How To Call An Interested Seller (CFFL 524)
Jack: Jack Butala with Jill DeWit.
Jill: Hey there!
Jack: Welcome to our show today. In this episode, Jill and I talk about how to call an interested seller back. Man, this is so important, and I’m looking forward to it, because I want to hear from the expert, Jill.
Jill: Thank you very much.
Jack: Before we get into it, let’s take a question posted by one of our members on the LandInvestors.com online community, it’s free.
Jill: OK, this is a little bit lengthy one, so I’m gonna preface that. So, new member here, in our group, Shammgod. This is [inaudible 00:00:32], shares. “Agreed on my first deal today. I figure I’d post it here, just to write out my thought process and so that if I’m missing anything, someone will hopefully correct me.
Details: Seller and his father are both on the deed. He sent me a copy. I couldn’t locate it exactly on the map, but agreed on a price way below anything on the market.”
Jack: Red flag.
Jill: “I talked to the recorder and they verified things, and talked to the treasurer and the taxes are good.”
Jack: This is good.
Jill: “Next steps: getting them a contract. I’m planning on sending them a small deposit because I don’t think it’s valid without one.”
Jack: Not necessary.
Jill: I would just say weird.
“This is a small deal so I’m planning on doing title myself.”
Jill: “I think that I need to get notaries for both the father and son because they live in different states.”
Jack: Yes. This is boring.
Jill: It’s distracting.
Jack: It’s distracting, am I stealing your thunder?
Jill: Just a tad.
Jack: It’s sad?
Jill: Just a tad. No, you are, like every time I take a breath.
Jack: Are you sad today?
Jill: It’s like darn don’t pause, Jack’s gonna throw something in there.
Jack: Jack you’re sad.
Jill: I’m not sad.
Jack: Jack, you’re a sad little real estate investor.
Jill: I’m just trying to share a story. Can I just share a story?
Alright, where was I?
Jack: “My biggest question…”
Jill: Oh shoot, no I’m sorry wait, I totally, as we say that I just lost my place. Wait, wait, wait, wait, wait.
Jack: “My biggest question…”
Jill: OK, “my biggest” … do you want to finish this?
Jack: “My biggest question around title or having the notary hand them the cheque is-”
Jill: Too bad. [inaudible 00:02:19] I want to be Jack, this is good.
Jack: “My biggest question around title or having the notary hand them the cheque is, what if I mess something up on the deed and I find out afterward it wasn’t done correctly?”
Jill: Boo hoo.
Jack: “The seller would have already had the money.”
Jack: Oh my god, sound effects Jill.
Jill: Well this is what it’s like.
Jack: “I feel like there’s probably a step here where I should make sure this doesn’t happen if we’re using a title company. That’s a … you know … but I’m not sure what it is.”
Jill: Alright, I’m taking back over. “What’s the play there? And anything else that I’m missing? Thanks.”
Jack: We don’t need to wait until the end to answer these things, as you go you can answer them.
Jill: Well it’s kinda easier if you read the whole thing I think.
Jack: Escrow, in title we’re designed to be an unrelated third party in the middle of a transaction so nobody gets screwed over.
You avoid this by having a little bit of trust and saving a ton of money by sending a notary out there with a cashier’s cheque by the way. And that notary ends up being the third party unless they don’t … they don’t notarize the document unless they have the cashier’s cheque in their hand. We’ve done this thousands and thousands of times with success.
Jill: I wouldn’t do the deposit thing, that bothers me. That’s kinda interesting-
Jack: I wouldn’t either. I’ve never done it.
Jill: You know what, I’ve never had a seller ask me for that. “Hey give me a deposit now.” Mm-mm (negative). No, that’s a red flag to me-
Jack: Me too.
Jill: If they did ask that, that’d be a red flag.
Jack: Here’s a big red flag for me and you’re new so, you know, you have to use some product like ParcelFacts or something to get a map and a four corners map of the property. You can’t … you do not ever under any circumstance want to buy a property that does not have … that you have not reviewed a map, because of the four As.
Jill: Mm-hmm (affirmative). Yeah I wouldn’t do the price next until I get back to them.
Jack: So anyway, somebody responded inline in this thread.
Jack: [crosstalk 00:04:12] Jill.
Jill: I’m sorry, I was thinking about … I was gonna review this again myself. You know what, I’m gonna do this. I’m gonna read what somebody else wrote and then I would like to relay how I would have done the transaction at the very, very end, personally.
Jack: Is that a nice way of saying “just please be quiet”.
Jill: Can I? Can I please?
Jack: Yes. [crosstalk 00:04:33] go.
Jill: Alright, thank you.
Jack: I’ll try to not talk.
Jill: OK, one of our members … this is one of our member’s replies and I’m gonna give you what I would have done. Hopefully you listener got all this. “Shammgod, I would skip the contract and send the notary right away with the deed to sign with the cheque for them. Money likes speed. If you’re brave enough, I don’t recommend it, but I do it all the tine, you send the cheque with the deed for them to sign at the bank … at their bank, without sending the notary.
Do the deed exactly like Land Academy teaches. Have another set of eyes look at it. Legal description needs to be exactly the same as the vesting deed. If you make a mistake, no big deal, it’s just an extra hassle for you. You contact the seller and they have to sign incorrect.
I accidentally made a deed for only a little road that was added to a property. I was going to record fast … I was going fast, I record it with the county and they were … and it went all the way through. Two months later, when I found a buyer, he’s mad at me, yelling at me that I’m a scammer and I don’t own the property. I called the county and they confirmed it, they said “you only own the road sir”. So I contacted the seller and we did a new deed, no problem. They kind of have to co-operate with you, if you make a mistake, you just bought it from them.” So anyway, that’s a …
OK, let me back up to some big picture stuff here. Don’t overthink this number one. Number two I love all the comments that the member weighed in on, which is, be quick, do your homework, be careful, double check the deed, but don’t panic if you do something wrong, you can go back and fix it.
Have I had things wrong on the deeds? Sure. Heck yeah.
Jack: Oh yeah.
Jill: And what do I … have I literally had a whole transaction I thought was done, the guy’s paid, he’s spent the money, and then I find out three months later from the assessor that I’d made a mistake. Like “oops, I forgot something, and that’s OK, I have that guys phone number”. I went back to the guy I bought it from and said, “you know what? I goofed. Can I send you a new deed and you just print it out on your printer and run to your bank, you know, the next time you’re in your bank have him do it for you and then just mail it to me?” Yeah, and have they been co-operative? Heck yeah. It’s not a big issue.
So, my only comments here are a couple, which is, I think it’s confidence and trust.
Jack: Which taps directly into our topic today.
Jill: Thank you. You need to have confidence in yourself and your sellers will also. And you’re trusting them that they own the property, and then you’re doing your own homework behind the scenes. And you’re trusting that they’re gonna fulfill their end of the obligation, which they do, because you’re doing it the right way, which is, you … there’s safety in sending, not a deposit, because what if they ran, what if you don’t know these people? What if they just took … I mean, you don’t know, but when you’re sending a nota- … when you’ve confirmed the name of the person on the deed and you’re preparing your deed and you’re sending a notary to that person’s house. They’re not going to hand them a cheque unless that person’s standing there with I.D. proving that they’re that person. That can execute the deed, and they do execute the deed and then they get payment.
Jack: They can’t legally do it.
Jill: Right, it’s all-
Jack: The notary takes on a lot of liability without really knowing it. They are on the hook legally to make sure the person signing that document is who they really are.
Jill: Is who they really are.
Jack: And that it’s signed correctly.
Jill: Right, and have I ever had it go wrong like that? No, I haven’t. But that’s just part … it’s just … it’s a check in the process to make sure it’s all done correctly, so a couple things. And two, you already sent them a contract, which is when you did an offer. You don’t need to re-send them something else.
Jack: Well said Jill.
Jill: Don’t bog them down. Well here’s my thing too, my part of … and we’re gonna … this actually does tie into this show is, part of why we are successful and these transactions go so well because I make it easy. I’m not gonna send a guy a deposit now and he’s going to have to remember, “Oh, minus five hundred dollars and here’s the balance due, oh and I know I sent you this offer, oh and here’s a revised one and I want you to get it back to me.” No, these are extra steps and paperwork and we don’t need to do all that.
It’s not that difficult, it should just be a really easy transaction and I think it just takes time and you’ll get that and so I want you to be comfortable and confident and you’ll get there.
Jack: Yeah, well said.
Jill: Thank you.
Jack: You know simple is better here. And it’s all about your attitude, so this launches … this gets us to the show.
Jill: Right to the show.
Jack: If you have a question or you’d like to be on the show, reach out to either one of us on Land Investors dot com.
Today’s topic, Jill’s gonna show us how to call an interested seller back and turn it into a transaction. This is the meat of the show, go ahead Jill.
Jill: Yeah, I kinda shared a lot of it already.
OK, so, someone’s called you back, they got your offer, they’re all excited. You weren’t able to take the call, so it went to your voicemail, or it went to a phone service, yes we’re working on Jill live someday I know, that will help you with that, but it went somewhere and you didn’t get it. So now you’re calling them back.
Well, the first thing I would do is have a list of questions, all the information that you need to know. So you’re gonna call them back and you’re gonna ask, confirm, “Hi, you know, I got your call about” … you may not even know what property it’s about, they may have just said “Hey I got your letter, call me, Bob Smith”, you know “555-1212” and that’s all you have, that’s OK.
You need to call them back and they don’t know that you’re not a pro so if you have a list of questions of what you want to ask them, you kind of sound like a pro. So call them back, everybody has my cheat sheet and say, and I didn’t make this public and I should do this again by the way Jack, on LandInvestors.com, I’m looking at you. That we should put that back up there again for everybody.
But you’re gonna call them back and say “Hi, you know I … yes, I absolutely sent you an offer”. One of the things I try to do is I want to try to make them feel really special, lik they’re the only one I sent an offer to, I don’t say “You’re one of one thousand.” Do you have that number on top of the letter? I never do that by the way. So and if you want to ask for the reference number because you put one on there, that’s OK, but don’t … you don’t want them to sound like they’re one of ten thousand that are not important.
So “Hi, Mr Smith, my name is Jill, I’m with LandInvestors and I got your voicemail and I am interested in your property.” It’s like “Oh, OK great. Now I don’t have my notes in front of me Mr Smith, can you refresh my memory, what … with the county?” Because I may have several counties out there. “Can you give me the details about the property?” “Sure, it’s my grandmother gave it to me in 1941.”
Jack: Get them talking.
Jill: This is really how it goes. “And I’m so glad that you reached out to me because my wife and I were just looking at the stupid property tax bill again.” This is really how this goes.
And you’re gonna go, “oh wow, that’s great, your wife” and mental note, both are alive, great, ’cause they both have to go on the deed. This is how my brain works. I’m like, I’m taking all the information in by the way.
Jack: I’m learning stuff here.
Jill: So, and I’m also learning that he’s excited to sell by the way. ‘Cause he’s excited by my … you can tell all this stuff just in this initial phone call.
So, alright, so what am I doing? I’m gathering all of the information. I need to go through the details, but I’m getting as much as I can. I want to know who’s on the deed, who’s … I want to know if they’re alive and able to sign, you know. And you know less worded that way, but you’re trying to extract that information. You want to know, you know what do they know about the property.
Oh God, it’s gorgeous, they were gonna put a mall across the street and that’s why they paved it but it didn’t happen. Hmm, access, got that information. And then they’ll say “yeah-
Jack: You’re smart Jill.
Jill: Thank you.
Jill: You didn’t know this?
Jack: No, I know [crosstalk 00:12:55] do stuff.
Jill: You don’t know what all’s going on up here. Yeah, so I really do extract all this information, I make notes of all this. I picked up on little signals.
So, alright, and so anyway, you’re extracting that and you might, you’re gonna learn that “God, we’re so tired of these tax bills every year”, oh pays them every year, good, should be current. Alright, I’m getting all that information.
Now what I usually … sometimes I do, most the time I don’t, is negotiate the deal right there and there’s a reason why. One, if I’m new I need to go back and do my homework. I need to go back and double check everything the guy’s told me, just because he’s said the taxes are current and there’s a paved road, doesn’t mean there necessarily is. He may be remembering wrong.
Jack: Maybe his grandmother told him that.
Jack: And she was wrong.
Jill: And she’s wrong or something. So I gotta do my homework.
Number two I want the guy to know that I’m gonna go do my homework. “You know what Mr Smith, thank you.” So I want to … and maybe my offer price, he’s excited about it, I need to go back and look at the offer price too, make sure that I didn’t offer too much.
Jack: You know what you really did there? Is establish trust.
Jill: Uh-huh (affirmative).
Jack: ‘Cause hopefully, if he’s a little bit younger, he’s online looking you up to see if you’re real, and learning that you actually are. Just the way that you’re doing homework, he’s doing it too.
Jill: Uh-huh (affirmative). Exactly. It goes both ways, you’re exactly right. And they like to know … you know what else too, they like to know that this is my business, I’m a real person, I’m not a broker and I’m not anything like that. I am the investor, I’m making the deal, or the transaction and boy do they love to hear that, ’cause now Mr Smith … and Mr Smith is gonna get excited when I call back. And so I get all the information, tell Mr Smith, “you know thank you so much, I’m gonna go … I need to verify a couple of things and I’m gonna look this up and I’m gonna get back with you. Are you gonna be around, if I call you back on Friday, is that a good day?”
Find out when they’re gonna be around, let’s not waste our time here everyone, not just say “I’ll call you back”. That could be phone tag for a week. So find out when he’s around, if he works during the day say “call me in the evenings or Sunday afternoons I’m always home.” Great, this is good stuff to know, “OK, thank you Mr Smith, goodbye.”
Now, one of two things, I either know right away I want it, but I don’t want him to know that yet. Or number two … ’cause I know my stuff and when you get good at this stuff by the way, while you’re talking to Mr Smith, you’re sitting there typing and you’re looking up. You’re in Parcel Fact dot com and I’m staring at the screen and I’m confirming-
Jack: [crosstalk 00:15:39] You’re jumping up and down in your own head.
Jill: Bob and Betty Smith.
Jack: Or you’re saying “maybe not”.
Jill: And I’m looking at it on the map. Oh, this is great, I’m doing it all the time, so I probably really good, I mean especially at … when you have 50, 60 transactions under your belt, you know. And if you know that area, you’ve been doing a lot in that area, you already know the subdivision and you already know that area well, whatever, that county and the APN scheme. But you don’t necessarily want to do that right away because there’s mental stuff behind it. It gets them a little more excited if you don’t do it right then ’cause you don’t sound too eager.
So, anyway, now I either know and I’m gonna wait and call him and I’m going to set myself a reminder, calendar reminder to call him, as I told him I would. Or B, I am now going to do my own homework, so, that’s what’s going on.
Do you want me to continue this Jack?
Jack: Yeah, I mean I’m learning stuff, yeah, absolutely I do. I had no idea it was gonna … this episode was gonna turn out like this.
Jill: Oh thank you. Gee, Jill actually has some good stuff to share, thanks, who knew? Just kidding.
I’m chapter 8, am I in the thing?
Jack: Yeah, exactly.
Jill: So anyway, so now, I’ve done all my homework and one of two things are gonna happen, I kinda don’t want it and those calls are not that fun and if I have their e-mail, I might avoid a phone call, honestly and just e-mail them if I really don’t want it. ‘Cause I don’t need to spend a lot of time, if I don’t need to negotiate. What if there was something really wrong with the title and I’ve done some … I’ve done enough that I didn’t waste a lot of time, but enough that I go “ah shucks I’m out. I’m gonna send them a note, you know, an e-mail if I have to.” Otherwise I’ll try to call him and he’s not there and leave a voicemail. That’s personal preference too, ’cause if you don’t they might call you back and it’d be nice to let them know that you’re gonna pass.
But, realistically, let’s just … I want it, you know I want to do it, and I’m good with the price and I’m really just … I’m calling him back to set it up. So-
Jack: To set up the close.
Jill: Uh-huh (affirmative). So remember we’ve had one phone call, I did my homework, he looked me up, he’s probably anxiously waiting by the phone. And by the way, he’s waiting, hoping that I’m going to act on this deal. This is part of the psychology. If you wait even just one day.
Jack: That’s right.
Jill: It really gets the excited, they kind of wonder they go “what if they don’t want to buy it, even though I got this offer and they’re checking things out, what if they change their mind?” So when you call them back, it’s a good thing. So and now you’re calling back and saying “hey Mr Smith, gosh, thank you so much, I appreciate your patience, I looked up the property and I do want it, and here’s what we’re gonna do”. And at that moment I’m now setting up the transaction.
So, there are other variables that we can get into later on other shows if you want to Jack, but this is a real good, positive how it goes.
So I’m calling them back and I’m saying “Hi Mr Smith, thank you so much, here’s what we’re gonna do.” And by the way I have the vesting deed, I’m telling you this listener, not the seller, because I looked it up and I downloaded it myself in TitlePro247 so I don’t need it from him necessarily, but you can always ask them for a copy if you want, but I’m cool.
“Hi, OK, so here’s what we’re gonna do. I would love to buy your property, I think it’s nice, I think it’ll fit in my portfolio perfectly. I want to send a notary with a cashier’s cheque to your house, like I promised in my offer, what day is good for you and where are you gonna be?” And that’s really it and then he’s gonna go “Betty where are you on Tuesday?” Then they’re gonna work it out, so they’re gonna be at their home or coffee shop or then we’ll follow through on that, but that’s kinda how it goes. And you-
Jack: That’s excellent.
Jill: And that’s it, I mean.
Jack: Jill, that’s an excellent play by play. Here’s a summary and a takeaway to the whole thing. The seller is only gonna get excited about this deal as much as you do and one of the new … I learnt this really early in my career … if you call back and you say “you know, you got my letter”, they’re not gonna get excited. But if you call back and say “I’m so glad you took the time to review my offer, thank you, I’m real excited at getting this thing done”. They’re gonna get excited.
Jill: Mm-hmm (affirmative).
Jack: Number two, take control of the situation. They don’t know how real … chances are they have no idea how to do a real estate deal. The last time they did a real estate deal was 25 years ago on their house and they really didn’t do it because everybody else did everything else for them.
Jill: Good advice. They don’t know what you know or don’t know. You sound like … they think you’re a pro.
Jack: So and put a plan together. They don’t know, just like Jill said. So point number three, put a plan together right there on the phone with them. “On Tuesday we’d really like to close this deal with you at the agreed upon amount, 25 hundred dollars, is that okay Mr Smith?” And he’s gonna say “yeah, I’m looking forward to it now.” So now they have something to look forward to, a cheque’s gonna come in, they’ve checked you out on the internet, it’s really a three point plan that really involves your enthusiasm. And your organization.
Jack: Well said Jill.
Jill: Thank you very much, I appreciate that.
Jack: No wonder you make so much money.
Jill: Thank you, yeah, make them feel good. They don’t know that you’re not a pro, so act like … that’s like my dad’s saying … act like you know what you’re doing. Seriously, it works.
Jack: Or you could just know what you’re doing.
Jill: Oh, and by the way, so what if you forget something, by the way, especially when you’re new. You have your checklist and you’re all excited and you hang up and you go “oh my God, I forgot to ask them the APN, how could I have missed that?” So what, call them right back and go “Mr Smith, I can’t believe I forgot that. I think I know it, but I wasn’t sure I had the right one here so I want to clarify. Can you read me the APN, I totally … just make sure, thank you”.
Jack: Thanks, super, but we’re out of time.
Jill: Oh, shoot, you gave me a topic that I’m, oh man, come on, I’m really passionate about-
Jack: Just teasing you Jill.
Jill: This stuff. Thanks a lot, cutting me off.
Jack: Just trying to make you laugh. It worked.
Jill: Alright, jeez.
Jack: No, go ahead.
Jill: No, it’s alright, I was done, thank you.
Jack: Join us in another episode where Jack and Jill discuss how to use information, that’s me.
Jill: And inspiration, and Jill just runs with her topic, that’s me.
Jack: To get just about everything you want.
Jill: We use it every day to buy property for half of what it’s worth and then sell it immediately.
Jack: You are not alone in your real estate ambition. I think that you portrayed it perfectly.
Jill: Thank you.
Jack: And I think that you actually sounded the way you sound on the phone with the seller.
Jill: That’s exactly how I sound on the phone with the seller.
Jack: Well done.
Jill: We used to do role plays, we should do some role plays again in some upcoming shows.
Jack: I was gonna do that on this episode, but you were doing such a bang up job of summarizing really how it should go, I let it go.
Jill: Thank you.
Jack: But I get a kick out of that too, I mean we lose a lot of listeners every time we do it, but you know, it’s not about them , it’s about us.
Jill: ‘Cause they are dumb. Hey, you want to do one right now?
Jack: Alright, alright, you go first.
Jill: Alright, you be the buyer and I’m the seller.
Jack: I’m gonna be a difficult buyer. I’m the buyer.
Jill: Oh yeah, wait, wait, I’m calling you. Hello.
Jack: Oh I’m the buyer.
Jill: You’re the buyer. You’re me, I’m little old lady seller.
Jack: Hello, is this Mrs Smith.
Jill: Hi, this is Mrs Smith.
Jack: Oh, it’s Mrs Smith-
Jill: Betty Smith.
Jack: So glad that I caught you on the phone.
Jill: The third. My first two husbands were Smith also.
Jack: See this is why I don’t get on the phone with people.
Jill: Who knew I could marry all the Smith’s in this county and they’re actually not related.
Jack: Mrs Smith, you little slut you.
Jill: Oh, you have no idea. I thought everybody knew I was knocked up with little Jimmy beforehand.
Jack: Oh Jill, you-
Jill: Yeah that’s how our role play goes, we should probably end it there.
Jack: Doesn’t Jill laugh like Snoopy. If you need something to do, look up Snoopy’s laugh on YouTube and listen to Jill’s laugh. Tomorrow we’re gonna do that.
Jill: Oh OK.
Jack: I’m all sweating with laughing.
Jill: Phew, alright.
Jack: Information and inspiration to buy undervalued property.
If you have any questions or comments, please feel free to email me directly at jack@LandAcademy.com.
I would like to think it’s entertaining and informative and in the end profitable.
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