There’s a really surprising key to getting your offers accepted when you’re working directly with sellers, and it’s going to come as a bit of a surprise.
The key to making your offers acceptable is NOT to make offers. Okay, so what I mean by that? That doesn’t make sense, right? The distinction is this: you are not going to be making offers. You are going to be making proposals.
Offers are very different than proposals; an offer is you saying to a seller, “Hey, guess what? I thought about this and here’s what works for me. Will you take it?” I guess that’s one way to go about it, and that’s by far the most common approach in real estate, whether you’re working directly with a seller or you’re working through a real estate agent. But, what’s a proposal?
A proposal is like me saying, “Seller, I’ve been listening really closely to you as we’ve talked. I’ve tried to ask some good questions and I feel like I understand where you are trying to go. So, I’ve taken that insight and I’ve put together a proposal that I believe gets you from where you are to where you’re trying to go. Here’s how I propose that I buy your property.” Can you see how unbelievably different an offer is from a proposal?
An offer says, “This is all about me,” while a proposal says, “This is all about you.” A proposal shows a tremendous amount of goodwill on your part; it shows that you are honestly trying your best to understand what the seller needs and then trying to tailor and craft something that is actually going to match what they’re trying to accomplish.
I have also found that when you make a proposal, it’s much more difficult for the seller to just say no out of hand. They might say, “This proposal does not quite fit me,” or they might say no to the proposal – but they don’t say no in the same way they do when you make an offer because that offer has nothing to do with them whatsoever.
When you make a proposal and say, “I’ve done my best to understand where you’re trying to go and I’ve taken my best shot at getting you there, what do you think about this? Give me some feedback on this proposal,” sellers don’t tend to just say no. Instead, they are much more likely to say, “I appreciate your effort here and I really appreciate that you’re trying to help me get what I need to accomplish, but these things don’t quite work for me and here’s why.” Now it becomes more of a discussion and it continues to be a collaborative approach, rather than when you just make an offer, which is like standing in a vacuum and saying, “Well, I thought about it. Here’s what works for me. Will you take it?”