GENERATING LEADS: HOW TO FIND MOTIVATED SELLERS (2 of 3)
How to Find Motivated Sellers when Looking to Buy Real Estate
If you'd like to invest in real estate, then you want to find the best deal possible on the properties that you'll buy. That means you need to locate sellers who are motivated. Although finding motivated sellers is easier said than done, it's possible with a little bit of effort and preparation.
By Online Means
Join a real estate investor's group on social media.One of the best ways to get tips about motivated sellers is to form a relationship with other real estate professionals. It's often the case that news about pre-foreclosures and motivated sellers will circulate within an online network of real estate investors.
- You can find online groups by simply searching for "real estate" on the relevant social media website. Be sure to find groups specific to the area where you want to invest in real estate.
- Don't forget that LinkedIn is a social network and offers a great way to network with real estate professionals. LinkedIn also has groups for specific interests, such as real estate investing.
- Visit the Meetup website and search for "real estate" in your area to find a group of like-minded real estate investors.Meetup is a great combination of old school and new school networking because you find fellow investors online but also meet them in person.
Use Craigslist to advertise that you buy houses.Craigslist is the classified ads section of cyberspace in the Information Age. It's a great place to advertise to the world that you're willing to buy houses and close quickly. Run an "I Buy Houses!" ad consistently on Craigslist and motivated sellers may start to contact you.
- Remember, Craigslist is regional. If you're prepared to make an investment in properties in different locations, you'll need to run a Craigslist ad for each area.
Search MLS for pre-foreclosures.You can search online for pre-foreclosures in your area using the Multiple Listing Service (MLS).You should find some very motivated property owners among the pre-foreclosures in your area.
- Even if you find a pre-foreclosure property owner who's motivated to sell, you might find that you'll need to opt for a short sale.That's when the existing homeowner has to sell the property for less than the amount owed on the mortgage. Since short sales require lender approval, it can take months to close on the deal.
By Traditional Means
Put up "I Buy Houses" bandit signs.You can place "I Buy Houses" signs near distressed but desirable properties. Make sure that the signs include your name and phone number. Owners of these properties may decide to call you if they are motivated to sell.
- Stand apart from other real estate investors who are doing the same thing by making slightly larger signs that appear more professional.
Use a car sign.Your car can act as a mobile advertising machine every time you drive somewhere. Get a car sign or wrap professionally placed on your car with an "I Buy Houses!" slogan and your phone number.
- Get a custom phone number that's easy to remember. People often can't write down a phone number when they're driving around.
Respond to "For Rent by Owner" ads and signs.You can also contact people who are renting their homes to talk about buying the property. If the landlord is having problems renting the place, then he or she might be a motivated seller.
Call "For Sale by Owner" ads and signs.The seller might not be motivated right away, but without the aid of an agent, he or she might be motivated to sell later on. Keep the phone number handy and contact the seller about once a month.
Contact active property scouts or bird-dogs.People are willing to search for properties on your behalf in exchange for a finder's fee. Get in touch with them and work out a mutually beneficial arrangement.
- You can find bird-dogs on real estate sites like REI Club.
Use "I Buy Houses" business cards.Get thousands of business cards made and hand them out like crazy. Distribute them to people at networking events. Hand them out to contractors who do work for you. Give them to people at social events.
- You can order business cards online from companies like VistaPrint.
- Carry your business cards around in a way that they're easily accessible. That way, you can hand them out quickly.
Finding Out if a Seller is Motivated
Talk to the seller.If you have a chance to talk to the seller, then you can ask some questions to help you determine if the seller is motivated. If the seller seems to have a timeline or financial motivation to sell the house, then the seller may be motivated. For example, a seller might mention a hardship, a divorce, or a small business investment that went bad. Those are all signals that the seller is motivated. Some good questions to ask include:
- Why are you selling the property?
- Where are you going next?
- When do you plan to move?
- Have you done a lot of improvements on this house?
- Have you spoken to other agents?
Reach out to the seller's agent.If the seller is using an agent, then you can talk to the agent as well. The agent may be willing to answer your questions about the seller as well or drop clues about the seller. One of those clues might make it clear that the seller is motivated. Some good questions to ask the agent include:
- Why is the owner selling?
- How soon does the owner hope to move?
- Has the owner already found a new house?
Check the price.Sometimes, real estate is priced for a quick sale without being advertised as such. Check the asking price of the property against the value of other properties in the area. If the price is significantly lower, the owner is likely a motivated seller. You can probably come in at an even lower price and close the deal.
- Check to see if the owner has lowered the asking price one or more times as well. If the house has been on the market for a while and the price has dropped, then this can also indicate that the seller is motivated.
QuestionDo you have any recommendations for private/Hard money lenders in Texas with a dependable track record?
Real Estate BrokerReal Estate BrokerExpert AnswerBiggerpockets.com is a good resource link to find these lenders. You might also check on LinkedIn and search for hard money lenders there.Thanks!
- Never be a "motivated buyer." If you seem eager to buy, then you "will" have similar techniques used on you to boost the price.
- Always do your "due diligence" to seek and find, but avoid lack of effort.
Video: How To Find Motivated Sellers
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