Probate leads? How to find them?

14 Replies

Hello! Im new to real estate investing and Im just trying to learn as much as I can! Im starting my first direct mail campaign and was wondering if anyone could point me in the right direction as to how to find probate leads in Houston Tx? Any info would be greatly appreciated!!!

There are several ways to find these.  Do you have more time or money to throw at your lead generation?

If time-you can look through court filings, contact the attorneys handling the estates,etc.

If more money simply subscribe to a service that sends them right to your email.

@Belinda Lopez wow thanks for the info! I will definitely look into maybe purchasing a list, but since Im just starting I may be able to come up with the time first! lol So I should just look through the recent court filings and see which ones have real estate and then reach out to the attorney? Or is it the attorney that will let me know if there is real estate in the probate?

Originally posted by @Belinda Lopez :

There are several ways to find these.  Do you have more time or money to throw at your lead generation?

If time-you can look through court filings, contact the attorneys handling the estates,etc.

If more money simply subscribe to a service that sends them right to your email.

 In my experience, very few probate attorneys will give out client information or even respond to such marketing.

@Edward Emerson

@Ronald Rohde is right. They won't give out information. You would have to basically send your offer to the attorney and they are under no obligation (correct me if I am wrong Ronald) to present the offer to the heirs like a broker is obligated.

However their are a few sites out their that present this information for a small fee. I personally use Propelio for $80/month and get heirship, probate, appointment of substitute trustees, and foreclosure lists. It offers a few other things like an MLS search tool, CMA reporting (a way of using the MLS to get comps), and a lead generation website (brand new and not proven yet).

@Edward Emerson Before you get started I would recommend that you learn a little more about probate marketing and there is some very good advice and resources here in the BP community. And when you're ready you can source probates yourself through the Harris County Clerk's Office online portal. Each probate file will have several documents but you want to look for the initial application. It's one of the first documents filed. On most of the applications you will find the decedent's information and also information for the executor to include the mailing address. And on most of these it will also tell you if the deceased owned real property. But not all of them will provide you with the property address. It's been my experience that only about 40% of them will show the decedent's address. If there is a will filed as part of the probate documents some, but not many, will provide you with the property address. There are other methods to locate the property addresses but I think the info I've provided will get you off to a good start. Once you've located the decedent's address enter it into the Harris County Appraisal Districts website to make sure the decedent's name matches. On that website you will also be able to determine the property types, sales dates and other important info. I hope this helps and good luck with your endeavor. 

Originally posted by @Ryan Blake :

@Edward Emerson

@Ronald Rohde is right. They won't give out information. You would have to basically send your offer to the attorney and they are under no obligation (correct me if I am wrong Ronald) to present the offer to the heirs like a broker is obligated.

However their are a few sites out their that present this information for a small fee. I personally use Propelio for $80/month and get heirship, probate, appointment of substitute trustees, and foreclosure lists. It offers a few other things like an MLS search tool, CMA reporting (a way of using the MLS to get comps), and a lead generation website (brand new and not proven yet).

 Attorney and executor are two different roles, its complicated, but nothing as cut and dry like a Seller's duty to present all offers.

Originally posted by @James H. :

Obituaries.  You will work harder but will get leads that nobody else gets.

 How so? They'll eventually become probates and published information.

That is a good question.  I think, in general, it can give you a head start to begin working with the family before court papers are filed.  Also, there are circumstances when probate is not required.   Joint tenancy or living trusts are examples.  Also, there can be cases where a surviving spouse inherits the property (no probate involved) and does not have the ability to continue living there.

Originally posted by @Renee Harris :
Originally posted by @James H.:

Obituaries.  You will work harder but will get leads that nobody else gets.

 How so? They'll eventually become probates and published information.