What does the real estate investor want to include as information in their seller list? It's only a matter of how much information the investor wants to maintain, and how much detail they want to go into when talking to potential sellers. With today's software and online database applications, it's easy to build a custom database for seller information, which can include:
- Contact information, address, phone, etc.
- Property information, home features, location, etc.
- Their personal financial situation to assess motivation.
- Their urgency, how soon must they sell?
- Property financials, mortgage balance, value in current market.
In combination with a buyer list, this list of motivated sellers can be used to match a buyer and a seller. This matching can begin from either side. If a great property is added to the seller list, the investor can then go to their buyer list to find a potential purchaser. Even more effective in many cases, the investor has buyers, maybe long term rental buyers, on their buyer list. They know what type of properties they want, and in what areas. They usually are ready to buy whenever the right property is located. As our middle-person investor is building their seller list, it's inevitable that potential deal matches will pop up.
Once the importance of these lists is realized, the investor will want to begin to build them right away. A seller list will of course turn over, with properties getting sold or going into foreclosure, but the process is ongoing. The successful investor just keeps on adding to their seller list using techniques like these:
Print & Online Classifieds
Sellers, particularly those who are highly motivated, will often advertise their properties in multiple print and online media. The newspaper classifieds should be scanned daily. Another amazing resource is Craigslist. Because it's free, many sellers advertise their homes for sale by owner there. In doing so, there are keywords and phrases that can help the investor to locate opportunities to buy below market value. While it's all visual and slower to search for those words in the newspaper, it's an easy online search at Craigslist for words and phrases like:
- must sell
- below appraisal
- make an offer
- consider any offer
- all offers considered
- best offer over
- estate sale
- bonus for offers before
Highly motivated sellers will usually give some hint in the wording of their ads, so the investor can use these searches to turn up opportunities on a daily basis.
Use the same resources the sellers use. After all, they'll be checking to make sure their ads are running, so they'll see ads that the investor runs as well.
- I Buy Houses - Any variation of this ad can work, mentioning that any condition is OK, etc.
- Avoid Foreclosure - Letting homeowners in trouble know that a solution may be available will generate phone calls or emails.
Testing variations of wording of these ads in newspaper classifieds and on Craigslist will yield those that work best, and will bring in seller leads for the real estate investor's seller list.
Sometimes called "bandit signs," we've all seen them on street corners and in yards. They're short, with statements like "I buy houses" and a phone number. When a homeowner has been thinking about selling, or is having mortgage problems, they may have driven by a sign many times. But, when they make a decision to get something done, that sign will be there to make it easy for them to contact the investor.
Don't Overlook Rental Ads
Some investors have been very successful in calling on rental ads. They get the landlord/owner on the phone, ask about the property, and in conversation sometimes find a landlord who really wants out, and would just as soon sell as continue in dealing with tenant and property problems. Getting their information and checking their buyer list for a match can yield profitable deals.
Applying these techniques can bring profits to the real estate investor who maintains an up-to-date seller list.