For any real estate investor, there is one magical creature that, when spotted, gives optimism and hope for the investment. That creature is the ‘motivated seller’ and it is a rare breed, indeed. So read on to learn how to find motivated sellers in real estate.
In case you’re wondering, a motivated seller is a home owner that wants to (or better yet, NEEDS to) sell their house fast.
And because of the speed, they’re willing to part with it for a below-market price and on easy conditions.
Now, you might be thinking, “but why would anyone in their right mind be willing to sell on those conditions? Just wait and get a better deal!”
Well, it’s not that simple. There can be many for home owners to sell at below-market value.
– They might be facing a foreclosure or lien.
– Maybe they inherited the property after probate and want to cash out.
– They are defaulting on their taxes.
– The property is in bad shape, with many repairs needed.
– The owner got a new job and want relocate closer to the office.
– They put an offer on a new house and need to sell the old one fast.
Those are just a few reasons why a homeowner might be motivated (and desperate) to sell quickly.
Now it’s becoming clear why such an opportunity is seen as a jackpot by real estate investors. Who wouldn’t want to buy a house at 35 to 50% below market rate, sometimes with no money down or 0% interest?
So how can you find these sweet deals? Let’s find out!
Top 5 Ways to Find Motivated Sellers
Although not every seller on the market is motivated, it’s not that hard to find the ones with a serious need to sell urgently, either for cash or an installment plan.
Let’s take a look at the five ways you can find motivated sellers below.
1) Stake Out the Neighborhood for Motivated Sellers
Take your car and drive around the neighborhood that you’re interested in.
Take a look around and search for properties that seem abandoned, vacant, or derelict. Basically, properties that are in bad shape.
It should be clear that the owner doesn’t have the time or the money (or just the motivation) to take care of them. That’s the sign of a motivated seller.
Watch out for “For Sale By Owner (FSBO)” signs that are usually erected outside houses available for an off-market sale.
A good amount of searching around the market will definitely give you a fair idea of what you can expect to buy.
2) Get in Touch with Local Attorneys
Local attorneys can be your tip to any amazing motivated sale opportunities coming up in the town.
That’s because attorneys work with a range of people and deal with legal issues like family matters, divorces, probates, inheritance, bankruptcy, lien, etc.
So, by hanging out with an attorney, you can surely get a lot of leads for potential motivated sellers.
The attorney will likely demand a cut or commission from a sale you make through them – which is perfectly normal given the nature of this business…
To get a few reliable attorneys on your team, you’ll need strong networking skills.
So, get focused on improving your networking skills.
Read our article on real estate networking to learn how to master this top skill.
3) Search the Internet to Find Motivated Sellers
The internet is a great place to get your hands on information about foreclosure listings, urgent sellers, auctions, and open houses.
There are several credible sites for foreclosures.
You can also use Craigslist to either advertise yourself as a buyer for an all-cash, quick closure deal, or…
You can go through the houses on the MLS and contact any potentially motivated sellers you may find there.
Social media sites like Facebook and Twitter can help you get inquiries from motivated sellers if you employ the right SM techniques to target your audience.
Furthermore, you have a strong likelihood of finding your desired sellers on free sites like Zillow, Trulia, and AQRE Home.
If you’re willing to spend a few bucks, you could also try paid sites like Fibzer, Houzeo, and FSBO.com.
As you can see, the sky’s the limit when it comes to finding deals online!
Find more useful websites in our ultimate list of sites for real estate investors.
4) Attend Estate Auctions and Open Houses
Follow real estate news on social media as well as local newspapers. From there, you can pull down enough information on potential house auctions and open house sales in your area.
After all, you don’t want other buyers arriving at the show before you and snatching your deals.
5) Use Contact Lists and Direct Mail Marketing
Basically, most of the information that a buyer like you will require on the latest liens, inheritance probates, and foreclosures will already be public.
It’ll all be sitting in the local city hall or courthouse records. And this poses two huge challenges…
For one, it’s too much of an effort to browse through ALL those files if they are paper-based. And even if you do, you’ll hardly get just a handful of leads, and that’s if you’re lucky.
And if the records are digitized… well that means you’re competing with all the other investors who have an internet connection. So, good luck keeping that amazing deal to yourself.
So, what you can do instead is buy lists of motivated sellers from known data selling companies that source their lists from solid records.
These records won’t be available for free online. So, you will have semi-exclusive access to motivated homeowners!
Some reputed data providers you can use:
Once the leads are in your hands, you can send them well-written, engaging, and intriguing copy-style mails, offering them to purchase their property for a quick close and instant cash.
This way, you can knock on the doors of hundreds of possible motivated sellers and even secure some lucrative deals.
So, here’s the final word:
Motivated sellers are always there in the market, looking for the best solution to their needs.
And, through one (or more) of the above ways, you can reach find YOUR ideal motivated seller for sure.
Instead of exploiting them, you, the investor, should exhibit professionalism and seek to solve their problem and come to a win-win agreement with them.
Because pushing a motivated seller to undersell unreasonably can give you a bad name.
Alright, that’s all.
Now let the hunt begin…!
And for expert advice to help you become a top real estate investor in your area, read more on the AQRE Home blog for investors!
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