With so much competition, what makes a motivated seller want to deal with you and not someone else? Figure it out and make it happen!

(1) Communication – It's vitally important to be a good communicator. To be a good communicator, you must be a good listener.

Starting out, I knew nothing about this business other than I wanted to be in it. I quickly discovered that I wasn't selling anything so, without a “pitch” to present, I didn't know how to talk with sellers. What I noticed was that most of my time was spent listening to them.

The great thing was, they all had a different need and they were only too willing to tell me what that need was. The reason people sell is not about the house, remember, it's a situation in their lives that causes them to need to sell the house. All I needed to do was craft a solution for them, and they were thrilled to work with me.

It's that simple: listen to what they need, figure a way to make it happen.

(2) Experience – Experience comes with time but, the more experienced you are, the more comfortable you will be when talking with sellers and the more comfortable they will be with you. The only way to get experience is to speak with a lot of sellers so set a goal – 5 per week? 10 per week? – and make it happen. Call for-sale-by-owners, call for-rent signs (maybe the owner will sell), call sellers from Craigslist. Find sellers anywhere and call to speak with them. You'll discover that most of them ask the same 3-5 questions. Know how to answer those. Research answers to unique questions. As with success in any endeavor, success with real estate investing takes time and practice.

(3) Track Record – What are your successes? They'll want to know. Do you have any? Are you a part of a group that can share experiences? Again, it takes time to build a track record but you'll find sellers much more willing to sell to you once you have buy and sell experiences to share with them.

(4) Trust – We all want to trust the person we do business with. Selling a house is typically the largest transaction anyone does, so trust plays an even bigger part than buying and selling pretty much anything else in their lives. Building trust is on you, but the more experience and success you've had, the more trust you'll be able to establish and the easier it will be to do.

As you can see, it's about a lot more than your offer. We've heard from more than one seller that another investor offered more, but they decided to sell to us because they believe we will do exactly what we've promised to do. What we can guarantee after so many deals over so many years is that we can buy properties, we have bought properties, and we will continue to buy properties.

What can you offer to a seller that will make them want to work with you?

My name is Karen Rittenhouse and I've been investing in real estate full time since 2004. In the past few years, I have bought and sold roughly 100 single family homes. Please check out my blog –

I also coach and train anyone interested learning about investing in real estate.

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