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How To Find Properties Before They Go To Public Auction
Joe: Hey, it’s Joe. Got another question. This one is from Mike. He says, “I would like to pay off back taxes on a property that is about to go tax forfeit and public auction. So, rather than the owner getting nothing, I step in and pay him an agreed upon amount and pay the arrears and take the title. The process here takes more than a year, and my problem is tracking these properties up to going to tax forfeit so the owner is motivated to act and get something as opposed to getting nothing. Once it’s taken over by the county you have to bid like everyone else. The county is quite guarded as to the nearness of execution of tax forfeiture, and then they control it. And I suppose look at all the money they pocket selling a $25K property for $12K to pay off a $2,500 tax bill. Looks to me like they’re trying to protect their little gold mine. I want in.”
Joe: All right. So, the best way to find these people is to market for them. And to go after absentee owners, to go after expired listings. These are people that are under some stress many times. Going after for sale by owners, people that are trying to sell it on their own, this brings in a lot of leads. And out of those leads, you’re going to find people that need some help. Now, if you have access to the people, if you have a list of people that are late on their taxes, which you can also usually get from public records, you can then start dripping on those people with either letters, postcards, or text messages or emails, depending on what information you have on them. So, if you’ve got thousands of them it’s going to be hard to, you know, go up and look each one of them up, but there are places where you can buy leads that will help you with this. That way you can try to contact those people.
Joe: You can use skip tracing, you can do things like that to bring those people into your marketing funnel. And then you can start dripping on those people and say, look, I’m interested in your property. I’d like to buy it. You don’t need to say anything about the taxes to them. Just say I’m interested in buying your property. I saw that it might be available. And I was wondering if you’d consider selling it? Don’t say, hey, I see you’re late on your taxes. You know, people are embarrassed by that stuff. So, just give them a straight marketing message of I’d like to buy this property.
Joe: Now, we have a campaign in the Automarketer that I call the We Will Buy campaign, which is just a I Buy Houses for Cash type of offer that we send out to them over and over again. And that’s a way that you could solve this problem. You just need to be able to talk to them. Now, the tried and true method is go knock on their door and talk to them. That’s not something I want to do. But there are a lot of people that do that and have some success with it. And you can usually beat out the other things when they do that.
Joe: I’ve also done bids on these, you know, after the taxing authorities get it and then they put them online and everybody bids on them and I was in a place not too long ago where we bid on about forty properties and we ended up getting two of them. So, you know, and we bid full price, on their full asking on all of them, so, you know, they would have been good deals for us if we’d gotten them, but they weren’t easy to get because there was so much competition.
Joe: Now, that competition doesn’t exist everywhere. And there are some rural areas, this was a rural area, but, there are some rural areas that nobody’s looking for this stuff in so it might be worth looking into some of those things. And maybe looking at sheriff sales as well because there’s some interesting things going on with those in some areas.
Joe: Anyway, I hope that answers the question. Thanks.