Marketing a Seller Carry Back Deal

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I feel extremely uneasy when someone refers to me as an expert, unless, of course, it has to do with breakfast cereal or cheap red wine. Luckily, this doesn’t happen very often. I also don’t like real estate professionals, social media consultants, bloggers and economists referring to themselves as experts. Seems a little vain to me.

The only thing I really know about real estate investing is that I don’t know everything. And when I read the BiggerPockets.com real estate blog and forum posts I discover there’s a lot I don’t know.

That’s why I feel a little funny writing this post. I’m not a sales and marketing expert. The truth is I suck at both.

Last week, I wrote a post titled Bringing Sexy Back to Seller Carry Backs. I received a few comments and emails asking how I found buyers with enough down payment cash to purchase my properties.  Well, believe it or not, that was the easy part. Here’s what I did:

  • Posted a new CraigsList.com ad for each house everyday, for 30 days
  • Built a simple WordPress website to capture leads
  • Created a free automated voicemail line (Google Voice) to capture leads
  • Listed the homes on the MLS myself (I’m a Realtor) and offered the buyer’s agent a 2% commission
  • Put an “owner will carry” rider on a sign in front of the houses
  • Marketed the homes on another local website that offers owner financing – the owner of this website also does radio advertising

Within 30 days I had a buyer’s list of more than 60 names, all with 10-50% to put down. These people were strategic defaulters, self-employed business owners, contractors and doctors. All of them had verifiable income and cash reserves.

Once I sold these homes I stopped the CraigsList.com ads and disabled the voicemail line. However, I still get 3-5 inquiries a month on my website from potential homebuyers.  I don’t do any SEO so that means these prospects are really digging to find investors like me that offer owner financing.

Of course, like any type of real estate investing there are pitfalls with doing seller carry backs. Dealing with owner default, the SAFE and Dodd-Frank Acts and tax consequences may be a concern. However, with the right team in place (accountant, attorney, licensed mortgage broker) you can safely navigate these waters and create an above average return for yourself and your investors.

Photo: Images of Money WTCC Publishing Inc.

About Author

Marty (G+) is the Chief Financial Officer for Rising Sun Capital Group, LLC, a real estate investment firm based in Gilbert, AZ. His firm purchases homes at the courthouse steps and public REO auctions. They have two exit strategies, either fix and flip or seller financing.

4 Comments

  1. Nice read – especially enjoyed your list of exactly what you’ve done to market. I’d be curious to know how well the MLS works for you as an investor selling these types of deals? As an agent frequently networking with real estate investors, I find that many of them automatically object to the MLS (why would I want to advertise to realtors, etc…). I’m more inclined to take the “any publicity is good publicity” road, and was glad to see you that you include it in your marketing.

    Looking forward to reading more, and further communication is very welcome!

    Dan

  2. Marty- Great article! Just curious how you organized and utilized your buyer’s list with seller carry. When we “turn on” our owner finance marketing (Craigs list, our local online classifieds, website, voice recording, etc.), it seems like we are drinking from a fire-hose. Our problem isn’t getting “suspects”… but weeding through to find the genuine “prospects”. What’s your secret there?

    • David, I’ve had the same experience. The best way to sort the serious from the curious is to find out how much cash they have to put down. Before you let them step foot into your property ask for financials – check stubs, bank account statements and proof of funds. I use a licensed mortgage originator to do this for me.

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