As a real estate investor with money to spend, the trick is to find motivated sellers. Better still if you can find them before the rest of the herd of investors does. And one of the interesting quirks of investing is that often a seller won’t even realize how motivated he is, or that he even has any intention of selling at all, until you ask him. A motivated seller is nothing more than a house owner who is desperate to solve a problem.
Here’s how to launch your own motivated seller search.
The first thing you’ll need is an official looking website that pre-educates interested parties about what you can do to help them, namely, buy their house. Your education process will describe what you do and how the process works. Including a submission form on the website is a good way to screen deals without the time consuming process of talking to each person on the phone. You’ll often get ten minutes into a conversation before realizing it’s a deal that’s going nowhere.
With the website in place, you need a targeted list of people who might be interested in selling, because you’re going to contact them the old fashioned way, by snail mail. An email can easily be ignored, deleted, or zapped by a spam removal program before the intended recipient ever sees it. Cross reference your list for people with a house and legal trouble. This is a fertile mix for finding motivated sellers.
Public records are a treasure trove of information related to who is going through a divorce, has recently inherited property, has a lien, more than one mortgage, a foreclosure, or just a bad tenant. These are the sort of people who have come to view their real estate as a headache or maybe even an answer to a problem, if they sell it. People with expired MLS listings are good targets also. Narrow the field by focusing on those who have owned their property for at least ten years. That means they should have equity built up.
Send out your mailing, we suggest big, bright postcards with an unequivocal message like, “We buy houses!” or “Sell your house today!” This is a numbers game and you’ve got about ten seconds to make an impression before your postcard gets trashed. Still, there are motivated sellers to be discovered. Just keep mailing.
The Commercial Investing Center Team
Flickr / Editor B