Finding Deals

I must have missed something. It seems like one of the most important parts of investing is where, or how, to find deals. Granted, everyone should know about foreclosures and they’re many different parts of foreclosures, but where else can one find deals?

Thanks in advance,

Well, that question alone could fill up a 500 page book.

Go to the marketing section of the forums and dig around in there.


I did go there…Maybe I should have been more specific. I know one can find foreclosures as there’s tons of website making them available. But I have found that if the homes listed are really that good of a deal, the REO listing agent may have already picked them up.

I was wondering about Pre-foreclosures and purchasing at the courthouse steps…Opinions? Tax roll information. Tax liens… Deaths…and other places to look…where have people had success in finding deals?


You do through marketing, and there is a huge marketing forum section with many ideas.

In my opinion, all this “pre-foreclosure” nonsense is just a worn out fad leftover from the recent real estate boom. At any rate, you certainly will not be successful in the “pre-foreclosure” arena by looking at online websites. Most of these properties are simply retail deals aimed at naive newbies.

As Fadi said, marketing is certainly one way to find deals. However, I didn’t do a dollar’s worth of marketing last year and was still able to buy 22 rentals (at less than 50 cents on the dollar). Although I am in favor of using a variety of methods to find deals, I have found the majority of my deals through personal contacts. In other words, get out of the house and meet people. Tell everyone you know that you buy houses. Not very high tech or flashy, but it gets the job done!

Good Luck,


I agree with everything here, I would simply add that I get alot of my deals in the local newspaper and by just driving around looking for “For Sale” signs.

There’s a huge marketing forum here on this site which dozens and dozens of pages on finding real estate deal.

I don’t believe it when you say you’ve already been there because there’s atleast a weeks worth of material to go over that deal with more than just foreclosures.

If your looking for REO find a realtor specializing in them only. Like by me, I have a local reatltor that does takes REO listing. Banks give him tons and he gets SS listings from sellers all day long. At any given time he has over 100 listings which is incredible. But does nothing else and has a large support team.
However he will never show a REO. He will not act as the buyers agent. To much work involved, unless it is an experienced buyer with cash and then still he doesnt want to do it. He will have another realtor show property because banks will only pay him 1 commission which is the higher of the 2…

From my experience the best deals are found through leveraging relationships with area realtors, wholesalers, bankers, and contacts. The more people who know what you do, and how you can help them or their sphere of influence the better.

First, thanks to everyone that supplied an answer. It is greatly appreciated. I am a real estate agent. Been in business since 1986 and for medcical reasons (wife just diagnosed with MS) have decided that I should be in the rehab business. But my area of expertise is in normal residential real estate.

It would appear that I have everything at my feet, but I wanted to make sure that I wasn’t forgetting anything. I with with the #1 agent in the State of Texas for ReMax. He currently has 198 listings. We run the numbers on those REO properties everyday and have an email sent to my wife so she can research the homes. I can’t speak for other agents, but this seemsto be fairly common place, at least in Texas.

It would appear that most here suggests that if I just keep doing what I was doing to find residential business, only add an investment side to it, that is the best way to find business.

For those on the site that live in the Dallas / Fort Worth area, in about 2 to 4 weeks they’ll be a new way to search for foreclosures, pre-foreclosures, and short sales within that area. I’ll post the FREE website, if it isn’t against any rules. I will do so because the people here have been kind and tried to help answer my questions and as I said before, I appreciate that.

Hey, before I go, I would again like to say thanks to everyone that took the time and energy to try to help…

Ken Tate (a.k.a. Mr. Real Estate)

Have you explored handwritten direct mail campaigns?

K. Reale

Explored, designed an mailed. I even hand wrote one and in today’s world it is very easy to mass produce them and then sent them out. I got a very small response, usually about 1.5% return. Please remember, these were directed at geographical farm areas to get listings, no to purchase homes, so I don’t know how that would work, but at this point I’m willing to try about anything…Hopefully, it will be this business that wll take care of my wife after I’m gone. She loves the research…

Hey, K Reale, thanks for that advice. No such thing as bad advice…
Ken Tate

There is only two types of marketing… Sweat marketing and paid marketing… Ya gotta do one of them and if you do both then you’ll do more deals at better results…

the three most expensive types of marketing are

  1. Buying through an agent

  2. Wholesaling your deals

  3. doing nothing and complaining about it…

That doesn’t mean that you can’t find great deals and make serious money doing 1 and 2… Just more if you learn how to implement an on purpose marketing strategy…

It cracks me up when people tell me they don’t spend money on marketing and still do deals… Every deal done has had a marketing campaign behind it…

Unless you don’t think the way you talk and what you say to everyone you’re talking to about real estate is marketing… Or the fact that people who know you know you are an investor.

People sometimes limit their idea of marketing to placing a bandit sign in the ground or mailing a letter out and although those are type methods there are hundreds viable alternatives. I have only been able to come up with 115 on purpose acts that can be done to get your message heard and better responded to… And some are dirt cheap.

The biggest problem with sweat marketing is that it relies on you and your contacts to survive and when you go on vacation or worse DIE so does your business. Those that you leave behind are faced with a large required learning curve. Unless you left them with bucket of cash…

Michael Quarles

Michael Quarles,

I agree 100%. By the way, I’ve read a lot of your post. You know what you’re doing and it shows.

I have a program written here in Texas that will pull of the tax rolls all the non-resident home owners, which gives one two opportunities if they’re an agent. One is to list the home for sale, but the other is to market to the renter to purchase a rehab. I did this twice last year. Yes I’m fairly new to the investment game, but I did purchase 8 homes last year, with 6 sold and the other 2 under contract. The non-resident home owner angle does work. One should expect anywhere from 1.5% to 2.5%, at least here in Texas.

The main problem that I was having was even with total access to the MLS and tax rolls, it appears that the banks have changed their way of selling properties. This has cut into the profit margin greatly. It works like this:

The bank has the home appraises. For arguments sake, let’s say it appraised for $100,000. The bank lists the property fr $104,900. WHAT? In this market? Can that be right? Yes it is. For the first 30 days they will only negotiate about 3% off that price. Then a 30 day cycle starts. After each 0 days the home is reviewed and a new price is put on the home. This cycle continues, with some variation, until the home reaches what I call “market value”. At that point the home sales. Was it a deal? NO WAY!

Several times the banks will put the home up for Auction. But it’s not an absolute auction. So even if it appears that the home sales at the auction, it is still subject to bank approval.

If this doesn’t work the bank may relist the home with another agent. I’ve found that homes on the MLS ususally aren’t good investment deals until they’ve been on the market for about 180 days or more.

There is a lot more I could write about the above, but I’m sure one gets the idea. This is one of the main reasons that I went looking for a web site like this to see how non-agents find deals.

Thanks again,
Ken Tate (a.k.a. Mr. Real Estate)