What Is A Motivated Seller?
By Scott Rister
“Why should I focus on motivated sellers?”. I would truly rather beat my head against the wall than talk to unmotivated and inflexible sellers. What is fun and financially rewarding in real estate is making great deals---not marginal ones. If you have a semi-ego then you may want to talk with your peers on the great subject-to financing deal you just closed on. However, you may be satisfied just knowing your income and wealth just added a significant asset with the three bedroom fixer-upper that you just can’t decide whether to wholesale it for quick cash or retail it for $15K plus. Either way, you can’t make it there talking to sellers who want all cash and retail value for their property.
Your quickest way to immediate and sustained success in real estate is your ability to find motivated sellers----incorrect! It is the system that you implement that will bring those deals to you month after month and year after year. Sure, you need to have basic real estate knowledge: lease option, subject-to financing, and traditional bank financing. But if you know a thousand ways to creatively buy real estate with a inflexible seller then I ask, “what are your chances to truly make money?”. The answer is slim to none.
Let me give you an idea of the sellers that you will talk to fitting the category of truly “motivated”: I’m being transferred and just bought this house last year and just don’t know what to do since I can’t possibly afford two payments. I didn’t even know the house was going to tax sale before you sent me that letter and you are right that getting something now is definitely better than nothing. The house you wrote me about I just don’t have the money to fix it up and I would just like to sell and be done with it. I can’t manage that house living out of state and the tenants take advantage of me all the time. What do you propose I can do? The city told me that there are code violations on the property and they will bulldoze it if I don’t get up to standard. Can you buy properties like these? Answer in your mind is “yes” but very cheap.
The most important resource you have in real estate is time. There are those out there that will insistently tell you that to be successful in real estate you must have a large credit line, your real estate’s license to look up MLS deals, or to know everything about lease options. While all of those resources add merit to your ability to become successful it is still your management of time that unlocks your ability to discuss deals with the type of sellers listed above. You may have that corporate job and buy/sell real estate on the side or actually be a bona fide professional investor but in either case if your system to locate motivated sellers is not effective, consistent, and repetitive then soon you will soon find out that your “free” time turns out into chasing dead-end deals.
It’s always hunting season for the real estate investor. Just be sure exactly what you are hunting. Answer is motivated sellers!!