Frustrated. Can't Find Motivated Sellers - Posted by Heidi W

Posted by adrian los angeles on March 01, 2002 at 21:57:11:

Dear Scot:
I’m a full-time investor. E-mail me at Let’s talk!

Frustrated. Can’t Find Motivated Sellers - Posted by Heidi W

Posted by Heidi W on February 26, 2002 at 15:29:17:

Maybe it’s my market (San Diego)
Maybe it’s me
Probably all of the above - but I’m getting frustrated because I can’t find truly motivated sellers.

Here’s what I’ve tried:

Newspaper ads, Penny Saver ads, Flyers, Posters, Telemarketing to FSBOs and FRBOs and out-of-state owners.

Now I haven’t done enough of any of these avenues yet, so I’m not ready to say they don’t work. I KNOW I NEED TO DO MORE!

What I’m looking for is some advice on where to focus my limited time and financial resources to help me get my fist deal. I’m getting the “you’re starting to bleed us financially” speech from my husband.

Thanks for all input…


Re: Frustrated. Can’t Find Motivated Sellers - Posted by Rob FL

Posted by Rob FL on February 26, 2002 at 21:57:59:

I definitely agree about bandit signs. They work!

Also if you can’t get the sellers to come to you, you go to them. The last 2 properties I’ve bought were (1) a HUD repo and (2) a bank REO listed with a Realtor. I found the motivated seller and not the other way around.

I also do a fair amount of driving around. A vacant house means someone is probably motivated.

FSBO’s and FRBO’s are tough. 99% aren’t motivated.

Re: Frustrated. Can’t Find Motivated Sellers - Posted by Chip (Tx)

Posted by Chip (Tx) on February 26, 2002 at 20:27:17:

Sounds like you are doing the right things. Keep it up, and do more of it! Become a Marketing Machine!

Here’s another angle: find sellers that are “Realistic”. Three of my last 4 deals are from that type. NONE of them would I say were ‘Motivated’, heck, one of them owned the home free and clear. He just didn’t want the inherited house, and knew it needed Cosmetic repairs. I paid him his price and made over 20K on it. Next house was owned by a couple who probably could buy and sell me a few times out of their change pocket. We did a l/o deal where I paid them Full Price, with reasonable terms and no payments until I rented it out. Next house the seller wanted to build a new home. Knew the current one needed updating, and so would discount it. Closing this one now, and expect a very nice profit. NONE of these deals had the classic Motivated Seller!! (At least in my opinion.) And I paid them Their Price!

If you are getting too much price resistance (can’t get enough discount), then maybe try “I buy houses full price” will get the phone ringing. BTW, “Full price” to me means what they would net after r/e commission, costs, etc… Deal #2 above was Full Price, and I netted over 8K within 2 months.

Or how about “I’ll pay you what you you’d net if you sold your home through a realtor!”

Or “I’ll pay you 105% of market!” How? They sell to you on terms… your terms. Low payments, low interest… Or I’ll pay you 10% interest if you will finance a property to me. (You must get a lower price, however, right?)
If you can’t negotiate a DIME off the sales price because the market is so hot, then pay full price! Mark it up a few bucks, and assign your contract to the new buyer.

Did U Market Consistently for 6 mos Straight? -nt - Posted by J. Clifton

Posted by J. Clifton on February 26, 2002 at 19:53:15:


Make a BID !!! - Posted by Kent C

Posted by Kent C on February 26, 2002 at 16:58:16:

I seem to have more luck picking an area with a certain “feel”. An area that has old houses with something “extra” but in dire need of repairs. An area with either big old houses or nice size lots or pretty architecture. Research the rents in the area and what the houses will value when fixed up in the area. Now start contacting the fixer-uppers that have for sale signs. Low ball many.

Next start finding vacant houses in the same area. Research ownership and locate the owners. Once again low ball bids.

Even if you dont close a deal…I want to see you BIDDING!!! Learn this art first. Start the DIALOG!! It is a dance…try a few steps…its fun too. Smile and enjoy it, dont be disappointed, think of it as a game.

Come back on in 1 week and tell us how many houses you bid on, what a typical houses est fixed up value is, what its repairs will cost, what you bid and what the owner said. If you cant fill in the 4 blanks I just spoke, you havent done it right.

Try a bid. Make it impossibly low. MAKE THEM SAY NO (just for practice). And come back and let us help you "do it " better by critisizing your approach. I want to hear different questions…like…“how do I not hurt their feelings”…“I only had $2000, he wants $xxx down, how do I structure?” These are bidding questions.

The fact that your problems are not specific yet means you have not mastered the BID yet.

Kent C

Re: Frustrated. Can’t Find Motivated Sellers - Posted by Carey_PA

Posted by Carey_PA on February 26, 2002 at 16:58:11:

I second bandit signs! They work the best in my opinion. I also send postcards and/or letters to fsbo, houses for rent, expired listings. i don’t usually call fsbo or house for rent ads…just send them info and hopefully they’ll call me.

and i use a realtor…i like to look at bank reo’s and properties that have been listed for a very long time :slight_smile:

good luck…they are out there…just keep looking


Bandit signs! - Posted by Scot - SoCal

Posted by Scot - SoCal on February 26, 2002 at 16:19:42:

If I could restart my marketing, I’d start with bandit signs. They get me the most bang for my buck.

I started with newspaper ads and only got a handful of calls for hundreds of dollers spent. Passed out tons of cards and flyers, with little results.

Then started the B-sign route and the calls started to stream in. Putting up signs meant me getting out of my ‘comfort zone’, but after a while it get kinda fun. And it’s real fun when you feel like an ‘investor’ because your getting calls (even when your still starting out).

Wrong market?.. - Posted by HR

Posted by HR on February 26, 2002 at 19:22:16:


Kent gave you some good advice. The key is indeed to find motivated sellers. I’ve talked to some folks in your market, and they feel like it is a massive seller’s market. If it is, and anything will sell because of massive appreciation, why would someone be motivated? Everything sells!

You may need to move to a town nearby. Perhaps within 30-45 minutes. Blue collar. Older. Slightly worn down. You know the place. You will find motivated sellers there.

San Diego proper? Maybe not. Or at least, not yet.

Good hunting,


Re: Frustrated. Can’t Find Motivated Sellers - Posted by Mark Colon

Posted by Mark Colon on February 26, 2002 at 19:30:50:

i am experiencing the same challenges as you are. i appreciate your input. i just need to know from you if you would tell me what fsbo and bandit signs mean as i am a greenhorn in real estate investing.

Re: Bandit signs! - Posted by adrian Los Angeles

Posted by adrian Los Angeles on February 27, 2002 at 22:03:05:

Dear Scot:
What areas in southern california do you farm?
How many signs do you install per farm?
What do you advertise on the signs?
How many calls do you get?
How many deals do you close?
What is the average profit per deal?

Re: Bandit signs! - Posted by Natalie

Posted by Natalie on February 27, 2002 at 12:45:20:

Try this site:
This is David Alexanders’ site, an RE investor. He gives some great deals and very good service. There is also a marketing BBS on the site that is pretty good.
Hope this helps-

Re: Bandit signs! - Posted by natalie

Posted by natalie on February 27, 2002 at 12:41:16:

Try this site:
The guy that runs the site, David Alexander is an RE investor and gives great deals, also a marketing bbs on the site.
Hope this helps-

Re: Wrong market?.. - Posted by RR

Posted by RR on February 26, 2002 at 20:43:18:

I agree with HR it;s tough to find motivaded sellers , on a seller’s market , I know for experience, I’VE started my advertsiment about a month ago and I received 2-3 calls a day, and the deals are very skinny&risky, I’m talking about deep foreclosure with 15- 20 liens on the property where you better let the bank take back than deal with it, and believe or not my signs last very long because I put them on locations where they dont get removed so once I and while I pass by them and realized that they still there, and the area is kind of nice, and I END UP getting calls from war zones , in the beginning I tought the problem was me the way I was talking to the seller’s but after a while you realize that the problem are the numbers they dont make sense.

Re: Frustrated. Can’t Find Motivated Sellers - Posted by Joan

Posted by Joan on February 27, 2002 at 24:17:28:

FSBO - for sale by owners.
FRBO - for rent by owners.
Bandit signs - take the time to do a search of the archives as there is some excellent information that also gives ideas on how to construct various bandit signs.

Lot’s of questions… - Posted by Scot - SoCal

Posted by Scot - SoCal on February 28, 2002 at 09:49:25:

a few answers.
I’m in SG Valley area. I put up about 15-20 signs a week. But sometimes I’m busy enough and don’t put out signs. Calls very, but I like to get about 1 call a day (as my goals is to do 1 deal a month this year doing part time).

Re: Wrong market?.. - Posted by Kent C

Posted by Kent C on February 27, 2002 at 12:29:52:

You 2 may have a good point about the market. I drive 30 miles away to my houses. I buy all in one area in a town that has a good value. My home town and those within 15 miles of me are a sellers market. I cannot buy these. I can never compete with a home owner. They will pay 10% OVER asking price just to nail the deal!!!

I still see a major difference in the way most on this site look for houses and the way I do. Im not saying my way is best. It is just different. I find a location with the best value first and find houses in this area. Most here use advertising of some sort to bring prospects to them. I have never tried this method.

Maybe the answer is in which kind of deals you are looking for. Such as choose an area for rehabs but advertise (or look in advertisements) for lease/option and S-2 type deals…I dont know the answer.

Kent C