Overlooked Profits: Investigate and Negotiate | EREI 10

There’s a saying about real estate that says, “You make money when you BUY real estate, and get paid when you SELL it.” That adage is very true. However, numerous investors lose out on big pieces of profit by concluding the negotiation as soon as the offer has been accepted by the seller. What some investors fail to see is that that’s just the start of the negotiation! On today’s show, Matt tells you how to widen your profit margins simply by asking the seller a few additional questions.


Recommended Resource:

  • It’s been great meeting you virtually. Would you like to meet in person? Our next live event is right around the corner! Go to EpicIntensive.com for the details.
  • Need money? We have secured more than $15,000,000 of funding for the Epic community, people just like you. Get access to fast cash for your real estate investing business with our “one-of-a-kind” credit-based funding program at EpicFastFunding.com
  • Need time? Work on your business rather than in your business by leveraging the time of others.  Access free information and find real estate-trained virtual assistants to help you free up your time.  Learn more at VAsForRealEstate.com.
  • Need training? The ultimate training environment for real estate investors: Version 3.0 of The Epic Pro Academy!  New look, new lessons & new content – we’ve got everything you need to know to get your first paycheck!
  • Need someone to do it all for you? If you’re an Accredited Investor, you can diversify your portfolio by hitching your wagon to our train and share in the profits. Go to EpicWealthFund.com to download the executive summary.




Podcast Transcript
(Voice Over): Epic Real Estate Investing Podcast Episode 10. You’re about to meet a man that can show you how he took control of his life and financial future and how you can do the same. He’s never been on TV.

He’s not a millionaire. He doesn’t know Donald Trump. He is a full time real estate investor, newly discovered author, and family man. He does not report to a boss.

He creates his own schedule and takes his family on a few vacations every year. He got started investing in real estate with almost no money and a really crummy credit score. And he’s going to show you exactly how he did it and how he continues to do it. You will have to work.

You will have to be responsible. However, laying the beach, sipping fruity drinks is a reasonable goal. Without further delay, your guru. Sorry. Your guide to a better life, the real estate investor, Matt Theriault.

Matt Theriault: Hello. And greetings from The Epic Real Estate Investing Podcast. The podcast that will show you how to create wealth through conventional and creative real estate investing so you’ll have the option to realistically retire in the next 10 years or less. And enjoy the good life while you’re still young enough to do so.

My name is Matt Theriault, author, full time real estate investor and family man. If this is your first time listening to the show. You want to do two things. One, go back and listen to episode one. Episode one is going to give you the gist of what the show is about and why it’s here.

I mean everything that we discussed is going to make a lot more sense if you do that. And two, download the free real estate investing course on how to deals, no money required. And you can get at freerealestateinvestngcourse.com.

It’s a step-by-step course of which I reveal everything that I do, everything that I say, everything that I use including the documents and contracts. Everything that you are going to need to invest in real estate using no money or credit. And that’s yours for free at freerealestateinvestingcourse.com.


Okay. So as promised, well actually I blew my promise so I’m sorry for that. It took me about 72 hours instead of the 24 hours that I promised to get this episode posted. My apologies. I am a brand new father just 4 weeks old and still managing how to care for a newborn and manage work.

And being that I work most of the time out of my home office even more of a challenge because I’ve got to find the quiet time to actually make a recording. But don’t feel sorry for me, I’m not complaining.

It’s just something new to learn. Anyway, we left last episode with how to uncover the many areas of which you can put more money in your pocket. Whether you intend to flip a property or to hold on to it.

I’m going start showing you now how the money you make or may not need is revealed during your do diligence. How there’s typically a fortune right under most investors’ noses and most of them can’t even see it. Whether you’ll need that money to close or not doesn’t really matter but it is money. Your money nonetheless.

Now at this point, you have the property under contract and you’ve opened escrow. We’re now going to begin the next step in the Epic approach. The I in our Epic acronym. The I stands for investigate and negotiate. Investigate meaning your do diligence. You’ll hear those two terms used interchangeably.

And this is actually level 3 of your analysis. We completed levels 1 and 2 during evaluate and decide where we determined our initial opinion of value.

Now, I’m going to conduct our do diligence and determine our actual opinion of value. The purpose of this investigation is two-fold. First, you want to learn more about the property to make sure there are no surprises after you complete your transaction. Specifically, the type of surprises that will cost you money or even worse, get you in legal trouble.

But not to worry, if you find anything that even remotely scares you or causes a significant concern. You have your contingency clause already in your contract. And you can walk away freely should you want but that’s not the intent. We are here to make some money.

That brings me to the second reason for this investigation. And that is to find reasons to ask the seller for a discount. Meaning you actually want to find some issues with the property in your investigation because you can go back to the seller and ask them to share the expense.

Or how I like to phrase “share in the liability.” I mean that tends to land nicer in your negotiations. Share in the liability of the newly found challenges.

Your new discoveries during your inspections. So the first step in your investigation is to hire a professional home inspector. And if you don’t have an inspector on your team yet, I will ask for referrals from your network first.

And if you can’t get good referral, you could search for one at American Society of Home Inspectors at ashi.org. That’s alpha, sam, hotel, indigo dot org. And that actual inspection run you anywhere from $200 to $400.

Yes. This step in the process will take a small investment on your part but it’s an investment that’s going to pay big dividends. And you’ll see how in a minute.

The second step is you’re going to call your title representative to pull a preliminary title report. And what that report is going to reveal is you will be able to determine if there’s anything attached to the property that may affect your ownership such as a mechanics lane, overdue property taxes, judgments, easements.

Most of the time escrow will discover these types of encumbrance. Though I’ll bring them to your attention. Typically they’ll assist you in resolving them during escrow but nonetheless this is your deal and you should understand everything you’re getting yourself into. So don’t trust that escrow or do this for you.

Take it upon yourself and be proactive about it. And if this will be your first or second time reviewing a title report, ask your title rep to help you interpret the report. I mean most reps are going to be happy to do this for you.

And remember you have your choice of title reps. You are the customer. You can do business with any title reps, as you want so if the one you’re using isn’t providing the type of service and assistance you’d like. Pick another one. You’re the boss in this relationship. Okay?

The third step is you’re going to go back to your property analysis where you determine your initial opinion of value. And I want you to get detailed with that analysis. Now be meticulous about what has actually sold.

Refine your search. Narrow it as much as you can by analysing the properties that are most closely related to your property. You can narrow your search by reducing the area radius. Get properties as close to your location as possible.

You can also reduce your search by the bedroom and the bathroom configurations. Before when we were determining our initial opinion of value, we were only concerned with square footage. It’s okay now to narrow your search even further looking at the bedroom and bathroom configurations.

And then if you can, narrow your search even further by when properties actually sold the timing of the market. You know when determining our initial opinion of value, we were looking at properties that has sold in the last 90 days. If you can, narrow your search to properties that have sold in the 60 or 45 or 30 days.

Get your search as narrow as possible so that you have at least still 5 comparables. And then average the lowest 5. That’s going to be much closer to actual value or I should say your worst-case scenario of what you can expect to sell a property for. And also at this point, I’ll actually look at the active listings as well.

What this is going to do is it will indicate what your properties competition will be, when it’s time to execute your extra strategy. And when it’s time to do that I like to be the lowest priced property of the comparable properties in my area.

And here’s why. When a market is appreciating, buyers tend to feed from somewhere in the middle and the top. That’s where they’ll start picking in their properties because they know it’s appreciating. So they’re not so concerned with price.

But in a depressed market, which is very common in our country right now. There are certainly exceptions. But in a depressed market or even a declining market or even a stagnant market, buyers will tend to consume the property from the bottom top. They’re always going to look at the lowest price properties first.

And if I’m the lowest priced property of like properties, I will typically get more exposure. What happens is exposure drives demand and demand drives value. So that’s why look at the actives particularly in the market like the one we’re in right now. It might be different in your area but that’s how it is in my area right so you’ll want to look at that.

Now once you have your property inspection complete, you’ve reviewed the title report and you’ve taken a more detailed look at the market data. And if you haven’t discovered any deal breaking information.

Then the next step or the fourth step is to get a licensed contractor or two or three or four. I’d advised to get multiple contractors to put together bits or to put together their proposals. To what it would cost to repair, everything that your home inspector found during the property inspection.

Now at this point, you’ll have a very accurate idea of what the property is worth. What it can be sold for and how much it’s going to cost to repair or rehab it should you choose to.

Your investigating is essentially complete at this point. And most of the time if you are diligent, you can get all of this complete and in less than a week. And no worries if it takes a little longer because based on the contingency clause you put in your contract, you have at least 14 days to complete this investigation.
If you happen to finish early, anytime before day 14. You’ll still want to wait until day 12 to 14 before you go to the next step: negotiate. Negotiate with the seller that is. Now why wait until day 12 or 14? Well, this is another very important reason to get properties under contract because it changes the psychology of the entire deal.

What do you think the seller’s thinking? When you’re under contract and conducting your investigation, that seller is thinking they have their properties sold. They signed the contract.

They’re likely already making plenty of plans to move. They probably got their boxes packed. They’ve for sure are already thinking what they are going to do with their proceeds.

I mean in their minds the property has sold. And knowing that by waiting until the end of your inspection period day 12, 13, or 14 somewhere in there to present the findings of your inspection and investigation.

You’re almost assured to experience more flexibility in the seller’s negotiating. Now, if you have a problem with this portion. If you think this is an unfair or sneaky, if that’s just your gut instinct. Don’t do it. I mean you can skip this step if you want.

You’ve likely got a decent deal anyway if you follow all the steps up to this point. But don’t forget this is business. And in the real estate game or nay game for that matter where there is a significant profit to be made. It will take savvy negotiating and strategy on your part if you expect to be in the game for a long term. You know, Matthew says, I am sending you out like sheep among wolves.

Therefore be as shrewd as snakes and as innocent as doves. Sometimes I think that Jesus might be referring to specifically to real estate investing. I don’t know. Maybe or maybe not. Either way you will want to know that using the full-allotted time given per the contract is violating no rules, no laws, or ethics.

That’s why there’s a contract. You are operating under the letter of the agreement and well within your rights as a buyer. You are simply being shrewd. You’re being a good real estate investor. Just by the nature of being called an investor, it’s your job to go out and make a profit.

It’s just good responsible business. Responsible to yourself and responsible to the people in your life that are depending on you to succeed. So now it’s day 12, 13 or 14, I like to wait until right around day 13 at least.

You’ll call up the seller to set up some time to get together and when you do get together, you’re going to share with him or her what the inspectors and the market has further revealed to you.

And notice how I said that, I mean it’s just like you initially presented your original offer. It’s not you against the seller. It’s you and the seller against the market. It’s you and the seller against the inspector’s report. It’s you and the seller against the contractor’s proposals.

In my free estate investing course, I actually videotaped a role play of what this secondary stage of negotiating typically looks like but for the sake of this podcast. Here’s the basic approach. You’ll sit down with the seller.

Again, I’d like to see meet at a neutral location and I’ll typically begin the conversation with something like this. Mr. or Mrs. Seller, I’ve completed my do diligence and you are completely aware that I am an investor.

I mean this is what I do to feed my family and pay my bills and by the very definition of being an investor. I don’t make money unless I can sell a property from more than what I paid for. You understand that, right?

By this simple little sentence being said upfront. I mean you are getting an indirect agreement from the seller that it is okay for you to make a profit on this transaction. That you must be able to sell the property for more than you pay for. By getting the agreement, you just laid the foundation or created the environment to get a discount, to get concessions,

Then you’ll show them the new market data you found. Maybe you found a brand new comparable that sold for less than your previous comparables. That brings the value of the property down a bit.

Or you found an oversight in your initial evaluation that brings the property’s value down a bit or maybe you found a comparable that was never on the MLS that sold for less than your previous comparables. Or you discovered three new properties in the neighbourhood that just hit the market that hit the market while you were conducting your do diligence.

By way of more competition, the property’s value might have been reduced a bit. And you’re showing the seller all of this information from the perspective. Look what the market is doing to your property’s value. I mean you’re not actually going to say that.

Well maybe you would but if nothing else you want that to be the seller’s perception. I mean the seller has no control over the market and you certainly have no control over the market so don’t take responsibility for it.

Let the market be the bad guy. You’re just the messenger. The messenger of which wants to help the seller out of their situation. Mr. and Mrs. Seller, as you can see here the market conditions are impacting your property’s value and unfortunately not in a good way. I should be able to still help you out of this situation but let me show you what the physical inspector found.

You see it’s the bad market that’s bringing the property’s value down. And you are there to save to day. Also, there’s more. Look at what the inspector found. And notice that I didn’t say, look what I found nor did I say look at what my inspector found.

I said, look what the physical inspector found. It’s not you versus the seller. It’s you and the seller versus the physical inspector’s report. This is so crucial. If you expect to get agreements from the seller.

Agreements to concede and you can either let the seller read the report themselves or you can help them a bit and point out some bigger discoveries. You know, maybe the report found a few missing shingles and some water damage in the back bedroom and/or an issue with the plumbing or the water heater not in order or the electrical panel is outdated and not in code.

Or there’s slight crack on the foundation or there’s evidence of termite damage in the attic or something as small as power outlets aren’t GVCI outlets. Or the kitchen cabinets are missing some screws. I mean it doesn’t matter what it is. It all has to be repaired. Right?

How could you possibly turn a house over to somebody to sell the house to somebody if everything is not fixed? But what the report doesn’t show anything is wrong with the property? That’s the question I frequently get. No chance. All reports show something wrong with the property. There’s just far too much liability on that inspector if they turn in a property report saying there’s nothing wrong with it.

They have to find something wrong with it. It’s not only way in court should they end up there ever that they can prove that they actually inspected the property. So don’t worry about that. There will always be something that needs to be repaired. And what needs to be repaired comes with a cost.

And at this point, the sellers typically shaking in their boots because they’re afraid you might not go through with the transaction. And all they’re thinking about is that they got their boxes packed, their plane tickets purchased, they’ve put a downpayment or deposit on the next place that they’re going to live in.

I mean it might be charged on a credit card, new appliance or furniture for the next residence. Oh my god, how am I going to pay for all of these? How am I going to get the money back that I already spent?

That’s what going through their minds or some combination thereof. Now, after going through the report, you then show the seller what the professional, certified licensed contractors said it was going to take to fix everything. Remember, I said to get more than one contractor bid, more than one contractor proposal. Why did I say to get more than one?

Because if you lined up 10 contractors against the wall and asked each of them to submit a bid on how much it’s going to cost to repair everything. You’re going to get 10 different answers. That being the case, which one are you going to show the seller during this meeting?

The highest one, right? And which contractor is you actually are going to use? I mean you might use the lowest but whichever one you choose; it’s most likely not going to be the highest proposal. And even if you did want to use that highest proposal.

Could you negotiate with the contractor that bring his bi in a little bit lower? Sure you could. You’ve got multiple bids that you could use as leverage to say, hey I could go with them but I want to go with you.

You know, what can we do? So you’re starting to see how you’re making money in this process. I mean that after everything is all said and done, you’ve showed the seller the latest market data. You’ve showed them the physical inspection report.

You’ve showed how much it’s going to take to repair everything. At this point, you’re just going to be quiet for a minute and let them think about all the information that they just reviewed.

In fact, wait as long as you can. I mean if they don’t volunteer to reduce their price or issue a repair credit escrow or offer some sort of concession because often times they do. They do so because they don’t want you to back out of the deal but if they don’t and you just can’t bear the silence any longer.

You can say something like you know, Mr. and Mrs. Seller after reviewing all of this information. It doesn’t really appear that the market is going to give us what we had hoped for. It doesn’t appear to our original agreement really makes sense anymore. What do you think?

Notice what I said in there. It doesn’t appear that the market is going to give us what we, you and the seller, had hoped for. It doesn’t appear to our original agreement really makes sense anymore. What do you think?

And again, here you’ll want to give them an opportunity to reply. I mean after you asked what do you think? Shut up. Don’t say a word. The first one that speaks at this point loses. So I don’t care how uncomfortable it gets.

Don’t be the first one to speak. If they don’t volunteer a concession and they say anything other than offering a concession, you want to say something along the lines of well as I see it; the market is suggesting that this deal just might not make sense anymore. In order to get us back to the point where would make sense, how much of these newly found liabilities would you be willing to share with me?

And again, shut up and wait for an answer. The first one to talk after you ask those types of questions. The first one to talk loses. So if the seller needs to sell, you will get a concession. You see, just prior to asking for concession, this was likely a good deal already.

If they don’t give you any concessions, it doesn’t mean you can’t do the deal. You can still do the deal but know that the seller can’t cancel or back out of the contract just because you asked.

So you’re asking just to see what they say. You’re hoping for concessions but if you did everything right up to this point. It’s still likely going to be a very doable deal without the concessions. I mean unless you found something major during your inspections. You probably still have a deal. You’re just going for a little more. That’s all.

Because typically, any concessions you get in the secondary phase of negotiating can literally be 100% profit in your pocket. I mean if you liked the deal already and saw that you’re going to make $15,000 once you completed your extra-strategy.

Whatever the seller’s answer was to the question, how much of these newly found liabilities would you be willing to share with me? Whatever they said to that, it’s a 100% profit.

I mean if they volunteer to pay for the roof that your $10,000 bid but you have another bid of $6,000. I mean you just made an extra $4,000 or maybe your next buyer will take on the roofing expenses themselves.

You don’t have to do the roof expense but you still got the concession in which you created $10,000 of pure profit just by asking the seller to share in the liability with you.

You know if the crack in the foundation was a $15,000 repair but the crack wasn’t significant enough to require a repair. I mean all foundations have cracks somewhere. Right?

They don’t all need to be repaired but if the seller offered to issue a $15000-credit in escrow so you could fix the foundation. You just put an extra $15,000 in your pocket. You’ve doubled your profit. So you know, this is where a ton of money can be made. And it’s made just by asking. No labor or extraordinary effort is required. You just have to ask. Ask for your concessions.

Whatever concession the seller gives you, you can put it all in your pocket and do none of the repairs. You can do some of the repairs or you can do all the repairs using one of the lower proposals, one of the lower bids.

Or you can do nothing and just split those additional concessions with your assignee and pass them on costing an even easier, quicker, and more profitable assignment.

Now once that’s over and you’ve got your concessions or not, once the final price and terms are agreed to. You now have the option of assigning the property to another investor or perhaps bringing a money partner and buying it together. I mean it’s up to you at this point; it’s not about your resources. It’s about your resourcefulness.

You know your situation better than I do but I do know once you’re at this point. There’s really no doubt that you’re putting some hefty cash in your pocket of which was the goal in the first place. Right?

After all of this work, if you completed this work exactly we have gone over it in the last several episodes. If you can’t find anyone assign or wholesale a property to, call me. Contact me. I mean if I don’t take the property off your hands personally. I’ll almost surely find someone that can but you have to follow the steps as I’ve described them for that to be applicable.

And if you don’t like that idea, the next episode what we will do is we will go over how to find an unlimited number of assignees and buyers for your deals. I’ll show you how to start building a massive buyers list that will cost buyers to compete for your deals.

And when they compete, the value of your deals goes up. And when the value goes up, that translates into even more cash or profit in your pocket.

But none of this is realistic unless you get properties under contract. That’s always the goal when you come across a property. That’s why we just determined upfront and an initial opinion of value. So we know it’s a ballpark figure to get the property under contract. You can adjust that price later on. So you’ve got to get the properties under contract.

That’s always the goal when you come across a property. And to get property under contract. You’ve got to write offers. That’s what you do. You’re an investor and investors write offers. Now if you have never written an offer before, I want you in the next 48 hours to find the fizz ball.

Look one upon Craigslist. I want you to submit an offer. I want you to call the owner, talk about the property, and submit an offer. I just want you to actually go through the practice of submitting an offer. And if it gets accepted, awesome! You move right on to the steps as I’ve described in this episode. Okay?

So until next time. And as a very wise person once said, in business you don’t get what you deserve. You get what you negotiate. To your success, I am Matt Theriault. Living the dream.

(Music Playing)

(Voice Over): Thank you for spending this time with Matt Theriault and the Epic Real Estate Investing podcast. When you have time, stop by iTunes to leave your comments and let us know what you think of this show. And if you haven’t done so already, get started investing today by visiting FreeRealEstateInvestingCourse.com to access Matt’s free course on how to deals, no money required. Until next time. To your success, to your success, to your success.

(Music fading)


(End transcript)