Ugly homes, vacant properties


I have found several ugly/vacant properties and have the owner’s information via public records. Now, how is the best way to contact the owners?

Do I call them, write up a one page letter, or something short and to the point on a post card?

If anyone has a method they use and are happy with, can you help me out?



I’ve called them & paid them a personal visit. They both worked.

If you were salesman and had only a handful of leads, what would you do? Would you really stake your future–your ability to put food on your table or pay your mortgage–on a letter or a postcard?

Mass communication tools are to be used only when you have so many people to reach that you can’t be personal with all of them.

In other words, if you have the time, pick up the phone.

Is this something with which you are comfortable?

Very good point, thank you.

I am comfortable on the phone, but that is usually dealing with people actually selling their home.

thank you for the advice,



I have also been finding several vacant and uglies, I tracked down the owner using county records, I then sent a letter stating I was an investor looking to purchase homes in their area, and if now or in the future they were looking to sell for an all Ca$h offer I would like them to contact me. I waited a week and then followed up with a phone call, I introduced myself and said I recently sent you a letter, and I hoped that it found them ok. They said “Oh yeah we have it pined to the fridge with your card.” Long story short, they inherited the house and did want to sell. I’ve met with them at the home and conducted my inspection. I then asked if it would be Ok to bring a few investors by? They agreed, My investors liked the house and we have a offer out to them, Well the seller got smart and is waiting a few weeks to eval the offers. I planted the seed that we can close quick, all cash, and would like to revisit with them prior to them making a final decison. Now it’s a hurry up and wait game.

Unless you’re a Realtor trying to earn a commission, I’m not sure why you didn’t tie up the property with your own contract. That’s the time to bring investors in to see what they will pay, so that you can keep the difference for your efforts.

It sounds like you don’t control the property. Correct?

I used to send letters but thats a passive approach. I want to be more aggressive and start making calls. However, I am not that comfortable cold calling. I WANT to be comfortable doing this but right now I am squeemish doing this. Can you offer me any suggestions on how to get past the uncomfortableness? Thanks!

Make calls, you will probably screw a few up. Eventually you will get comfortable. There are tons of sellers out there, just keep trying until you get it. If you want to wait on calling your vacant home owners until you are comfortable try calling a bunch of FSBOs in the paper to warm you up. Try asking them questions about their home and get more comfortable on the phone.

It’s all about building a report with the Seller & being yourself. I recently contacted a potential Seller for about 3 straight days and they didn’t want to talk, even though their property was scheduled to be sold in the auction in a matter of days.

I then put myself in their shoes. The next time I called, I in essence apologized for cold-calling them. They started to open up & I was able to determine what they wanted regarding their property.

That’s a great idea! I think I just need to get warmed up and used to talking about real estate on the phone.

My situation was similar, but I handled it differently. I called the Seller instead of writing a letter. The Seller was the Executor of the Estate & wanted to sell.

When I met the Seller at the house, I had a contract in hand, everything filled out except the price. After inspecting the house, I filled in the price & gave it to the Seller.

I highly recommend having a completed contract with you when you look at houses.

Answer to your question, I’m not a realtor, and of course I would have loved to put the deal under contract but the seller’s did not want to put anything under agreement, they wanted to see all offers before making a deal. I have a unique relationship with my investors, they happened to be in town and wanted to see my current project. This also added alot of credibilty for the seller to see that we were serious. I truly feel that we will close on this, but it will just take a few weeks. I’m only wholesaling for the most part at this time, so any chance I can meet with my investors and observe how they evaluate a house is free education for me. I will keep you posted how this turns out.

Here’s a cut and past from another post:

"IMO the most important part is just doing it. The first couple calls will be awkward to you, but after those you’ll start to feel more comfortable talking with people.

When you’re making your calls remember your time is valuable…so don’t get lost in the details of the house. Find out if the seller is motivated and if he/she isn’t, move on. "

Find out why they’re selling and play on that. If they say they’re buying another house, ask them “If you don’t sell this house, will you still move to the new one?” They’re response will tell you how motivated they are. Ya know, questions like that.

Don’t worry about the details of the house, focus on the motivation of the seller!

People are saturated with ads and busy with their lives. Letters and postcards might get ignored. You might call at a bad time.

However, these are people in need of a solution.

The winner is the person who gets the message in front of the homeowner at the right time.

So that means multiple contacts.

You might start with a phone call followed by a hand written thank you note if nothing happens in the phone call.

Then maybe a week or so later, a postcard saying you are still interested.

Maybe follow that up a bit later with a phone call.


In other words, keep hammering the homeowner (gently) to make the deal happen. Unless they have a strong reason to sit on that ugly home, you will eventually hit them at a time when cash sounds better than a broken down home.

The only question is will you keep contacting the person until that moment is reached?