Finding motivated seller leads is a skill that every real estate investor must develop. A motivated seller basically refers to an individual or entity that is eager to dispose of a property in their possession. To know if you are dealing with a motivated seller, here are some signs to look out for:
- Price – The seller is ready to list their property at a lower price, usually 10-30% below market value
- Terms – The seller is willing to offer favorable sale terms such as financing, 0% interest, or no money down
- Timeline – The seller wants to complete the transaction as fast as possible
To provide you with a little more insight, the following are some of the reasons why people are motivated to sell property:
- Life situations – Sellers are motivated to sell quickly due to factors like separation, divorce, and the birth or death of a family member
- Relocation – When a new job requires relocation, the property owner might want to sell quickly
- Vacancy, neglect, or extensive repairs – When a property falls into disrepair, the owner might not be able or willing to spend money on renovation or repairs. They would rather sell their home quickly as-is
- The threat of foreclosure – When a property owner cannot keep up with mortgage payments, they will want to sell quickly in order to avoid foreclosure
- Inheritance – If an heir is unable to manage an inherited property, they will be eager to sell fast and close the estate
How to Find Motivated Sellers: 7 Great Ways to Try Today
1. Drive for dollars
As the name suggests, driving for dollars is a method that involves driving around neighborhoods looking for signs of motivated sellers. Signs to look out for include empty lots, newspapers piling on the driveway, rundown property, a neglected front lawn, and For Sale by Owner (FSBO) signs.
2. Contact local attorneys
Attorneys are always working with clients that need to sell their income properties or homes quickly due to reasons such as probate, divorce, or bankruptcy. You can reach out to local attorneys via email or direct mail. Better still, network with them face-to-face at local business gatherings and events. Getting in touch with the right attorneys can be a great way to find motivated sellers. Focus on lawyers that practice real estate law, family law, bankruptcy law, and estate law/probates.
3. Network with county and city inspectors
County and city inspectors are continually checking properties and buildings to see if they are up to code or not. They flag properties that have issues such as unpermitted landscaping, zoning violations, septic system violations, and unpermitted upgrades. When a property owner is overwhelmed by multiple liens, they might be motivated to sell quickly and below market price. Networking with inspectors is an effective strategy for compiling a motivated sellers list.
4. Direct mail marketing
Despite the advances in technology, direct mail marketing still remains a very effective way to find motivated sellers. It basically involves browsing through public records and putting together a list of potential motivated sellers. Here are some of the signs to look out for when checking public records:
- Recent foreclosure
- The property owner is of old age
- An out-of-state owner
- Extensive days on market
- Absentee owner
- Death of joint tenant
Once you’ve compiled the list of potentially motivated sellers, send out emails or letters asking if they are willing to sell. If you don’t get a response within a few weeks, be sure to follow up.
5. Visit For Sale By Owner (FSBO) sites
FSBO sites are a great place to find motivated sellers for free. You can find motivated sellers on sites like Loopnet and Trulia. In addition, you can find motivated sellers on Craigslist. Look for deals that have been on Craigslist for a long time, since this could be a sign of a motivated seller. You can narrow down your search by property type, price, location, and whether the home is being sold by a broker or the owner. The site lists apartments, condos, single-family homes, and multi-family homes.
If you have some money to spend, find motivated sellers online via sites like FSBO.com, Houzeo, Forsalebyowner.com, and Fizber.
6. Check Out the Mashvisor Property Marketplace
The Mashvisor Property Marketplace is one of the best places for finding off-market properties such as foreclosed homes, auctioned homes, bank owned homes, and short sale properties- all of which are likely to have motivated sellers.
You can narrow down your search using filters like miles, location, type of investment property, rental strategy (traditional or Airbnb), budget, cap rate, and cash on cash return. Once you’ve found some ideal properties, you can analyze them quickly using the investment property calculator.
7. Check MLS expired listings
There are several reasons why listings expire, from an unrealistic list price to unfinished projects and poor showings. To avoid the stress of having to re-list, property owners might be willing to make some concessions on their terms and price in an off-market sale. You might have to work with a licensed real estate agent in order to access the MLS expired listings.
How Can You Easily Get in Touch with a Motivated Seller?
While some of these methods for finding a motivated seller will lead you to the proper contact info, others like driving for dollars won’t. Wondering how to find out who owns a house? Mashvisor’s Mashboard has all the homeowner data you need. You can search by address or by a general area and get names, email addresses, and phone numbers of homeowners. Once you have the right contact info, you can use your Mashboard to email homeowners or even send email campaigns to try and negotiate and seal the deal.
Finding motivated seller leads will enhance your chances of closing a deal fast and with minimal resistance. For best results, it would be advisable to use a combination of these strategies. Remember that you can get homeowner data on Mashboard once you’ve compiled a list of motivated sellers. Start out your 7-day free trial with Mashvisor now.
Found an unmotivated seller? Learn How to Motivate Unmotivated Sellers When Buying an Investment Property.