Being Proactive is the Path to Success in Real Estate
If you want to be successful you have to buy far below value and sell slightly above. How you do this is not as difficult as you may thing. These two basic tips should be useful.
I. Always be on the look out for homes occupied by an old couple. This means the children, if they have any, are away and have no interest in their parents or the property. Make sure you pass on weekends to ensure this.
Your first visit should be to tell them about a nice Condo. Always use a very personable college student (who will either remind them of their children or grand children) who tries to interest them in selling the house and buying into a smaller condo. You'll find out if they have children, and are leaving the children the house, or if they have made other arrangements.
If you learn they have already deeded the house to some social organisation, be it a church or another good cause, forget it. If to their children, make periodic checks and watch the obituaries. Attend the funeral and be very solicitous of the survivor. Find the children. Many of them will be anxious to toss the surviving parent in some old age home, get the house and sell it. This is where you make the bag.
You have a rough idea of the value of the house having been there before. Offer about 15% less than the value in a virtual 'instant' manner. Claim to have a client who wants a house urgently and has all the cash. The children, who no interest in the parents or the house but need money, may virtually seal the deal over the grave.
Don't feel any form of guilt. the kids don't care abut their parents. The most just thing would be if those old people took the money, sold their furniture, moved into a small apartment, spent the bulk of the sale on an extended vacation so that when they returned they had to en-cash their insurance policies to live.
2. Look for the slightly rundown house, the one which needs painting or the fence needs repair, etc. Many people can't afford the upkeep. If they own the house they may not be difficult to persuade to sell it, especially if you can find something cheaper for them to make the lateral move. If they are renting, find the owner. This person may also be strapped for cash and willing to sell. Many houses in this condition need about $1000 worth of investment to gain $50,000 more on the market. Keep your eye on the house if they don't want to sell. Check back every six months or so. Many people could have escaped the housing crash if they had sold as soon as they realized they couldn't afford the upkeep. Use this 'terror tactic' if you have to. Many people lost beautiful homes because they couldn't find $50k over a year to repay the mortgage.