This is taken from the new updated 4th edition of my, No 1 Amazon best seller “Property Magic”
You would think that estate agents would be an excellent source of motivated sellers. After all, the estate agents will know when a sale has fallen through, or if the seller needs to sell in a particular hurry.
As an investor, one of your goals should be to get on your local Estate Agent’s shortlist so that you are one of the people they call whenever they get a good deal.
Instead of asking the estate agents directly if they have any motivated sellers, which may not get the response from the agent that you want, there are five specific questions you can use to identify the circumstances which might mean that the sellers are motivated.
Here are the 5 questions to ask estate agents:
1. Do you have any empty properties?
There are four main reasons why a property could be empty: If the property looks a bit trashed it could be a repossessed property as often they are damaged on the way out by the previous owner who understandably could be bitter about the repossession; If it looks dated and in need of modernisation (often with some furniture left in it) it could be a deceased estate as probably someone has lived there for a number of years and not made any improvements to the property; If it is in good condition but empty with no furniture then it could well be that the seller has already moved to a new property whilst trying to sell this one; And finally, if it looks a bit tired and is being sold with some furniture in it then it may well be a former rental property that a landlord is selling. In all four cases, as the property is sitting their empty, the seller could be motivated to sell at a good price.
2. Do you have any property that has been on the market a long time?
This question will identify properties that are just not selling. Maybe the price is too high or something about the property is putting off potential buyers. It may well be that a sale had been agreed and has fallen through on the property, which might make the seller even more frustrated
In any case, maybe there is some scope for a discounted offer. You can track changes in property prices by using website like www.property-bee.com
3. Do you have any properties where there is more than one agent selling it?
Often sellers will list their property with two agents or more agents in an attempt to find a buyer quickly. They may not be willing to sell at the price you are prepared to pay but it is certainly worth a look. The agent may be worried that they will not earn any commission if the other agent finds a buyer and so they may ne more motivated to work with you to find a win win for the vendor and you.
4. Do you have any properties that are listed for sale and or for rent?
You often find that people are keen to sell their property but will consider renting for a while if they are unable to sell. This is perfect for you if you are looking for Purchase Lease Options where by you rent the property out with the right to buy in the future. We would normally pay the Estate Agent their fee at the time we sign the contracts otherwise they will not get paid until the end of the option period which could be several years and so may not be very popular with most agents. Remember the agent needs to see what is in it for the them and the seller if you want them to agree to anything slightly different from the norm.
5. Do you have any sellers who keep calling the office to see if there is any news on their sale?
This is a sure sign that the seller is getting desperate; every few days they call the estate agent to see if there is any news. Often the seller will not tell the agent the full details of their situation but this behavior is a sure sign that they are desperate to sell and so there may be a deal there. This person may be starting to annoy the staff in the agency and so when you ask this particular question often a particular seller will spring to mind!
In the second part of this article I will share with you what to do once the Estate Agent has given you a motivated seller lead as a result of asking these questions.
To learn more about successful property investing you may like to my book “Property Magic” on Amazon.co.uk