Posted by steve on January 25, 2000 at 14:29:16:
For starters, you’re not likely to find sufficiently motivated sellers by using realtors. Realtors tend to work with folks that THINK they need to sell, but don’t really have the same pressures to sell that the truly motivated have. As cut-throat as it might sound, one way to measure whether a property owner is sufficiently motivated is whether they’ve gotten to the point where they are selling just to cut their losses, eg. they’re so far in the hole that they just want to get away from a debt. There are other measures, to be sure, but most of them have an element of desperation as an underlying cause.
For comps, cultivate relationships with title companies. Many of them will feed you as much information as they can, in hopes of getting some work out of you. If you stick to one geographic area, you’ll get to know it pretty well, and soon you’ll know about all the sales going on and what kinds of things are influencing values.