How To Find
Motivated Sellers In Real Estate

If you’re looking to buy an investment property we recommend focusing on nice homes in a nice area over searching for a motivated seller. You want to offer people a home that they would want to own. That means you’re looking for a nice home in a nice area. This will attract good tenants and help get you the monthly cash flow all investors should be looking for. However, it’s still important to be able to recognize a motivated seller when you see one.


A motivated seller is willing to negotiate. They often can’t move forward with their plans without selling their property. This makes them more willing to work with buyers to come to a deal that benefits both parties.

8 Clues to Find Motivated Sellers

  1. A motivated seller has a plan. They are on a mission. They know where they want to go, and they’re invested in getting there.

    If the seller says things like, “we don’t need to sell,” or “if it sells it sells,” they are more likely to be firm on their price and they’re in it to get as much money as they can, not to get their house sold.

  2. The house is priced to sell. That means the house is priced realistically, or even below fair market value. While this may be a good sign of a motivated seller, it doesn’t always work in your favour. This could lead to bidding wars, something you don’t want to be in. 

    Bidding wars are for people emotionally invested in a property. Don’t get emotionally attached to any property. This is an investment. You want to look for a property that can provide you with monthly cash flow. Work with a real estate investing coach to figure out how much you’ll need to get a house for in order to keep that positive cash flow. This way you know your walk away price, and you won’t get swept away in a bidding war.

  3. The house has been staged to sell. Sellers that have clearly taken the time to clean and unclutter their house are typically more invested in getting their home sold. A motivated seller will stage the home to appeal to the buyer, not just to their personal taste.

    Not cleaning or staging a home is a good indicator that the seller isn’t serious about getting their home sold.  

  4. If someone is willing to show their property at the drop of a hat it is a good indication that they’re a motivated seller. Someone who requests 48 hours notice, or other stipulations, making it difficult to show the house are less motivated. A motivated seller wants to make it as easy as possible for people to know their house is for sale and so they can view it. 

  5. Get to know the story of why they’re selling. Did they get a job in a different city? Did the owner die or move into a retirement/nursing home? Are they separating/getting divorced? These are all reasons someone may want to sell quickly. 

  6. A vacant property is another great indicator of a motivated seller. The longer the house is sitting empty, the more money the seller is paying in monthly bills. 

    It’s inconvenient owning a vacant home. Just because you don’t live there doesn’t mean the lawn stops needing cutting, or the driveway/sidewalk can go unshoveled. 

    There is also a higher risk of vandalism with a vacant home. Selling the property gives a seller peace-of-mind, and relieves them of a lot of responsibilities.

  7. How long the property has been on the market is another good indicator of how motivated someone is to sell. It could mean they weren’t motivated when they first listed, but if the property has been on the market for a while, the homeowner may be singing a different tune and ready to unload the property. 

    If they’ve dropped the price that’s another indicator that reality is sinking in and they’re becoming more motivated to sell.

  8. If the seller has owned the home for 10+ years this may make them a more motivate seller, or at least more willing to negotiate. There is a better chance a homeowner has paid off their home, or built up considerable equity in their home if they’ve owned the house for 10+ years. This means they may have more wiggle room when it comes to a closing price. 


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