21 Ways to Find Bargain Properties in a Hot Market
By Lou Gimbutis, Chief Homebuyer, Property Solutions, LLC
21 Ways to Find Bargain Properties
I am frequently asked something along the lines of “How do you find good deals in a strong market like Charlotte 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 2. Every one has a higher-than-average tendency to help you find Motivated Sellers.
I buy and sell houses for a living, and each lead from a “Motivated Seller” is worth its weight in gold. A lead from a highly motivated seller is worth infinitely more than a lead from an “interested” seller. Here are some of my top strategies for generating highly motivated seller leads:
- 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).
- “We Buy Houses” signs on your vehicle (don’t forget your phone number!).
- 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).
Yes, I can count 🙂 #22 is a bonus. Put these strategies into work, and Happy Hunting!
Lou Gimbutis, owner of Property Solutions, LLC, 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.