Originally posted by Erick Gause:
Targeting preforclosures is a lot harder now then say 2004-2008 as most homeowners have given up and left. They see they owe twice as much as the property is worth and they feel there is nothing they can do because the bank won’t listen. Understanding this may help you understand why you’re not getting any calls. Some of these “vacant homes” are actually already owned by the back and a field service company has it locked up. Depending on the bank some of these houses have been in this status for months and even years before the bank decides to sell it through an REO broker or auction company.
What is your end game in targeting foreclosures. Are you offering help?, Short Sale? Selling the house? Buying notes? Are you flipping, wholesaling? etc I ask as there are other properties you can target to make money. Currently, I personally prefer targeting vacant homes which are not in foreclosure. There are other reasons, such as tenant problems/evictions, probates/trust, divorce, job transfers etc. These, in my opinion, are easier to get calls back and/or deals.
When I see a vacant property with no for sale sign, I check to see if it has a lock box on the door or any field service stickers. If it does, I check property records to see if the bank owns it yet, if the bank does then I will call certain REO brokers I know who get listings from that bank and let them know about the property. The broker will then expedite the property to get released for sale and the broker will give me first crack before the he list it on the MLS. He does this as I do not use a realtor and he can keep the whole commission.
Tip for driving for dollars: When you see a property – “Get out of the car and investigate”, look for note, letters signs, stickers by front door which can help give you owners names and why house is vacant, also the neighbors will be out and talking to them will give you even more background on the property.
Whatever you do, make sure you keep doing it and keep going forward each week until you get the deal done, don't give up!
Erick, at this time I am strickly wholesaling. The properties I'm identifying are NOT preforclosures, or foreclosures. They are vacant homes owned outright by the listed homeowner, that have all taxes paid, and are completely paid off with no liens.
I do get out of the car and inspect the property each time I see a house I think is vacant. I do talk to the neighbors to get as much info as possible. I inspect tax, deed and mortgage records for each property. I run a skip trace on the listed homeowners and their immediate family, sending letters to each of them to increase my chances of success in reaching the homeowners. Before I even send the home owner the first letter I know as much about the property as I can as well as the status of the homeowner IE: divorced, deceased, out of town owner, what other properties they own and where, how long the property has been vacant, current address and phone number, ARV, home specs, property specs, tax staus, etc.
These are not MLS, REO or FSBO homes. They are just vacant homes fully paid off that have been abandoned for some reason. In most cases nice homes in good middle and upper middle class neighborhoods.
I know the properties, my market, and as much as I can about the situation of each homeowner as I can. Just can't seem to get any of them to contact me for some reason.
What method do you use to contact absentee homeowners? And how effective is it?