Top 23 Ways to Identify Motivated Sellers

Top 23 Ways to Identify Motivated Sellers

4 min max read

Real estate investments can be extremely rewarding, especially when engaging in various real estate wholesaling techniques. However, the sheer number of methods to find motivated sellers may seem overwhelming. Fear not, we're here with a comprehensive guide that details the top 23 ways to find a motivated seller and a strategic approach to apply these methods effectively so you can make decisive actions towards financial freedom.

Why Knowing the Order Matters

Before we delve into the top 23 sources for finding motivated sellers, it's essential to understand the significance of the order in which you approach these sources. The aim is not to attempt every possible way all at once. That approach would be overwhelming and counter-productive.

"Focus is the key to success even for seasoned investors."

Aiming for a strategic, measured approach ensures you give each method the necessary attention to generate the best outcomes. This approach can yield important insights and experience before moving on to the next source. Starting from the free sources—those with lower marketing costs—and gradually transitioning to the paid methods is the best approach to 10X your income and replace your W2 through wholesaling real estate.

Top 23 Ways to Find Motivated Sellers

1. Driving for Dollars: This method entails driving around, spotting rundown properties that jar with the neighborhood's aesthetic, noting down their addresses, finding out the property owners, and reaching out to them to present an offer for their house. This method is labor-intensive but can yield significant returns as it allows you to bypass competition with the biggest investors in town. Remember, it's a list that only you can create, not one you can buy.

2. Tax Delinquent List: This list entails properties whose owners haven't paid their taxes for the year.

3. Mechanic's Lien: This essentially includes properties that owe builders, contractors, or subcontractors for services rendered.

4. Judgment Lien: If a lawsuit has resulted in a property owner owing money, they are likely to have a judgment lien on their property.

5. Federal Tax Lien: Property owners who haven't paid their federal taxes will have this lien on their property.

6. Homeowners Association Lien: Residents who fail to pay their Homeowners Association dues could have a lien placed on their property.

7. Code Violations: These tend to be properties that have breached city rules, such as overly tall grass, unpermitted work, or excessive trash and debris.

8. Pre-Foreclosure: If homeowners have missed their mortgage payments, their properties could be in pre-foreclosures.

9. Pre-Probate: This refers to properties owned by deceased persons who did not leave a will indicating heirs to the property.

10. For Sale By Owner list: As the name implies, this list includes properties that owners are trying to sell directly.


11. Eviction List: Evicted tenants leave landlords more likely to sell, making this a goldmine for potential leads.

12. Water Shut-offs: Unpaid water bills could result in water shut-offs, indicating a potential sale.

13. Arrest Records: Although challenging to obtain in bulk, pursuing this list can yield significant returns since it's seldom exploited by other investors.

14. 100+ Day Old Listings: Properties that have been on the market for an extended period could be primed for a discounted sale.

15. Long-term Rental Listings: Landlords will less-demanding properties could decide to sell instead.

16. Foreclosures: These are properties scheduled for auction and sold through with cashier’s checks.

In terms of paid lists, DealMachine offers unlimited access to these lists on your mobile or desktop device for just $79 a month. These include:

17. Vacant Homes

18. Expired Listings with High Equity

19. Tired Landlords

20. Senior Owners

21. Zombie Properties (aka Vacant Pre-Foreclosures)

22. Absentee Owners

23. Out-of-State Owners

Remember, some of these more substantial and popular lists may require more outreach before generating results, as more investors are likely to contact these sellers. Therefore, the importance of starting from the more niche and lesser-known lists cannot be stressed enough.

The Journey to Financial Freedom with Real Estate

Mastering the art of finding motivated sellers in real estate investing goes beyond robust investment yields. It’s about aggressively pursuing financial freedom and rewriting your financial narrative.

"The journey to financial independence through real estate investing is just a decision away."

Happy investing!

Benjy Nichols

About Benjy Nichols

Benjy has been a media specialist at DealMachine for the last 2.5 years. He produces, writes, shoots, and edits our media content for our member's DealMachine and Real Estate education.