Everyone that advertises their property for sale is motivated to sell. What you are really looking for are DESPERATE sellers. Those are sellers that for one reason or another NEED to sell NOW and are willing to do almost anything to get that done. I find most of these desperate sellers through personal contacts.
Tell everyone you know that you buy houses. Most importantly, get out of the house and meet people. Instead of hiring someone to find abandoned houses, get out there and do it yourself. I have frequently found it to be the case that I will find unexpected and unlisted deals when I am talking to people. So, when you’re talking to a neighbor about an abandoned house, they will know of someone else that has a house they MUST sell and that will turn out to be a deal. The bottom line is to get out of the house and talk to people.
Has great trips you can implement. I can also suggest to understand what does a Realtor REALLY want? Show them the reason HOW they can benefit from you, and WHY they should work with you and not for you. Same applies with lawyers, accountants, and mortgage brokers. Then you’ll notice the deals coming to you instead of you chasing them.
I would first build up a list of cash buyers because without buyers, who are you going to wholesale to. Also, you’ll know what areas to learn and market to since your buyer’s list is buying in that area.
Once you have your buyer’s list and determine what area (know your market), you can determine what lists to market to and set up your marketing plan. ActionHank posted some examples of lists you can market to. Then you want your marketing media to have a message that gets the attention to the people you are mailing to. Marketing is a numbers game. Expect response rate in the .5% to 2.5% range, depending on list. Also, you need to mail several times. The frequency in between mailings depends on the list.
There is no substitute for hard work…this also applies in real estate investing. You must make the calls to find the deals. I’ve been doing this since 1991 and when I want a deal, it takes effort! I call FSBO listings. Find long distant numbers in ads. Also, look at photos in ads (or request photos from seller via email) to see if house is vacant. If it is a long distant telephone number and/or the house is vacant, you most likely have a motivated seller and a potential good deal. Lastly, make unreasonable requests. You will be surprised as to your results. Unreasonable price or unreasonable terms will fall into your lap if you just ask!