The most effective way to search for Probate records

6 Replies

Hi Everyone, 

I recently got access to a website with probate records. However, the list does not provide LTV ratio, when the house was purchased or any information that could help me decide which people to target.

So far, I have filtered out all the people without wills. It gives me the death date, will date, addresses and attorneys. Any ideas on how to search or target people more effectively? 

Also, I like to send yellowletters, but I'm not how to approach or what wording should I use in the letters. Any ideas would be greatly appreciated.

You must take your list and perform data scrubbing, to obtain detailed property information. This is tedious work. I suggest using a VA for data scrubbing.

Hey Daniel,

I would definitely use different wording than I have used with a yellow letter.  Since death is involved probates can be very personal.  Always consider the seller.  You don't want to come across as someone only wanting to buy their house without being concerned about their feelings or situation.  I've mailed plenty of probate letters.  The key is to come across as caring, personal but still willing to help them sell their house should they so desire.

Good luck with it.  I wish that I could have gotten my leads from a website.  I had to do it the hard way by going to the courthouse. 

I would not worry to much about scrubbing the list. You're just wasting time and money worry on such little things.  And while you are doing that, others will already be in the seller's ear on why they can help. You need to be in their ear first and then until they sell. Not everybody will want to sell the day they got your letter. Some just can't cope with the stress and bury their head in the sand until the state calls coming for their tax. 

When I first started with probates. I went a whole year back.  I removed the ones who lived in retirement homes and just sent the letter. Yes, some have already sold.  But surprisingly enough, the older probates are most motivated. They did receive others' marketing, but nobody followed up (huge key there). 

Do not mix your letter up. I tested this with my marketing and others in their market. We saw we had a much better response rate and closed more deals with the standard "I want to $buy$ your house" message on the first go around. Why? My theory is the people did not think we were sleazy. Mentioning the death and showing condolences is just a terrible idea, you do not want to turn off any recipient's. They do not care you're sorry, and let's be honest- you are not sorry. When they ask how we got their info, we respond the same way as always "somebody from our team was in the neighborhood and it seemed like this would be a great house for us. so we looked your information up in public records." Then they tell us why they are selling.

Thanks everyone for your valuable input. 

@Shane Foster  I never thought about going back a year to look for probates. This actually sounds like a very good idea since it's likely the new owners are even more motivated. I'll give this a shot. Thanks a lot for your insight. 

Originally posted by @Daniel Moctezuma :

Thanks everyone for your valuable input. 

@Shane Foster I never thought about going back a year to look for probates. This actually sounds like a very good idea since it's likely the new owners are even more motivated. I'll give this a shot. Thanks a lot for your insight. 

 No worries.. Probate is a great list to keep in the tool belt. Good luck and if you need help with anything please feel free to ask.

I believe the most effective way to work is to spend a morning at the courthouse ONE TIME in order to familiarize yourself with the place and recirds retrieval THEN gain access to a pay-per-record (lead) service, usually by subscription. 

Since most estates filed will have equity (else why spend money to file?) I suggest just mailing based on your geographic and other criteria, 

If you are able to overlay other key data factors as catalysts (foreclosure, tax sale) you have a hot list of leads with motivated prospects.

Create Lasting Wealth Through Real Estate

Join the millions of people achieving financial freedom through the power of real estate investing

Start here