If you want to find success with real estate, the number one priority is for you to find motivated sellers and lots of them.

If you can’t do this, the rest of the process isn’t even worth talking about because it all starts with having a seller who is willing the play by your terms.

So, what can you start doing TODAY to find motivated sellers? There are actually a lot of ways to do this. Here is a quick list of 50 ways you can find motivated sellers right now (special props go out to Kenneth E. of the BiggerPockets forum for compiling the bulk of this list):

  1. Send mailers to out-of-state landlords of multifamily houses
  2. Send mailers to absentee owners of single-family houses
  3. Send mailers to vacant landowners (only in specific areas in the path of growth)
  4. Place “We Buy houses” flyers/business cards at unemployment offices….a lot of people there could be having trouble with their homes and may need a solution
  5. One-page flyers posted on bulletin boards at large stores
  6. Post ads on craigslist stating, “We Buy houses”
  7. Send emails to craigslist ads with properties for rent (the emails will go to landlords who may be looking to sell, or buying more properties)
  8. Mailers to specific zip codes, asking if they want to sell or know someone who does
  9. Mailers to divorce attorneys who can refer clients
  10. Mailers/emails to FSBOs
  11. Buy a “leads list” of landlords from DataTree, AgentPro247 or RealQuest
  12. Post ads on Backpage stating “We Want To Buy Your Property” (Note: Backpage has since been shut down, but you can do this same thing in various Facebook Groups)
  13. Send mailers to properties purchased between 3k-20k within last five years (the owner might be a novice flipper who never did anything with the property)
  14. Send mailers to Estate/Probate Attorneys (if you have an attorney, consider having them send the letter because attorneys tend to open mail from other attorneys)
  15. Bandit signs: “We Buy Houses”
  16. Send mailers to owners who have owned for 15 years or more (these properties tend to be owned free and clear, which means they could be much more flexible with their sales price)
  17. Send mailers to people facing foreclosure
  18. Target people who own vacant homes – these are almost always ripe for purchasing at a discount
  19. Target people who are dealing with financial chaos of any sort
  20. Send ads/mailers/business cards to Credit Repair Agencies & Credit Counselors
  21. Target HUD/VA Foreclosures
  22. Purchase leads lists of folks who inherited homes
  23. Send mailers to people arrested for violent crimes (going to prison for a long time)
  24. Send Mailers/ads/business cards to Realtors
  25. Send mailers to employees who have been laid off (ie “corporate downsizing” in the news)
  26. Networking with other investors
  27. Locate list of section 8 approved properties—send mailers to the owners
  28. Post Newspaper classified ads: We Buys houses
  29. Send mailers to Properties with liens: Mechanics Liens, HOA Liens, Tax Liens
  30. Contact salespeople at new home subdivisions (their clients will want to sell their OLD houses) or place a sign near a new home subdivisions that say “Sell Your House Fast” with your phone number. Often times, these new owners will be desperate to sell their old houses ASAP.
  31. Contact mortgage companies; they may know of people wanting to sell their old house/last house
  32. Hire bird dogs (sometimes even through craigslist “help wanted” ads)
  33. Send mailers to Bankruptcy court listings
  34. Send advertisements, business cards to Accountants and CPA Firms: They have clients with financial problems where an investor can be of help.
  35. Send ads, mailers, business cards to real estate attorneys
  36. Advertise “We Buy Houses” using Apparel with Logos: Hats, T-Shirts, Golf Shirts,
  37. Send to anyone getting their car repossessed: If the car is going the house isn’t far behind.
  38. Send ads, business cards to carpet cleaners: Many of their customers are preparing a house for sale.
  39. Send mailers to charitable groups/churches: They frequently receive gifts of real estate, but they’d rather have the cash.
  40. Send ads, business cards to City & County Inspectors: Code violations, and red tags. (If you develop a reputation of buying distressed properties and improving them, you become an asset to the community)
  41. Place ads on boards at Nursing & Retirement Homes: Frequently residents need to sell a house.
  42. Consider placing Door Hangers on target properties: You can also use pre-printed post-it notes to leave messages at target properties. Be sure to advertise on both sides, you can even sell the backside and recover your advertising cost!
  43. Send mailers to addresses of people having Garage Sales: Are they moving?
  44. Send mailers to Hair Salons/Barbers: These places are social hubs – lots of talking going on during haircuts
  45. Send mailers, ads, business cards to Insurance Brokers: Policy changes from owner occupant to the landlord or vacant house coverage.
  46. Recruit Mail Carriers to notify you of vacant properties
  47. Send mailers to owners of multiple properties (target them to offload portfolios)
  48. Post advertisement in PennySaver type papers: “We Want to Buy Your Property”
  49. Send mailers to water, gas, and electric company shut off lists
  50. Or, just buy leads from:

RELATED: Are You Using the Best Real Estate Data?

There are actually many, many more ways to find motivated sellers beyond this list. The idea here is just to help you realize that there are no excuses for you to sit on the sidelines and wonder how the “successful people” do it.


I am very serious when I tell you that there are thousands of sellers in every area of the country who NEED YOU.  They want to sell their property now and they are willing to play by your terms.

Pick one or two of the options above and pursue them with a vengeance.  With a little bit of hunting, you’re sure to find them.

Need Help Finding Real Estate Deals?

The Beginner's Deal Finding Guide Logo

One of the most important skills every real estate investor needs to learn is how to find great real estate deals. This is the bedrock of every successful real estate business.

I struggled for years to figure this out, but when I finally did - everything changed. The ability to find super-profitable deals consistently is a milestone that made all the difference to me, just like it can for you.

If you need help finding better deals - you need to know about The Beginner's Deal Finding Guide. This is a premium course from REtipster, all about getting you intimately familiar with the multitude of ways you can find incredible deals on any type of property in any market conditions.

We'll show you the essentials you need to know so you can put together your action plan and start finding deals today. Come check it out!

Learn More About the Deal Finding Guide!

About the author

Seth Williams is a land investor with hundreds of closed transactions and nearly a decade of experience in the commercial real estate banking industry. He is also the Founder of REtipster.com - a real estate investing blog that offers real-world guidance for part-time real estate investors.

Did you find this article to be helpful?

Our goal is always to provide our readers with the most up-to-date and relevant content so that we can continue to empower others! Please share your feedback.

Join the conversation

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

  1. Brandon Turner says:

    This is a fantastic list! I’ll be referring people next time someone tells me they don’t know how to find motivated sellers!

  2. Seth Williams says:

    Thanks for checking in Brandon! Glad this post could be of help.

  3. Jacob Floyd says:

    Thanks for the valuable information Seth! There is a lot in here that made me say “Wow! I never even thought of that!”. So, thank you, once again, and I will be utilizing these NOW!

  4. Seth Williams says:

    Thanks for checking in Jacob – I appreciate the feedback. Keep me posted on which of these approaches you’re able to find success with!

  5. we buy houses amarillo texas says:

    By doing so, you will be in a far-fetched position to be able to take
    benefit of any big offers that come your way. Look for aaawebuyuglyhouses to
    sell your house with ease. ) After all, no investor will say “we buy houses that are insurance risks” but you get the idea.

  6. Tom Krol says:

    Wow, this really is awesome info that I will deffinatly use!!! Thank you!

    1. Seth Williams says:

      Great! Thanks for visiting Tom!

  7. Kevin Scott says:

    One of the bests lists Ive found online. Your postcards are great as well. Im glad I found your site.

    1. Seth Williams says:

      Thanks so much Kevin! I’m pumped to hear that you’re liking the site – hope to see you around again soon!

  8. Mike says:

    Wow this article helped me out a lot. Made the process much easier, thanks for all of the information Seth!

    1. Seth Williams says:

      Glad it helped Mike! Thanks for the comment!

  9. Jason Wheeler says:

    I’ve been using Rebo Gateway to get my marketing lists and I’ve been having some great success with this data. I am focused on Contra Costa County in the SF Bay Area.

    Here is the strategy I’ve been using that I’ve been getting a great ROI on.

    Right now I am using a service that allows me to set up a custom mail campaign. For instance I can send a series of custom personal cards, and post cards to my list. I set it up once and usually by the 3rd or fourth card I either get a hate call… LOL or a really really good lead.

    I don’t mind the hate calls. You kind of have to get over them.

    1. Seth Williams says:

      Thanks for sharing your thoughts and experience Jason – that’s great to hear!

      It’s good to have thick skin in this business (because the hate calls will most likely come at some point).

  10. Nick @Sell House Fast says:

    Great list. Lots of great content. Thanks for sharing this. No shortage of leads. Just have to go get them!

    1. Seth Williams says:

      You got it Nick!

  11. Marilyn Hargleroad says:

    Can I get some ideas of what you actually say/ask on the mailers?

    1. Seth Williams says:

      Hi Marilyn – absolutely! You can get some ideas for what I say in my postcards in this blog post.

  12. JT says:


    Excellent work on this site. I am currently learning the traps of trying to exit a property myself, its bleeding me every week (bad tenants, unpaid bills, no capital growth, fees, no offers etc etc)! It’s like marriage – easy to get into, not so easy to get out of.

    The experience is teaching me that yes, there are motivated people out there in all sorts of ‘get me out of here’ situations. I’m pretty fortunate, and get exposure to that side of things without being crippled in the process.

    I undertook an intensive property workshop earlier in the year. Once my property is off the books I’m going to start again, get some investors on board and utilise my knowledge from the course. It’s awesome that I came across this site and can gain some ideas like above!

    I just rang my local council and tried to get a list of all rates in arrears… not going to get it because of privacy laws.. however there is an upcoming auction and I can get those details in a particular area as its public knowledge now. He did slip up and tell me that 17,000 notices of arrears are sent out though – so you know this is going on behind the scenes!!!!

    I like reading the American approach to it as well – Gordon Gekko style!!!! 2017 – Year of the Almighty Dollar!!!!

    All the best my man!

    JT – Australia

    1. Seth Williams says:

      Thanks for sharing your thoughts and experience JT! I’m glad you were able to glean some good insights from the REtipster Blog. 🙂

      Keep up the good work mate!

  13. Brad says:

    Just came across this post this afternoon. Thank you! Printed it out, highlighted ones I can do this week, and stuck it to my wall right above my monitor. Time to get to work!

    1. Seth Williams says:

      That’s awesome Brad! So glad to hear you’re taking action on this. Best of luck!

  14. Nancy says:

    pretty awesome list, good job!!

  15. David says:

    How do you find the gas, water, electric shut off lists?

    1. I’m not sure, I’ve never targeted that specific kind of list before. Sorry!

Bonus: Get a FREE copy of the INVESTOR HACKS ebook when you subscribe!

Free Subscriber Toolbox

Want to learn about the tools I’ve used to make over $40,000 per deal? Get immediate access to videos, guides, downloads, and more resources for real estate investing domination. Sign up below for free and get access forever.

Scroll Up

Welcome to REtipster.com

We noticed you are using an Ad Blocker

We get it, too much advertising can be annoying.

Our few advertisers help us continue bringing lots of great content to you for FREE.

Please add REtipster.com to your Ad Blocker white list, to receive full access to website functionality.

Thank you for supporting. We promise you will find ample value from our website.