31 Ways to Find Motivated Sellers

Finding sellers who are flexible, open-minded, and/or anxious to sell is probably the single most important facet of your real estate investing business!

This is where it all starts … and where the rubber meets the road.  Without this in place, the rest of the process just doesn’t even matter.

So what does a motivated seller look like?  Or sound like?

You can usually peg one by how they answer the question … “Why are you selling?”

If you get something like “I don’t know” … or “I was just curios”  … “Well, I really don’t have to sell … but if the right offer came along” … you’re probably not dealing with someone who really has to sell.

There’s usually a specific reason.  Like a job transfer … or having to take a pay cut … or a spouse losing a job … or a mortgage payment increasing and not being able to afford it anymore … or a divorce maybe.

Get the picture?

Motivated sellers don’t “want” to sell.  They “need” to sell.

So how do you find them?

Here are 31 ideas …

  1. Send monthly mailers to probate and divorce attorneys.
  2. Post “We Buy Houses” ads on various classified ad sites like Craigslist and Backpage.
  3. Place flyers or business cards in unemployment offices.  There may be people there who have lost a job and need to sell.
  4. Place Google Pay-Per-Click ads

You can buy ads for keywords like “Sell house fast” or “we buy houses” and depending on what you bid, your ad can show up on the first page of Google.  And you only pay if someone actually clicks on your ad.

What’s also great is you can also do “geographic targeting”.  For example, if you live in Los Angeles County and you only want properties in this area, you can set it up so that you only receive leads from prospects who live in the Los Angeles County area.

  1. Door knock on NOD’s.  This stands for Notice of Default and is the first stage of the foreclosure process. Admittedly, it’s not for the faint of heart, but if this is your bailiwick … it DOES work!

I know someone who’s done over 90 wholesale deals using this one single method!

  1. Call on For Rent ads.
  2. Send mailers to absentee owners.  Especially the ones that live out of state.
  3. Call on all private seller ads that you find online.  Or better yet, have your VA do it!
  4. Send a series of mailers or email to realtors telling them that you’ll take all their “junker” properties that they don’t really want to deal with – off their hands.  For their normal commission of course.
  5. Cruise neighborhoods looking for fixer uppers.
  6. Cruise neighborhoods looking for any FSBO signs.
  7. Hire 2 or 3 people to do #10 and #11 for you!
  8. Pass out 5 business cards a day.  And make sure your cards spell out crystal-clear what it is you do.
  9. Go hang out at Eviction Court, get the name and contact information of all the landlords in court that day (contact info is usually on the docket right outside the door), and then send them a letter.

Or better yet, why not approach them right after their court case and ask them if they might be interested in selling?

Landlords going through an Eviction process can be some of the most motivated sellers around.

Talk about fishing in a stocked pond!

15. Call on Expired Listings.

16. Post bandit signs in your target area that say something like “Sell Your House in 7 Days or Less!”

Bandit signs?  Yes, bandit signs.  Incredibly, they still work … even in this high tech and online age.  Just be careful that you won’t get into trouble with the sign police.

17.  Send mailers to owners of inherited homes.

18.  Target prospects who are 1-3 months late on their mortgage.  This list is readily available.

19.  Contact owners who have been served a “Code Violation” on their property.  This list can typically be obtained from your city’s Code Enforcement Division.

20.  Pass out flyers in your target area.

21.  Establish referral relationships with loan modification companies.

22.  Establish referral relationships with credit repair agency’s.

23.  Send mailer or visit prospects who have been served a NOTS (Notice of Trustee Sale).  This means their property has been scheduled for the auction block … and they don’t have very much time.

24.  Network with other investors.

25.  Send a mailer or call owners with any type of lien on their property: Tax Liens, Mechanics Lien, HOA Liens, etc.

26.  Put a “Sell Your House FAST” magnet on your vehicle.  Or pay someone a small fee to put it on their’s!

27.  Recruit your Postal Carrier to scout vacant properties for you.

28.  Recruit an investor-oriented Realtor to search for and write offers for you.

I have a colleague who buys 2-5 properties per month, with half of his buys coming directly from MLS and working with Realtors.

To generate that kind of volume, he writes about 10 offers per week, or a little over 40 per month.

29.  Send mailers to Bankruptcy Court listings.

30.  Establish a reciprocal referral relationship with a Car Repo company.

31.  Buy highly targeted seller leads from reputable list brokers like:




So there you have it … at least 31 solid ways of finding motivated sellers.  And there’s actually plenty more.

As long as you’re consistent and persistent with whatever method you choose, there’s really no reason why you can’t have a steady pipeline of motivated sellers.

This is how the pro’s do it.

And there’s absolutely ZERO rocket science to it!


Copyright IR Press, Inc.