How to Handle a Landlord with Multiple Properties for Sale


I love landlords. I get the majority of my deals from landlords who are sick of dealing with tenant hassles. The biggest payoff comes when you get a call from a landlord who wants to sell you multiple properties, such as 3, 10, 20 and maybe even 50 houses at once.

So what do you when a landlord calls and has several houses to sell at once?

Well, last week this happened to me and a partner. We got a call from a landlord who had four properties he wanted to sell. The guy is older and he just doesn’t want to deal with them anymore. The first thing to do when you get a call like this is to evaluate each property at a time.

So, we talked with the seller and got the complete details on all four properties on four deal sheets. Now, once we had the complete information on these four properties, we had to evaluate them and run the comps and the rental comps. On three of the properties there is plenty of cash flow and the numbers look good. However, the fourth property has negative cash flow of about $100 a month.

What to do with this negative cash flow property?

When talking with the seller about this he basically said, “overall, on the four properties you get a lot of cash flow.” He’s right. But once again, I evaluate each property individually. Just because three properties cash flow, that doesn’t mean I should take on one property with negative cash flow. To me, that’s nonsense.

I don’t care if I’m buying one property, or a package of four. Every property I buy must meet the same rigorous standards and must have cash flow and a certain amount of equity. The investors who don’t do this and who aren’t “ruthless” when it comes to evaluating a property are the ones who complain that this business is difficult and it’s tough to make money.

Remember, you always make your money going in.

So with this particular landlord we are still in the negotiating phase and inspecting the properties. We plan to buy three of the properties subject-to and get several hundred dollars a month in cash flow.

That’s the beauty of this business. Just one phone call from a landlord with multiple properties could take you from zero deals ever done, to four deals done and a positive cash flow of $900. And I think all of us could use an extra $900 a month.

About Author

Jason R. Hanson is the founder of National Real Estate Investor Month and the author of “How to Build a Real Estate Empire”. Jason specializes in purchasing properties “subject-to” and has purchased millions of dollars worth of property using none of his own cash or credit.


  1. Hi Jason,

    What is your overall strategy with these properties once you own them?
    Do you hold them long term and keep them rented, or do you sell them shortly thereafter?

    Also, another questions, that a lot of you may get a kick out of reading is this…

    Since I am a Canadian Real Estate Investor, I have no idea what a ‘subject 2’ is. We don’t have that in Canada. 🙂

    What is it?

    Onwards and Upwards,
    Neil Uttamsingh.
    .-= Neil Uttamsingh´s last blog ..How to buy your first rental property – Step Three =-.

    • “Subject to” or “Sub 2” mean to transfer the properties deed to an new owner, and keeping the financing in the original owners or LLC’s name. A nice strategy for acquiring REI with out the hassles or costs of dealing with a new loan.

      I have a friend a transplanted American living near Halifax, Nova Scotia he told me the banking regulations in Canada are much more conservative then in the USA. This is why you folks didn’t see your banking system go up in flames. I think you up in the Great White North have a better handle on how banking should be done.

  2. I love posts about Sub2’s!!

    I think landlords are the easiest to get Sub2 deals out of personally. Great job, especially if you’re getting $900 a month cashflow

  3. Jason… great post. I am in the middle of negotiations with a very tired landlord and there is a deal to be had in these discussions.

    Your points regarding looking at each deal on it’s own merit and making your money going in are important points for any investor… new or experienced.

  4. Great post, Jason! I’ve never purchased currently occupied properties so just a quick question for you….how much did you want to know about the current tenants? Do you only care if they are paying on time (and when the lease is up)? Is there other info you want to know to help you make a decision? I suspect if there were some lousy tenants (but not lousy enough for eviction), you could always try to buy the person out of the lease.
    .-= Shae Bynes´s last blog ..Refuse to Lose =-.

  5. Great article, I just happen to be on the other side of this conversation, as a landlord with three properties totally 9 units now on the market. “Tired” is a subjective word I am not tired, may landlords my age who are selling are not tired so to speak. We are more interested in trying something new with our equity by trying something we perceive as an easier to invest.
    I look at the sale as retirement from landlording, in my case it is only partial as I have a few single houses I am going to hold onto.

    One bit of advice for those seeking a subject 2 deal with a seasoned landlord. You better have a track record of success behind you, I don’t think there are many landlords selling cash cows who would allow a newbie to wreck their credit rating, or destroy their collateral.

  6. I agree with the ‘sub2’ comment, landlords just don’t give away cash cows and to comment on the ‘4 properties deal with 1 bad property’ that is called a package deal or bundle deal, the landlord is aware that one property is not doing well, but it’s a bundle with 3 good ones to make up for it, big banks do it all the time. The landlord who sold you those properties really did not want them or was inexperienced. Your situation was not typical, I would never bundle good and bad properties only to have the buyer pick the best and leave me the worst properties, that’s insane.

Leave A Reply

Pair a profile with your post!

Create a Free Account


Log In Here