Yard Sales – A Great Place to Find Yards!

Posted on October 17, 2013 by

If your goal is to become a real estate investor, but you are a little fearful of knocking on a seller’s door, then spend a Saturday cruising yard sales.  Sometimes, a homeowner hosting a yard sale just might need to sell their yard.  And you might find it easier to talk to a homeowner in this casual setting, rather than sitting at a seller’s kitchen table.  So become a yard sale aficionado – be polite, be yourself and strike up a conversation! 

On a typical Saturday, I leave Bill at home in the office and my sweet friend, Dorsie Boddiford and I cruise yard sales looking for just that…..yards.   We crane our necks and dang near cause wrecks when we see a ‘yard sale’ sign.  Yep – we are those people!  We always wonder: is the yard for sale?  And like most yard sale junkies, we’re thrilled when we find a special trinket or two – but our ultimate goal is the yard. 

After waving our apologies and blowing kisses to all the drivers we cut off, we haphazardly park our car and approach the house with our wallets and business cards in hand.  Handy Tip:  The homeowner is always busy, so to help ensure that our business card doesn’t end up in the trash, we attach it to a business card magnet.

To quickly determine who owns the home, we say “Good Morning” as we walk up, and we focus on the person that says “Morning” back.  Then while admiring the trinkets, we casually strike up a conversation about the neighborhood.  We tell the homeowner that we would like to buy a home in the area, and do they perhaps know of anyone who might want to sell their home?  People typically know what’s going on in their own backyard and they are always quick to share information about a neighbor who wants to sell (or maybe one they wish would!).  Then, as we hand the homeowner our business card, we ask for help in finding a home in the area.  Everyone wants to be helpful.

Talking to a homeowner at a yard sale is often much easier than knocking on a seller’s door.  But one thing to keep in mind:  Have patience!  Your goal is not to beat everyone to the next yard sale.  Your goal is to find a good yard.  So take your time, but don’t overstay your welcome.  Just chat a moment and leave an impression.  Once the sale is over and the homeowner’s stress has leveled off, she just might think of someone who needs to sell and give you a call.  Trust me – it works!  I love calling Bill to tell him that we just bought another yard!

On a recent Saturday, Dorsie and I met some wonderful people, made some great contacts (potential private money lenders, perhaps?), gave out a handful of cards, and identified several ‘tall grass, vacant homes’ that, after researching the owners, we sent letters to.  We also bought a few wicker baskets that we can use as future gift baskets.  After all – a girl has gotta walk away with at least one trinket!

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.

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