Transfer of Deed on Death = Motivated?

Hello all,

I’ve come across what I’m hoping is very valuable information. I visited my County Recorder website today and discovered that I can search by document type. So, I start tooling around and find transfer deeds for people who have passed away and left their property to someone. The old noggin starts ticking and I dig a little deeper and find that in the last month, there are over 300 recorded transfers! I’m even more curious so I click on additional detail and find that they have access to download a picture of the deed which has the following information on it: Tax District, Grantor, Grantee, Land Value, Building Value, Total Value, as well as the grantee’s tax mailing address.

My question is this: Are recipients of property deeded to them by the death of a loved one usually motivated sellers??? Not to sound insensitive, but people like us can help these people…especially if the property is not paid off…I would think. Let me know what you experts think. Also, if anybody has any experience with these deeds…how accurate is the “total value?” Does the county appraise the value of someone’s property when they pass away? I’m anxiously awaiting some opinions~!!!


Howdy Q:

You are right that some heirs are motivated sellers. I bought a house for $30,000 that was run down that hopefully will be a great deal for me. She was truly happy that I could help her get the money for the property.

The tax appraisals vary from county to county and it would be a broad answer at best. I have been watching the HUD lists here in Travis County and have noticed their asking prices are at the appraised value and some even slightly higher.

The county will not appraise property upon death, it is already appraised. The heirs may have the property appraised if they are in dispute or certainly it would be appraised by the buyer if obtaining a new loan to purchase the property.

Hope this is some good input for you.

Assuming you came up with a reasonably well-worded letter or postcard and that you mailed it to 300 property owners a month you would have more business than you could handle almost regardless of how you screened the property owners. Heirs are one possible screen that might increase your call-backs.

Mark gave you some excellent advice. I would also send your letters or postcards and follow-up with a cash offer and then a phone call. If you really want to be aggressive, you could go out to the house and talk to the neighbors and see who the ‘next of kin’ is. Remember, the harder the owner is to find, the better deal you will get.

In terms of the sellers being motivated, not always. If the house needs a total rehab, then yes. If the house is a pretty house, then they usually start calling realtors and see how much they can list the property for. Your job is to get to them before they contact their local realtor.

Best Riches,
Jeff Adam

Yes these people are highly motivated sellers I have been using this tool for just about three years now!! And I buy on average of 20 houses per month!!