There are many different ways to find motivated sellers. Some approaches are better than others. I will focus on a less known approach to finding motivated sellers. In most areas, you can gain access to a large variety of motivated sellers found in the local courthouse. Here are a few ways you can find these leads:
- Delinquent taxes in the tax assessors office or tax liens filed against properties in the recorder, county clerk, or register of deeds
- Eviction filings in the circuit court
- Code violations in the recorders, county clerk, or register of deeds office & check with housing & code department or fire marshall for city/county to see if any current outstanding code violations
- Unclaimed property with the state treasury department
- Probate filings in the county circuit court
- Divorce decree filings in the county circuit court
Some areas are going to be more difficult to acquire information than others. For instance, divorce decrees, probate filings, and eviction filings are harder to acquire in my area than the rest of the other approaches. I have to pay to access a circuit court database, search in a particular way, and then request in person certain files from the county courthouse. I can only request a certain number at a time and I have to wait for the original to be sent to my local county office from the main office in the capital of the state. Yes, I know, it can seem like jumping through hoops. It is and there are easier ways to find motivated sellers in my area, so I use those. However, I have found other areas to offer this information in a more accessible format. I would recommend poking around and asking questions in your local courthouse to see what is available in your given area to access the easiest information available. You will be pleasantly surprised. Many years ago, I found out that a childhood friend’s father recently became the fire marshall for the city I was buying property in. He became a great source for properties that were in violation of local codes. I have become great friends with the county tax assessors office. The clerks in the office know who is grossly delinquent on their taxes and who the big investors are in the county too. It is amazing how a few questions, some donuts, and some kindness can give you an extra added advantage over your competition for finding motivated sellers.