A wholesaler is only as good as the deal he can present. This means finding motivated sellers who are willing to sell a property for less than current market value for any reason.
Three ways wholesalers can find motivated sellers in Philadelphia include targeting very specific avenues, casting a wide net or something in between. Regardless of the method, it is important to find properties with the potential for an investor to make a solid profit. Here are three ways to find motivated sellers.
Public records are filled with useful information that wholesalers love. One very good public resource is the county tax assessor’s office. Look for properties where owners are delinquent on taxes. The county often holds tax lien auctions and has other records. It’s worth a drive to the assessor’s office to understand how the information is funneled through the system so you can best use your time. Those who are delinquent on property taxes may have other financial issues and be willing to negotiate a sale.
Another public record of great use to wholesalers is eviction notice records. County court houses have a list of current evictions on file. By contacting owners, you may find an owner who no longer wants to deal with tenants or an investment property at all.
While at the courthouse, look at probate listing. Here is where beneficiaries may need to sell quickly to pay debt or taxes on an estate of a deceased loved one. These people have a reason to sell and move quickly. This creates an opportunity for you as the wholesaler.
Do market research and find a neighborhood or two that you feel has the potential for profits and great deals. Driving around, look for properties that you think need some work. Maybe the weeds are overgrown and the roof needs attention. Perhaps there are windows broken and not repaired.
People who have trouble taking care of their property may be happy to downsize or may be experiencing other financial hardships. Once you identify the properties you are interested in, do some research and then reach out to the owners. This is a great way to find properties with sellers ready to move.
It is also smart to get involved in the community so people learn who you are and what you do. This helps if you need to approach a homeowner with an offer. You no longer are a cold contact. Be respectful when talking to people. If someone is experiencing financial hardship, they aren’t always receptive to solicitors. Yes, you are offering a solution, but emotions are high when people feel threatened to lose their home.
Direct mail is a wide cast net. It is cost effective in many ways and with a virtual assistant doing most of the administrative work on it, you are only concerned with the one to three percent of home owners who respond.
Give yourself an advantage in the direct mail game by targeting communities that have problems but potential. You can’t always determine why people want to move, but you can target things based on common reasons. Perhaps a spike in crime in the neighborhood is making some families antsy to move. Targeting a community with seniors can find a group of people who want to downsize or move closer to grandkids and other family members.
Whatever the reasons are, expect a low rate of conversion on direct mail but don’t neglect it. Do it consistently and cycle through several communities so people learn who you are. They might not be ready to sell today, but by the time they get the third direct mail postcard from you, they may be considering it.