Where to Find Motivated Sellers

Posted on March 28, 2011 by

Where to Find Motivated SellersLast week’s column, entitled “The Key is Finding MOTIVATED Sellers”, brought in a lot of calls and emails.  The main thing I heard was, “Bill, you ignorant boob, of course the key is to find motivated sellers.  But the hundred-dollar question is: HOW do you find motivated sellers?”

Easy answer: Work your tail off!  But I’m pretty sure this answer will get me labeled as a smart alec, so let’s dig into this question a bit.

Here’s the big picture: You must let everyone know who you are and what you do.  The goal is to have all the folks in your area call you if they are considering selling their property.  Your next task is to separate the folks who WANT to sell from the folks who NEED to sell.  And finally, when you find a motivated seller, you must be able to creatively structure a win-win deal, as well as be willing to pull the trigger quickly – ‘cause great deals don’t hang around long!

By far, the MOST effective thing we do to accomplish the above goals is knocking on sellers’ doors and asking Pete Fortunato’s famous question: “Why are you selling such a nice house like this?”  Nothing, nothing, nothing works better than knocking on sellers’ doors!

I know that, in this day of iPads, websites and high-tech gadgetry, many will disagree with me.  That’s fine.  But realize that, for the most part, the ones who disagree with me have NEVER gone out knocking on sellers’ doors.

Think about it: What’s the point of websites, direct mail campaigns, squeeze pages, dialing for dollars, etc.?  Isn’t it to get you face-to-face with a seller?  OK, so when I see a For Sale sign in the yard and knock on the seller’s door, what am I doing when the seller answers the door – whistling Dixie?

No, I’m face-to-face with the seller.  Because 90% of communication is NON-verbal, I’m learning a ton more than some investor who is sitting at home in his underwear reading prospective sellers’ email replies and eating chocolate-covered Ding-Dongs.

And I’ll go you one better.  If you direct mail a particular area, how many sellers will contact you?  One in a hundred?  One in a thousand?  Want to guess how many sellers invite me in when I’m out door-knocking?  Eight out of ten!  No kidding!

OK, now for the other things you can do to let people know about your business: run a small “We Buy” ad in your local newspaper; call sellers who advertise in your local paper and on Craigslist; use magnetic car signs; leave business cards everywhere; join the Chamber of Commerce; set up a website, etc.

The above list can go on forever.  I just want to make sure you understand what has worked best for us – and that’s door knocking!

Bill & Kim CookBill & Kim Cook are a husband and wife real estate investing team. They live in Adairsville, Georgia and have been investing in real estate since 1995. They specialize in buying single-family homes, mobile homes and mobile home parks. They also run North Georgia REIA and teach folks how to successfully invest in real estate.



  1. Hello……..I fall into the category of “Motivated Seller” as my home is on the market (FMLS and Realtor.co) but moving slowly. I have already picked a home in Florida and am ready to SELL. I do not have a realtor. I flat rate listed. My condo is in great shape with many upgrades so I do not fit the ugly house give away. However if there were NO realty fees and low closing costs I could sell my home for less. It appraised in 2006 for $165,000; I put it on the market in June at $155,000 and now it is at $148,500. Can you help me find a buyer so I can move on to Fla?
    Michael D. Mosley
    1374 N. Crossing Drive -Druid Forest Condos
    Atlanta, Ga. 30329 DeKalb Co

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