Found a Property - Not for Sale. What to do?!

13 Replies

Ever since I have been listening to the BP Podcast, I've heard multiple investors finding deals where the the house wasn't even for sale. Whether it was from their own website, networking, or signs. 

I have been looking for houses in distress and I've found a few that I may be interested in approaching the homeowners and making an offer to buy the house.

The question I have is... How? - Im sure this is probably posted somewhere else, but I couldn't find it.

This particular property is in Washington DC, from my research (which I am unsure if it is accurate) is that they owe on taxes, as well as like I stated it appears that the property is in distress. I would like to send them a message or mail of some sort. But then how do I approach them about selling the property? "Well hey, are you interested in me taking the (distressed) property off your hands"

You hit the nail on the head...just go ahead and contact them and see if they're interested in selling.  

Step one is to search the DC Property Tax database to see if they actually live at the property or if they are absentee owners.  If they are absentee owners, the DC Property Tax database gives your their current mailing address.  If they're not absentee, well, then you know where they live already.   

Step two is to reach out to them, whether its in person or via mail.  I think this really depends on your comfort level and whether or not you're a "people" person.  If you feel comfortable, go knock on their door and introduce yourself.  Tell them that you've been looking at houses in the neighborhood and really like theirs.  If you don't want to meet them in person, send them a letter.  There are lots of forum posts on "yellow letters" which will give you ideas for content.  

You might mention you buy as is, and can close quickly.  there are some requirements like they must have equity and clear title.  The sale would require an inspection and title insurance.  Just some thoughts.

Philip,

The best deals are those where they don't have it for sale.  There are multiple ways to get your interest to them whether it's just hand writing a letter or doing some research and finding their phone number.  If they live there you can knock on the door and approach them with an opportunity to solve their problems and help them.  These people can sometime be in denial and not easily approachable, the letter or phone call can sometimes be a softer approach.  Offer to help not just buy their house.  Do some research on yellow letters and you will find a ton of ways on approaching them.  Also if you send letters DO NOT stop after just one, mail them until they call to either sell you their house or tell you their not selling.

I'd likely complement them on a feature of the house that interested you (other than distressed status).

As opposed to my opening line being that I found out your property is distressed and I want to buy it. Cuz there's just too many postcards and flyers being mass distributed to most every house on the block in the nation with offers to buy your house cash no questions asked.

Originally posted by @Philip McTighe :

This particular property is in Washington DC, from my research (which I am unsure if it is accurate) is that they owe on taxes, as well as like I stated it appears that the property is in distress. I would like to send them a message or mail of some sort. But then how do I approach them about selling the property? "Well hey, are you interested in me taking the (distressed) property off your hands"

I did exactly that last weekend. There is a house on a lot at the end of the house we're renovating and moving to (later this year), and we want that property to extend our lot. (We'll either knock down the distressed house, or move it to another plot of land in due course).

House has been empty ever since we bought our house 2 years ago, and we've never seen the owner. Until last weekend that is. So we asked him straight - "do you want to sell it?"

And the answer was "yes". We can't take possession of it immediately so we even asked him "can you wait till September for a cash deal?". "Sure" was his reply.

If you don't ask, you'll never know.

@Robert Williams Thanks a lot for the advice! I just wrote the letter and plan on sending it out as soon as possible!

@Josh Norris Thanks! After some help and some research I found out the property is vacant the homeowners address is located somewhere else. I already wrote them a yellow letter and am excited to see if I get a response!

Account Closed I completely agree... don't talk bad about their property! Thanks for the advice!

@James DeRoest Thats an awesome story.. Gives me the confidence! I just wrote them and Im excited to see if I hear back!

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