Found a potential deal, can't find sellers

6 Replies


So I was door knocking a neighborhood looking for traditional sellers and spoke with a woman who pointed me to a home down the street that she believed was in bad shape and had specific knowledge of the seller being older and wanting to sell. I have subsequently visited the house about 6 times. I have left handwritten notes and business cards with no response. The kicker is that the tax record shows a different address a few cities away. I drove by that address only to discover that its a mobile home park of about 200 homes. The address on the tax record doesn't show a space number and I asked the park manager if she was familiar with the name and she said no. 

What do you think the best way would be to find the seller? I was thinking that I should start a mailing campaign and see if that works.... Any suggestions would be great!

Thank you,


Do a skip trace or jump on or to find them.

Whatever approach you take in finding the owner, it may not be a good use of your time to chase after one potential seller.  This is a numbers game.

@Chris Cervantez  I use Spokeo, though it will show the history of where the person lived, so it may take some work. You can search by name or address. Sometimes there's a phone number and email address too.  Also, send a letter to the person at the address you have and maybe it will be forwarded. Good luck.  

I agree with Gary it is a numbers game but if this is one of the only deals you have go for it.

You can use skip tracers also. i think is [email protected]

$24.95 Per skip..(packages available also). I received a lot of phone numbers of relatives and was able to get the skinny on the house i was looking for..non motivated sellers..lots of people located sellers and got the same info as me. the house was abandoned for 10 years and they were waiting for their incarcerated sister to be released..that would be her house ..but you may have better luck on yours!

Chris - I teach people to keep a short list of "Hot Targets".  I suggest six (6) is about the right number for an individual, because it's manageable and more likely to be acted upon.

This property, in order to remain on your list, needs to be reverse engineered. This means that you create a little file for each property and become sort if an expert on it. 

You'll want to determine the current 'as-is' and after repaired values (rough estimates are sufficient at this point). Pull recorded trust deeds, property taxes and acquisition deed so that you can determine bother equity and condition of title. If it doesn't have at least 50% equity, it may not be worth pursuing and would come off your hot list.

If it does have merit, you need to begin identifying the catalysts or triggers that would motivate the owner to sell. Remember that they are only an owner at this stage and that you have assumed that they would be a seller. Ain't the same!

Send a letter by FedEx. It's bold and has high shot of getting read. Content? The objective is only to get them to call you...period!

You need to determine if the house is vacant or not. Ask neighbor if there is activity and if so, any patterns. Be bold and look at the utility meters, if on, off or missing. To see if the front door gets used, place a piece of tape at the bottom on the doorknob side and return to see if seal is broken. Is the mail being removed daily? 

Hire a skip tracer to determine if the owner has relatives, associates or social affiliations. 

Perhaps they are traveling, staying with others (relatives?), in a hospital, recovery or nursing facility. 

As each day progresses, work on other property from your hot list. It's always intrigued me how a watched teapot never boils and a property deal develops as I monitor it but don't try to force it. There's that darn power of the universe thing in action again.

@Scott Carson  

@Gary Shaw  

@Rick H.  

I sincerely appreciate the words of advice from everyone! 

Yes Gary, I do agree, it's a numbers game. I definitely don't want to put all of my eggs in this basket.

Karen, I will take your suggestion and send a letter and see if that works. 

Rick, I also really like your suggestions. As you and Johnna suggested, I think it's worth the small investment to do the skip tracer. I have never heard of that before. 

Scott, Karen, I have used Spokeo in the past looking for information and had limited success...that's not to say it doesn't work...I think it may be worth at least checking off of my list...

"Remember that they are only an owner at this stage and that you have assumed that they would be a seller. Ain't the same!" Rick, I love this because it's so true. It's really a totally different perspective that I need to remind myself of, not only for this lead, but in my real estate brokerage business as well! 

I will update you guys once I have some action one way or another!


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