The housing market offers investors a variety of strategies and investment approaches. In fact, making money in real estate can be achieved through a wide range of creative methods. Some of these methods can be extremely profitable and many of them are relatively untapped. A prime example of such effective strategies is investing in tax delinquent properties. It might seem counter-intuitive, but purchasing tax delinquent homes can yield a very high return on investment if you implement this real estate investment strategy properly. So what are the ins and outs of buying tax delinquent properties? And how to find tax delinquent properties in your area? This article will give you a detailed overview of tax delinquent property and show you how to find the best real estate investment opportunities near you.
What Are Tax Delinquent Properties?
Opting for these off market properties offers savvy investors the chance to find real estate deals that are difficult to get through more traditional routes such as the MLS or REO. Here are some of the benefits of investing in a tax delinquent property:
- The return on investment that you stand to generate from a tax delinquent property can be substantially higher than what you typically get from traditional real estate investments.
- Demand for these investment properties is fairly low, which puts the buyer in the driver’s seat when it comes to setting the terms of tax lien sales.
Let’s now delve into how to find tax delinquent properties in your area.
How to Find Tax Delinquent Properties in Your Area in a Few Simple Steps
Finding tax delinquent property for sale is not as straightforward as searching for regular income properties. However, the process is not that complicated either. In fact, you will be able to find tax delinquent homes for sale in a matter of days once you grasp each step of this investment property search process. Here is how you can purchase tax delinquent properties in your area.
1- Check out your local tax delinquent property list
The first step of the process is getting access to the tax delinquent property list in your county. These lists are compiled in every jurisdiction across the US housing market and are a matter of public record. However, access to these lists differs widely from one area to the other. For example, certain counties provide easy and convenient access through websites whereas others prefer to maintain these lists as physical archives. If your area falls in the second category, then it is highly advisable that you hire a list provider that can do the necessary digging for you. The service they provide is relatively affordable and more importantly, it will save you the hassle of manually sifting through public records.
2- Sort out property owner information
Once you get access to the tax delinquent properties for sale list, you will have all the information that pertains to property ownership. This includes the names of owners as well as the property address. With that being said, you still need to make sure that the listed address matches the owner’s personal mailing address. To get this information, you should check the tax record trail.
Another way to get ownership information on tax delinquent properties is to use Mashboard. This highly advanced tool allows real estate investors to identify property owners in any area and provides them with everything from accurate emails and phone numbers to mailing addresses. Additionally, the tool’s dashboard enables direct contact with owners.
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3- Mail property owners
Direct mailing is the most effective way to contact delinquent property owners. Keep in mind that these owners are on the verge of losing their homes, so your letter should be short and straight to the point. You should make your intentions clear in the first line. In fact, the letter should not include anything other than your purchase offer and contact info. To achieve a higher response rate, make sure that the phrasing conveys a sense of urgency. Owners are more likely to take action if they receive a letter with an urgent tone.
4- Assess the owner’s level of motivation
Receiving a response does not necessarily mean the owner is interested in a delinquent tax sale. In some cases, owners might still be exploring other options and are simply curious about your offer. To gauge their level of interest, inquire about the value of the property and then ask them about their desired sale price. If the asking price is substantially lower than the estimated value of the home, then this means the owner is highly motivated to offload the property as quickly as possible.
The Best Practices That Will Help You Ensure a Smooth Real Estate Deal
Just like with anything in real estate investing, closing a tax delinquent sale is predicated on implementing a good strategy and sticking to tried and proven methods. Here are some best practices that should make the process of finding tax delinquent properties much more efficient:
- If you don’t receive a response, follow up on your initial letter by sending a more detailed postcard.
- If the initial mail blast yields a low response rate, stay consistent and commit to doing multiple mailing campaigns.
- Hire a professional to appraise the home before finalizing your offer.
The Bottom Line
Finding and analyzing real estate deals can seem overwhelming when you are a beginner. This is especially the case when dealing with unconventional real estate investments such as tax delinquent property. But once you understand all the moving parts of this strategy and apply the guidelines outlined here, you should be able to find and close a deal with relative ease.
If you need some extra help in analyzing the profitability of tax delinquent properties, check out Mashvisor.