A Christian minister, a recent immigrant to Canada, a dude covered in tattoos, and woman under 5 feet tall with a baby on her hip have all told me a version of, ‘I’m not a bad person, but how can we find someone who’s desperate to sell their home and is willing to give us under market value for it?… I’m not trying to take advantage of someone… but I’m not buying anything that’s not a great deal.’
I’ve honed my response.
‘Houses don’t go on sale. A real estate outlet mall would be ten thousand times worse than a regular outlet mall, filled with hundred thousand dollar problems. Here’s why:
‘If you were desperate to sell your house, you’d likely have serious money problems, or the house has serious problems.
Let’s talk about the first. Let’s imagine you were strapped for cash and couldn’t pay your mortgage. Would you be more likely to underprice your house to get rid of it, or overprice it and hope some sucker pays too much for it and you’re money problems are alleviated?’
‘How many penniless people do you know who are willing to give you tens of thousands of dollars? Not many, right? When their back is against the wall, a homeowner isn’t looking to do you a favour.’
Then I rub it in.
‘To get a great deal you’ll have to take on something that scares most people shitless. The roof needs replacing, the exterior is crumbling, there’s foundation problems, leaks, a remediated grow-op, an uneven yard and bursting retaining walls, a collapsing garage, someone was murdered in the house… let me know which of those you're most comfortable with so I can narrow down your search.’
That’s usually when they start to quiver…
Then, I drop the dagger.
‘Look, there are enough people in the world waiting to prey on someone’s misfortune. I’m not one. I don’t feel like you are either. But in real estate you very rarely have that opportunity. I kinda like that about my job.
‘Let’s look for the perfect home that’s priced well. Write a strong offer. Get you the terms you want.
‘You’ll love your home! You’ll fill your new home with great memories. It will be a solid investment for years to come.’