Obituary/Estate marketing

How do you market towards the heirs? Do you send a general postcard stating that you buy any types of properties including estates amongst other listed property types or do you specifically address estates. I don’t want people that are still mouring the deceased to think I am some vulture circling overhead trying to make a quick buck of their dead Uncle Frank. Any care to share an example of thier postcard or letter?

Don’t swoop in while the body is still warm. I used to do that and quickly found there is no way without appearing like an insensitive vulture. I wait exactly one month after the former owner kicks the bucket and mail my standard letter to the heirs that I send to everyone else. This way the funeral is over and everyone is back to their regular schedules, and might just be getting the first bill from the funeral expenses. The vultures who prey on dead bodies turn into road kill sooner or later.

p.s.- Your new picture makes it clear that she has your dice in a vice. lol

Yeah, definitely trying to avoid the vulture effect.

At least one of us looks good in that pic. (as usual not me) :wink: Good news is that she almost as interested in REI as I am and loves watching Flip that House with me. :slight_smile:

Isn’t it exactly what you are trying to do? ???

Yes but I don’t want to wear a sandwich board and walk up and down Main St telling everyone I meet that I want to make a buck off their dead family members. The point is to provide a solution to them and have them see that I want to buy their house to make money but at the same time relieve their stress and rid them of this home that they have to deal with. Definitely want to focus on estates with lots of junk (packrats), these homes are the biggest hassle for the relatives and certainly a headache they would rather not deal with. An example is my friend’s aunt, she had about 8 rooms and all of them were waist or shoulder deep with boxes, old newspapers, junk, clothes, etc. Can you imagine the relatives tackling that one?

I just revamped my probate estate marketing strategy recently and was about to test it here real soon. My letter is posted below.

I’ve been checking the obits daily and cross checking them with the county property records to see which ones are in my traget areas. I was planning on sending the letter after the services are held and then following up with three weekly postcards after that.

I checked the county probate court a couple days after a couple obit listings and there wasn’t any estate listed for them yet. I’m assuming it must take some time(~2-4 weeks) before the estate is filed in probate. So, I just tried to find possible heirs by looking up the closest relatives listed in the obituary in the county property records and the phone book.

I don’t know how well this works yet. So, take it all with a grain of salt. ???


We would like to introduce ourselves. We are ENTER BUSINESS NAME, a real estate investment company in ENTER AREA. We buy and sell homes around ENTER AREA and the surrounding areas. We are not real estate agents or brokers.

The reason we are sending this letter to you is because we would like to send our condolences to you regarding the recent passing of your ENTER RELATIVES NAME. We realize that this is a difficult time and situation for you and your family.

We happened to notice that you may be a beneficiary heir to your ENTER RELATIVE house at ENTER ADDRESS. We are currently looking to buy properties in that area of town, and we would like to let you know if you have any interest in selling the house in the near future that we would be interested in purchasing the property from you.

If you are interested in selling to us we can close in 30 days or less with no money out of your pocket. We can pay your closing costs and there are no commissions of any kind. Just call to set up a time for us to take a look at the property, and we can give you an offer within 24 hours.

Thank you for your time and we wish you and your family the best.



Might even be worth it to say you heard of the relative’s passing via a friend and “just happened” to be looking for a house in the area. To make it less vulturistic (new word?), come across as a prospective individual homebuyer rather than a company. I know from experience that executors/executruxes(?) who live out of the area usually want to unload the property as quickly as possible. They are generally not interested in becoming the owner/trustee for such a big hassle. for example, when my grandmother passed away years ago, my uncle was the executor and sold the home to the next door neighbor, who inquired about it shortly after her death.

<<p.s.- Your new picture makes it clear that she has your dice in a vice. lol >>

Yeah, doesn’t he look “whipped”…




i like your letter. i think its professional, to the point and should get responses

Thanks for the compliment Mark.

The only thing I have to test the most is the timing of the letter. I was planning on sending it a couple days after the funeral services are held. So, if services are 2-4 days after the owner passes away, I mail 2 days after that, and the letter takes 2-4 days in the mail it will be about a week to a week and a half after passing. I hope this isn’t too soon. What do all of you think?

Sometimes, when I can’t find the addresses for any heirs online, I’ll have to wait until there is an estate filed with the probate court which I’m assuming will be 2-4 weeks after passing.

Nice letter. Since this is a low volume mail/out, we usually go with a handwritten font with tilted non standard stamp on front, as it seems to yield better response. In terms of frequency, we do 3 mailings witth 10 days separation between each. Also, we include language that lets the heirs know that we deal with these situations frequently.

Good Luck :o

so gentlemen: what is the secret way to get all the estate listings?

Chili: Yes, I do something very similar to what you explained and am getting pretty good responses from other property categories so far. I’m expecting results just as good with the probate/estate strategy.

Frido: Read my post above that contains my letter. It goes over the general idea. Also, check out the probate articles under “Real Estate Articles” on the site navigation to the left of this website. You can also look up “probate” or “estate” in many REI books and find something.

Wow, sounds like a really good strategy. Have you been sucessfull at all with that kind of marketing so far?