Dos and Donts, suggestions, tips for letter to vacant property owner.

8 Replies

I decided to pursue a property that I referenced in a thread linked below.  I was hoping to get some suggestions regarding what to put in the letter.  Most specifically, whether or not to reference the neighbor connection between my relatives and his late mother. 

Any dos and donts for the letter?  Is handwritten a must?

Original thread

I truly appreciate any input you have to offer. 

The property has a massive title problem.  It's owned by the mother's estate, not the son with the tax mailing address.  There could be other heirs, there could be a will.  You have no way of knowing what the real deal is.  Write or call the son at the tax mailing address.  Say you are interested in the property, if he's interested in selling.  Say something along the lines of "if you inherited the property but have not taken title due to estate or probate court issues, I may still be able to buy the property from you."  Make it two paragraphs.  He'll call when he's reading to deal with it.  If not, it will eventually get sold at tax sale.  This is the nature of property owned by deceased persons.  Many heirs and estates do not deal with real property.  There could be huge Medicaid debt, there could be heirs fighting.  The son's mailing address might not be valid anymore.  The son might be deceased.  

No need to get into any details in the letter.  Just find a way to get him to call, or call him directly.

Thanks for the reply Kristine Marie Poe 

It was suggested in the original thread that the property may have passed to him and he just didn't record the deed.  I do have some insight on the property because I have relatives near the property.  I do know that he has received some code violations, which he has addressed.  Pretty good chance he is going to get more soon if he doesn't do something with the property.  Although it is not all inclusive, I do know that he has paid his county taxes. 

Originally posted by @David R.:

Thanks for the reply @K. Marie Poe 

It was suggested in the original thread that the property may have passed to him and he just didn't record the deed.  I do have some insight on the property because I have relatives near the property.  I do know that he has received some code violations, which he has addressed.  Pretty good chance he is going to get more soon if he doesn't do something with the property.  Although it is not all inclusive, I do know that he has paid his county taxes. 

The property doesn't automatically "pass" to anyone after death unless there was some kind of heirship deed or affidavit that is used in your state.  Are there such deeds/affidavits in your state and is there one in the title chain? I would say the chances of there being an unrecorded deed executed by the decedent before she died is about 1%.  Just not that common.  Executing such a deed would be a proactive move.  Not recording it doesn't hang with that.

You don't have any insight into the property that makes much difference for your purposes.  You know the address, the deeded owner and the tax mailing address.  For the purposes of talking to the son or possible heirs about buying it, code violations are not relevant at this point, nor are past due taxes.  Make contact.  Call him today.  It's only 2:16 pm CA time.  

Original post seems to argue with K. Marie. Bad bet!

You ain't got nothing but a lead. That's it. Since you haven't done any real research such as  reviewing the record title owner, all you have is anecdotal story and knowledge that a house was standing on that parcel (the last time you looked).

Why do you post?

@Rick H.  and my original post.  I was simply mentioning what had been posted on my original thread regarding the title.

As for why did I post?  Well, as I stated in the first post in this thread, I posted for tips & suggestions as to what to put in the letter to my "lead."

Thanks

"Don't" #1   -  Don't write

"Do" #1   -   Call

If you write you have no idea if the message got to the right person. Call and keep searching until you find the right person to call. Then see if you can work a deal.

Originally posted by @Ned Carey:

"Don't" #1   -  Don't write

"Do" #1   -   Call

If you write you have no idea if the message got to the right person. Call and keep searching until you find the right person to call. Then see if you can work a deal.

 Our work is done here.  We've said make the call, more than once.  

Account Closed If you're not going to make the call, I'd be happy to do it!

@Ned Carey  

Kristine Marie Poe 

Thank you both for your suggestions.  A friend of mine called him twice a couple years ago.  Both calls went directly to voicemail and both calls were never returned.  I realize there is a chance my letter will never touch reach his hands, but I believe that is my best plan of action. 

Based on all of the lists (vacant, out of state, code violations) talked about on here, I have no doubt this man has had his mailbox filled and phone rang hundred of times over the past few years.  More calls not returned, and postcards likely tossed in the recycle bin.  It is my hope that he will see the return address, recognize the last name, and ACTUALLY open my letter and READ it.

I am not against talking to him on the phone, and of course will include my phone number as one of the methods of contact.  I just don't think it is the right approach for me to take if I want to succeed at getting this particular property.

My plan of action is to mail the letter and if I don't hear back from him then pick up the phone and call him.

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