best when tailored by each individual real estate investor so that they sound genuine and unique.
Motivated Seller Script Introductions
Basic Greeting (Cold Call)
- Good Morning, are you the owner of the house located at ___(address)?
- Beautiful. I am ___(name), with ___(company). May I ask who I am speaking with?
- It is a pleasure to meet you, ___(seller’s name).
Basic Greeting (Referral)
- I received your information from our mutual friend ___(referrer’s name), who told me you might be interested in selling your house. Are you still selling it?
- Are you the correct person to speak with about this?
Basic Greeting (Warm Leads)
- Hello, is this ___ (name of lead)? It is nice to meet you. My name is ___(your name), and I received your information from ___(name of source, such as your website, voicemail, mutual friend, etc.).
- Are you still selling the property located at ___(address)? Are you the person I should be speaking with about this?
After Your Greeting, Choose One Of The Following Options Of The Introduction Continuation:
Property Listed for Sale
- I saw your house on ___(where you saw the house).
- Is it still for sale?
- If they say yes, you can proceed with the qualifying question script.
Vacant Home Owner
- I have always loved this neighborhood. Your property is stunning have you ever considered selling it?
- If this sparks interest then continue on with script.
- If the seller seems uninterested then gently ask what their current plans are with the property.
- I understand. Would you be open to hearing from me periodically to see if anything changes?
- Fantastic. What would be the best way to contact you?
- Can I reach out via text message from this number or would you prefer email?
Distressed Property Owner
- I see this property is in possible foreclosure. Have you considered selling this property?
- If the property owner confirms this, proceed with another qualifying question that leads you back to your script..
- If the answer is no:
- Your property is beautiful and i fully understand wanting to hold onto it. Can I circle back with you from time to time to see if you’ll reconsider?
- Thank you so much. What form of contact do you prefer?
- Is email or by phone best? Here is my card as well.
Qualifying Question Script
Determine Approximate Property Value
- Determine the number of bedroom and bathrooms.
- Do you know the square footage of this house?
- When was this property built?
- What repairs are needed on this property?
- Has this house been inspected recently?
- Can you tell me about any unique features on this home?
- What is the type of roofing you have here?
- Do you know how the foundation was built?
Determine How Motivated the Seller Is
- When the house was sold and bought last.
- This house is so beautiful, can you list all the reasons you’re selling it.
- How quickly would you like this off the market?
- Do you need to be out of your home by a specific date?
- Are you current on your mortgage?
- What’s the lowest offer your willing to accept?
Schedule an Appointment
- This house sounds perfect, can I reserve a time with you to see it?
- Did you buy this house alone or jointly?
- Should I be aware of other owners that will be joining us?
- What is the best time we can all get together?
- Perfect, I always call a day before to confirm our appointment. Additionally, I can email you if that’s your preferred method of contact.
- Can you conform this is your email address?
Find Motivated Sellers Today
A truly motivated seller will always represent an excellent opportunity for real estate investors to strike. When dealing with any motivated seller, you can position yourself so that you appear to be helping them with their own problems and less like an investor looking only to benefit yourself.
The key to identifying motivated sellers is as simple as utilizing a few key marketing strategies, asking the right questions, and building genuine relationships. By creating your own motivated seller script, you can help take the guesswork out of the potential awkwardness of contacting new leads. A strong script will help guarantee that you have smooth, quality conversations with any type of motivated seller you may come across. If you don’t feel confident creating a set of motivated seller scripts on your own, then the best start can be to contact a real estate marketing company that can help you develop your own scripts, and generate high quality leads.