Finding buyers in rural areas?

9 Replies

I came across a motivated seller who lives in a rural area around 2 hours from me. I am in Jacksonville, FL so I am used to dealing with a lot of buyers around. How do those of you working in rural areas find buyers? 

I will probably be putting this home under contract within the next couple days, but I'm nervous that I wont find a buyer. 

It depends on several things.  What's your exit strategy, who's your buyer?  Is it a retail flip, lease option to a owner occupant, or selling to another investor.  

Check recent sales activity in the area and average days on market. You can always build the risk into your offer.

The exit strategy is to assign the contract to an investor. Very small town in south GA, right in the middle of Valdosta and waycross...There aren't many sales in the area that I can use as a reference. I'm stuck between wanting to put it under contract because there is potential profit and not wanting to with the risk tha I'll have to get out of it if something doesnt come through. 

I suppose I could call any RE agents in the area and see if they have anyone looking for investment property...other than that I'm at a loss. 

That is small town area.  Unless you know an investor in that area, I would suggest pass on the deal unless you've built  all the risk into the price.  The profit is only on paper and unless you can turn it, that's the only place you'll see it.

Small towns, well, rural to me is in a area with a 4 way stop on county roads and a gas station.

Don't forget the neighbors as buyers!  Many rural folks like the idea of "controlling" their environment, they may not want just anyone moving in. I mean, is it rural where you could put a hog pen in the back yard? Have junk cars in the driveway? Never mow the grass?

Might be that no one neighbor can buy it, what about selling to two nearby families?

It's more common than you might think, a neighbor can approach you while you're putting the for sale sign in the yard!

If you can, selling to a local, you can seller finance it, Sub-to, lease-option or select a method that gives them control and an interest, this would be a commercial transaction so long as they aren't moving in.

Most rural properties I got rid of went to locals, neighbors or the business owners in that area. The guy that owns the gas station, the C-store, the hardware store, a contractor, it's an opportunity for them.

The locals probably knew it was for sale, they probably saw the price being too high or they had issues trying to buy. That's where you get more creative in allowing them to buy. :)

@Rob Rawls   Valdosta is really not that small of a town...I lived in Tallahassee for 10-years and traveled through Valdosta routinely. It is really a hub for travelers with access to interstate 75 with good proximity to 319. Jacksonville, no, but potential to sell the property, yes. Rural areas are typically insulated and more stable. Get the contract and market your *** off...

What Bill said above I have knocked on doors in the past with a flyer that said pick your neighbor, we have a house on the street that we would like to find a great family for. Please except her gift of $50 to go to dinner if you can help us find the right family. It takes shoe leather and people skills, so if you're lazy don't do it.

I am a local (Valdosta) investor, and familiar with the area you are talking about. I'm guessing this is in Homerville. I would be very wary of this one, or at least give yourself some easy outs in the contract. As an out of town wholesaler, this will be a tough community to find buyers in. I don't see much demand to buy houses there, and unless you luck out with one of the neighbors, it will be tough to sell.

Ha small world, I also got a potential client in homervile Ga. It's probably the same one. Is she looking for $37k? Hey @Thompson Gooding  I'm going to look thru some archives, I think I may have some leads in Valdosta.  Happy New Year Everyone!

I second what Bill says.

On the other hand...

I am generally pretty dismissive of posts here that suggest that there is no money to be made in rural areas (no buyers, no jobs, etc) because that is demonstrably untrue.  No town I own property in has more than 7,000 people.  But I think wholesaling may be different.

Here's why (trigger wanring: you won't like it.)  You are talking about someone from away, with no stake in the community, coming in and taking a large part of the action away from a buyer and seller who both live here.  I would only buy from a wholesaler selling a contract in my town if I was positive that the price paid the initial seller was very fair.  After all, moral considerations aside (and they shouldn't be left aside), I will still need to live and do business in this small town, with those sellers and their friends, families and neighbors.  I cannot and will not be a part of shorting them.

And what that means is that I would want to see the spread between my price and what they get at less than 10%.  Preferably more like the 6% a Realtor would have cost them.

Only you can decide whether that is enough meat on the bone for you.

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