ARE WE SCAM ARTISTS??????? - Posted by Lazaro

Posted by Lori Samson on June 15, 2001 at 11:06:00:

The really good agents that I have tried to work with still really didn’t help any. I have tried over the years to use an agent to try to put myself on auto pilot but I spend so much time to try to make them understand what I am looking for and then they still don’t produce anything. I don’t know if they drop the ball when it comes to presenting it or what. I just haven’t had success with any shape or form of agents. I do have some good friends that are agents and my first partner was an agent and is now a broker.

Moral…Like a few but be wary of all!


ARE WE SCAM ARTISTS??? - Posted by Lazaro

Posted by Lazaro on June 14, 2001 at 13:26:13:

Today I was calling some ads in the Newspaper. I call about a home that seemed to be GOOD. By the way the ad said MOTIVATED SELLER, MUST SELL. So I take that as a hint. I start asking some questions. Then she tells me that she had just listed the home with a realtor. She says she is about to move in a few days. I tell her well I really don’t like to do business with real estate agents. I then tell her that I am a real estate investor in the area. She then gets upset and tells me "yeah you are one of those aren’t you, about 20 of you have called."
Then she says “yeah you are one of those scam artists.” Now I was really confused. Here is a lady that has to move and will be paying two homes. She went off on me. Then I tell her in my confused voice “scam artist?” She says “yes that is what I call you guys and I wish you would have told me earlier in the conversation.” Then she hung up before I said another word. Man was she a tough cookie. I KNOW we are NOT scam artists. We are just problem solvers. I think Real Estate Agents are giving us a bad name in order to get some biz. I think they are afraid of us. Those darn Real Estate Agents mess everything up. NOW I do have a BAD opinion about these low lying Real Estate Agents. I know all are not like that but I had to get that out of my system. Have any of you had the same problem? Wow, I feel better now that I got that out of me.

Too Much Too Soon, Maybe?? - Posted by Tr

Posted by Tr on June 15, 2001 at 09:59:47:

I personally don’t drop the “I’m an investor” that early in the process. Why? For one, I am a buyer, and regardless of what I plan on doing with the home, the bottom line is that they are selling and I’m buying.

Secondly, based on her response, most all of the other investors obviously stated they were investors, so not mentioning it in the beginning seperates you from the bunch.

I have a list of questions I ask to see how motivated they really are, then I meet with them and unless they ask, I don’t mention I’m an investor over the phone.

Just another way to approach things.

Good Luck.

Hmm 93% or 65% - Posted by Jer FL

Posted by Jer FL on June 15, 2001 at 09:55:26:

What would you take?

In my market listing go in less thatn 30 days if priced right. Which would you take?

No I am not a realtor. I used to be a low ball cash investor when I started. I have since adjusted my investing to current market conditions and a flurry of newbie investors in my area.

Re: ARE WE SCAM ARTISTS??? - Posted by Dee-Texas

Posted by Dee-Texas on June 15, 2001 at 07:01:28:

I had a couple call me in December. They had a 3/1, CH&A, nice home sitting on 1 acre. Didn’t have any equity for a realtor. They had been trying to sell it themselves. They e-mailed me first (they live in the same town). I told them how I could help. It sounded great to them. I called and talked to them on the phone, in the mean time the wife talked to her father. HE said it was a scam and illegal.
When they told me what he said, I was just plain miffed! I’m a honest person how dare they say that about me! So…I wrote them a letter explaining how I could help, the pros and cons of doing subject to and references to my personal and business character.
All of this probably took 10 days from the first contact to them calling me back. The seller needed to be in another town with another job, time was running out for them.
They called me back said that they were so sorry for doubting me, offered to pay two extra months. I solved their problem and I have a 3/1 CH&A sitting on one acre for $25K, FMA of $38K with 7% fixed interest for 30 years. L/O’d it for $2K option money sell price of $40K- 2 year option. Good enough!
They still e-mail me thanking me.
Moral of the story…Send a follow-up letter, thanking her for her time and explain what you do.
Won’t hurt smile
Best Success,

Re: ARE WE SCAM ARTISTS??? - Posted by Russ Sims

Posted by Russ Sims on June 15, 2001 at 24:30:23:

My experience is that people like that have already made up their minds and there’s no point in trying to convince them otherwise…next! It’s actually happenend to me a few times. Now I say that I’m sorry they feel that way and I wish them good luck (yeah, right) in selling their home…goodbye.

There will be times that you will be deep into negotiating a purchase, and the seller says something like “you know, I really like your proposal about taking over my payments. But a friend of mine says you might be a scam artist, and that I should watch out”. To this I say “Unfortunately there have been some shady investors out there…but I think you’d agree that you can minimize the scam factor by thoroughly checking out who you’re doing business with. First, check for references from sellers who have sold to the investor…ask them if the investor makes the payments on time. Ask for at least 4 of these references.Then check the BBB for complaints, as well as the attorney generals office. A scam artist will have a record with these agencies. Check public records for law suits. If all your queries are positive, wouldn’t you say you’re doing business with a reputable investor?” Of course the answer is “YES” and you’ve just laid the issue to rest. At the same time you’ve given them a mini course on how to avoid being scammed!

You say that like its a bad thing. - Posted by Lance

Posted by Lance on June 15, 2001 at 24:03:08:

speak for yourself.

Re: ARE WE SCAM ARTISTS??? - Posted by Dave T

Posted by Dave T on June 14, 2001 at 21:47:40:


You say that the seller hung up on you before you could discover the reason for her comment. You immediately concluded that a real estate agent soured her on investors.

The seller did tell you that she had already received about 20 calls similar to yours. Could it be remotely possible that those 20 callers gave her a negative perspective on investors, with absolutely no help from a realtor? Read between the lines. Something happened (or didn’t happen) during those 20 calls that drove her to list with a realtor. I suspect that she lost confidence in any investor’s solution long before she listed with the realtor or even spoke to you.

Remember all the negative publicity about illegal flipping that has dominated the real estate headlines recently? Do you suppose that your seller has read or heard those stories and now paints you with the same brush as those unscrupulous investors cited in the stories? Do you think she needed a realtor to plant that negative impression of investors?

Before you leap to an (another?) incorrect conclusion, I am not a realtor, nor a real estate agent. I just buy foreclosures, fix them up, and hold them for long term cash flow.

Several responses have suggested Joe Kaiser’s article about getting on the same page as the seller. And you have said that you will change your approach by not saying things that may prejudice the seller. However, I think you are missing a lesson here. It appears that you failed to put yourself in the seller’s shoes and see through the seller’s eyes. For me, that is the secret to getting on the same page as the seller.

Re: ARE WE SCAM ARTISTS??? - Posted by DanT

Posted by DanT on June 14, 2001 at 18:57:54:

I don’t think a serious investor is a “scam artist”. Most are oppurtunists. Nothing wrong with that as I am one myself. Anytime you work outside of the “normal” way of doing business you will be construde as many things by different people. Some is caused by frustration of their situation, some is cause by jealousy and some by greed. I am a landlord and their are many disreputable landlords. In my community we had a family who bought and quickly renovated homes and resold them retail at inflated values using an out of town appraiser and financer. They made a lot of money quickly and got out of the business. All reputable investors knew what the end result would be and it is now coming to fruitation. I just bought one of their properties that needed repair and the folks couldn’t pay for the property and repair it too. As you can guess saying you invest around here right now is like saying you are Hitlers brother. But it comes with the territory. And although I am sorry for the folks that got burned I am grateful for the oppurtunity too. DanT

The other side of the coin - Posted by Rob FL

Posted by Rob FL on June 14, 2001 at 17:43:05:

Being a real estate agent as well as an active investor I get to see the other side of the coin.

I have dealt with several so-called “investors” that just walked out of a Carleton Sheets or Ron Legrand seminar and think they know-it-all about this business. They think all real estate agents are sleazy and know nothing about how investors operate.

These investors want to submit offers on contract forms they got out of some course from a “guru” who lives in Michigan or some other far away place. They don’t even realize that their contract doesn’t even cover half of the disclosures and legal issues that affect this state or locale. On top of that most agents and sellers would probably have to hire an attorney to decipher the garbage in it anyway.

Then they want to put a bunch of ridiculous contingencies like 90-day closings, approval of my partner (who doesn’t even exist), $100 earnest money deposits, etc. And of course they don’t have any proof of funds that they can actually even close the deal. And people wonder why real estate agents don’t take them seriously.

On the other hand, there are some investors that I know will make a clean offer and will actually close every time. I like dealing with them. As a matter of fact I’ve developed my realty business to serve people like this. It’s great repeat business.

Now I will say there are many agents running around that haven’t been licensed very long and are quite dangerous from a liability standpoint. There are also agents that have been in the business 20 years and have a “this is the way we’ve always done it” attitude. However, most of the agents out there are quite competent at what they do. The successful agents didn’t become that way by being stupid or having a bad attitude. I do think the real trick for an investor though is to find a veteran agent who invests for him/herself. There are some out there.

As far as this particular deal you mentioned, simply move on to the next deal. After a few weeks check and see if anything has changed on this property.

Re: ARE WE SCAM ARTISTS??? - Posted by Matt B

Posted by Matt B on June 14, 2001 at 17:38:19:

Jim’s advice is right on the money. However, there is one HUGE GLARING point here that nobody seems to have caught yet. I’ve repeated this a billion times. DON’T WASTE YOUR TIME CALLING ADS!!! DO YOUR OWN MARKETING TO GET MOTIVATED SELLERS CALLING YOU!!!

I know a few people disagree with me on this point, but this is the EXACT reason why I advise people not to waste their time calling ads. I don’t care how “motivated” an ad says that they are, don’t believe it!!! They are FAR more motivated when they call you! They already know that you are an investor.

You will get TONS of responses like this if you waste your time calling ads. You will get people who get angry at you, you will get people who expect all cash, full appraised value, and sometimes, ABOVE appraised value. You will get people unwilling to tell you how much they owe, what their payments are, etc.

Now if you want to do something with all those “great” sounding ads, get the phone number and go over to and do a reverse search. Get the name and address associated with the number and send them out a letter expressing interest in buying their house or perhaps lease optioning it. If they call you back, there is a 1000% higher chance that they truly are motivated!

Re: ARE WE SCAM ARTISTS??? - Posted by SandyFL

Posted by SandyFL on June 14, 2001 at 14:23:36:

Yep. That’s exactly what might happen. And that is why – sellers like that who have had 20 investors call before you did and offer them 65% of their property value - cause that’s what we were taught - get a little ruffled. What if you called and offered to take over her payments? In other words, give her 100% of what she owes the bank! Otherwise she’ll be making double payments for quite some time.

She’s mad at her situation, not at you. Long after the other people are scared off, call her again.

Or not.

:wink: SandyFL

Re: ARE WE SCAM ARTISTS??? - Posted by Jim IL

Posted by Jim IL on June 14, 2001 at 14:02:19:

Sadly, there are some bad investors and investor wanna-be’s out there that make things tougher on us.
The BEST way to overcome this is to out perform anyone and everyone else.
I’ve dealt with sellers who had previously talked to other investors, and I’ve gotten the deals.
Use your people skills.
Talk nicely to the seller, and most importnantly, listen to them.
When I talk to a seller on the phone, I’ll listen to EVERYTHING they say, and use it.
One lady told me that she was moving to a northen Wisconsin town soon, and was opening an antique shop.
I told her this sounded nice, and we talked about the area she was moving to.
I told her I’d been near there, and the area was very nice. I also talked about some antiques that I had purchased over the years, and shared in her excitement.
I think it is Joe Kaiser who refers to himself as the “Friendly investor”, and I like that. I try to be one as well.
See, you want to know about the house, and the sellers situation, and many times when gathering this info, you can have a nice conversation with them. This gets them comfortable with you, which makes it easier to get a deal.

I rarely tell people that I am an investor anymore, I just tell them that I run a business which addresses homeowners needs. I am a problem solver.

Good luck to you, and don’t let one seller get you down.
You must have thick skin to make it in this business.

Take care,
Jim IL

Re: Too Much Too Soon, Maybe?? - Posted by Lazaro

Posted by Lazaro on June 15, 2001 at 14:56:18:

I think you have a point there. Thanks for the response.

Re: Hmm 93% or 65% - Posted by Lazaro

Posted by Lazaro on June 15, 2001 at 14:58:32:

I know what you mean. But I didn’t get to offer her anything. So, how would she know what I was about to offer? Thanks for the response.

Re: Hmm 93% or 65% - Posted by Stacy (AZ)

Posted by Stacy (AZ) on June 15, 2001 at 12:35:22:

Jer, your post caught my eye. There’s a great similarity in our markets. What did you do to adjust?



Re: ARE WE SCAM ARTISTS??? - Posted by Lazaro

Posted by Lazaro on June 15, 2001 at 09:04:27:

To tell you the truth noone had told me to do that. To be honest with you I had not even thought about that. That is a very good tip! I will do just that.
Thanks for the great post.

Re: ARE WE SCAM ARTISTS??? - Posted by Lazaro

Posted by Lazaro on June 15, 2001 at 09:06:01:

That is a good idea. It doesn’t hurt to tell them to check up on you. I KNOW I have never done anything wrong so they can go ahead and check. That is a good idea. Thanks for the post.

Re: You say that like its a bad thing. - Posted by Lazaro

Posted by Lazaro on June 15, 2001 at 09:02:44:

If you have no good advice please do not post! I think that what you just did was not needed. Thanks for the empty post.

Re: ARE WE SCAM ARTISTS??? - Posted by Lazaro

Posted by Lazaro on June 15, 2001 at 09:08:41:

Well, let see she told me about the realtor before she hung up. She hung up after I she explained why she called “us” scam artists. It doesn’t matter who changed her mind. The thing is she is going to be hurt when she can’t make the payments of two homes. That is fine with me because there are plenty out there that would take my services. Thanks for the post.