Would You Believe Sellers Think Differently Than Buyers? What a Shocker!

Posted on October 31, 2014 by

It took me years to understand that Sellers think differently than buyers. I know this sounds too idiotic to even discuss but from years of negotiating with sellers I can tell you that if you don’t understand how sellers think it will be impossible to negotiate profitable deals. Jimmy Napier told me years ago that we investors are trying to buy just “another house”, while the seller is selling a “Home”. Once I heard this it got me to thinking. It’s true; a seller has a different reason for the way they negotiate. This has changed how I negotiate and the techniques I use. I no longer believe that always offering CASH for every deal is the best offer to make.

Because I know there are as many ways to buy a property, as there are properties to buy I understand every seller has a different reason why they are selling and just getting all cash is NOT the only reason why they are selling their property. It will be your job to figure out what the seller really wants. While sitting at kitchen tables I have heard time after time what a seller really wants and money isn’t many sellers only motivation. Once they tell you what they want then hopefully you can then go on to solve the seller’s problem whatever it may be.

Over the years I have heard a myriad of reasons why each seller wants or needs to sell their house. Some needed to sell because the size of their family had grown and they have simply outgrown the house they have. Possibly I could sell them one of my other houses in exchange for the house they need to sell. Some sellers have reached retirement age and no longer need such a large house to take care of. Again, I might be able to sell them one of my houses or find them a house they would be happy with, buy it and exchange my house for their house. I call this “double dipping”. Some sellers may have had a job transfer and need to sell their house quickly because they are now making two house payments they can’t afford to make, the house they left and the house they are now living in. Some sellers may no longer be able to take care of the property because of their age or physical condition or, they can’t afford the monthly payments any longer. Some sellers may simply want to rid themselves of the large monthly payment they are paying and are having trouble making each month while trying to save their credit score. Some seller’s have back property taxes they can’t pay and their lender is threatening foreclosure if they don’t. You will never know what motivates the sellers until you ask.

Some sellers who have a problem in their life may only want enough money from the sale of their house to take care of their problem. Some sellers want an income stream every month over the long term, and some sellers are simply out of their minds wanting more for their property than it is worth. However, no matter what the reason why the seller wants to sell their property it is your responsibility to find the reason why they are selling and then try to solve the seller’s problem, if you can and still make a profit.

Many sellers want debt relief while other sellers want as much money as they can get from the sale because they believe that the money they receive from the sale of their house will be the only money they will have to comfortably live the rest of their lives or to pay off debt or take that once in a lifetime dream vacation they’ve always wanted to take. Other seller’s believe that the money from the sale of the largest asset they will ever own is all they will ever have to live a somewhat comfortable lifestyle. When this is the case most sellers are harder to negotiate with especially if they live in the house they are selling because of their emotional attachment. You will find sellers who think they deserve top dollar for their property even if it isn’t in perfect condition. Every seller’s motives will always be different from what you will automatically assume. You simply can’t know without asking.

Next month I will continue this line of thinking that will help you become a better negotiator and help you make far more profits from the deals you do.

Happy Investing!


Larry HarboltLarry Harbolt is the nation’s leading creative Seller Financing expert as well as a popular national real estate speaker and teacher whose time-tested strategies and nuts and bolts teaching style has helped thousands of aspiring real estate entrepreneurs realize their financial dreams with little or no money and without the need for credit. Larry has been successful creatively buying and selling real estate for over 30 years and has written numerous popular articles and real estate courses.

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