Buy On Terms – Seller Financing With Ron LeGrand
Episode 524: Buy On Terms – Seller Financing With Ron LeGrand
How do you get your first paycheck in real estate? That check can be the game-changer that keeps you going, much like our guest in this episode. Ron LeGrand was a mechanic and didn’t actually believe in getting richer through real estate until he got his first paycheck. Now, Ron is sharing his knowledge and experience through live events, training, and a book. What path did Ron take to achieve his goals and succeed? Tune in and learn!
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I have the legend and the myth, Ron LeGrand. This guy is old. He goes way back. Unfortunately, so do I. I go back to the days when I was first starting and he made a definite impact and for sure changed the course of my life.
That seminar that I went to the first time was so eye-opening and so overwhelming, I don’t even know where I figured out to start but I started several years and 2,500 houses later. I’m still here. It’s an honor to talk to Ron LeGrand.
How are you doing, Ron?
For those of you who don’t know, did you get started as a repairman?
I was a mechanic. I was running the service station and then I was the mechanic on top of that back in 1982 when I never even knew what real estate even meant.
You then got talked in or talked to yourself into going to a seminar on how you too could get rich in real estate.
I didn’t believe a thing they said until I got there and then it got my interest. I know I wound up in a two-day event where they taught me how to buy a property. I missed about 90% of that but I got enough to go out and do my first wholesale deal within three weeks and that $3,000 check was probably the most important check of my life.
It changed your whole belief system. Describe your career now from 1982 until 2022.
In a nutshell, I was buying and selling all the jumpers. That’s all I knew how to do all the way up through the ‘80s then well into the ‘90s. If I can buy it cheap, I’d buy it and then I need to wholesale it or rehab it. I didn’t know anything about the terms of business that I’m doing now. 1999 was the year that we formed Global Publishing but I started teaching in 1987. That’s when I took the stage for the first time in a seminar on a course that I did. Our first four-day training or first boot camp was in 1991 so that’s how long we’ve been doing them ever since and we do them all over the country.
In 1995, I bought the office building that we’re in now and it’s also the same year I started doing annual conventions with a bunch of people in a room. We did them every year since 2008 and then this thing called the recession came along so we stopped doing them for a while. Then maybe three years later, we started back to doing them and then COVID hit in 2020 so we haven’t done one since.
A lot of things have changed. We have a company that has 30 or 40 people that are on the payroll and thousands of students all over the country who came and learned the business. Some of them went out and started teaching the business so I taught the teachers as well as the students before they became teachers.
You’re still doing deals all the time.
I’m not extremely active but I’m still doing deals.It’s unbelievable to get rich in real estate until you try it. Click To Tweet
This is a long, big career. I’m sure you bought thousands of properties. What were some of the biggest mistakes or lessons you’ve learned?
I could do a book on that one. One of the biggest mistakes that people make coming into this business is they think they need their credit. I will not allow my students to use their credit. It’s forbidden on Planet Ron. We don’t need credit to buy houses and we just need to learn how to buy one without credit. I bought I quit counting to 3,000 houses many years ago. Time sure flies. I don’t care anymore.
We don’t go down to the bank and guarantee debt to buy houses. If we use your credit and you risk three things. You risk your credit, your assets and your marriage to buy a house. You can buy all of them if you want without using your credit. Get banks out of your life and nobody is controlling what you can and can’t do.
That’s one of the biggest mistakes but I think probably one of the biggest things that keep people from doing the business is between their right ear and their left ear. It’s so all up here. People come to us and they have misconceptions. We have to first change their thinking before we can start teaching them anything useful in the world of real estate.
They got all these crazy ideas that they heard from other people who have no idea what they’re talking about and then sometimes, they come in and they don’t feel like they’re worthy of making a lot of money. I’m sure you’ve run across folks like that on a regular basis as well. They’re like, “I’m working all my life, working all the jobs, working an hour for $1 and now all of a sudden, I’m supposed to be making $20,000, $30,000, $40,000 or $50,000 a house. I don’t believe it.” Our job is to get them there and get that first check so they start believing it as I did. In 1982, I didn’t believe in it either.
Until you got a check. The first check is the most important check. It doesn’t even matter if you make a little bit of money or a medium amount. Hopefully, you don’t make too much because I’ve seen that ruin a lot of people. They go out and make $80,000 on their first deal. I was amazed. That’s like going to Vegas and coming home a great big winner on your first time. That’s probably not a good deal. The first time I got a check, it was only $2,000 profit but it sure opened the door in my mind. It’s like, “I really can do this and I did it.” How often do you deal with investors that they’re spouses aren’t on board? That happens to me a lot.
It happens a lot but I always tell them, “If you quit belting baloney and start bringing home the bacon, maybe you can get your spouse on board,” and then I also tell them, “Don’t go home and tell the whole world what you’re going to do. Go get a check for two and then start sharing with them. Now, you have a preponderance of the evidence that it’s real and not something that you made up.”
You can’t blame a spouse for not believing that they’re going to also then all of a sudden make $10,000, $15,000 or $20,000 on a real estate deal when they’ve been scraping for pennies all the years that they’ve been married and getting by. It’s a mindset change and it’s not an easy mindset change. That’s why that first and second check is so important. I can’t tell you how many times they go out, get a check and now all of a sudden the spouse is their biggest fan. They have the cattle prod and they’re like, “Go out there and get another check.” Some of the most successful people I know had a spouse that was against them when they started.
Mine was going to divorce me.
Let me give you a tip. I’ve been married for many years. There is no law that says you have to tell your spouse everything.
I didn’t tell her because I already knew her answer was no so I started buying houses on credit cards because that was the only money I could get my hands on her or so I thought. By the time she found the credit cards, I was $350,000 in debt.
I didn’t have that much credit limit. I remember the first time I took my wife into an ugly, little two-bedroom blockhouse. You could see the outside through the cracks in the walls. She said, “You’re not going to buy this, are you?” I said, “I already have.” That’s the first deal that we did and we made $7,000 on that house. I’m glad I didn’t listen to her.
I’d be working at Walmart as a greeter if I listened to my wife.
You know we can’t tell for these kinds of comments. It’s your show so it’s going to be on you.
Since that faux pas, I couldn’t have done it without them.
That’s true. I’ve been married a long time and the only reason that we’ve been married for so long is that my wife does not interfere with my business. She leaves it up to me. For some folks, that works. For some folks, they want to work together. That would not work in my family. If we had to work together every day, we probably wouldn’t be together. It was always what hits, teach his own but I do know some very successful couples that work together all the time.
We worked together for a long time. It’s better if you don’t bring your family into it for a lot of reasons. One is part of the reason that you’re doing this business is to be free and then you want to go on vacation for a week or take a month sabbatical and you can’t take your family members because if you take them, the whole business stops so you’ve got to be careful of what your goal is.
In my case, that’s not true. I’m fortunate enough to build a team that operates without me and they’re not my family. I learned that lesson the same way everybody else does. It is very difficult to fire your spouse so I never hired my spouse. In all these years, I’ve never had my wife work in my business on purpose because in my case, she didn’t want to be in it and I’m okay with her not being in it.
I’ve made some bad decisions that she probably would have stopped me from making. I just didn’t share them with her. Every man and woman is going to do the same thing. They are going to make bad decisions but I make decisions and that’s an important part. You and I make decisions. We make them fast because the bigger ones are coming right behind them and we don’t want them snowballing.
They’re almost too fast sometimes.
That’s right. The good ones outweigh the bad ones and it all works out.
I had someone the other day say, “You sure screwed that up.” I said, “I did. That’s the problem with a racehorse. Sometimes, he jumps the string.” You know you get kicked out of the race because you’re too aggressive.
Somebody has to move the machine forward,
I’d rather be that way than lazy.
As would I or I can’t make a decision. I’m analytical to the point where nothing happens. With that mindset, nothing will happen.
I’m guessing you’re about 75 years old and you’re still teaching. I’m sure they’ve asked me, “If you’re so successful, why are you teaching?” I think there are a lot of reasons for that. You’re 75. You’ve done it all. You don’t need to do anything anymore. Why do you still teach?Everyone needs something to look forward to. Click To Tweet
What would you have me do?
That’s one of the reasons that I say too. I’m like, “What am I going to do?”
Every one of your audiences needs to write down now. Everyone needs something to look forward to and I look forward to teaching so I have to know but I got to have something to do. My real estate company is running without me. I’m seldom participating in them. I let other people do what they do best. I taught them how to make decisions and I trust those decisions. When you get to that point in your life, you’ve got a bigger problem. You’re like, “What the heck do I do every day?”
Now, I’ve got a bunch of classic cars sitting around my house. I work on them because it keeps me busy. It’s either that or I watch TV. I went to the office again for the first time and I can’t even remember how long the meeting was but everybody has got to have something to do. You and I are not one to kill time and look for things to get out of work. We live for work. Work is what we do. Teaching is what I love to do. It’s what you love to do. Your answer is the same as my answer. You don’t teach because you have to. I can replace myself teaching if I want to but I don’t want to. Again, we all need something to do.
If a person has more than enough money, nothing but spare time and they’ve got a ton of energy, that’s a bad recipe.
People don’t realize that until after they retire and then wonder, “Why did I retire? Now what?” There’s only so much fishing and golfing one can do. There’s only so much traveling one can do, for crying out loud. We’ve done our share of traveling. I’m not really excited about traveling, especially when I have nothing to do when I get there. For sightseeing, send me a postcard as far as I’m concerned. I’m weird.
You’re like me. I like the outdoors. That’s why I stay busy. That’s one of the reasons. The other reason is the teacher can usually end up being the smartest guy in the room if you’ll listen to a student sometimes. I know that you didn’t think of everything in your course but you heard it all over the years, you were able to bring it all into this cauldron and make this very effective stew with all these antidotes and all these things in it.
That’s not true. I’ve created every bit of it. I invented it all or not.
I know that’s not true because one day I told you that I found the owner by writing For Sale and putting the sign in people’s yard with my phone number. We had a good laugh on that day that. You said, “After this long course, does else have a way to find the owner of abandoned houses?” I raised my hand and I said, “I got away. You didn’t cover.” You said, “What’s that?” I said, “I put a for sale sign in the front yard with my phone number. The owner calls me every time.”
That would get their attention.
How do you see things changing post-COVID?
We’re in a virtual world now. As a training company, we are doing way more virtual than we did in the boardroom. We’ve been doing virtual for a long time but we’re an event company. We do live events and we still do them. In 2020, we did none. By the way, 2020 was one of our best years in a long time as far as revenue goes because we had to go virtual. The upside is you get a lot more people that can watch you when you go virtual. The downside is I hate sitting in front of this computer and doing events like that but I didn’t have any choice.
Now, I do at least 1 or 2 live events a month and 1 or 2 virtual events. When I say live, I mean human beings in a hotel room and the virtual events are live as well but still sitting in front of a tube like that. It’s a blend for us now. A live will never replace virtual but some people will never get to a live so it’s working out okay.
You don’t get the feed off the audience as much when it’s virtual, I’m sure that is something you miss.
It’s not just that. Nobody can sit in front of a screen for several days and get it all. They’re all doing their stuff. They’re all getting interrupted. Their minds are all over the place. They don’t have any relationship building. They can’t build any kind of network. We do live deals in class that can’t do that because they’re sitting in front of a screen. Some of our mentors come to our class and they can sit down with them and discuss their personal situations and the problems that they got. There are so many reasons why live is always going to be virtual but now they can get them both and there is no extra charge to do them both.
You’ve been talking about your terms course. Tell us a little bit about your terms course and then I’ll tell everybody how they can get over it and get a copy of it if they want it.
Our training is 1 hour 15 minutes that is something on terms. That is the first thing they ought to do and it’ll be offered at the end. Now, I buy on terms and sell on terms. It’s like what you do out there in Texas, except I at least option them out to the buyer. You sell them with owner financing. We either buy them subject to or we buy them on a wrap-around or we pay cash for them sometimes but the key is we don’t cash out of them. We sell them on terms, which means we can deal with nice houses and a nice neighborhood and not all the garbage. I’ve done my time dealing with all the junk. I still rehab a house every now and then but it’s my business anymore. I don’t do wholesale at all anymore because I’d rather keep the house.
What people forget when they’re wholesaling and rehabbing is they only get one check, they pay maximum taxes and there’s no more revenue in. Unlike the terms business, I get money now, monthly and later. I get appreciation, depreciation and I get to build wealth. Many times, the people I put in the house default and lose their deposit or the down payment. I take the house back and I do it over so it’s an ongoing golden goose. They keep on coming.
There are 50 times more pretty houses than there are ugly so there’s a bigger market. Plus, I can deal in any price range, like houses that are down to the median price all the way up to $1.5 million houses. They’re everywhere you look so when you’re able to buy them on terms and then sell them on terms, there’s a great big check upfront. When you put a tenant-buyer or a buyer in it, it creates a whole new business. It’s different than the junk business.
This is one of those moments that changed the way I think. It was these kinds of ideas or strategies. I didn’t know that you were into pretty houses way back in 1996 but I know that when I watched you teach about it, you were saying, “It takes as much effort to buy a $50,000 house as it does a $200,000 house. You might as well step up a little bit because once you overcome the hurdle that it’s not about your money and it doesn’t take your money to buy the houses, you don’t need a price range.”
You also remove the risk. We don’t personally guarantee debt so there’s no more risk in buying that $200,000 or $2 million house.
I want you to go to 1000Houses.com/GetTerms. You’ll be able to click on the webinar over there and watch Ron explain it.
I can tell you what you’re going to get at the end. I’m going to offer you the terms course with a huge discount and then you have an option to get into my live event as well and get a very special deal on that. You’ve got about an hour’s worth of training there so you can understand what this terms business is all about. When you understand it, you’ll like it.
I love the terms business. I fell in love with it many years ago. I have $26 million worth of non-recourse, collateral only, wrappable money so if I can do it, anyone can do it. I wasn’t ever born with any special intellect. I just have a lot of common sense and a lot of drive and I don’t take the word no lightly.
What you mean to our new audience is you have $26 million worth of money that people owe you on houses you’ve sold them with owner financing.
What I mean is I owe $26 million to people I borrowed and I make a payment on that every first but I’m owed $52 million so it all works out fine because I wrapped the $52 million around the $26 million.We live for work. Work is what we do. Click To Tweet
That’s even better than the $26 million I started with.
That’s what’s out. The problem is when you’re seller financing your buyer, your money stays out for a long time. It’s not like a flip where the money is out for six months and comes back. When I borrow money for my owner finance strategy from a private individual, they’re giving me fifteen years or fifteen years with a ten-year glean. That money is out for a long time so I have to keep finding some new investors.
You’re going to have to come to my boot camp because that’s not what it is in my world. I buy on terms. I don’t have any money invested in the house so I want the money out there for a long time and I love them. I’m buying for cash and I borrow private money. I generally cash out of those in the not-too-distant future.
We borrow money. We borrow from human beings. I know you do too. I don’t go to loan sharks and brokers. We name the terms and give them the privilege of making this loan because they’re going to get a nice way to return safely and secured by that property but the private money is shorter-term money. I take over a debt that could have 24 or 26 years left on it. When I take it over, I’m going, “That’s the term,” and then nobody is howling me to pay them off.
Believe me, when you have the chance to get the seller to finance, that’s one less resource you have to pull out of your bag.
You would be shocked at how many of them will sell to us with nothing down. Do you want to learn how we get so many nothing down deals?
It’s all in the script. Here’s how it works. First of all, you get a lead. It’s either you’re calling the seller or they’re calling you. That lead goes to my virtual assistants to call, which they call about 50,000 of them a month for our students and they fill out the property information sheet. That’s grunt work my students don’t have to do. Here comes the property information sheet. Now, it’s the student’s job to make the closing call but they use my scripts. They are very simple but very powerful scripts.
When the VA is filling out the form, they’re asking them, “Would you be okay if we made your monthly payment for you until it gets paid off sometime in the future?” If it’s free and clear, “Would you be alright with us making you a payment until we pay you off in the future?” If the answer is yes to those questions, that’s what we call a yes lead. Whether it’s a yes or no lead, there is always going to be a call back because no doesn’t mean no. It means, “I didn’t understand your question.”
I have a script for the noes and for the yeses. I’ll give you the script for the yeses. They’re really simple and you’ll see why we get so many nothing down deals. It starts up with, “I see you talked to my assistant yesterday about the house for sale. I’m following up on the principal. Do you have a minute? You’ve indicated here that you’re okay if we can agree on the terms for me making your payment so we can pay you off in the future. Is that correct? I’ve only got three questions for you. If we could agree upon in terms, what is the least you could take for the house?” You’re going to give me an answer and I’m going to say, “Is that the best you can do?” You’re going to give me a lower answer and then I’m going to stop there.
My next question is, “We usually buy with nothing down, okay?” It says in my script shut up and wait for the answer of okay because if they say okay then you move on. If they don’t say okay then what we’ll do is we’d be like, “What is the least you could take out?” We get the answer. That answer is going to determine whether I want to buy their house or not. They want this great, big, giant down payment with no sense of going to look.
Then, there’s the third question, which is, “Are you okay with me making your payment until we get you paid off sometime in the future?” Those were only a few questions I needed all the answers to make an appointment. We have an appointment script to make sure that we’re talking to the owners and make sure that they’re going to be there and that they’re ready to do business.
By using those scripts and that one question, “We usually buy with nothing down, okay?” You’d be surprised how many people say okay. I teach my people not to beg because everybody begs. They don’t know they’re begging. It’s in the tone of their voice. When they talk too much, they’re begging. When they talk too fast, they’re begging so we got to fix that closing call.
Once we fix that, the door opens up a whole new world of opportunity. Make a handful of calls and next thing you know, you’ve got a contract for 2 or 3 years on the house with terms. The biggest question on our reader’s mind is, “The market is so high. How can we get terms? There can’t be any terms out there in this market.” There are terms in this market. There always will be terms. There always were terms for a lot of reasons.
For example, especially if the seller doesn’t have any money coming, me taking over their debt is a huge benefit to them. They don’t have any money coming but even if they do, most of the ones that we deal with are willing to wait on it later. I’m not looking for the majority. I’m looking for the minority but there’s a never-ending supply of people that do term. In the last boot camp we did, we did nineteen terms deals in that one four-day boot camp where the students brought in the leads and we called them for them and negotiated the deals.
That’s impressive. Go to 1000Houses.com/GetTerms. Watch the webinar and get a taste of what Ron’s talking about. He’s talking about how to get the seller to finance you the sale of the property so that you have no money out of your pocket. This plays right into the theory that you don’t need your own money to do well in real estate. If you don’t have a bunch of money then you’ve got to pick strategies that allow you to function with a minimal size of the bank account. This is what it’s all about.
Especially in taxes, you guys got it good. You got almost no closing costs out there.
We have a lot of things to get out of here. Go to 1000Houses.com/GetTerms. This is where you learn that it’s just as easy to buy a pretty house as it is an ugly house. You don’t have to have money to make a dollar or even get rich, for that matter. It won’t be easy. You won’t be able to sit on the sofa in front of your TV and get this done but if you have some initiative and you have some drive then all you’re lacking now is the knowledge and knowledge is the key to changing everything. You want to learn something specific. You got to go to the guy who has specifically done that for years. If you’re looking to buy houses on terms, this guy right here has done it as many and as often as anybody could probably hope to do it so he knows what he’s doing.
If you want to flounder around and try to figure it out on your own, hopefully you’ll get it figured out before you quit. That’s the danger of going on your own. If you don’t figure it out pretty fast, you’ll quit so why don’t you get with someone who can get you there fast and make sure that you have this career way into the future?
I almost quit this business when things got hard and I stumbled around and hired a mentor on accident. I had never heard of that. No one had ever talked to me about hiring a mentor. I just did it and to think how close I came to walking away from this business that has been worth millions to me because I found the right mentor at the right time and he stopped me from continuing to make big mistakes.
Go to 1000Houses.com/GetTerms. I’d like to thank each and every one of you for stopping by to get you some Ron LeGrand. I would also like to think TaxFreeFuture.com. If you’re thinking about a self-directed retirement plan that’s either tax-deferred or tax-free, before you do anything, contact TaxFreeFuture.com. Make sure you listen to those little video vignettes and learn why I believe you should pick that company over all other companies. There are a lot of reasons and you may not be aware of them if someone doesn’t talk to you about it. We’re out of here. Thank you so much, Ron. I appreciate you.
Thank you. It’s always a pleasure.
About Ron LeGrand
Master the art of buying and selling real estate without using your money or credit with help from Ron LeGrand, a real estate expert. Backed by many decades of experience, Ron has been teaching longer than most agents in the industry. As an added bonus, you learn nearly every detail from Ron himself!
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