news paper ads to find motivated sellers?

Is it a a good idea to run an ad in the paper to find motivated sellers and if so where would the ad be best placed?

Typically, you run in the “Real Estate Wanted” section. I’ve had mixed results. It cost around $100/wk where I am and I’ve got just as good results marketing on the Internet for much less cost.

I’d start by checking out that section of your newspaper and see what kind of competition there is right now.

I appreciate the info, on the subject of internet advertising where would be a good place to start. I posted an ad on craigslist and had a response with in an hour. Probably nothing I can do with it but it was quick. Is there other sites similar or other avenues look at?

Thanks in advance!


Take a look at They have some very reasonable “paid” advertising as well as free advertising. The site is very similar to craigslist.

Thanks for that info REIAUCTIONS.

you need to generate leads for mtivated sellers talk to lawers who works in bankrupcy,divorce ect. fire dept thtey keep a log of house fires drive youre local neiberhoods find a house that looks good knock on the door if vacant try the neighbor they might know the owner

I try to stick to a 10-1 ratio on profit vs return. So if my usual deal makes me $8,000 then I am willing to run $800 in adversting to get a deal. You may need to start on a smaller scale but that figure has worked well for me in all forms of media

I like to use the “sniper” method for newspaper ads.

In my market we have about 5 small, local, county/town newspapers.
I only advertise in the ones which go to my target areas. I stay out of combat zones and low income areas with bad schools. By sniping my marketing I can go after my “bread and butter” homes. These houses are blue collar, first time home buyer, need work, type deals. Now since I already know what type of home I’m after I can put in the next part of the plan… THE AD!! What I do is I run and ad with a PRICE in it.

Wanted: Single family home, any condition for $90,000, cash paid, close in 5 days. 555-555-5555

I’ve been running this ad for 2 years. It’s a gold mine. Here’s why.

There are ton’s of ads out there that say “I buy houses” but there aren’t many that tell people FOR HOW MUCH! By putting a price in the ad people immediately see that number and at least have a base line.
The “number” YOU use should be a LOW number for your market. The average home price in my market is $200,000, so at $90K I’m at 50% already. Your not going to get calls from rocket scientists, and chemical engineers here. These people are not sophisticated, when they SEE a price that THEY think is good THEY CALL!

These ads (about 4 of them) cost me about $60 ea. per month, So for about $3000 a year I have a nice little cash machine. One deal, MORE than pays for the whole show and I usually average about 6 to 8 a year. If I can’t make at least $20K I don’t buy, especially in this market.
Getting more and more calls every month from some very “UPSIDE DOWN” people. 2008 will be great. But not for retail sellers.
I buy all my homes CHEAP and leave money on the table for the buyers.
My favorite thing to do now a days is to be THE lowest priced home in that town or city. Most of my houses I no longer rehab, just buy 'em and sell them cheap. Last week I bought a nice little dump for $45K and sold it on Craigslist the same week for $65K to a rehab investor. I’ll let him spend the $40K it needs and then 6 months trying to sell it. I’m done with that end of the business. Too risky, and you end up with a home that looks like the other one for sale.

Wow! I like the way you do things and I appreciate the fact you share your brilliant ideas.

Great ideas above on how to effectively market in the newpaper. I personally would rather use craigslist since the paper has not worked in the past. The only thing I use the paper for is to collect the info for the million other “we buy houses” ads so I can call them up, find out how legit they are then add them to my buyers list!!

I think fdjake made a great point about targeting specific leads through exact advertising in the paper. This route seems to be a more cost effective strategy but I’ve learned that the best advertising is free, believe it or not. I use social networks like Myspace and YouTube to do the exact same thing to target and attract qualified prospects.

I have about 5600 targeted friends on my Myspace profile throughout my community and am able to generate buzz very quickly with the “viral marketing” that takes place. When I send a bulletin out, all of my friends receive it and propagate it to their friends. Very rarely to I actually spend money on advertising anymore due to my success with these social networks. I’ve listed some quick tips on my forum posting that will help get you going.

I think fdjake has a valid point. My newspaper advertising response has sucked so I stopped running it after a few months. But my question is if your running an ad with the $90k figure as explained in fdjake’s example, how many cementheads are calling you with homes for sale worth $75k and seeing your ad say “Hey Alice, lookee here, this guys ad says he’ll pay $90k for houses in any condition, give him a call and see if he’ll give us $90k for ours.”
Unless you have an answering service or some recorded number to screen out all the meatheads like that who call I’d have to think if you answered your calls live you’d get a truckload of clowns like that calling you all the time, yes? Or not so?

Do you get calls like that or am I threading the needle to much and over analyzing your successful concept to much?

Join a Investors Network to receive pre-screened leads with matching preferences. :rolleyes


To go a little farther on fdjake’s ‘sniper’ method (I like that term :cool)…

Do that exact same thing, but only do it on search engine advertising. I know with Google, you can target your ads by city, state and even by zip code if I recall. Then just use keywords like ‘sell house’, ‘close house’, etc. and then any person who does a search for that keyword/phrase in that city/state/zip will have you ad pop up. Then, you are only charged when someone actually clicks on the ad. Good way to target prospects.