What to Say When the Seller Says, “Just Make Me an Offer”

February 10, 2009 | By | 4 Replies More

Real Estate Investing OfferDon’t you hate it when a seller gives you the dreaded, “Just make me an offer.” Well, I sure do. I got tired of it pretty quickly after I realized how much time and energy was wasted with these people.

A question that we require a seller to answer is . . .

“What are you asking for the property?”

As real estate investors, we only want to work with motivated sellers. People who NEED to sell not just want to sell. Whether they are behind on payments, facing foreclosure, job loss, divorce, etc. When you get a response like, “Just make me an offer,” this should be a red flag that the seller may not be motivated enough to work with you. Before you spend any more of your precious time with the seller, you need to get to the bottom of this.

What to Say to Get an Asking Price Out of Them

Say, “I understand . . . well, without an asking price, I can’t even submit your information through our system so that we can see if we would even be interested or not soooooooo . . .” (and then shut up)

The most important thing to do here is SHUT UP after you make the statement above. Nine times out of ten the seller will chime in with an asking price.

And here’s a little negotiating tip for you: Being comfortable with uncomfortable silences pays very handsome when negotiating . . . so go ahead and get some practice now.

If the seller says some ridiculous price, say, “Ok . . . well, knowing what I know about the area, doesn’t look like we are going to be a good fit to work together on this one but good luck selling it.” (this is where you shut up again) This will quickly slap them back into reality and if not, you shouldn’t be talking to them anyway. Move on to the next lead.

If the seller is asking around what the property would appraise for, say, “Alright, for our company to be able to buy your property, they would have to be able to make a profit on it. And with what you’re asking, doesn’t seem like there would be enough room. Would you rather just leave the property up for sale or list it with a realtor and wait 6 to 12 months to maybe sell it?”

If the seller is asking much less than you think it’s worth, get your butt in to high gear! You may have a deal on your hands . . .

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Category: Negotiating, Real Estate Investment Buying Strategies, Tips and Tricks

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  1. This is great advice, Patrick really knows what he’s taking about; I know because I have used this technique and it works!

  2. julie says:

    Good reminder – I haven’t had any sellers say that to us lately – but, I think it’s just good to leave lots of SILENCE in any discussion/negotiation. People feel compelled to fill that silence and often it’s with really useful information that helps you get a great deal. Good article Patrick.

  3. Patrick Riddle says:

    Thanks L.J, Julie!

  4. Chris Rock says:

    I had someone do that to me. They still would give me a price so I told them that without a price I can’t help them. They said they didn’t know a good price and still didn’t get me one. I think their goal was to use my price as a base for other offers. I gave up on the lead.