How to Find Motivated House Sellers in Any Market

Published on August 1, 2023
How to Find Motivated House Sellers in Any Market

How to Find Motivated House Sellers in Any Market

One of the most critical elements for success in real estate investing is finding motivated sellers. These are homeowners who, for various reasons, are eager to sell their property quickly, often allowing investors to purchase below market value. 

Whether you're an experienced investor or a beginner, understanding how to identify and engage with motivated sellers is key. 

This article will provide insights into the best ways to find motivated sellers in any real estate market, giving you the edge in securing lucrative deals.

Common Types of Motivated Home Sellers

Common Types of Motivated Home Sellers

Motivated sellers are homeowners who want or need to sell their house fast and are ready to make fast decisions or accept an offer that is below market value just to get a response from a buyer in days or less.

Before starting your search for motivated home sellers, you should first be aware of who they are and their motivations for selling. Check out the most common types of motivated home sellers below: 

  • Property Owners with Delinquent Taxes: Owners who have failed to pay their property taxes are often highly motivated to sell. The burden of unpaid taxes can lead to tax liens or even the loss of the property, thus owners may be willing to sell quickly and at a lower price to resolve the issue.
  • Out-of-State Property Owners: Out-of-state owners often face difficulties in managing their properties effectively due to the geographical distance. Maintenance issues, tenant problems, or simple disinterest can cause these owners to be potential sellers, as the sale allows them to relieve themselves of the ongoing stress and responsibility.
  • Absentee Owners: Absentee owners, like landlords who don't reside in the properties they own, can sometimes become motivated sellers. They might be tired of dealing with problem tenants, ongoing maintenance, or the property might just not be performing financially as they had hoped.
  • Newly Divorced Couples: Divorce can necessitate the quick sale of a property, especially when the home was jointly owned. The financial and emotional complications of divorce often make it preferable for the parties involved to sell quickly, providing opportunities for investors to purchase at a discounted price.
  • Owners of Foreclosures (Both Pre- and Current): Owners facing foreclosure are often highly motivated to sell. In pre-foreclosure, the owner may sell to avoid the foreclosure being completed, preserving their credit rating. In cases where foreclosure has already occurred, banks or financial institutions may be motivated to sell the property quickly to recover their losses.
  • Owners of Properties with Liens: A lien is a legal claim against a property due to the owner's unpaid debt. This could be a tax lien, a mechanic's lien, or a judgment lien. These liens must be paid off when the property is sold. Therefore, owners facing liens may be motivated to sell quickly to resolve their debt.
  • Homeowners in Probate: When a property owner passes away, their estate, including their home, may go into probate. The probate process involves distributing the deceased's assets to heirs and beneficiaries. In many cases, the executor may be motivated to sell the inherited property in their possession to resolve debts or distribute the inheritance more easily among multiple beneficiaries.
  • Relocating Homeowners: Whether for a job, retirement, or personal reasons, homeowners who are moving, especially if the move is cross-country or on a tight timeline, may need to sell their homes quickly. 

Online Lead Sources of Motivated House Sellers in Any Market

Online Lead Sources of Motivated House Sellers in Any Market

If you want to skip all the hassle of building your own methods for finding "motivated sellers", you can just buy motivated real estate leads and data through online providers. Check out the three best providers of motivated house sellers below.

1. Property Leads (

Property Leads sets itself apart from competitors by being the first and only pay-per-lead platform that utilizes SEO to generate the highest converting motivated seller leads. That said, it is a great place to find motivated sellers in any market if you are building your mailing list.

The company's SEO leads have the highest profit per deal and conversion ratio, meaning investors can interact with fewer sellers, close more deals, and realize greater profits. 

The company’s unique approach to lead generation also makes it a superior platform. Property Leads makes exclusive lead offerings, which reduces the level of competition experienced by investors. Through their home seller websites, Property Leads can ensure that motivated sellers start and end their cash offer search process on their platform, increasing the likelihood of conversion.

2. LeadVine (

LeadVine has emerged as one of the best online lead sources for motivated house sellers in any market for a variety of reasons. This distinction is primarily due to its superior data, commitment to accuracy and comprehensiveness, and niche filtering capabilities. 

Moreover, LeadVine's specific focus on real estate investors and professionals, alongside its unique manual data process, contributes significantly to its position in the industry.

The company offers specialized data tailored for various aspects of the real estate industry, including Deceased Property Owners (DPOs), Probates, and Divorces. These areas can be particularly ripe for potential investment opportunities so you are guaranteed a high cash on cash return.

3. SEO Meets REI (

SEO Meets REI ( is regarded as one of the best online lead sources of motivated house sellers because of its expertise in SEO (Search Engine Optimization), its demonstrated track record, the strategy it employs, and the value it provides to its clients.

Moreover, SEO Meets REI specializes is specifically catering to real estate investors. The team behind SEO Meets REI understands the unique challenges and needs of real estate investors in the digital sphere, which sets them apart from generic SEO service providers. 

They currently run seven successful "We buy houses" websites, generating over a thousand SEO leads every month and majority of them are motivated leads. 

Strategies to Find Motivated House Sellers in Any Market

Strategies to Find Motivated House Sellers in Any Market

Finding motivated sellers is often about creativity and networking. It requires understanding the market, thinking outside the box, and being willing to build relationships with a variety of people and entities. This is according to every investor who compiled a list of motivated seller leads at some point.

With this in mind, here are some of the ways to find motivated sellers in any market:

1. Access Public Records

Public records are a rich source of information when searching for motivated sellers. You'll find local county recorder's offices, tax assessors, and other governmental agencies keeping comprehensive records of properties. They log crucial data points such as property transfers, mortgage details, tax liens, notices of default, and probate cases, among others. 

By accessing these public records, you can identify homeowners who may be in financial distress or have other compelling reasons to sell their property quickly like when a home needs extreme repairs

For instance, owners with a notice of default or tax liens are likely under financial pressure and might be willing to sell their property below market value to alleviate their financial burden. Additionally, probate records can reveal off-market properties that heirs might want to sell quickly rather than maintain. 

While accessing public records might have been tedious in the past, today many of these records are available online, making it easier for investors to search and find potential leads. 

2. Driving for Dollars

The "drive for dollars" strategy involves driving around neighborhoods to spot distressed properties that might indicate a motivated seller. Distressed properties are often easy to spot in the process of driving. They might exhibit signs of neglect, such as overgrown lawns, piled-up mail, boarded-up windows, peeling paint, or other maintenance issues. 

Once you've identified potential properties, the next step is to find the owner's contact information as they might be interested in selling or is willing to put the property in a contract for a price that is below-market value. This can be done through public records, online platforms, or even by talking to neighbors. 

Ultimately, this strategy requires time and patience but can result in lucrative deals that you might not find through other channels. It also gives you a deeper understanding of your local real estate market, as you'll get a first-hand view of different neighborhoods, property types, response rate of sellers, the population of distressed sellers, etc.

3. Local Attorneys

Local attorneys can be an invaluable source of leads for motivated sellers. Lawyers specializing in fields like family law, bankruptcy, probate, and real estate law often work with clients who need to sell their properties quickly due to divorce, financial distress, death in the family, or other life-altering events.

To tap into this source of leads, you'll need to build relationships with local attorneys. This can be done through networking events, direct outreach, or mutual connections. When dealing with attorneys, it's important to be professional and respectful of their time and their client's situations. 

You can offer your services as a solution to their clients' needs, helping them to quickly sell their property and potentially alleviate some of their stress. Over time, these relationships can lead to a steady stream of high-quality leads. 

These strategies require diligence, patience, and a good understanding of your local real estate market, but they can lead to fruitful results. 

4. MLS Expired Listings Through a Real Estate Agent

The Multiple Listing Service (MLS) is a tool that real estate agents use to find properties for their clients. When a property listed on the MLS and its contract period ends without selling, the listing becomes 'expired'. 

Owners of these properties may be disappointed or frustrated, and these feelings, combined with their desire to sell their home, often make them motivated sellers who are likely to sell. 

To leverage this strategy, you would need to work with a real estate agent or broker who can access the MLS and pull up a list of potential expired listings for you. Alternatively, if you are a licensed realtor, it's a great way to practice and do it yourself. You may also access listings through Zillow.

Once you have the list, you could then reach out to the owners of these properties, either through direct mail campaign, phone calls, or even door-knocking. 

5. Visit FSBO Properties

FSBO stands for "For Sale By Owner", which means the homeowner is trying to sell the property without a real estate agent. This strategy is usually adopted by homeowners trying to save money on agent commissions. However, selling a property by without the seller's agent can be a complex and time-consuming process. 

If the owner is not experienced, their property could end up sitting on the market for an extended period. The longer the property stays on the market, the more motivated the real estate seller usually becomes.

FSBO properties can often be found in local classified ads, FSBO websites, or even by driving around local neighborhoods. You can also find motivated sellers on Craigslist. Once you identify a potential property, approach the homeowner directly and professionally. 

In many cases, FSBO could be a sign that owners are ready and willing to sell but unable to manage a successful sale, so providing a solution to their problem can result in a win-win situation.

6. County and City Inspectors

County and city inspectors can provide valuable leads on properties that may soon be on the market if you know how to find them. These inspectors are often the first to know when a property has fallen into disrepair, has unresolved code violations, or if the owner seems overwhelmed by the magnitude of required maintenance so you can use them in finding a motivated seller. 

Owners of such properties might be more motivated to sell, especially if they are unable to afford the necessary repairs or fines.

Building a relationship with these inspectors can be beneficial, as they could provide you with information on distressed properties. You can approach this by attending city or county meetings, understanding local regulations, and networking with these inspectors. 

7. Check Out Facebook Marketplace

Facebook Marketplace has become a popular platform for selling properties. It provides a broad reach and allows owners to list properties for free. You can use this platform to look for properties with signs of potentially motivated sellers. 

This could be properties that have been listed for a long time, a rental property with absentee owner, properties with price reductions, or properties where the description indicates a need for a quick sale.

In addition to looking for listings, you can also post ads describing the type of property you're looking for. You might be surprised at the responses you receive if you got a good marketing message. You'll be closing deals (whether wholesaling deals or not) and working with motivated sellers consistently. 

8. Partner with Relocation Services

Relocation services, which assist individuals and companies in moving to new locations, can be another source of motivated sellers. These services often work with people who have been transferred or have accepted jobs in a new location and need to sell their homes quickly.

To tap into this source when finding motivated seller leads, you can establish partnerships with these services and offer to help their clients sell their homes quickly. You can provide them with an easy, stress-free selling experience, which could make the relocation process easier for their clients.

Networking with relocation specialists, attending industry events, and understanding the relocation process can help you establish valuable connections. A professional and respectful approach will help you maintain these relationships and ensure a steady stream of potential leads.

Final Thoughts: How to Find Motivated Seller Leads in Any Market (Real Estate Investing)

Finding motivated house sellers in any market requires a combination of strategic planning, research, and consistent effort. 

From driving around neighborhoods to partnering with local professionals like attorneys and relocation services, and leveraging modern platforms like social media marketplaces, there are numerous strategies at your disposal. 

Each method has its unique benefits and can be adapted to fit your specific market conditions and investment strategy. But if you want to skip all the hassle and get leads fast, check out Property Leads, LeadVine, and SEO Meets REI!

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