Where does an investor find homeowners who are motivated to sell?
It is much easier if the homeowners come looking for you. Whether you door knock, do direct mail, run ads, or have some other marketing campaign, your success rate will depend on developing a highly-targeted list of the homeowners most likely to sell their houses to an investor at a deep discount. Here are some of the best places to look for motivated sellers:
For Sale By Owner lists, ads and websites
Check out Craigslist, forSaleByOwner.com, Owner.com, for sale by owner on Zillow.com. These are some of the most popular sites used by owners interested in selling their homes themselves, usually because they want to save on real estate commissions. This means that they could be pinching pennies in order to get out from under their mortgage.
Out of state owners
People who live out-of-state tend to be more disconnected and disengaged from their investment properties. Many of these people had to move away unexpectedly and for whatever reason, they just don’t care about their property. Often these people have a vested interest in liquidating as soon as possible. Get a list of absentee owners from your friendly, local title company for a nominal fee.
Abandoned or neglected properties.
Look for owners of properties that are fire-damaged, moss-covered, paint-peeling, empty or neglected fixers. Obviously the owners don’t care about these properties, or perhaps the deferred maintenance is just too overwhelming. These properties can easily be found just by driving around in almost any middle-class or working-class neighborhood.
Non-owner occupied owners of problem properties (city code violations) or problem tenants (court evictions)
For obvious reasons, people are much more likely to part with an investment property than they are with their personal residence.
Estate properties, especially if the heirs live out of the area. Read the obituaries, or find a good probate attorney who may be willing to send referrals.
Homeowners who have filed for divorce
Underwater owners (who owe more on their mortgages than the market value of the house)
Pre-foreclosure property owners who have received a Notice of Default from their lender
Many of these owners are at the end of their rope financially. They literally don’t have the time or money to wait for a higher offer. If they don’t sell the property to you, they will lose everything to foreclosure. You may purchase lists of homeowners facing the situations described here.
Your Sphere of Influence
Talk with friends, family and associates to find motivated sellers among them or to get referrals. Your personal network can be a powerful source for finding good deals. Make sure to tell everyone you know that you are a homebuyer and what types of properties you buy.