Hey BiggerPocket Community!
Recently I decided tackling probate leads more seriously. Taking action, I went to my local courthouse/hall of records and got access to a probate list with everyone from 2015. I took pictures and now I'm still figuring out how to go about the next step. I called every lead who had a cell in this list and overall out of about 30 calls, about 5 picked up. Two of which flat out told me they're not selling their homes. Other three have yet until Sunday to actually decide if they wish to sell their property let alone put it under contract with me. What I'm wondering is if I should start mailing everyone of a list with 50 leads or should I mail and call? I've been trying to close a deal for 6 months in the Essex County and it's time I play my cards right and not worry about the close and worry about the actions I can control. Also after you get a inheritor to say yes to you, how would you go about actually getting the property under contract since I'm hearing probate leads aren't your typical 'send and contract and its yours' type of short sale? Also I'm trying to find more productive ways of finding motivated sellers besides Craigslist, Bandit Signs, and probate leads, so I would greatly appreciate new strategies not mentioned in wholesaling 101. If anyone is familiar with the Essex county market let alone the New Jersey market for real estate wholesaling, I would love some guidance. Thanks!
Congrats on taking action! It's a huge first step! It's true that probate leads can take time. It is also true that they can also be quick opportunities. It really just depends on the specific situation of the estate. I've had probate leads that have taken a few weeks to close and I also have leads that are over a year old as the executor or administrator works through the process.
For this very reason, I like direct mail for probate. It allows for them to reach out to me when they are ready. The key to getting a house under contract is no matter if you are calling or using direct mail, is to be there to help solve their problem. Even with probate, each situation is different. Listen to what is keeping them from moving forward and help them solve those issues.
Hi Hurchson. Congratulations on taking action. We wholesale, rehab as well as buy and hold in essex county.
I'm not sure what you mean by " I'm hearing probate leads aren't your typical 'send and contract and its yours' type of short sale?" Most probate leads aren't short sales. Short sales are properties that are under water where the house is worth less than the equity therein (house is worth $175k but there's a $300k mortgage against it). And while you can find a short sale where the owner/borer is deceased, it's unlikely the heirs and or legal rep would be interested in selling. There's just no incentive since they likely won't receive any proceeds from the sale.
And I agree with Kyle. These leads generally take time. Direct Mail is likely the way to go. We just made an offer on one yesterday where the Executor had our letter for over a year. Prior to that he just wasn't ready.
Look on BP for a post on '50 Ways to find Motivate Sellers'. I re-posted it about 2 -3 years ago. Hopefully at some point the BP Big Wigs will make it a sticky. Good tips on target audiences to market to. And shoot me an email when you can as I'd love to work with you since we are in your market and (most importantly) you're serious enough to take action. We'd like to be considered one of your end buyers as well. Take care.