I am frequently asked something along the lines of “How do you find good deals in a strong Seller’s market like Charlotte (or just about anywhere else) today?” This list is in no particular order, nor are these even a fraction of the ways available to uncover properties that can be purchased at bargain prices or favorable terms. Rather, consider this a random sampling to stimulate your creativity to come up with or research to find even more. Some are free, some have a relatively high cost per “lead”. Some investors use many, many investors carve out a highly profitable niche from just one or two.
- Business Cards.
- Bandit signs (signs by the road or on telephone poles).
- Online PPC (pay per click) advertising like Google Adwords.
- Contacting people in pre-foreclosure.
- Mailing to out of state property owners.
- Contacting the owners of abandoned houses.
- Newspaper ads (far less relevant in major newspapers, look for cheap or free papers).
- Realtors (or MLS access if you have it).
- Online property sites like Craigslist, Zillow, and ForSalebyOwner.com.
- Mailing to people who have recently evicted a tenant.
- Doing a mass mailings right around the time property tax bills come due.
- Auctions (on-site and online).
- Mailing to heirs of deceased property owners (tread tactfully).
- Networking with other investors (local Real Estate Investor’s Association).
- Mailing to the city’s Code Violation list.
- Television or radio ads (much cheaper than you think if you stay local).
- Search Engine Optimization (SEO) for your website.
- Speak for local organizations (ie: “How to Sell a Property in 9 Days”.
- Volunteer for charities like Habitat for Humanity and Purple Heart Homes.
- Social media (presence and paid advertising).
- Paying someone to put flyers on doors in a neighborhood (not in mailboxes).
Far from being the end of the list, this marks only the beginning of the intersection between other established means of finding motivated sellers, and your personal knowledge and creativity! I’ve yet to have seller randomly knock on my door and ask if I’d like to buy a property at a significant discount!
Lou Gimbutis, owner of Property Solutions, LLC, www.SoldCarolina.com and www.123EscapeForeclosure.com, and www.SellMobileHomeFast.com, has been buying and selling houses full-time since 2004, first in Michigan, then after moving to NC in 2007. He serves as Director of Education for the Metrolina Real Estate Investor’s Association.