Building a Buyer and Seller List - Which one first?

11 Replies

I have been told to build my "cash buyers" list before I get deals, but what do I say to the people that call me? I won't have a property to offer them and won't they get pissed and not want to work with me? 

I have also been told to build my "sellers list", but I do not want to have deals under contract and not have buyers ready. 

I am attending my first REI meeting next week and hoping to meet people there, but I would like some opinion on what I should do and how I should attack this.

I look forward to the feedback. 

Hey @Rick Magennis I would recommend building your Buyer's List first. It definitely helps to know what you're looking for and there's nothing worse than having gone through all the motions and getting a deal under contract at a good price and then not being able to sell it and get paid. You don't actually have to have mailed a cash buyer's list in order to know where to do your marketing to find deals. If you're looking to wholesale your deals, you can ask an agent to find out where all the cash transactions are taking place at. 

Another option is to go to a foreclosure auction and find cash buyers there. This is a piece of advice Sean Terry (one of the wholesaling gurus) recommended and that I implemented in my business. Foreclosure Auction buyers have to be cash buyers, you know they can make a decision fast and they will generally be willing to tell you exactly what they are looking for.

A third option for finding cash buyers or where to do your deals is search for other investors in your local area and see where the deals are being done. You can check out sites like or look on craigslist for the "Cash Only" deals to see what's there. 

A fourth option is to ask the other local and active wholesalers "where are the deals being done?" They will generally know and be able to tell you the zip codes and neighborhoods to target your marketing to. 

All that being said, I tend to prefer to look at the actual cash sales data in the MLS or tax records versus going off of what people tell me. I hope it helps!

Thats a great question and even though I am ,newish, to the wholesaling end I hope this advice might help. I once read it's like the chicken and the egg senciaro. If you have a great deal and market it the buyers will come. If you have a great buyers list then eventually the sellers will come. 

One tip I read and tried was a ghost ad. The REI mentor said post a ghost ad on craiglsit saying 3/1.5 in a great area minimal work great arv. Well I decided to do that once just to see what the outcome was....within an hour I had three different emails asking for more details on the property and if it still was available. Granted I did it once just to add onto my list, don't want to do it alot and get people thinking I'm making things up and not want to work with me. So where I am going with this is, if you have a deal and market it people will be interested.

I've built a list of ten great end buyers by basically reaching out to people and letting them know exactly who I am and what I do,no frills no b.s. I've also followed some great advice that I've read on here about a great way of building a buyers list. 

I haven't had a deal yet, it's been about four months since I started seriously focusing on wholesaling. But that doesn't piss end buyers off. Because they know when I finally reach out to them with a deal it's going to be worth their time and a great deal. Hope this helps a little and I have the link for building and end buyers list below.

Hi Rick,getting a buyers list built up first is very important. You can scour craigs list and find cash buyers there,look for ads such as we buy houses fast with cash, that is an investor,or attention investor,investor special and so fourth. Look at the pricing, if it's dirt cheap and the ad look professionally laid out,and you must place ads as well saying things like deep discount properties  in(your area) or cheap wholesale properties available in (your area). You will be surprised the results you  get scouring craigs list. Get the numbers off bandit signs,they are investors as well.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                As far as motivated sellers you have to get the word out,now i am still struggling in this part but must be persistent, like the old saying persistence reduces resistance. You must place ads to target sellers,make up some business cards(vista print has good deals),get them in as loud a color as possible to make them stick out. Post flyers and bandit signs, look for fsbo's and vacant properties. The biggest thing is don't give up!            I hope this was helpful.                                       Gerald McGee                                                                                                                                                                                                        P.S coming to BP was a great choice because you have access to knowledge and resources, and you can find cash buyers here as well and analyse and market properties on here.                   

To build a buyers list, go to the top of the BP Wholesaling forum and read the sticky topics there; one has an extensive set of links to a variety of methods. 

Now, is there such a thing as a "sellers list" analogous to the buyers list?  Maybe. Doing direct mail, you can purchase a mailing list. You can look up those facing foreclosure at the courthouse. But the notion of a buyers list is for REPEAT buyers, and repeat sellers aren't as common. Perhaps other wholesalers and landlords liquidating their holdings. 

Don't buy that guru mumbo jumbo. Building a buyers list makes you think you are accomplishing something. If you have a good deal, i.e. not 85 cents on the dollar after your inflated ARV and understated repair estimate, buyers won't be a problem. Finding buyers is the easiest part of the business, finding deals is the hardest. Which do you think you should spend the majority of your time on?

Lock up a deal then look for the buyers...  If it truly is a deal finding buyers should not be a problem.  Advertising in BP Marketplace will drive inquiries.  If you are really looking for buyers go to your county offices and research who has purchased homes in the past 6 months and don't have mortgages... here are your cash buyers...

You're in the business of lead generation. Ask yourself this question, if you build a buyer's list of 500 people, how many seller leads do you have? ZERO!!!!!!!! Go find the deals, then find the buyers. If it's a deal, you slap it on craigslist, and it'll be swooped up in an hour. In the meantime, meet with buyers around the city. You only need 5 buyers to market to. Besides, as a buyer, I don't want to be on your 500 person list. I might as well search the MLS at that point. It's a waste of my time. Find a few buyers and continually sell to them.

Go find the deal, that's how you make money. not building a list

The answer is BOTH as you will be doing both things concurrently and continuously.  It is good to have a few buyers identified before you try to wholesale flip because these sellers are in a HURRY and if you aren't able to offer SPEED (10-days to close) you are the not the solution to their problem.

In general, I think this is one of those questions that prevents you from moving forward.  stop the paralysis-by-analysis and get out their and do BOTH those things.  All day every day as you have time to MAKE SOMETHING HAPPEN!

I wish you the best in your new adventure!  Send me a colleague request with your email address and I'll send you our 3-video "Wholesale Accelerator" course at no charge.  It will help you understand the entire process end-to-end.  Offer open to all BP'ers.  This is training - not a sales video or a pitch of any product or service.  Happy Investing!

"You may delay, but time will not." ~ Benjamin Franklin =)

How about Supply & Demand

say you have a car instead of a house

would you find the seller first or the buyer?

Scenario A: You find a SMOKIN' HOT deal on a House

- you advertise it via (craigslist, signs, newspaper & 10 people call you salivating

SOLD to the lady in the pretty black dress

B: You place a ghost ad on craigslist or do some networking & get a list of 20 buyers. Probably 2 buyers or so will be SERIOUS Cash Buyers

Then you get your Deeply discounted deal & present to your buyers

SOLD quickly cause you've lined up your buyers ahead of time, which is great cause your inspection period is running out and you were almost out of time.

So what's greater in your area Supply or Demand ?

If your deal is SIZZLIN' I think the buyers will crawl out of the woodwork begging to buy your property & perhaps your future properties.

If your deal is luke warm you may not have any buyers seriously interested in your Okay deal.


Definitely build the buyers list first. This will also give you the confidence to make offers on properties knowing you have the buyer already. I do not suggest that you use deception to advertise for cash buyers. Like those fake "3 Bed / 2 Bath / 1200sqft - Needs Work $90k" signs. They will make you look like a phoney. There are many other way including researching the MLS for whos buying rehabs, and look-up the new owners name/address. You can also attend meetings and advertise that you 'come across rehab properties, so join out buyers list'.