Online probate lists

Do probates have a higher response rate when making offers than you get with regular direct mail sellers? I currently have to give approx 20-25 offers to get one accepted from a basic absentee homeowner. I would think that probates would be more motivated. How many offers would you say I would have to give to get one accepted? It would be very difficult and expensive for me to get 2000 probate leads to send out mailings to.

I have looked in my paper to get probate leads and ended up spending way too much time spinning my wheels. I was trying to find the names of the deceased and PRs in the phonebook so I can then look up them up in the county assessor website, but there were a lot of common names and multiple listings. I had no clue if I was getting the right deceased or PR’s name. I have since axed that and thought about moving toward purchasing lists online. Have you had any luck with online list?

  • Mike

My question I have for you is this probate list that you are obtaining through your newspaper, is this just the obituaries? If so, you are going about this all wrong.

You need to go to your county courthouse and figure out how to look up probates, it’s probably in the same area you would look up lis pendis’s, cival record, etc. Then you need to figure out the numbering system for probates. For example, where I look up probates it goes as folloning - 10pr01348. The key here is to know the exact numbering system so you can go to the latest number and find the most recent probate cases. Then once you find some recent probates, check to see if they have any real property. Sometimes here they will give you the address and tax appraisal and sometimes how much is even owed on the property. If not, then you need to jot down the name of the deceased (Including middle initial) if they do have real property and you also need the name and address of the executor of the will b/c that is who you will be sending out a mailer to. Once you have the name of the deceased, go to the county tax records and look up their name and you should find out the address of the property that is subject to probate.

Now just send a letter to this highly motivated executor and make them an offer. I’d say you will get about a 30 to 40% return on your mailers sent, and half of those will be semi to pretty motivated. Make sure you make them an offer in person and quickly after looking at the property.

Hope this helps.

Thanks for the information that helps out a lot.

The newspaper thing I was referring to is the, “Notice to Creditors”. Which I am assuming is similar to the courthouse information.

My letter is going to address just the property and I don’t think I am going to mention the death in any way. Do you think this is a mistake?

Don’t mention the death. Don’t say you are sorry or anything like that.

Keep it professional and simple. Hand write the envelope. In the letter, just say something like “I came across so and so property and that it might be for sale and that you (executor) are the person to talk to about it. Is the property for sale? If so, I would love to make an offer and save us both from a real estate commission. Call me at xxxxxxxx if the property is for sale.”

I would think if you just send the letter to the address of the actual property, not to the executor, then you will seem more like a random person sending a letter. There is probably a bulkload of mail and possibly other people doing the same thing that you are doing. If the executor receives a letter that is written to their own name and the envelope is handwritten, the executor is going to call you regardless just to see how the heck you got their name and address. You will get a lot more calls if you just put forth the extra effort to find out the executors name and address.

Also, another tip, look for executors that are out of town b/c they are more likely to be motivated. Also, look for properties that have only one family member (ie. one son or one daughter). When you get a bunch of family members involved, sometimes it’s harder to get everyone on the same page.

Hope this helps

Do you search for the tax records in the same place as the probates?