Real Estate Investing Basics

The Top 3 Ways to Find Motivated Real Estate Sellers

Expertise: Real Estate Investing Basics, Personal Development, Landlording & Rental Properties, Real Estate News & Commentary, Business Management, Flipping Houses, Real Estate Deal Analysis & Advice, Personal Finance, Real Estate Marketing
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Today's topic will apply to all you real estate agents and investors looking for bargain properties.

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I want to make something very clear to you: Real estate investing is a numbers game. So, what do I mean by that? It just comes down to:

  • How many phone calls are you going to make every single day?
  • How many emails are you going to send?
  • How many meetings are you willing to attend?
  • How many hands are you willing to shake?
  • How many business cards are you willing to exchange?
  • How many offers are you willing to submit?
  • How many hours are you willing to work every single day to succeed in real estate?

It truly is a numbers game. You have to work hard; there is no magic pill.

Related: The Backing-Out Seller: How to Deal With Hot Leads That Suddenly Go Cold

3 Ways to Find Motivated Sellers

1. For Sale By Owner (FSBO) Sites

For all you real estate agents out there, jump on and cold call people. You have to get good with the phones—smile and dial! Introduce yourself and talk to them. Tell them you care, tell them they’ve priced their property wrong, and give them some kind of advice. Tell them what’s going on in the area and follow up. Build a relationship with them.

For all of you real estate investors out there, a lot of these folks listing on these sites are trying to spare the cost of paying a real estate agent commission. A lot of the time, they have priced their property wrong.

I bought 34 properties in 2014 just by stalking Craigslist every single day. For real estate agents cold calling ads, you never know—you might just get a listing. For real estate investors, know the numbers in the area. Know what a distressed property sells for. Know the comparable renovated property sells for. Then when an opportunity presents itself. React quickly, offer cash, smile and dial, and close quickly. You'll get some bargain deals.

2. Direct Mail Campaign

Yellow letter campaigns are super powerful. Right now, 70% of the entire inventory I buy is through yellow letter campaigns.

You need to send yellow letters to absentee homeowners because the likelihood of these guys wanting to sell is very high. Why? Because it’s virtually impossible to successfully manage or own real estate out-of-state or country.

Related: 5 Strategies to Cater to Spanish-Speaking Sellers (When You Only Speak English)

3. The MLS (Multiple Listing Service)

For real estate investors, utilize the Multiple Listing Service.

While this third option excludes real estate agents, they might want to consider partnering with a real estate investor to use this option to make a lot of money.

Establish a relationship with an agent who is patient, understands your objective, and is willing to work with you for the long haul. You need to be persistent and diligently scour the listings, look at what’s going on in the market, and submit offers daily. I want you to low-ball every single offer, but remember, you have to be a cash buyer. You have to have thick skin because the responses you’re going to get may be pretty nasty. When the seller is ready to play ball, you have to have the cash handy to close the deal quickly!

What’s your preferred method for finding sellers?

Leave your comments below!

Engelo Rumora, a.k.a."the Real Estate Dingo," quit school at the age of 14 and played professional soccer at the age of 18. From there, he began to invest in real estate. He now owns real estate al...
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    Engelo Rumora Specialist from Toledo, OH
    Replied over 3 years ago
    Thanks Jim and very true, It takes years to build a team that can look after the headache of owning rental properties. What about larger multifamily deals and getting a legit property manager to manage them for you? That should have taken the hassle out of the phone calls and tenant complaints, etc… Much success
    Karl B. Rental Property Investor from Columbia, MO
    Replied over 3 years ago
    I believe it was Elaine from Seinfeld who said, “The dingo bought your duplex.” 😀
    Engelo Rumora Specialist from Toledo, OH
    Replied over 3 years ago
    lol The Dingo buys every duplex in Toledo hehe
    Bob Spillers
    Replied about 3 years ago
    This may reveal some naivete on my part, but why does the MLS option “exclude real estate agents” ? Can agents not buy properties off MLS? Or can’t lowball MLS properties? This inquiring mind wants to know.
    Engelo Rumora Specialist from Toledo, OH
    Replied about 3 years ago
    Thanks for your comment Jim. Real estate agents are held to a different/higher standard than the “average” investor. So they need to jump through a fee extra hoops before submitting offers, etc… Much success