by William Bronchick, Esq.
When investing in real estate, you
want to focus your efforts on motivated sellers. This is true especially
if you are just starting out. and dealing with motivated sellers makes the process go even faster, which
means cash in your pocket sooner rather than later.
Motivated sellers are people
who MUST sell their homes. So…what motivates a seller to have to sell his
home? Financial distress for one. Maybe he is behind on payments. Maybe he is
facing foreclosure. Maybe even bankruptcy. Maybe he is facing a huge medical
bill. Or a divorce settlement is looming on the horizon.
Positive reasons can force
the need for a quick sale. A job relocation and not wanting to deal with a
vacant house, let alone rent it out and have the value plunge. Getting married
and having no need for two houses.
You may think you are taking
advantage of these homeowners. Actually, you are doing them a favor. Think what
happens if the homeowner does not make the sale. He could be foreclosed upon,
or worse, forced into bankruptcy. Or an empty house could be destroyed by
vandals. Renters could wreak havoc on the value of the house.
It's easy to see, then, that
these sellers need you. You are, in fact, a savior of sorts.
O.K., now how do you find
these motivated sellers? Some tips:
1. Build a website, or have one built for you,
announcing that you buy houses. Not a techie? Then have someone from www.elance.com build one for you.
2. Run classified ads in
your local newspaper. Place your classifieds in dailies, weeklies, even free
newspapers. Hint: advertorials(looks like editorial copy; reads like an ad;
purports to educate but is really an ad)
3. Set up bandit signs,
those little signs on stakes and phone poles, announcing that you buy houses
for cash, fast. Warning: Don't get carried away creating these until you find
out they are legal in your area. If they are not, you can always place them
after 5P.M. Friday evening through Sunday evening, because the sign police are
not out and about then.
4. Put signs on your car.
You are now a rolling billboard. You'd be surprised how many people will
approach you when you are parked somewhere.
5. A bit more expensive, but
take out a Yellow Pages ad. Hint: Use the advertorial approach to stand out
6. On line, go to classified
ad sites, especially free ones, like www.Craigslist.org
Once you get going, and
can afford it, going the direct mail route can be quite profitable.
Mail to people within a zip code (shotgun marketing) or get a list of
particular people, such as those in foreclosure (targeted marketing).
bottom line is you can't sit around waiting for deals to come to you,
you must go out and find them and/or do things to get people to call
you. 90% of sellers are not motivated, so be patient and be willing to
weed through a lot of unmotivated sellers before you get that one that
is dying to sell his home for cheap.
Investing with the Stars