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by OppGen

What are motivated sellers?

A motivated seller is a person who is eager and ready to sell their property. Motivated sellers are typically looking to sell property quickly due to a time constraint and/or other factors. As a result of these kinds of constraints, motivated sellers are more willing to make sales concessions or sell their property at a lower price than what it’s valued at, making them ideal prospects for real estate wholesalers to find


Who are motivated sellers?

A wholesaler talks to two motivated sellers, a husband and wife.

Anyone can be a motivated seller, regardless of where they live, educational background, and salary. But just because anyone can be a motivated seller does not mean that everyone is a motivated seller. Some motivated sellers are more motivated than others. You need to find the most motivated sellers and try to persuade those who are a little less motivated to sell.

Part of the level of a seller’s motivation may stem from why they are trying to sell their property, and there are many reasons as to why someone may be a motivated seller:


Foreclosure and financial issues

A foreclosed home is one of the most common situations a motivated seller faces. If a seller can’t afford their mortgage payments or is deep in debt, quickly selling their home can help pay off that debt sooner or be used to pay for a more affordable housing option. When facing serious financial issues and/or foreclosure, a seller is far more likely to sell their property before things worsen.



People who are growing older and less able to get around the house and keep up with repairs may be looking to move to a retirement community or nursing home. But before they can move out, they need to get rid of their house. The level of motivation for this segment varies greatly, so be sure to gauge the homeowner’s level of interest or commitment as well as why they’re moving. Someone who feels they’re too young for a retirement community or is being pushed out by their kids may not be as motivated to sell as others are.


Inability to keep up with repairs

For some sellers, they may have hit the point where it is less expensive to move elsewhere than to keep hiring someone for home repairs they are unable to do themselves. Rather than invest money into their home, they’ll look to sell it instead. Depending on the house’s condition, these motivated sellers may be willing to sell it lower than its market value.



A change in employment can create motivated sellers in a time crunch. This could be someone who was unexpectedly laid off and is falling behind on their mortgage, someone who just got a job out of state they can’t turn down, or needs to relocate for their current job. All of these situations require a quick sale in a very short period of time.



Divorces can be messy and expensive affairs — especially when one partner moves out and the other is stuck in a home they cannot afford on their own. Things can get even messier when there’s a matter of dividing assets. Whenever there’s a divorce, there’s a need for new housing — and almost always a motivated seller.


Inherited property

In some cases, people may inherit a home from a recently deceased relative. It’s fairly common for an heir to sell the property. Taking care of another property can be a financial burden and sometimes an emotional one as well. Heirs may inherit a condemned home that is not worth the upkeep or is unsafe to move into, so the best solution, then, is to sell the home ASAP.


Business ownership

Not every motivated seller owns residential real estate — some own commercial and/or industrial spaces. Some business owners may decide to close one of their retail locations due to a merge. Maybe they are simply closing shop. Regardless of the exact nature of why they’re selling, these people are likely to be motivated sellers who need to get out of that space and quickly.


How can I find motivated sellers?

Wholesaler is about to search for motivated buyers on his phone

If you’re going to find motivated sellers, you’re going to have to stand out and market yourself with a 21st-century strategy. This means going digital and making it easier for motivated sellers to find you instead of you going out to find them.

Here are a few ways you can find motivated sellers or to bring them directly to you:



Motivated sellers are what marketers would refer to as “low-funnel” prospects. Motivated sellers don’t need to be persuaded to sell their home — they’re already trying to do that. One of the first places they’ll look to for selling their homes is Google, so you need to make sure you and your wholesale real estate business are going to be what motivated sellers see.

Pay-per-click (PPC) advertising can help motivated sellers see you when they search for particular keywords and phrases. It lets you choose where the ad can be seen, which is highly beneficial if you’re buying houses in locations that are not local to you.

You’ll need an excellent keyword bidding strategy and a solid understanding of how you can rank on the first page — and that’s not something everyone has, which is why it’s wise to hire a digital marketing company to create, run, and manage a PPC campaign.



A search engine optimization (SEO) strategy can help your business’s website rank on the first page of Google. Unlike PPC, which can quickly bump your real estate business’s ad to the top of the first page with a good bidding strategy in place, SEO takes more time and requires no money. Our SEO clients usually see significant improvements after 9 months of implementing the SEO strategy, but the results are well worth the investment.


Social media

You can join groups dedicated to selling and buying homes on Facebook, which also happens to be one of the best platforms for advertising. Facebook allows several different kinds of paid social ads (i.e., combination of text, display, video, carousel, etc.), as opposed to Google or Microsoft’s text-only PPC ads, so you can get a little more creative. The ad targeting options on Facebook are more intuitive and specific, so you can easily narrow down your audience into one that’s more likely to have motivated sellers.

LinkedIn is an excellent place to network with people inside and outside the real estate industry. Your colleagues may be familiar with someone who’s selling and could introduce you to a potentially motivated seller. Like Facebook, you can also run advertisements on LinkedIn. You can target advertisements based on industry, job title, and even a specific company.


Public records

The county courthouse might not be open 24/7, but some of their digital resources are. Reach out to your county courthouse and request records and lists for the following:

  • Tax delinquency
  • Probate
  • Divorce
  • Evictions

From there, you can begin to create lists of prospects you can contact.

Housing history and assessment records are generally available to the public, too, so make the best of that information when deciding how low you should go when making an offer. Don’t rely on the MLS database — look at multiple sources, including your county assessor and courthouse. Once a property is listed on the MLS, it’s incredibly difficult, if not impossible, to buy that property below its market value.

The more information you have, the better, and you have tons of information available right at your fingertips. And if you can’t find what you’re looking for or don’t understand exactly what some of the information on these documents mean, go ahead and pick up the phone or visit in-person.


Skip tracing

Skip tracing is the process of tracking down a “skip” — a person who has “skipped town” and left very few clues behind. It may sound like the work of a bounty hunter or an investigative journalist (and it is often part of these jobs), but it’s also a tactic wholesalers use to find the owners of abandoned properties. These particular skips are not necessarily running away because they are dangerous or committed a heinous crime and are on the run from the law; they are most likely in a lot of debt. 

In real estate, the goal of skip tracing is to find absentee property owners’ alternative address. 

If you don’t have the owners’ names, go to the county courthouse and request public real estate information records. You should be able to find the most recent owners’ names. Run a Google search on their names and see what you can find. Check social media, too. Last but not least, there are people-finding sites a-plenty, like Whitepages. You may have to pay a little bit in order to view all of the information available. You may be surprised with what you find.

Sometimes there isn’t enough information online, either — some people will go a long way to ensure they’re not easily found. However, you may be able to reach them if they’ve set up a forwarding address. To find that address, send the owners a letter using the abandoned property as the address. You must include “do not forward” and “return service requested” on the envelope. The post office will then return the letter back to you with the owners’ current address on it.

In the case that the snail mail route fails and you still feel that finding the property owners is worth the investment, you can hire a skip tracing professional who does this kind of work for a living.

Skip tracing can help you find people your competitors can’t reach and/or find, and if these owners are in dire need of money, you’ve just found yourself some motivated sellers.



Networking is important in every industry, but for real estate wholesalers, the word “important” doesn’t even begin to cover how essential networking is. It’s good to have a network of fellow wholesalers, but it’s even better to have a network that expands outside of the real estate world. If you network with probate lawyers, you’ll know about who inherited property they probably do not want before your competitors do.

You can network online or in-person, and it’s to your best advantage to utilize both options. Once you’ve built a network, you can reach out to the people in it and see if they know of anyone selling or considering selling. As mentioned earlier, LinkedIn is a great place to start on the digital side of things, as are Facebook Groups.


Start finding motivated sellers now

This blog is only laying out the foundation of how you can find motivated sellers. You can always add more to what’s here, and contacting us for more in-depth advice is a great place to get started.

OppGen Team
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How to Find Motivated Sellers Now