Think beyond the box: Tricks to getting invited into an occupied home

Many experienced flippers will recommend staying far away from foreclosures that are occupied. If you can’t get inside to understand your risk, the unknowns outweighs the reward. I tend to agree with this mindset.

But I hate not knowing. I wanted to reach out to this board and see if anyone has come up with a really creative way to get invited in by the home owner. I’ve had a few successful attempts myself but most times I get the door slammed in my face.

  1. I’ve rang the doorbell and started with: Would you guys happen to be renting this house? If they respond yes you have a good chance of being straight with them and getting them to let you in to take some pictures. The risk is if they say no, you need to head in another direction.

  2. A few weeks ago I had success with the following: I spoke with the next door neighbor for 15 minutes about the neighboring house that was in foreclosure. He gave me great perspective about the neighborhood and the neighbor in foreclosure. During my inspection of the exterior from the side yard and street I noticed the home owner had multiple cars and a boat. I used property appraiser to find the names of the neighbors that I spoke to for 15 minutes and rang his doorbell. I told him that I was visiting with the Bryans next door and pointed. They were still outside and waved. I mentioned that I noticed his self storage container in his driveway and asked if he was planning to move out? He said yes I am actually. I followed up with “are you planning to sell your boat? I’ve been looking for a 30’ fishing boat”. He invited me in and we talked for 30 minutes.

Ok so enough with my stories, I’m hoping someone can give me some perspective on how to gain access to an owner occupied foreclosure that works more times then not. I haven’t had the best luck. Thanks much.

Before picking a home, a burglar will scope out your entire neighborhood to get a better idea of what he’s working with. To do this he will usually walk around with a rake, or even go as far as dressing up as the cable or electric or phone repairman. “I’ll even post a flyer on your door to get a closer look into your home” … :slight_smile: Great sources!

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I find that being honest can get you a ways as well. If you can determine that the occupants are tenants, then they probably know that the home is under foreclosure. Stating that you are interested in buying the house as an investment property are are willing to keep the tenants may open the door to an inspection - especially if the tenants do not want to move and if they do, they probably could careless if you look at the place anyway.

If the occupants are the property owners, they also know that the home is up for foreclosure. As a concerned investor, you are wondering if there was someway that you could help them. Admitting that it is awkward and emotionally taxing to talk about, but that maybe you could help them get out from under the foreclosure and move on with their life.

Both strategies require a friendly approach rather than a “I’m here to buy this property” outlook.