Motivated Sellers - How To Find One
If you've ever read a book on real estate investing, you've read that the
best deals come from motivated sellers. Now how do you find one?
motivated sellers, finding a motivated seller, real estate
Motivated sellers? My wife and I were trying to keep the renters happy,
the rent coming in and the house repaired - while living 2100 miles away.
You bet I was motivated. We just sold our house last month, and even got
a good price, but I'll tell you a secret. We would have sold the place
for... well I don't want to stress out the buyer if he reads this. Let's
just say we would have sold it for much less.
There's your first clue on finding a motivated seller. If his property
isn't where he is, he's probably ready to deal. How do you get this
information? By asking. Talk to the real estate agent, the neighbors, and
anyone else who might know something useful. Here are some other things
to watch for that may indicate a motivated seller.
1. Relocation. If you hear that the seller is relocating for work, ask
when he will be moving. He may already be worrying about those double
2. Divorce. Divorce or relationship problems create many motivated
sellers. Often a house payment needed both parties, and will have to be
3. Financial problems. A failing business, too much debt or other
financial problems often force a sale. Find out if the owner is behind on
4. Tenant problems. It is easy to get tired of being a landlord. It is
also common to want to get out at any reasonable price.
5. Probate. If the house is in probate, and the heirs are all waiting to
get their inheritance, they may be more interested in a quick sale than a
6. Up-sizing or down-sizing. Owners moving into a larger or a smaller
home may already have one in mind and need to sell quickly.
More Clues For Finding A Motivated Seller
Another way to find motivated sellers is to pay attention to the wording
of ads in the classifieds. Statements like, "Need to sell," "Must sell,"
and "Will look at all offers," are good indicators. "Must have a good
job," in a rental ad may indicate a landlord that is tired of tenants and
ready to sell. Some other methods:
1. Find neglected properties. If they aren't maintaining the property,
they may be short on cash, tired of it, or out of town - all good
2. Use property tax rolls. Go to the county records, which are open to
the public in most places. What you are looking for is properties that
list an owner with an address far away. You could have found us this way,
and bought our place for less than we got.
3. Use timing. Just before school starts, people are motivated to get
their house sold so they can get their kids enrolled in the new school
where they are moving. If an apartment building has been sitting there
for sale for the whole winter, the owner may be tired of the bills and
ready to get it sold fast.
The bottom line is to use your eyes and ears and look for the clues.
Talking to people helps a lot. However you find your motivated sellers,
the next step is to motivate them even more, by giving them what they
want. Start by negotiating for a fast, easy closing for them - and a good
price for you. That, however, is a topic for another article.