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59 Ways To Find Motivated Sellers For Wholesaling

Dave Schaaf
Dave Schaaf


For over 10 years, Yellow Letters Complete has helped real estate investor with handwritten direct mail. Our business is for wholesalers who want quality marketing that builds their brand and making an impression.

But high quality, personalized mail is only 1/3 of what it takes to be successful. In addition the media a message you need: (1) a strategic follow up process and (2) a targeted list of motivated sellers.

Today our goal is to walk you through some of the leads we can source as well as a variety of other places where you can find motivated sellers for your business.

First off, let talk about the databases of leads we can pull and what your options are:

We are able to pull them by county or by zip code, and will suppress the data within those leads so that you aren’t wasting your marketing dollars on the same lead over and over. The leads we have ready for you are:

  • Notice of Default – leads that the foreclosure process has began
  • Pre-Notice of Default – leads that have mortgage past due 30 to 90 days
  • Absentee Owned Properties – inherited, rental, vacation, or vacant properties
  • High Equity – properties with 50% or more equity

Where Do You Find Sellers That Are Motivated?

The key to having a successful wholesale real estate business begins by having a quality list of “motivated sellers.”. If you don’t have inventory, aka motivated sellers, to buy from, then you aren’t going to have inventory to sell. And you want to find sellers that are motivated, ready, and willing to follow your direction and terms.

So, who are most likely to be those motivated sellers, and how where do you find them? We have a few suggestions that have proven to be an excellent source of the sellers you need and want for your wholesale real estate business.

  1. Out-of-state landlords
  2. Absentee owners
  3. Owners of vacant houses or land that are in the path of growth
  4. Owners that have received Notice of Default
  5. Owners that have received Pre-Notice of Default
  6. Owners of high equity property, usually properties owned for 15 years or more
  7. Visit the local unemployment office. Sounds harsh, but many of those that are there could be in trouble of losing their home. Have business cards to hand out and flyers to post on bulletin boards, car windshields, etc.
  8. Place a flyer on bulletin boards in larger stores
  9. Placing ads on Craigslist sounds old school, but they still work
  10. Read Craigslist ads in search of rental properties and approach the landlords
  11. Buy cleaned and filter zip code leads list from Yellow Letters Complete and let us create an eye-catching mailer to send those leads
  12. Again, this sounds harsh, send letters to divorce attorneys
  13. Mail handwritten letters with business cards to FSBO properties
  14. Post ads on Facebook pages and other online networks with the title “We Are Buying Properties”
  15. Send out letters to flip properties that have been purchased in the last five years
  16. Send handwritten letters to Estate/Probate Attorneys
  17. Place signage in the neighborhoods and zip codes that you want to target “We Buy Houses”
  18. Send handwritten letters with several business cards to credit repair agencies and counselors
  19. Send handwritten letters to those going to prison on a lengthy sentence
  20. Send handwritten letters with your business card to area realtors
  21. Send handwritten letters to employees hit by layoffs
  22. Network with fellow investors
  23. Send letters to owners of section 8 properties
  24. Post ad in local newspapers – print and online with “We Buys Houses” at the top
  25. Send handwritten letters to owners of properties that have a lien against it, such as HOA lien, contractor lien, mechanic liens, tax liens
  26. Send handwritten letters with your business card to new home salespeople
  27. Place signage near new home subdivisions – “We’ll Buy Your Old House”
  28. Send handwritten letters with business cards to mortgage companies
  29. Place help wanted ad on Craigslist for bird dogs
  30. Send handwritten letter and business card to those on bankruptcy court schedules
  31. Send handwritten letters with business cards to Accountants and CPA firms
  32. Send handwritten letter with business card to real estate attorneys
  33. Advertise “We Buy Houses” using Apparel with Logos: Hats, T-Shirts, Golf Shirts,
  34. Send letter with business card to those on list for car repossession
  35. Send letter with business card to carpet cleaners, painters, etc.
  36. Send letters with business card to local code inspectors
  37. Place flyer and business cards on bulletin boards of nursing and retirement homes
  38. Place an ad on Craigslist to put out door hangers designed by Yellow Letters Complete that have your contact information under “We Buy Houses” on both sides of the hanger
  39. Drop off a flyer and business card to any house with a “Moving Sale” advertisement
  40. Place flyers and business cards in the local hair salon and barber shops
  41. Send letters with business cards to insurance agencies and brokers
  42. Chat with your local mail carrier if anyone is moving or has moved
  43. Send letters and business cards to multiple property owners
  44. Place ads in the free newspapers like GreenSheet, PennySaver with the first line “We Buy Houses”. If they offer online and print ads, do both.
  45. Send letter and business card to the local electric, gas, and water companies
  46. Send letters with business card to the REO division of banks and mortgage companies
  47. Look for HUD and VA houses
  48. Watch the local papers for tax sales
  49. Look for estate sales
  50. Check with local city halls for properties with code violations
  51. Look for condemned and/or fire damaged properties
  52. Place a magnetic sign on your vehicle
  53. Anywhere you can, leave some business cards
  54. Wear attire with your business logo
  55. Billboards, radio spots, TV spots are excellent ways to get motivated sellers calling
  56. Have a full-page ad in the local yellow pages
  57. Review MLS listings for junk properties
  58. Review MLS for expired listings
  59. And you can buy leads from Yellow Letter Complete as well as other services like DataTree, AgentPro247, ListSource, and MelissaData

More Ways To Find Motivated Sellers

There are a lot of other ways to find plenty of motivated sellers, but you won’t find them just sitting there. To be one of those successful people you see, you need to do what they do. Any direction you look, there are motivated sellers, and most are willing to work your way because they don’t know where else to turn. You are the solution that so many of them need.

You don’t have to work all 46 ways we have listed here. Choose one, two, or three of them and go after them with a vengeance. If you’re aggressive enough, you’ll find motivated sellers.

The Tools and Tricks Of The Trade

You may hear people say that the market is too hot to find wholesale real estate deals today. And your first mistake is to believe that statement. If you aren’t ready to jump on the suggestions we listed above, do the drive and call method, which can be time consuming and the potential is limited, but it has been known to produce results.

The other tools and tricks we mentioned have been used by real estate wholesalers with great success. But if you don’t use them right, they won’t bring much ROI for you, take a look at what we have learned over the years through our customers:

Your Bandit Signage

We mentioned these above and you may have just glanced over that, but bandit signage is ideal not only in new home subdivisions as we suggest earlier, but in busy intersections of low-income areas too.

Placing signage with “We Buy Houses” is one of the best strategic ways to get properties coming to you, you just need to place them in the right places. By focusing on low income areas, you’ll get the attention of landlords and owners that can’t keep up with repairs and are ready to sell. And always check local governing laws where you can and can’t place your signage.

Newspaper Ads Placements

Determine the area and zip code you want to focus on and place both online and print ads in the local paper. Don’t run the same ad every time, alternate and rotate them, and track the response rate of each. Samples of ads that have worked for other wholesalers are:

    Call 24hrs Recording (333)444-5555

A Direct Mail Campaign

All the above discussed methods work and have proven to be successful. But none are as effective and successful as direct mail is definitely the most effective and profitable method.

According to Marketing Profs, direct mail has a 29% ROI, while social media and online display have 30% and 16%, respectively.

With the direct mail campaign, you can format your leads to target foreclosures, out-of-state owners, vacant houses, or any other classification you want.

You want to filter your lead list by criteria of “wholesaling-specific” and “year built”. Keep focused on neighborhoods with houses that are 15 to 20 years old. Direct mail works best when you stay on target and have created a good direct mail piece in the form of a letter or postcard. And you need a system in place where you can track the response and manage multiple mailings. All of this is what we do at Yellow Letter Complete!

Making Blind Offers

blind offer to motivated sellers

Blind offers are where you make an offer without seeing the property, and while this may see scary and even crazy, take a moment to read the process.

Take a list of listings that are active and have keywords in them like handyman special or needs repairs. These listings are screaming wholesale special!  After you have this list compiled, send them a letter with your business card offer a lowball price, like 40% to 60% below list price. You’ll need to send out as many as 150 or more before you’ll see any interest, and then you should see some counteroffers come in.

This places you in negotiation stage and this when you’ll want to arrange a time to see the property. You’ve only made an offer, you aren’t obligated to purchase the property, so no harm in trying.

When You Get Response – What Should You Ask?

Now you have motivated sellers calling, what do you do now? There are five questions you need to ask, after you have chatted with them to create a rapport:

1). Why are you selling this property? You need to know what their motivation is in selling the property.

2). Do you own the property outright or is there a mortgage?

3). What is the property valued at?

4). Does the property need repairs, if so, what kind?

5). And then the big question is, what are you wanting for the property?

Hints you can take from these answers will help you determine the seller’s motivation. If they are asking for much less than the property is worth, this indicates an eager and motivated seller. A final question once you have discussed these five questions, is “When are you need to close on this deal?” If it is quick, this is another indicator or an eager and motivated seller.



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