I am a new REI in NYC. I mailed out 30 postcards with NO response! My buyer’s list is progressing but I need MOTIVATED sellers. Should I be looking for Preforeclosures only? Why aren’t they responding? Thank you.

Howdy NYnewbie:

There are several reasons folks do not call back or answer postcards. A lot have given up and just move away. A lot know the cards are vultures looking to steal their house and would rater lose to the bank instead of letting you get rich. Many many more reasons, their great Uncle is going to save the day for them or just plain denial.

I look everywhere for deals, foreclosures, REO’s, boarded up buildings, birdogs, Realtors anywhere and everywhere I can find a deal.

Well, I am neither a vulture nor do I want or intend to steal their houses. I am looking to honestly help people in a bad situation–there may have been greedy unethical investors who have screwed them over! EVERONE does not lack character! I was posing the question, looking for a NY BIRDDOG and some good marketing tips, but thank you for your positive feedback!

My experience says that 30 postcards isn’t likely to yeild much. The guys I know who do a good job at preforclosures send out many hundreds, if not a thousand cards for every in-person meeting they get. The cards are a very blunt stick.

There are more effective ways of working it out. Some guys advocate walking up to the house and knocking on the door. Some say this is soliciting and will get you in trouble. Honestly, I find that most forclosure cases paid too much and have close to zero equity, so it doesn’t matter whether they WANT to, they simply can’t accept an offer that would be acceptable to you. Something like 25% of people in my state (and 70% of foreclosures) have less than 5% equity in their home. In order to pay off their loans, they would need 95% of the purchase price (which was often too high), so they’re totally out of luck.

I’ve worked on a couple of short sales, after the bank takes posession, in those types of cases and getting to know some listing agents for the banks helps, as they will almost advocate FOR you and your low-ish offer even though they are the listing agent because they want to see the deal closed quickly and don’t care if the bank loses their shirt. Homeowners always think their home is worth more than it is. Banks seem to understand that cheap=quick sale and will often go for low offers that would cause many homeowners to walk away, insulted.

That’s just my take on the preforclosure. You have to be super aggressive and if you’re not, you’ll find yourself sitting at home on your hands.