Getting information out of some sellers is like pulling teeth.
I had to laugh last week (again), when a FSBO kept answering my leading questions with "I don't know," and "no" and "yes" answers.
I mean, they were playing so close to the vest (which isn't unusual for FSBOs) that they couldn't expound on the description of their house to save their life.
It was ready to water-board them!
One answer that is always hilarious to me when I request the seller to describe his house is, "What do you want to know?" Is that the worst answer ever?
What do I want to know!!!!!!?????
Just tell me about your friggen house!
However, I used to confuse this with lack of salesmanship on the part of the seller. Not anymore. Sellers that can't express themselves are often hiding a problem they need us to solve. At the same time, "un-forthcoming" sellers often need desperately to sell, but are in denial, or exhibiting "pain avoidance."
On the other spectrum, we have the "Chatty Cathy" who cannot stop talking about her house, and expounding on every single real and imaginary (as in made up) feature and benefits of her house. Sometimes, these folks are as desperate to sell as any close-vested seller out there. However, the "Chatty Cathy" is going to be less work to close on, if it's gonna happen.
So what? Well, it's important to figure out if we're dealing with a time waster, or as as Robert Allen puts it, "a wanter," or a desperate "don't water." Either way, we NEED to know why a seller is selling.
This usually requires a 30-minute routine of friendly questioning according to Barney Zick. He said that a seller can't lie to us for more than 30 minutes about why they're selling. I agree. However, some sellers are so slow at giving information we can't tell what they're lying about for probably 45-minutes.
It's in the cases where the seller is not forthcoming that we might be tempted to walk, or short-change the negotiation process by not allowing ourselves, and the seller time to "work" on the deal.
We don't like to admit that, as buyers, we have a need for satisfaction in the negotiations just as much as the seller does --- even if the seller is not aware of his need.
So going slow, controlling our emotions, and allowing the conversation to meander across all the seller's motivational elements, allows us time to naturally develop a rapport with seller, find the "becauses" that are necessary to justify what we want, and find out what we can give up in order to give the seller what he needs (and less about what he might "want") --- and achieve satisfaction in the negotiations so that all parties know they worked their butt off to get a deal struck. This is an important moment to remind ourselves why we want all the decision-makers present during the negotiations or "everybody" won't feel satisfied."
Meantime we'll equity strip the fast-talking, motivated sellers that have diarrhea of the mouth! j/k