Honestly, you would expect me to say, “it depends on the house, the seller, and their dire need to sell… right? Well, I am very happy to disappoint you. There is JUST ONE thing I do and it always works. You will roll your eyes, and go ahead. I seriously do not give a cracker!
I.. “keep it real”. Everyone says, built rapport. Tale about things you think they like, .. their cat, their dog, their favorite team… sorry Cody Sperber… but I call BS on that. I am just really sincere. I don’t act apart. I Genuinely, try to understand their problem and I live it with them, and I comment as I would a best friend. Blunt direct crude cold and genuine.
I do not get dressed nicely. In fact… I was covered in sheetrock dust… (I am doing demolition on the house I bought for 5K in Waterbury CT… I guess I should write an article on that too… but this is for the “That Flippin House” blog. OK, peops… REMIND me to write more on that one! That too is a very interesting adventure we had.. uhm.. are having!) Instead of giving out these poetic self-absorbed answers… why not tell you exactly what happened.
The older couple in Meriden CT. Yes “older”. Very skeptical, don’t trust you, careful, cautious. They, of course, found me through my website. They filled in the form. So their house is in Meriden CT. It is a pretty big house. It is set up as a multi-family, but not registered as such.
It is in great condition and a lot of original features. It pains me that whomever flipper is going to buy it will destroy all these amazing features.
Sorry, but I can not show you outside pictures. Lots of sneaky stalkers stalking me trying to get my deals. Shame on you! The house has a ton of history. I really hope they will preserve these features!
Day 1: Lead Comes In
A lead comes in, and it is a wonderful lead! It was listed with an agent but the contract was expiring in a week. So they just wanted to be ready to move forward the second the contract expired.
I will now go over the steps I took from the submission of the lead to signing the contract.
Step 1. Research Your Leed
I do some preliminary comps. I tell my agent and contractor immediately that I have a new lead come in so they can be on standby. My contractor especially is really hard to reach. Always working a job. I go to Trulia and Zillow and I scout the area. I see how far it is from me (I HATE driving).
Step 2. Introduce Yourself
This is not about being formal. This is your first impression. This is the time and place to try to get them hooked so that they do not call your competitors. It is hard to do and it does not always work. Don’t pretend to care, don’t be unnaturally nice, don’t be mean. Just imagine you are a doctor and you are talking to your patient. Your doctor should care about you but is still professional.
I call them up, have a chat with them and set an appointment. During this chat, I try to ask a few questions as possible, just enough to answer the questions my agent and contractor would have. I ask them how old the roof is when the kitchen and bathroom were last updated and how old the mechanicals are. I don’t do this to get the answer to these questions. Sure that too, but I listen to them, how they answer. Are they confident? From the words they choose and how they answer, I can get a feel for their situation. Do they REALLLLLY need to sell, are they in trouble, are they honest (yes you can easily tell if someone is honest answering these questions). Then I set up an appointment.
Step 3. Get Your Agent And Contractor Involved
This rarely works out but it is ideal. My contractor and agent are always so busy, it is rare they will join me walking the property. You could set up the walkthrough for when they are free. but I HIGHLY recommend you do not do this. When you show you are willing to meet them tomorrow, or heck later this afternoon, they are not going to bother calling your competitor and they are more preoccupied scheduling the appointment THIS SOON!!
“Ohh if they don’t like it I can always call your competing company “I am an ugly moron in Connecticut” afterward. Which they rarely do. So I tell my contractor and agent about the appointment and I tell them to try to make it. If not, it’s ok.
Step 4. The Walk Through
During the walkthrough, when we first meet, I have a bit of small talk. Ask them what they are expecting, what they think the repairs are going to be and I am ABSOLUTELY kind polite real and honest. I tell them that we all need to be direct, blunt and 100% honest. otherwise, I will walk right now! I tell them that this goes both ways. They will receive honesty from us. All the numbers we get we will share and tell them what the market value is of their house.
So then when they look at me all googly-eyed in happy tears, we walk the property. I do not play games like saying out loud “oh that kitchen needs work, ohh it is in a bad location, ohh lookie there.. mold”. None of that. I compliment when it is due and tell them the bad when it warrants mentioning. Take a million pictures and if you can take video. The more pictures are the better. Take pictures of the street, the houses next to the prospect property and all around the house. Drive the neighborhood too (I don’t really do this mind you).
The pictures inside the house and of the outside of the house are for your contractor. For your agent, send her all the pics you took for your contractor and give her the pics of all the houses in the vicinity you took. This gives her a better feel of the area and the condition of the house and what the neighborhood demands of the house. Is this a granite kitchen countertop area, or s this a multifamily house area where the focus will be more on quick fixing to get a tenant in ASAP.
In this case, it was the latter. It is more of a buy and holds property.
Step 5. Check The Numbers
After I got all I need from the walkthrough I go home and share the pictures with my agent and contractor.
My agent then gives me a CMA and tells me what she thinks we could get for the house on the market after it is fixed up. The contractor gives me a ballpark on the repairs. Not accurate though as he really needs to walk the property.
For a wholesale deal, it is OK, but if we were to buy it and flip the house he absolutely needs to walk through, measure the areas and come up with a number. So we need to check the numbers.
Sadly for this one, the numbers didn’t work out. The houses there are just not that expensive. It is a shame because this house would be amazing completely updated and rehabbed. But this is not the one!
So I called the seller and told them what we thought. We proposed we wholesale the property. Keep in mind at this point they have done research on me. He told me “believe me if we didn’t trust you you wouldn’t be standing in my living room right now. We saw you about us page”. Man.. that NASA background has gotten me SO much credibility and trust it is crazy!
So I politely advised them what price to agree with, and they agreed. We got that contract signed in a span of a week. That was phase 1. Phase 2 is wholesaling the contract. Finding a buyer and assigning the contract to the buyer and get your check!
This is very rough writing .. I will polish it later. I had a really long day today, including getting this contract signed. I also looked at 3 houses today. Most likely the other one signed in a few days.. but it will take some work.
Tired hungry.. I hope this gets you all a bit motivated!