Meeting the Seller/Property Walkthrough

On today’s blog I’m going to be talking about the art of meeting your seller in person. Once you master your phone conversations you will be setting up more appointments, but more than that you will be setting appointments with a clear intention of getting the property under contract.

If you missed my blogs about the top 5 points to hit on your first phone call you can check those out here.

Now, back to meeting the seller.

When should you meet the seller at the property?

There are differing opinions on the timing of when to meet the seller, but most will agree that you need to see the property at some point to know exactly what you’re dealing with. In my real estate business I’m all about speed and efficiency; that means I try to do as much due diligence on the phone as possible so my 30-90 minute trip (depending on where you live) is effective and typically ends with me getting the property under contract.

For my business, this means the seller and I have already verbally agreed on a price or are within $5K-10K and I anticipate that after meeting the seller and seeing the house I can negotiate the deal down to where I need it.

What should you bring with you?

  • I bring the same 3-5 things to every seller meeting:
    • Blue/Red Pen & Yellow Legal Notepad
      • I take all of my notes on my notepad in red ink. This color stands out on the yellow paper and brings intensity to the repairs needed. I then use the blue ink for filling out the contract and securing the deal!
    • Contract
      • Obviously this is the most important part! I try to have everything I already know filled out like the seller/buyer, address, title company, etc. and leave the rest blank to be filled out including purchase price, Close of Escrow date and any additional changes we agree on.
    • In Home Presentation
      • I have this pre-loaded on my Ipad and it explains who I am, what we do, compares selling their house to me vs. listing and selling with an agent, and a few market analytics to help the seller understand what is going on in the market. This is a really powerful tool to build rapport and trust with the seller while providing an easy segway into presenting the contract.
    • Comps.
      • Whether or not I bring comps really depends on the type of seller I’m working with. If they’re a less emotional, more analytic and by the numbers type of seller then I will bring comps to support my reasoning. If they’re more of an emotional seller then I typically won’t bring comps because they’re not selling based strongly on the numbers.
      • I want to start just a little bit before this...make sure and leave early enough to ensure you will be there on time! The worst thing you can do is be late (without a valid excuse) and ruin all the credibility and rapport you built. Now that that is out of the way, when I pull up the property I park my car and take just a few minutes to make sure I have everything I need, and think through what I’m going to do. I then walk up to the front door, knock on the door a few times, and step back. You don’t want to be right on top of the seller when they open the door, give them some room for you to step up, introduce yourself, and then politely but firmly make your way into the home.

How should you conduct your walkthrough?

I want to start just a little bit before this...make sure and leave early enough to ensure you will be there on time! The worst thing you can do is be late (without a valid excuse) and ruin all the credibility and rapport you built. Now that that is out of the way, when I pull up the property I park my car and take just a few minutes to make sure I have everything I need, and think through what I’m going to do. I then walk up to the front door, knock on the door a few times, and step back. You don’t want to be right on top of the seller when they open the door, give them some room for you to step up, introduce yourself, and then politely but firmly make your way into the home.

Most investors first instinct is to immediately dive into the home tour while telling the seller everything wrong with their house. We’re different! And we’re not going to do that, I will spend about 5-10 minutes (whatever feels comfortable) talking with the seller and continuing to build that rapport. I then begin my tour and walk around the entire property; opening up cabinets, looking at the plumbing, checking the date on the water heater and HVAC unit, all the while making small comment’s here and there but not saying to much. And don’t forget to write everything you see that needs repaired or updated in red ink on your legal pad.

Once I’ve walked around and through the entire property, I will take the seller back to the worst room or area of the house (every property has one), and that is where I will go over my legal pad with the seller and mention everything I noticed. I then bring out my in home seller presentation and make my offer.

If they accept my offer than great! You just put a property under contract! If not, I will do a number of different negotiation tactics (which I will go over in another blog) because my goal is to have a signed contract before I leave. Now we all know sometimes things just don’t work and I do leave without the contract, but it’s all right and I move onto the next one.

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