Abandoned Properties/Deceased Owners

7 Replies

I've stumbled on 3 abandoned homes recently near me. One home the husband passed, I did find the wife and asked if we can talk about the home, she offered it to me for full price?! After research she owes $5500 in back taxes. This time I sent message (she won't answer by phone but I get a response via social media) and shot her a price. NO answer. Waiting a few weeks and again, same price, no answer. 2nd home has black mold warnings on the front door, owner has passed. I called and sent a letter to the owners daughter, no reply. 3rd property, same area. Owner deceased, found 2 daughters and just sent them a message with my phone number since my letter went unanswered for this one. Are any of these worth pursuing? All homes worth $150-175k range (sorry, I'm new to this so don't know the proper terminology.) The market in this area is VERY hot right now. Illinois taxes have risen dramatically and a lot of people rushing my way (Indiana, 30 min south of Chicago) It sounds like there's a lot of legalities and it's a long shot getting these homes if there's no estate and on the last 2, I don't believe there is. Thoughts? Advice? Or anyone with experience interested in buying referrals? Ha ha.

@Kim Rosinski

You can't really twist anyone's arm in a situation like this. They are either interested in selling or they are happy to let it rot while thinking they are sitting on a goldmine.

I have some advice.

1) Keep doing what you are doing and be persistent. 

2) Go talk to the neighbors of the homes. The neighbors will definitely want to see these properties move to new hands and be cared for again. The neighbors will have lots of valuable insight and once they figure out that you are there to help solve a problem they have, they will be glad to tell you everything they know in most cases.

When I was a baby broker just learning the ropes, one of my trainers said something that stuck with me for all these years:


(Some will, some won't, so what)

All three properties sound like they would have to go through the probate process.

You've found all three potential heirs to each of these three properties and there's a good chance that they don't seem motivated if they're not replying

Of each of the three properties has a petition for probate started? 

Until a personal representative has been confirmed by the court sad to say that the 2 properties will still linger as somewhat abandoned... 

For you right now consider these three properties as an opportunity for you..@Kim Rosinski

When you are looking for distressed and probate property, the odds are always long on any single home.

You can't focus on 2 or 3 and expect to get one. You need to be consistent and work lots of properties. Its a numbers game. 2 of these could pop or it might take 50 more leads to get one.

It also takes time. Learn the probate process. There are points in the process when the window of opportunity is open and times when the heirs hands are tied. You need to know info about what entity holds the deed, about any trusts, who the heirs are, etc.

Just knowing an owner died doesn't mean the property is available to be sold. Its often more complicated.

Again, it takes time and lots of leads for this strategy to pay off.

@Kim Rosinski the real estate game is all about finding that needle in the haystack. To find 3 distressed properties and think that you are going to get 3 deals is unrealistic. You need to be finding 50 of these properties a day. Talking to hundreds of people a week if you want to have a consistent deal flow. Also, no one will pay you money for cold leads. If you want to sell leads then make sure you have contacted the owners of the property and they want to sell (warm lead) and then its just a matter of the investor going on the appointment and getting the property under contract. This is called birddogging btw.

Thank you all so much for the advice! Those were properties I found without any effort, just driving my everyday route. I've had great success with warm leads but this area is new to me. Just curious is there was something more I should be doing or if a municipality might have the info I'm looking for. I did receive a reply from an heir today. She was just as confused as I was regarding the home. She did tell me who her moms mortgage which is ironically a bank I used to manage so I've got my associates over there doing some checking on that end. Again, You've all been very helpful! Thanks again!

If you are looking in Indiana consider the county's tax sell and the sheriff's tax sell. If you are looking to acquire those properties because they are near your house maybe consider buying the tax lien. 

 Thoughts? Advice? 

@Kim Rosinski If you're serious about Real Estate then you should establish a schedule to recontact the owners of the properties at least once a month (or some type of regular schedule) until the property is sold to you or someone else.  Even if they say no to your offer, touch them once per month until its sold.  Over 1/2 of our properties we've purchased the owner initially said No initially or accepted another offer.  Until a property closes with someone else we'll continue to monitor the property and reach out to the owner.