Wholesaling Newbie - Where do you find the deals?

Maybe I’m missing something but all the posts seem to talk about building your buyers lists. How do you go about finding the deals that they want? If you go to the MLS and get a deal, can’t the buyers do the same thing - where is the value in what you are providing? If you do a preforeclosure and find a very motivated seller, won’t the balance on the loan be too much to make it a profitable deal? Where are the secret deals that your buyers wouldn’t have access to or would be a lot of work for them to find? Like i said i feel like i am missing something. Thanks for your help.

Craigslist or other online sites
Your local newspaper
Advertise in your paper or on online sites like craigslist
FSBO online sites
Drive around for vacant houses
Title companies
Hire bird dogs

I have a “farm” which includes neighborhoods around mine. I go the local tax assessor’s database and I add houses (to my own database) where the assessed value is at least double the last sale price. This list will include landlords, single homeowners and possibly hoeowners with financial problems or other motivated factors to want to sell their house. You may be the only person sending these folks a postcard every month, while the competition is oblivious to them. :biggrin

Nobody said it was going to be easy. This website and forum will provide all the information you need to find out what you’re asking but you’ll have to do a lot of work and it might take several months to find a deal. For instance , if it were to take 3 months to do your first deal and you make $15,000, the question is how does that compare with your day job income for the same period.
You need to be lucky in this business and the old saying is still true “the harder you work the luckier you’ll get”

There are no deals on the MLS, you have to create them. The way to do that is to get a property under contract for a price that makes sense to a rehabber, and that also helps you make a profit.

If you keep a close eye on the MLS you can find plenty of deals. For ex. I have been watching a property that was originally listed for 225K, sat on the market empty for 14 months and was reduced all the way down to 149K. I made an offer for 124K and it was excepted. The ARV is 215K and only needs about 1K worth of work for retail. The property was built in 2005.

I just found a deal via word of mouth. A friend of a friend wanted to just “dump” a property that they inherited & lived in. I said I could help & soon afterward I had the property under contract.

rose 1:

The “secret deals” that you refer to comes from consistent marketing. If you are interested in wholesaling, then I recommend that you find an area where your Buyer’s list is buying.
The properties are probably around the median price range for your area that either cash flows or first time home buyers can afford.

Once you select the area, start to drive it and learn your market. Take down addresses of any properties that seem run down and/or vacant. This can be you “Ugly Homes” list. Then go online to the county website and get the owners name and address. Once you have this you will need to construct a message that gets the owners attention on a postcard and/or a letter and continue to mail to them once a month.

You can purchase other lists from your county and/or list brokers such as out of area owners, foreclosure, etc. Also, the list that Mr. Investor provided you use as well.

Thanks so much for the info everyone! Much appreciated.


The main reason you see so much info on finding buyers is that right now buyers are scarce in our market and deals are everywhere.

Unless you have an awesome buyers list, just go to work on that. Buyers allow you to leverage your time and energy into making deals happen.

1 good deal on a wholesale house makes you ok money.

1 really good buyer might buy 20 houses from you.

Best of luck

One of the best ways to find deals is to have bird dogs locate them for you. Having a team of locators can be very efficient. That way once you’ve trained your team, you spend your time sorting through deals, not chasing them.

As a newbie, how is the best way to billed a buyer list? I plan to wholesale and flip. Thanks

Probably one of the most intelligent answers to this question that I’ve seen in a while.

Well every market is different. Here in areas near me, you can find some smoking deals on the MLS, especially REO’s. There are a lot listed that will not go FHA because they need a lot of work, and usally have a DOM of 120+, so I target these.

There is alot of competition in this arena.

Can you name an area in REI where there inst alot of competition?

I agree with one poster, you don’t necessarily find these deals, you
create them.

There are a ton of deals on the MLS that you can get for significant discounts
that you can wholesale.

Even though MLS properties are public and your buyers can have access to
them, most of them don’t have the time or would rather not go through the
process of making offers, renegotiating, etc. and would rather purchase
discounted properties via a wholesaler.

This is where you come in!

You created value by creating a deal that was unseen by most if not all other

After reading all the answers given on this post I am reday to believe that not one person posting a response does any business. Wholesaling is all about marketing. That is the business. Market for new properties. Market for more buyers. To do this properly you WILL NEED money. You can start with as little as $3000-5000. If you do not spend at least $1000 per month to find new deals, it will be very difficult to do any kind of volume, and volume is the name of the game.

To answer your question, there are countless EFFECTIVE ways to find your own deals. These include:

  1. Buy them from a website that generates leads.
  2. Hang bandit signs in targeted neighborhoods to generate calls.
  3. Direct Mail - mail post cards or letter to the following groups
  • estates and probate
  • vacant properties
  • expired listings
  • non-owner occupied properties
  • out of state owners
  • tax balance owners
  • pre-foreclosures (be sure your state allows this or else you could be fined heavily)
  • probate attorneys
  • bail bondsmen
  • any other grooup of people that may need to sell their property quickly
  1. Bird Dogs - this will take a huge amount of time to find one good one. I had 65 people sending me leads (that were not leads) at one time, but now I have one individual that brings me 3-4 properties per month.
  2. Go door-to-door knocking and ask people if they are interested in selling their property.
  3. Hire the guy that delivers pizza, chinese food, menus, etc. to include their fliers with every order.
  4. Billboards - limited effectiveness
  5. Put ads on community bulletin boards.
  6. Hire high school kids to put fliers on cars in parking lots - this is only good in some areas. If you try this in a neighborhood that is too nice, the cops will be calling you.
  7. Any other way you can think of to let people know that you buy properties very, very very quickly.

The only way to get enough leads to get enough properties to do enough deals to make a good living is to market your but off.

I agree completely with the previous post about marketing.


If it sat on the MLS for 14 months and went all the way down to $149k, can you expect to get close to $215 for it? Especially if it only needed $1k worth of work? What kind of profit are you looking at?