The Motivated Seller…


That is always the primary question we have as a Realtor® or as an investor.  What is their motivation?  When dealing with a prospect who is considering selling their home, we sometimes have a difficult time separating the “wheat from the chaff.”

Why is motivation so hard to determine, along with the true answers that the Seller has to our questions?  When you ask them the simplest of questions… for example “when did you plan on moving?” can generate the oddest of answers!monkey-557586_1280

Honest to God, over the past 19 years of calling FSBO’s and Expired listings, looking for prospects homes to buy, if I could create a “Motivation Meter” I believe I would never have to work another day in my life!

If only there was a simple way to determine if the Seller is telling you the truth, or simply another fabrication to hide the real reason why they aren’t signing a contract!

Get Ready For The Good News

The good news is, there IS a way to determine if the Seller is telling you the truth, and if they really ARE motivated!  Sadly however, this ability is reserved only for those few precious agents or investors who take the time to learn how.

The others are regrettably consigned to the depths of those poor practitioners who believe that all FSBO’s and all MLS listed properties are “un-flippable” or “not worth the effort.”

However, for those who are willing to invest the time, and learn a new skill, the sky is truly the limit!  As in any skill, it simply takes education, a little practice, and some hard work to make FSBO’s and Expired Listings a viable part of any Realtors®’ business, or wholesaler’s inventory!

Three Things You Need To Know About Motivated Sellers.

In my mind, (and in my 19 years experience of dealing first hand with the FSBO’s and the Expired listings) there are three things I have discovered to help you get more FSBO’s and Expired’s in your business!

Three things that, I believe, if you learned and applied, you would be able to obtain whatever goal you have set for yourself in real estate you have!

(Bonus Material! Complimentary FSBO Domination Email Course!)

These three things are not hard, nor difficult to remember, nor accomplish.  However, there is a shocking lack of professional wholesalers or Realtors® who refuse to accept the truth of these thoughts, and suffer the consequences of their ignorance, or willful refusal to “take this business that is available.”

The purpose of this article is to help you discover these three things you need to know, convince you to implement them, and encourage you to be accountable for your own success with respect to a motivated Seller!  Let’s examine these three thoughts!

Thought 1.  What Sellers Will Tell You…

The motivated Seller on Craigslist, or the Expired listing that just came off MLS have one thing in common. Human beings who want to sell!  Oftentimes, we make the assumption that they are unmotivated because of what we read or see in their ad or former listing.  We make unfair and incorrect assumptions based on our own biases and preferences.

When we see a seller with a high price, we assume “Oh, that Seller is obviously unmotivated.  Look at their price!”  

Oftentimes, the Seller is putting their home on the market with little to no education about what the reality of the market is.  If you are expecting their Realtor® to educate them… then you may be waiting for awhile!  The average Realtor® is just as uneducated about the market as they are in my opinion.

It is impossible to expect that Realtors®, who are taught nothing about the art and practice of salesmanship, to know how to correctly price a property.  This is not taught in schools, and is generally taught on an ‘”ad-hoc” basis by their broker.

If you are expecting a Seller to price their property aggressively, then that’s not going to happen!  EVERY Seller, with few exceptions, thinks their home is worth more than it is.

A useful phrase to remember when talking to a Motivated Seller is the following…

“A Motivated Seller will only tell you as much as they feel you need, or want to know…

Your potential customer is filled with fear.  Their concern is you are going to judge them, or call them stupid.  When you approach the Seller with the mindset that they simply need an education about the market to obtain their goal, the nature of your conversation changes.

Don’t underestimate the power of your conversation.  Your ability to use scripts and dialogues to positively control the conversation will dramatically affect your results.success-413093_1280

If you believe that the customer is hopelessly overpriced, and there is no possibility for a deal, then you’re right!

If on the other hand, you believe that this potential customer simply has been given bad advice, and simply needs to be told the truth, then your mindset, as well as your tone changes.

Be aware of the subtle changes in your voice as you contact FSBO’s and Expireds.  It is the key to your success.

If they feel like you don’t want to know, or need to know something, then obviously, you will not learn a thing.

On the other hand, if you take the time to learn their problems, their concerns, and are creative about solutions, you will find that there is a large portion of the community that could use your service.

Thought 2.  Don’t Buy Into Their Apparent Lack Of Motivation

If there is any one thing that could be just as important as point #1, it would be this one.  Too many times, we as Investing Realtors® or wholesalers “buy into” the fact that they seem unmotivated!

Some sellers deserve an Academy Award for the role they play as an unmotivated Seller!  They play their role so convincingly, that you are totally immersed in their story and believe it.  Only to find a few days later that they either listed with someone else, or signed an offer with a competitor.

There is perhaps nothing more mind boggling than that of trying to understand the “why” someone does things.  In the mindset of the Seller however, this is much easier to understand the “why”.

What would convince a otherwise ordinary, highly motivated seller to “lie”  about their situation?  The same thing that causes every other lie.  Fear.

Fear causes people to lie.  Fear of being judged, fear of making a bad decision, fear of being perceived as a “push over”, fear of being taken advantage of, as well as countless other very real fears.

For us as Realtors® who invest, or Wholesalers trying to make a deal, this is probably the hardest skill to learn.  How to determine when they are really “not motivated” or if they are just saying that.

A quick way to determine for yourself the true motivations of someone, is to simply ASK.

However, in the way you ask questions, be sure to be thoughtful about the questions you ask.  Think of FSBO’s and Expired calling like playing a game of pool.  You are always “setting up the next shot”.

For some FSBO’s and Expireds, they simply need to see your face and feel secure that you are “for real.”  By carefully scripting your approach, as well as your presentation, you will quickly determine (through the use of questions) their true intentions.

Again, it must be reiterated to “not buy into their apparent lack of interest.”  They have their home on for a reason!  Find out what the reason is, and demonstrate to them how your service will solve their problem.

If they are an expired listing, it is so much the easier!  Understand that they had their home on the market with a Realtor® for a period of time, again, for a reason!  It isn’t fun being on the market!  With people showing the home, offers all over the place, throwing the dishes in the washer before you go, and making sure the house is picked up isn’t a lot of fun.

Be sure to distinguish the difference…. A useful dialogue in this moment would be this…

Mr. Seller, I noticed you had your home on the market for 6 months.  I know you are saying you don’t want to list  again, however, my question is… do you still want to SELL?”

There is a difference between “listing” the home (having it available on the market which equals NO FUN) or “Sold!” which obviously indicates them achieving their goals.

Thought 3.  Know The Facts About Home Selling

While every Home Seller claims to be an expert on selling their home… the sad truth is they rarely are.  In fact, most homeowners seldom purchase or sell a home but every few years.  If you are a practicing Realtor® or Investor, then you already have more information at your fingertips available than a homeowner could ever hope to have.

Understand that according to the most recent studies, For Sale By Owners have approximately an 87% chance of failing to sell, or changing their plans.  Those plans could include listing their home, or taking it off the market.

If they have an 87% chance of failing to sell, and only a 13% chance of selling, then I don’t care who you are… this isn’t good!


If your Doctor called you and said… “Hey listen, I’ve got good news and bad news… the bad news is, you have Cancer…and an 87% chance of dying in the next 6 months.  The good news is that you have a 13% chance of beating this thing!”

You probably wouldn’t feel too comfortable with that statistic, yet, it is what it is.  A FSBO stands little chance of selling on their own.

If they put their home on the market with an agent, it is nearly a 50% chance that it will not sell the first time.  Many Sellers assume that by putting it on MLS through a discount broker, or some agent; this will certainly solve the problem of selling the home.

Again however, these pesky facts keep coming up.   If they have a 50% chance of not selling, then how is NOT Selling to you a great loss?  It seems to me that an offer from you, (although it may be lower) is certainly more acceptable to some than the possibility of never selling at all.

A useful dialogue to remember when the Seller says “I’ll just list my home and sell it for more…” would be this.

“You know Mr. and Mrs. Seller, you could list your home and you might make more… that is true.  However, if you could convince yourself that not only is my offer fair, but will get you to Tuscaloosa AL in the time you want, would you even consider taking my offer?”


In closing, let me just say that if you are still not convinced to take a moment or two out of your day to contact FSBO’s and Expireds in your market as a Realtor® or Investor, then just know this. You are the only one who thinks that way.

Trust me… there are absolutely ZERO Realtors® in your marketplace that refuse to call FSBO’s or Expireds, or do “Just Listed” if there is a chance that money will be made.

Perhaps I am just getting too old, or too cranky.  However, honest to goodness, when it comes to money, there is very little a Realtor® won’t do, or who they won’t call.

However, in the “Investing world”, I consistently see wholesaling investors make the same tragic business decisions not to call these viable demographics of business.

You would never see IBM refusing to call on businesses in Cupertino California because Apple is there.

It is simply a business decision to call those who need you, regardless of their status.  Other Investors and Realtors® don’t mind taking your business from you… Should you?

If you need help learning how to build a repeatable, duplicatable wholesaling investing business as a Realtor® or Wholesaler, then I would recommend checking out The Red Pill Sales System Book.  The only system designed today as a fully complete way for wholesalers to learn the skills of success!

Until next time!

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