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Motivated Sellers

By - 2005

An example of motivated sellers? We were trying to keep renters happy, the rent coming in and the house repaired - while living 2100 miles away. You bet we were motivated. Actually, we just sold our house last month, and even got a good price, but I'll tell you a secret. We probably would have sold the place for... well I don't want to depress the buyer if he reads this. I'll just say we would have sold it for much less.

That's your first clue on finding a motivated seller. If he isn't where his property is, he's probably ready to deal. Now, how do you get this information? Usually by asking. Just start talking to the real estate agent, the neighbors, and anyone else. Here are some other things to ask about that may indicate a motivated seller:

Relocation. If the seller is relocating for work, ask when he will be moving. He's probably already worrying about double payments.

Divorces. Relationship problems create many motivated sellers. Maybe the house payment needed both parties, and the house will have to be sold quickly.

Financial problems. Failing businesses, too much debt or other financial problems often force a sale. See if the owner is behind on payments.

Tenant problems. Believe me, it's easy to get tired of being a landlord. It's common to want to get out at any reasonable price too.

Probate. If the heirs are all waiting to get their inheritance, they may be more interested in a quick sale than a great price.

Up-sizing or down-sizing. Sellers moving into a larger or a smaller home may already have one in mind and need to sell quickly.

More Methods for Finding a Motivated Seller

To find motivated sellers in the classifieds, pay attention to the wording of ads. Lines like, "Need to sell," "Must sell," and "Will look at all offers," are good indicators. Look at the rental ads too. "Must have a good job," may indicate a landlord who is tired of tenants and ready to sell. Some other sources:

1. Neglected properties. If they don't maintain the property, they may be short on cash, tired of it, or out of town - all good motivators.

2. Property tax rolls. The county records are open to the public in most places. You are looking for properties that list an owner with an address far away. The farther the better. You could have found us this way, and bought our place for less.

3. Timing. Before school starts, people are motivated to get their house sold so they can get their kids enrolled in the new school where they are moving. When an apartment building has been sitting for sale for the whole winter, the owner may be tired of the bills and ready to get it sold fast.

Bottom line? Use your eyes and ears, and look for the clues. Talking to people helps a lot, too. However you find your motivated sellers, your next step is to motivate them even more. You can begin by negotiating for a fast, easy close for them - and a good price for you. This, however, is a topic for another article.


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Houses Under Fifty Thousand | Motivated Sellers