To begin, let’s go over what a motivated seller is in terms of real estate. The term is a good indicator of the definition. In real estate, a motivated seller refers to an individual who is eager to make a quick sale on a piece of property. For buyers, it can be beneficial to know the reasons behind a seller’s motivation, as well as tapering their offer appropriately.
WHY ARE MOTIVATED SELLERS SO MOTIVATED?
The reasons behind a seller’s motivation can be positive or negative. For this reason, it’s a good idea to gain insight as to why the seller is in a hurry. Some situations that back a seller’s motivation can include the following:
- The seller is approaching foreclosure and needs to sell the home in a hurry. This can be positive for the buyer.
- The seller is planning to relocate in the near future and wants to have their affairs in order before departure.
- The seller has inherited a house or owns an older property that may be difficult to finance through traditional lending.
- The home is greatly damaged and the seller wants to get rid of it before it becomes impossible to sell. This reason can be very negative for a buyer that unknowingly gets involved with this issue.
- The seller is downsizing or retiring and would like to get rid of their home without the standard home-selling hassles that last for several months.
HOW TO FIND MOTIVATED SELLERS
Locating truly motivated sellers can be challenging. During the home-buying process, listing agents may inform buyers that a seller is motivated, only to have the seller drag their feet throughout the entire ordeal.
Unfortunately, this is a common tactic for listing agents when the seller insists on listing their home for too high of an asking price. When a seller is unwilling to listen to the agent’s listing suggestions, the agent may then rely on buyers making offers that are lower than the asking price. This move typically encourages the buyer to lower their asking price.
Finding sellers that are actually motivated to sell can be accomplished in several ways. Trying the following strategies can help to find a motivated seller.
- Check your local courthouse to determine whether a seller’s home is delinquent in taxes or approaching foreclosure. Courthouses can provide useful information about home listings that may be difficult to obtain elsewhere.
- Look for unoccupied listings. It’s especially beneficial if the homeowner lives out-of-state. If the home is vacant, it’s costing the owner money to keep.
- Ask the listing agent. Often, listing agents can offer valuable insights as to why a seller is trying to get rid of a property. Rather than simply asking whether the seller is motivated or not, ask why the seller is in a hurry to sell.
APPROACHING MOTIVATED SELLERS
Upon finding a seller that truly wants to sell in a hurry, it’s wise to taper your approach to properly suit the seller’s need. While the main goal is to purchase a home for a decent price, it’s also wise to avoid appearing too aggressive or pitiless.
Keep in mind that for whatever reason, this individual is parting with their home. The situation they’re facing may be unpleasant, so it’s wise to approach an offer with respect and sensitivity.
Making an offer that’s lower than the asking price is acceptable if the seller has listed the property with a price that’s more than reasonable. Truly motivated sellers will consider reasonable offers. Keep in mind, though, other buyers may have the same idea in mind and may make an offer more reasonable than the one you’ve come up with. For this reason, it’s smart to decide how low of an offer you want to make before submitting it.
It’s also a good idea to ask the listing agent about buyer competition. If very few buyers are looking at the property, there’s likely more time to go back and forth with the seller on price. If there are quite a few people considering the property at the same time you’re making an offer, time is a factor and your offer needs to be a little more strict.
SCANNING MLS LISTINGS FOR MOTIVATED SELLERS
On top of asking questions and checking through home records for motivated sellers, various MLS listings may be helpful as well.
Looking at home listings on different real estate platforms may help you locate listing patterns for a specific property. For example, if a piece of property has been unlisted then relisted several times, the seller might be more motivated to sell.
Also, if a property has seen a significant price decrease recently, the seller is likely aware that the home isn’t selling at the original asking price.
If the home is listed at a fair asking price and has still been on the market for months, an underlying issue may be responsible. In these cases, sellers are usually more motivated to sell, and more willing to accept cash offers.
Because finding motivated sellers is a common goal for practically all home-buyers, it may be worth researching the methods that other buyers have used in order to find their homes. In addition to keeping a close eye on MLS listings, it may also be worth monitoring forums and question boards for new strategies.
WHEN FINDING MOTIVATED SELLERS IS CHALLENGING
Many homebuyers struggle to find a motivated seller, even after making a significant effort to do so.
In these situations, it might be worth looking for assistance from a reputable company that specializes in locating motivated sellers and turning them into leads.
Not all lead-providing companies are created equal, so it’s in your best interest to research the businesses you’re considering before you submit to receiving their leads. Choose a company with positive testimonials, excellent customer service, and a fair process that provides unique, fresh leads.
Additionally, it’s wise to choose a lead company that’s familiar with your locality and offers comprehensive solutions for avoiding old or duplicate leads.
If you’re interested in working with an experienced, reputable lead provider, look no further than Motivated Leads. Our company has over 12 years of experience in digital marketing and over half a decade of experience working in real estate.