How to Make the Seller of an Expensive Home Behave - Posted by David FInkel

Posted by Stacy (AZ) on March 19, 2002 at 11:27:01:

Along these same lines, I am pursuing a deal now where the sellers have a little dog. The dog didn’t bark at me, and came up wagging his tail. I took a few moments to pet the dog, and to say what a beautiful dog he was. I wasn’t posturing…I genuinely liked the little dog.

At the next meeting a few days later, the seller said he and his wife had also spoken with other investors, but decided they wanted to sell to me. One of the reasons was that their dog liked me. I’m guessing he must have yapped at the other investors. (smile)

How to Make the Seller of an Expensive Home Behave - Posted by David FInkel

Posted by David FInkel on March 18, 2002 at 10:10:35:

I had a great question about how to deal with sellers of very expensive homes who were snooty on the phone come to me via email, so I thought I would post my response to anyone who is interested. I am curious about your experiences with these types of snobby sellers.

Have you ever found a seller who has a high priced home who is snooty on the phone? We had one exactly like that on the original S.D. Challenge.

John Sietz was onthe phone with the seller and I could see she was giving him a hard time.

“John,” I whispered, “Put me on the phone with her.”

He did and the seller immediately asked me, “You do understand that this house is worth $1.7 million don’t you?”

My response, “Oh, well I don’t normally deal with properties that are that inexpensive, but as long as I am on the phone why don’t you tell me about the property.”

You wouldn’t believe how NICE she was to me on the phone after that.

While I didn’t really have an interest in homes of that value (in my market they are the upper end and too hard to find buyers for on a Rent to Own basis that will cash flow out) I did want to give John a clear example of how important perception is in the mind of the seller.

The experience also had another benefit for John. WHen he went to see the property he really stretched his comfort zone. Negotiating on little $300,000 homes didn’t seem so scary after negotiating on this million dollar house.

I encourage you to “stretch your comfort zone” the next time you come across a snooty seller of a high priced house.

David Finkel

Interesting point - Posted by Tarun_MD

Posted by Tarun_MD on March 18, 2002 at 15:10:57:

Its funny that you pointed that out. I have also discovered that if you are talking to a seller who has a “low end” property for sale and if you give them the impression that you are a very successful investor with deep pockets, you will scare them away.
On a couple of ocassions, I have talked to sellers with “low end” houses and sometimes bragged to them about some of the more expensive houses that I had bought. I realized that it was a mistake on my part since I was scarying them off.

Your post makes a good point though.

Thanks David…Good Advice (nt) - Posted by Heidi W

Posted by Heidi W on March 18, 2002 at 14:40:59:

Psychology of selling - Posted by Nate(DC)

Posted by Nate(DC) on March 18, 2002 at 20:14:46:


I think it’s interesting that you both are making the same point, in a different way.

The point is - people relate best to people that they think are like them.

i.e. in David’s story, the seller thought he was fabulously rich ($1.7 million is a cheap property) and she obviously, being snooty, fancies herself that way, too. She sees him as being like her - they get along.

i.e. in your story, Joe Average owns a little house, you come along as Mr. Successful Investor, he thinks “this is another rich guy out to screw the little guy, like all rich guys always do” and he gets scared and turns you down. But if you approach him as Tarun Average who buys a house every now and then, you are like him. You get along.


Re: Psychology of selling - Posted by RC

Posted by RC on March 18, 2002 at 20:37:55:

The psychology in negotiations cis frequently just a matter of “attention to detail”. I just recently was in a negotiation and noticed a custom pool cue sitting at the side of a sofa and in our conversation “small talk” asked “How’s your billiard game these days?” This person was thrilled to have a “friend” with the same interests.