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The 10 Most Common Questions I’m Asked About Probate Investing

By Sharon Vornholt

I love working in the niche of probates, but that’s not true for all investors.I think the reason is they just don’t have the knowledge they need about probate investing and how the process works.Probate investing is not that much different than other niches, but because the property is part of an estate that seems to make a difference in the way people feel about it.

Why Do I Love Probates So Much?

Here is the main thing to remember about probate investing:

The heirs rarely want the house; they just want the cash sitting in that property. If the house happens to need a lot of repairs or updating it is an investor that can solve their problem so they can go on with their life.

Folks Have a Lot of Questions

People have a lot of questions about probates. In fact, I am asked the same questions all the time.

Today I decided to take the 10 most common questions I am asked about probate investing and answer them.Many of these topics could be (or have been) entire blog post or video so today you’ll be getting the “short version”. I plan to take some of these topics and elaborate on them in the future.

#1. Why Is There Less Competition in the Probate Niche?

There is less competition for several reasons.

  • A lot of investors just think it’s just strange working in this niche.
  • Others just don’t know the process and how they fit into it.
  • Another reason is they just aren’t willing to do the work involved to get the information needed to get those leads.

If you want to jump into this very profitable niche, take the time to learn about the actual probate process and about probate investing in general. You are going to find that these folks are some of the most motivated sellers on the planet.

#2. Why is it So Hard to Get Probate Leads?

The reason it’s so hard to get the information is because the process is different everywhere.This is also the reason there is less competition. There are over 3300 counties in the US and each one of those counties has a different process for getting probate leads.

When you think about probate investing, the reason this niche is so great is also the reason a lot of people won’t go to the trouble to learn the process for getting leads in their area. It’s not always easy. Just know that you may have to do a little detective work.

#3. I Feel Bad Profiting off of Dead People or – Isn’t it Weird Talking about Dead People?

I hear this comment all the time.Sellers are all pretty much the same.It just so happens that folks in probate are there because someone died.They are also there because they have a problem; they have house they need to sell and that’s why the need us.We are there to help them solve a problem. It really is that simple.

Remember this: The sellers of probate property don’t want the house; they want the cash from the sale of the house.

#4. Why Can’t I Just Call the Family Instead of Sending Direct Mail?

My initial contact is never by phone.I always send a letter to the executor/administrator.If you think about this for a minute; how would you feel if someone called you out of the blue when your loved one passed away?You wouldn’t like the intrusion.

These folks will call when they are ready.Some families will dive right in and open the estate.Other people may wait a year or longer.Generally speaking, when they open the estate they are ready to move forward with the sale of the property.

#5. Can You Wholesale Probate Deals?

Absolutely!

Any real property must be sold before the estate can be closed. In most states you just put the property under contract and move forward.Be aware that some states like California have a very different procedure.You will need to learn how the probate process works in your state. (Remember that detective work?)

#6. Don’t Most Probates Want Retail for the House?

Some sellers will want retail and some won’t.When you think about probate investing, these sellers are no different than any others.Houses that are in great shape will generally be listed on the MLS.Properties that need repairs and updates are the likely candidates to be sold to an investor.

#7. Can You Use the Multiple Offer Strategy for Probates?

You can, however you need to remember that these sellers almost always want to “cash out”.That’s the main reason they are so motivated. They just want the cash. There may be rare occasions where they will be willing to do owner financing or some other type of creative deal but that isn’t typical.

#8. What Can I Say When the Family is embarrassed about the Condition of the House?

Truthfully, this happens all the time.As a member of the family walks through the house with me they are apologizing because there is so much “stuff”.If you are sincere, it’s pretty easy to put the seller at ease just by telling them this is typical especially when the deceased is elderly.

It’s not unusual to see stack of butter tubs, receipts from decades past and just a lot of junk.You may also run into some hoarders. Remember to always offer to clean out the house for them.That’s often the one thing that will seal the deal.

#9. What If the Deceased’s Relatives Won’t Move Out of the House?

The short answer is let an attorney handle this problem.Just get the house under contract. Your real estate attorney will know how to take care of this.

#10. What Can I Do When the Heirs Don’t Agree?

When you are talking about probate investing, things usually go smoothly and the closing is typically uneventful.

However … there are times when you feel like the peacemaker/counselor/teacher.People will need to be educated about the process. So in many cases, you will be there to initiate problem solving conversations with the family and to help soothe hurt feelings. After years of working in this niche, I have found that you usually just need to be a good listener.


Sharon Vornholt

Sharon Vornholt is the owner of Innovative Property Solutions, LLC in Louisville, KY.

Sharon owned and operated a successful home inspection company for 17 years. She began investing in real estate in 1998 and became a full time real estate investor in January of 2008.

Sharon specializes in wholesaling, and is also an experienced landlord and rehabber.

In addition, Sharon is an internet marketer and also writes articles for several national real estate sites. Sharon is the author of a popular real estate blog called the “Louisville Gals Real Estate Blog”. For your FREE REPORT “Probates and Absentee Owners: Your Fast Track to Real Estate Riches”, stop by her blog at: http://LouisvilleGalsRealEstateBlog.com.

5 Apartment-Hunting Secrets That You Need To Know

By Wendy Dessler

Getting The Best Living Situation

Apartments can be useful for a number of reasons, though they can also be expensive, and they can be a real hassle if you don’t choose carefully. Following are five considerations to help you make the best choice in terms of your rental living situation.

  1. Use Available Resources To Streamline Your Search

At The Urban Avenue you can get an idea of the city in terms of available apartment rentals; according to the site: “Whether you’re completely new to Dallas or have lived here your entire life, we can help you find the best available deal for your move-date.”

(source: http://theurbanavenue.com/dallas)

Wherever you happen to be apartment-hunting, you want to use resources like this to help you find the best possible options. Check out classified ads online and in local print publications. Ask around as well. There are sometimes rental opportunities that are unlisted, but if you get an idea of the local “spread”, you’ll likely find something which matches your needs.

  1. Know Gas And Electric Differences

Depending on your geography, this may not make a big difference. In Los Angeles, you’ve got to worry more about air conditioning than you do about heating. But if you do have gas or electric atmospheric controls, you’re going to have a different utility bill. You’re likely going to find that gas heating is less expensive than electric heating.

  1. Understand The Neighborhood And Cost Implications

Another example from Los Angeles, but worth considering: your neighborhood will affect both your cost of living, and your safety of living. Sometimes cheap apartments are that way because they’re in the middle of a high crime community. Sometimes they’re not centrally located, and the commute is high. But you can shoot yourself in the foot if you’re not careful.

Say you’ve always wanted to live in Hollywood because you’re some kind of aspiring performer. So you find an apartment for only $1,500 a month just off Hollywood boulevard. That’s actually not a bad deal at all. Sure, the apartment is a studio with a bed in the living room, an attached kitchen, a small bathroom, and nothing else. But it’s right in the middle of everything!

Meanwhile, just ten miles north of you, in San Fernando, there’s an apartment that’s three times the size, costs half as much, and is located in a less crime-ridden community. The catch is the commute. If you leave at the wrong time, or take the wrong route, it can take you two hours to travel that ten miles to Hollywood. What’s the solution?

Well, if you take the cheaper option north of town at $750, you’ll save $9,000 a year—in an expensive town like LA, you’re going to need that. It would be advisable to learn traffic patterns and adapt yourself to fit the more cost-effective situation. What’s the takeaway for you? Wherever you choose to live, know the neighborhood, cost, and travel considerations involved.

Also, know your own personal situation. If you’re a single guy, you’ve got a little bit more latitude than a newlywed couple, and newlyweds have more latitude than a family.

  1. Tour Multiple Properties

Don’t just take the first apartment which fits your price range, proclivities, and location needs. Look at five different apartments at least. Especially as you are on the hunt for a new living situation you’re going to have a temptation to settle. This may net you a bad lease, a bad deal, or a rough situation of some caliber that you’re stuck in.

A better way to go about it is to look at multiple properties and choose the best one. Find five that meet your qualifications, and go with the best deal in terms of location, neighborhood, utilities, and commute.

  1. Keep Copies Of All Paperwork

This is a strange one that you’ve got to be aware of today in the wake of Craigslist. There are going to be rental or room share or cohabitation opportunities out there which aren’t as “official” or “established” as that which was available in previous years. These are great ways to save money and get more for what you spend, but they’re also great ways to get stabbed unexpectedly in the back.

Imagine if you signed paperwork and paid a $500 deposit only to have the “landlord” of the property go “sideways” on you, demanding you do things that weren’t in the initial lease agreement. If you didn’t keep a copy of the agreement, you’re out of luck; it’s his word against yours, and he owns the property. If you’ve got a copy of the lease agreement, meanwhile, you can “keep him honest”, as the saying goes.

Getting The Best Apartment In Your Area

You can additionally check out this further list of apartment considerations to help you modify your search. It can be difficult to source a dependable rental living situation, but it isn’t without the realm of possibility. If you take your time, know what you’re getting into, scout multiple possible properties, and retain the paperwork after you decide, you’re likely to find a more dependable situation that will better serve your needs.

 

Probate Leads: Massively Discounted Properties in Your Market that You’re Not Getting… But Your Competition Is.

By Kristine Gentry, Ph.D.

VP of Innovation, US Probate Leads

“My market is crowded with investors and everyone is chasing the same deals.” That is usually what we hear when we first speak to a potential customer. They are often looking for a source of leads where there isn’t “so much competition,” and they are thrilled when they begin to realize we have a solution for them – marketing to probate properties.

Increasing Numbers of Properties Available at a Huge Discount

Baby boomers believed in collecting assets like real estate. Many are cash poor but asset rich. They often own property outright with no mortgage or at least have a lot of equity in their property. Often their homes are in great condition with only basic updates needed. We are entering a phase where baby boomers are passing their assets on to their heirs.

Generation Xers and Millennials, who are inheriting the assets of their parents, lived through the rise and fall of the 2007 bubble. They are often strapped with debt. When they inherit property from their parents, they suddenly find themselves responsible for paying all of the estate expenses with little cash to do so. Also, inherited property is often split between multiple family members, so offering $20,000 less on a property may only be a $5-10,000 loss per person. Since the heirs didn’t put money into the property, unlike a foreclosure or divorce, they are more interested in selling the property quickly than they are in trying to get as much money out of the property as possible. They want cash – quick.

Studies have shown that over the next 30-40 years, more than $30 trillion is projected to transfer from baby boomers to their heirs. This means that there will be a lot of properties passing through probate. Moreover, when property is inherited, most often the heirs will sell or transfer the title of the property within 18 months. Probate leads are a great and growing source for smart real estate investors.

Many Types of Properties Available in Probate

Real estate tops the list of probate assets that can frustrate heirs and impede the probate process. Anything from residential homes, to rental units, vacant land, office buildings, and even commercial property may be among the inherited property the Executor is left to negotiate.

Personal assets also generally fall into the probate property category. These include items such as valuable cars, heirloom pieces, pianos, jewelry, antiques, and other such pieces that may have been long forgotten or remain in state of familial limbo but still possess value.

Probates may also include business interests. More and more, heirs don’t want to be bothered with assuming control of the family business. And yet there is opportunity there as well.

A knowledgeable probate investor can work with the Executor, ease the burden of their job, and creatively get the family the cash needed to clean things up while creating their own income opportunity.

How to Get Probate Leads

The good news about probate is that it is public record and available at all county courthouses across the country. The bad news is that each county handles probate leads in a different manner. In some cases, it is a painstaking process of daily visits to the courthouse to manually collect probate data. In other cases, an individual can sort through public, county records that are available online. Either way, researching and collecting probate leads on your own is very time consuming and ineffective, which is why this source of leads is often overlooked. However, one company, US Probate Leads, developed around the need to make probate leads simple and easy to use. US Probate Leads has been walking people through this process now for over a decade.

A Probate Investing Program

US Probate Leads has literally taken the lead on providing timely and local probate filings to investors looking for a growing source of access to motivated sellers. We have a large team of researchers dedicated to doing the legwork of gathering and organizing probate leads so that you only have to buy and work those leads.

Investors can purchase leads at whatever level (25/50/100/250) they deem appropriate. Or, you can invest in a plan which provides you all of the leads available within a given county. A very affordable pricing structure and a guaranteed “in” as far as knowing what is available in probate filings, make this a wonderful opportunity for savvy investors. US Probate Leads’ flexibility is perhaps what makes their program most attractive. Getting in at whatever price point you’re comfortable with, and however many leads you can manage is certainly feasible.

Probate Leads Available Now – In Your Area

US Probate Leads has access to virtually any county in the United States, meaning regardless of where you live, you can start receiving leads monthly. Go to the US Probate leads site: www.usprobateleads.com, click on your state and get started. Or you can contact them directly at: (877) 470-9751. Now is the time to make your mark in this little-known niche – never before have more properties become available than will in the coming years.  Becoming a US Probate Leads subscriber could really be the start of a whole new future, a more lucrative career, and an exciting investment opportunity.

 

 

Having Trouble Finding “Good Deals”?: Use Probate Leads to Diversify Your Lead Source and Find Motivated Sellers

By Kristine Gentry, Ph.D.

We’ve all heard that the real estate industry is changing.  Investors often wonder – “How can I find properties worth investing in?” With more and more competition in the marketplace, challenges in getting loans, and cautious homeowners staying put, it can feel like it is impossible to find property that you might be interested in purchasing for your real estate portfolio.

What new and experienced real estate investors are seeing in the market is a fundamental change that may last for the foreseeable future.  Overall, the nation is experiencing a shortage in the amount of properties that are being put on the market, leading to a lack of leads.  This is creating increased pricing on homes that are for sale and issues in trying to build and acquire a real estate portfolio.

Does This Mean Real Estate is a Bad Investment?

In short, the answer is no. Real estate is not a bad investment and has proven to be a very good investment over time. However, investors are probably changing their investment strategy and looking at markets that still have “room to grow.” In addition to looking to new markets, some investors are looking to expand their source of leads.

Housing Shortage Equals Inflated Prices

Most economists will tell you that the biggest drivers in the market are supply and demand.  As you can imagine, decreased supply in the housing market means that pricing has skyrocketed, something that real estate investors simply cannot afford when they are looking for business opportunities. These historically high prices mean that people who are making less money have to spend more of the income that they do have on a home.

Surviving the Shortage as a Real Estate Investor through Probates

If you are interested in continuing to work in real estate, then you know something has to change.  Real estate investors have a limited amount of options when facing a market like this.  Some investors have simply moved on to other business opportunities, while others have succumbed to the increased prices, which have hurt their business and their balance sheets.  But, there is a segment of real estate investors who have found a profitable way to deal with the challenges of the housing shortage by finding a new source of leads.

While many investors are only looking at the traditional segments of the market – single family, residential homes that are for sale by families who want to upgrade that are listed on the traditional MLS-style forums – there are other homes on the market that can be purchased at a significant discount.  Properties owned as part of a probate are widely available and can be purchased for well less than comparable homes in the area.  In fact, there are an estimated 100,000 probates entering the market each and every month throughout the United States.

Probate properties are those homes, apartments, multi-family homes and commercial sites that were previously owned by an individual who has passed.  The local court then appoints an Executor to ensure that these homes and other properties are sold to take care of paying medical bills, funeral fees and other obligations.

Probates Provide Motivated Sellers

Once you start working in probates you will understand why Executors are motivated to sell their properties quickly and for a substantial discount.  Each Executor is responsible to the court to ensure that the assets of the individual who has passed have been liquidated in order to meet financial obligations and provide an inheritance to the individuals left in the family.

Executors not only feel the pressure to sell because of the court, many also feel the need to sell quickly because of other pressures.  While Executors can be a family attorney or an accountant, many times the Executor is a family member who has responsibilities of their own.  They may even live out of state and making repeated trips to show a home or apartment building can be nothing short of challenging.  Executors also understand that, in addition to time constraints, the home their family member owned may not be fully updated.  In addition, most Executors have to split the profits of the home sale with other family members. All of these conditions provide the opportunity for homes and other properties in probate to be purchased for a fraction of the current market value.

Finding Probate Leads

Now that you understand the value of having access to probate properties in this challenging economy, you may be wondering how to get access to them.  Many individuals who are starting a probate business decide that going to the local courthouse is the best way to look for opportunities in their area.  This can take time, as you need to allow for travel to and from the courthouse as well as time evaluating filings to see if there are holdings within the probate appropriate for your business.  As you can imagine, this can take away valuable time from your growing investment business, your family, and the job you currently hold.

There is a better way.  By using a professional probate lead service you can have up-to-date information and leads delivered right to your inbox on a weekly basis.  With no more trips to the courthouse, no time wasted looking at complex filings that are hard to understand, you will have more time to go out and evaluate properties and opportunities.  Unlike traditional leads in the current real estate market which can be nearly impossible to find and create the environment for high pricing, there are literally thousands of options for probate purchases each and every day. And, as Baby Boomers grow older, these leads will only continue to grow.

Build a Vibrant Real Estate Investment Business with Probates

Having access to leads on a regular basis means that you will be able to find success in probate real estate investing.  With time, patience and a carefully thought out business plan, you can be sure that having these leads will make an enormous difference in your ability to purchase homes and other properties at a favorable price. The key to success in probate is making sure you buy leads from a high-quality and trusted provider. Then, you must reach out to Probate Executors and continue to do so for a minimum of six months. This allows you time to truly work probates and to patiently await those Executors who do not want to sell immediately.

Probates also help you to diversify in that they are not limited to residential real estate. What you will find is that you may come across and Executor who has inherited apartment buildings, multi-family units, businesses, vacation homes, and even personal property, including antiques, artwork, and vehicles.  The variety and opportunity with probates is endless because there is always a supply of leads available.

The Most Reliable Source

Are you looking for a reliable lead source for all of your probate investment needs?  The experts at US Probate Leads offer the highest quality leads available on the market today.  Our certified lead specialists visit nearly every courthouse in the United States, constantly evaluating new probate filings and making those available to our investors.  In addition to our premium lead service, we also offer services that can keep you informed on the newest trends in the market. We can also work with you on your mailers to help you easily reach out to Executors. Contact our office today to learn more about our lead service, monthly newsletter, e-books, seminars, webinars and even our individualized mentoring program.  Contact us today to speak to one of our friendly, knowledgeable customer service representatives.

 

Kristine Gentry, Ph.D.

VP of Innovation

US Probate Leads

Email: sales@usprobateleads.com

Web Site: www.usprobateleads.com

 

 

Communicating with the Executor: Tips for Working Your Probate Leads

By Kristine Gentry, Ph.D.

While many real estate investors say probate leads are one of their best lead sources, there are still many real estate investors who are reluctant to get started in this business. One of the common concerns we hear from potential probate investors is that they are unsure of how to communicate with the executor or personal representative. As a refresher, probate leads are potential seller clients who inherit properties. They are often highly motivated to sell the inherited property for a variety of reasons.

If concern regarding how to communicate with the executor is holding you back, read on for some tips compiled from the experience of expert probate investors.

The first step is to determine your contact strategy.

We recommend mailing a formal letter as your initial point of contact, followed by similar letters or postcards every other month. The letter should be sympathetic. The reader has most likely recently lost a loved one and is in the middle of a very difficult time in his/her life. We recommend acknowledging the loss and the stress of being an executor. The letter should be reflective of you and your style but focused on the recipient. That is, if you are very formal, your letter should reflect that. However, if your style is more casual and laidback, it is alright to reflect that too. You do not want to present something that you are not in your mailings. Your message should reflect that you are here to help during this difficult time. Highlight that you can make the selling of a house easy, fast, and relatively painless.

The second step is to have a conversation with the executor.

Ideally, the executor will initiate the phone call after receiving your mailer. However, if you are not getting return calls, you may want to make phone calls yourself. They key to these calls is to be prepared to listen. You will want to let the executor do most of the talking and only guide the conversation with your questions. Many executors are in a particularly tough time in their life, and they need someone to talk to. If you can listen, you are providing something the executor needs, and you are on your way to developing the rapport that will be necessary to move this potential transaction forward.

The third step is to continue to build that relationship with the executor.

Understand the unique situation of the executor and determine if you are able to offer assistance in any way. Often times the executor does not live near the house. Offering to run by and check on the house, pick up the newspaper, or even mow the yard can be a huge help to the executor.

Once you have built a rapport with the Executor, you are well on your way to determining if this property is of interest to you, and you can proceed as you would with any other opportunity.

Persistence is Key

In the scenario outlined above, you have contacted the executor and have the opportunity to build a relationship. It takes time and persistence to actually be in this position. You will not receive a call from many of your leads. They simply are not interested in your help for a variety of reasons. However, if you continue to work the leads and are continually adding new leads to your pipeline, you will have success.

Having access to leads on a regular basis means that you will be able to find success in probate real estate investing.  With time, patience and a carefully thought out business plan, you can be sure that having these leads will make an enormous difference in your ability to purchase homes and other properties at a favorable price. The key to success in probate is making sure you buy leads from a high-quality and trusted provider. Then, you must reach out to the executors and continue to do so for a minimum of six months. This allows you time to truly work probates and to patiently await those executors who do not want to sell immediately.

Simplify Your Business

Are you looking for a reliable lead source for all of your probate investment needs?  The experts at US Probate Leads offer the highest quality leads available on the market today.  Our certified lead specialists visit nearly every courthouse in the United States, constantly evaluating new probate filings and making those available to our investors.  In addition to our premium lead service, we also offer services that can keep you informed on the newest trends in the market. We can also assist you with your mailers to help you easily reach out to executors. Contact our office today to learn more about our lead service, mailing service, and e-books.

Kristine Gentry, Ph.D.

VP of Innovation

US Probate Leads

Web Site: www.usprobateleads.com

 

 

Helping Others while Making Money in Real Estate

By Leon McKenzie, CEO, US Probate Leads

Are you looking for ways to do something meaningful with your life? Studies have shown that all of us, not just millennials, want a job that does good in the world. Helping someone who has recently lost a loved one is one way to do that.

Imagine this: Someone you loved has died suddenly. You find yourself the executor of their estate, and you are thrust into a situation where you must not only grieve the loss of your loved one, plan a funeral, but also take care of numerous legal and financial details to settle their estate. This on top of your already busy everyday life. Wouldn’t you want someone to be able to help you handle some of this work?

Now you, an expert in the real estate industry, are constantly looking for leads. Without a steady stream of properties to look at, it can be nearly impossible to meet your investment goals.  That said, there is an ongoing challenge in finding investment properties in the real estate market due to ongoing tightening on the supply side. You are also looking to do good in the world.

Probates Are a Meaningful Option

While no real estate investor should eliminate a lead source from their business as each of them can yield a gem, whether the traditional, new construction or foreclosure market, there is always room to add another option. Seasoned real estate investors, motivated by a desire to make money while helping others, are turning to probate leads.

While many people aren’t familiar with probate leads, they have been and will continue to be an ongoing source for leads. Probate leads are generated when probates are filed in a local courthouse and can be a great way to add to your options for your buying area. Included in probates can be a wide variety of investments. Having access to these leads is a great way to diversify your lead strategy and give yourself some additional options when looking for properties to add to your portfolio.

What probate leads offer is a way to diversify your lead strategy and include more than just one type of real estate listing. This option can give you ways to find lower priced properties that may have more flexibility in their terms.

What are Probate Leads?

Probates leads include information on property that is part of a legal filing after the death of a loved one. These cases include many types of property that may have been owned by someone who has passed on. This can include homes, vacation homes, cars, RVs, businesses, commercial property, rental property, artwork and other personal property. These cases are listed in each county after the death of a loved one where a probate needs to be filed and are controlled by the local court.

Generally, this property has to be sold in order to pay for medical, tax, legal, and funeral expenses. The court will assign an Executor to handle the sale of the property so that these obligations can be met and the heirs can receive any remaining funds.

By Purchasing Properties in Probate You Can Help an Executor

As part of an overall investment strategy, probate leads are valuable because they often come with very motivated sellers. Executors need to deal with the property that is in the probate filing in order to meet the court requirements. Many times, they need cash in order to pay bills that have been left after the passing of their loved one. Often they find themselves with a lot on their plate in order to settle their loved ones estate while going about their every day life.

Executors may feel lost and overwhelmed and do not have the time, energy, or desire to go through all the usual steps of getting a property ready to sell. They are likely to have just inherited a property that they do not want and that needs updates in order to sell for full price. Typically, the property has a lot of equity because the owner has been making payments for years, or the property may be fully paid off.  This creates a situation where the Executor may be willing to sell the property for a discount in exchange for being able to unload the property with as little work as possible and knowing that any profit is a gift they did not expect.

Finding property at a discounted rate in today’s market is a real challenge, and that is what makes probate leads such an important part of an overall lead strategy.  These properties may be available for thirty to fifty percent off of the market price and are generally available for a quick closing.

Probate Leads are Viable for Quite a While

New users of probate leads may think that the leads would have a short time on the market.  That is not the case. Generally it take some time for Executors to get all of the paperwork filed and to go through their loved one’s things before they are ready to sell. There is also the process of grieving, which can cause Executors to hold onto a property for a time before they are willing to sell it. With these parameters in mind, real estate investors who are looking at probate leads will find that Executors who are selling property may not be ready to sell for twelve months after the filing.  In many cases, the leads are still viable eighteen months after the passing of a loved one.  This allows for plenty of time for real estate investors to make contact with the Executor.

Probate Leads Include More than Residential Real Estate

For real estate investors who are looking to diversify their property portfolio, probate leads can be an excellent source of alternative investments.  While many people start looking at probate leads for discounts on residential real estate, what they soon realize is that probates can include a wide variety of other types of investments.  These can include businesses that are up and running, artwork, jewelry, personal property, furniture, antiques, cars, vintage cars, boats, RVs, commercial property, vacation homes, and rental properties.  It is important to ask each Executor what types of property they have for sale in their portfolio rather than just assuming that it is only residential property.

Get Access to Probate Leads Today

Using probate leads is a great way to find more leads in your area as a real estate investor.  With long term viability and Executors that are motivated to sell, and your desire to be helpful, you will see that probates are a way to quickly find discounted properties.  If you are looking for diversity in your lead package, then you can get access to probate leads easily and quickly by vising US Probate Leads.  We offer county by county listings of the probate leads in your area delivered directly to your inbox.  Each county in the United States is covered by our trained team of lead specialists.  Our team makes sure that you have the leads that you need in order to make your business grow.

Want more information?  You can visit us at www.usprobateleads.com today and get more information on our lead services or sign up.  In addition to our lead service, we also offer seminars, webinars, eBooks, software, and individualized mentoring for dedicated investors.  Contact us today for more information and learn how we can help you to meet your real estate goals.  Call now!

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When You Can’t Find Real Estate Leads, Look to Probate!

By Leon McKenzie

The real estate industry is changing. With more and more competition in the marketplace, challenges in getting a loan and cautious homeowners staying put, it can be nearly impossible to find property that you might be interested in purchasing for your real estate portfolio. Is there a solution? Is there a way to combat the real estate lead shortage that has permeated virtually the entire industry and has stalled your efforts at investing?

What new and experienced real estate investors are seeing in the market is a fundamental change that may last for the foreseeable future. Overall, the nation is experiencing a shortage in the amount of properties that are being put on the market, leading to a lack of leads. This is creating increased pricing on homes that are for sale and issues in trying to build and acquire a real estate portfolio.

Why a Shortage in Real Estate?

The shortage in real estate leads that is occurring in most areas of the United States is due to issues in the lending industry that started several years ago and that continue today. With it becoming more and more difficult to qualify for a mortgage, homeowners are holding onto their homes instead of buying and moving because they have no other option. Homeowners that want to expand their homes are simply adding on or remodeling to avoid the issues with lenders and the hassles in moving. This is leading to a painful shortage in the real estate market. The Philadelphia Inquirer agrees, “. . . Some observers believe they are seeing the emerging signs of a housing shortage. . . Predicting how much housing is needed involves a complex calculus that weighs hard statistics (new-home starts, sales of previously owned homes) against a certain amount of demographic tea-leaf reading (household-formation forecasts). Thus, there isn’t complete consensus on what will be enough.”[1]

As mentioned, while the overall interest rate is the lowest it has been in years, there are few people with good enough credit to purchase a home. When someone does decide to sell their home it is usually because they have to move for a job relocation or for another pressing matter, such as medical treatment or because they need to downsize – or they are in the enviable position of having good enough credit that they were able to secure a preapproval on a new loan to purchase a bigger home.

How does this create a shortage? Since lending is tight, fewer people can afford to put their homes on the market. That means that the availability of homes has decreased. To add to the shortfall, the slow economy has led to a construction slowdown, which means that fewer homes are being built to accommodate new communities and homes that are being torn down. Overall, this has led to a painful real estate shortage for much of the nation. The Sacramento Business Journal reported that, “One analysis of the region’s housing market thinks there’s just not enough for sale. Again. A shortage of inventory is driving everything in the residential market from pricing to rental affordability, according to Zillow. One reason for that is a lingering hangover for the building industry from the housing bust of the last decade, said Svenja Gudell, senior director of research with Zillow. Though the economy began to recover three years ago, housing construction is still lagging, she said. In 2012 and 2013, only 159 new home permits were issued for every 1,000 new residents, according to Zillow.”[2]

The overall lack of new homes available and the persistent challenge in getting a loan is creating issues for investors as they try to navigate few options and high prices.

Housing Shortage Equals Inflated Prices

Most economists will tell you that the biggest drivers in the market are supply and demand. As you can imagine, decreased supply in the housing market means that pricing has skyrocketed, something that real estate investors simply cannot afford when they are looking for business opportunities. The Sacramento Business Journal reported that, “For both renters and homeowners, Sacramento is now defined by Zillow as one of the 10 least affordable metro areas in the country. Mortgage payments here take up 26 percent of income, compared to 15.3 percent nationally. Though the percentage is lower than Sacramento’s historic mortgage payment percentage of 29.5 percent, Zillow noted buyers at the moment also tend to have lower median incomes.”[3]

These historically high prices mean that people who are making less money have to spend more of the income that they do have on a home. Realtor Magazine reported on the decreased inventory across the country and the increased prices, saying, “The inventory of existing homes is at its lowest level in seven years, while newly constructed home inventory has hit a 50-year low mark. Falling inventory is causing home prices to shoot up higher and faster than most analysts anticipated. The national median price of transacted homes was up 9.5 percent in August. Other price measures, like Case-Shiller and the Federal Housing Finance Agency price index, which look at price changes in sales of the same properties over time, have been rising as well, at double-digit annualized rates in recent months. Of course, not all markets are this robust. Phoenix is looking to notch a 25 percent gain for the year, while Chicago is just emerging from negative territory.”[4]

Surviving the Shortage as a Real Estate Investor through Probates

If you are interested in continuing to work in real estate, then you know something has to change. Real estate investors have a limited amount of options when facing a market like this. Some investors have simply moved on to other business opportunities, while others have succumbed to the increased prices, which have hurt their business and their balance sheets. But, there is a segment of real estate investors who have found a profitable way to deal with the challenges of the housing shortage by finding a new source of leads.

While many investors are only looking at the traditional segments of the market – single family, residential homes that are for sale by families who want to upgrade that are listed on the traditional MLS-style forums – there are other homes on the market that can be purchased at a significant discount. Properties owned as part of a probate are widely available and can be purchased for well less than comparable homes in the area. In fact, there are an estimated 100,000 probates entering the market each and every month throughout the United States.

Probate properties are those homes, apartments, multi-family homes and commercial sites that were previously owned by an individual who has passed. The local court then appoints an Executor to ensure that these homes and other properties are sold to take care of paying medical bills, funeral fees and other obligations.

Probates Provide Motivated Sellers

Once you start working in probates you will understand why Executors are motivated to sell their properties quickly and for a substantial – 30 percent to 50 percent off – of current market values. Each Executor is responsible to the court to ensure that the assets of the individual who has passed have been liquidated in order to meet financial obligations and provide an inheritance to the individuals left in the family.

Executors not only feel the pressure to sell because of the court, but they want to sell because of their own convenience. While some Executors can be a family attorney or an accountant, many times the Executor is a family member who has responsibilities of their own. They may even live out of state, and making repeated trips to show a home or apartment building can be nothing short of challenging. Executors also understand that, in addition to time constraints, the home their family member owned may not be fully updated. All of these conditions provide the opportunity for homes and other properties to be purchased for a fraction of the current market value.

Finding Probate Leads

Now that you understand the value of having access to probate properties in this challenging economy, you may be wondering how to get access to them. Many individuals who are starting a probate business decide that going to the local courthouse is the best way to look for opportunities in their area. This can take time, as you need to allow for travel to and from the courthouse as well as time evaluating filings to see if there are holdings within the probate appropriate for your business. As you can imagine, this can take away valuable time from your growing investment business, your family and the job you currently hold.

There is a better way. By using a professional probate lead service you can have up-to-date information and leads delivered right to your inbox on a weekly basis. With no more trips to the courthouse, no time wasted looking at complex filings that are hard to understand, you will have more time to go out and evaluate properties and opportunities. Unlike traditional leads in the current real estate market which can be nearly impossible to find and create the environment for high pricing, there are literally thousands of options for probate purchases each and every day.

Build a Vibrant Real Estate Investment Business with Probates

Having access to leads on a regular basis means that you will be able to find success in probate real estate investing. With time, patience and a carefully thought out business plan, you can be sure that having these leads will make an enormous difference in your ability to purchase homes and other properties as well as acquire them at a favorable price.

Probates are not limited to residential real estate, either. What you will find is that you can expand your investments to include apartment buildings, multi-family units, businesses, vacation homes and even purchase and resell personal property, including antiques, artwork and vehicles. The variety and opportunity with probates is endless because there is always a supply of leads available.

The Most Reliable Source

Are you looking for a reliable lead source for all of your probate investment needs? The experts at US Probate Leads offer the highest quality leads available on the market today. Our certified lead specialists visit every courthouse in the United States, constantly evaluating new probate filings and making those available to our investors. In addition to our premium lead service, we also offer services that can keep you informed on the newest trends in the market. Contact our office today to learn more about our lead service, monthly newsletter, e-books, seminars, webinars and even our individualized mentoring program. Contact us today to speak to one of our friendly, knowledgeable customer service representatives.

 

Sources:

[1] http://www.matrixrealestate.com/about-matrix/market-news/slowing-construction-could-lead-housing-shortage-experts-say

[2] http://www.bizjournals.com/sacramento/news/2015/03/30/inventory-shortage-is-hurting-sacramentos.html

[3] http://www.bizjournals.com/sacramento/news/2015/03/30/inventory-shortage-is-hurting-sacramentos.html

[4] http://realtormag.realtor.org/news-and-commentary/economy/article/2012/11/seeds-housing-shortage

 

House.

Want to Build Your Probate Business? You Need a Great Lead Source!

By Leon McKenzie

Today’s real estate investors face the uncertainty that a changing market brings. From issues with lending to interest rates and disclosures, building a real estate business can be a daily challenge – though one that can be met with hard work and a dedication to the industry. If you are building a real estate business, then you need to have access to all of the information that will help you to build your portfolio.

One of the key pieces of information that you need in order to create a real estate business is to have accurate information as to which properties are currently on the market. Having access to good leads is the single best way to ensure that you are finding the options that you need in order to beat other investors to the negotiating table and get a great deal.

Understanding that leads are a key component to building a real estate business is one thing. Being able to access them in a historically tight market is another thing completely. Current market conditions are making it nearly impossible to purchase a home using a traditional manner without completely overpaying for the property or having to compete with a long list of other potential buyers. This is simply not a model for success for a real estate investor.

Leads are the Way to Build a Profitable Real Estate Business

Not having leads can cause your business to stall in a way that can be truly detrimental over the long term. Karen Rittenhouse, an expert in buying and selling real estate said, “As an investor, the key fundamental element in the first level of your real estate investing business is creating systematic and consistent lead generation. If you are not focused on lead generation, you do not have a business, you have a hobby or a dream.”

Think about it this way. . . if you don’t have any way of knowing what is on the market, or get that information when it is too late and the price has been driven too high, then you will miss out on opportunities that could change your financial future. Timely, viable leads have to be an integral part of your real estate business if you expect it to grow. Otherwise, you will simply have a “hit or miss” strategy hoping that you find something that you can afford and that is available when you need it.

The experts at Realtor Magazine say it this way, “The sea change in real estate these past few years has made leads more valuable than ever before. . . Whether your overall strategy employs cutting-edge technology solutions, tried and true methods, or a blending of those, the end result should be to turn leads into business.” The value in real estate leads is that it opens doors of opportunity for you to purchase homes on a consistent basis, giving you a way to fuel your business.

Where Can You Find Great Leads?

If you have worked in real estate for any length of time, then you know that finding viable leads can be one of the hardest parts of the business and one that can cause a whole host of problems in taking your enterprise to the next level. The experienced professionals at Realtor Magazine said, “But most [investors] encounter problems somewhere in the process of moving from lead capture to lead conversion . . . In particular, lead conversion — that is, turning a received lead into a face-to-face presentation — is a frequently a source of frustration.”

While some real estate professionals can’t seem to meet with sellers, others find it difficult to find leads in the first place. There are opportunities to locate real estate leads by networking with others in the community, using social media, buying ad space or even using SEO tactics, but all of these require that the leads come and find you. You are putting information out that will help people to find a place they can sell their home. That doesn’t help you to move the process forward on your own end, though.

Finding Leads You Can Pursue

When you discover that advertising and networking simply won’t help you to move your business forward, you need a new plan, one that involves being able to act on your own leads. Getting those leads is the only stumbling block. Once you have them, you can move forward with communication campaigns that will provide you with a non-stop stream of opportunities to build a thriving real estate business.

Luckily, with the advent of technology, new lead sources have been developed that can help you to get information that can give you an edge. These lead sources, such as the one developed by the experts at US Probate Leads, give you instant access to lists of homes that may be available for sale due to probate. Delivered to your inbox on a regular basis, each of these leads has been tested to ensure that it is viable and timely.

Why Choose Probate Leads?

There are many reasons to pursue probate leads instead of traditional real estate market leads. With the aging baby boomer population, more and more homes are coming available that can be purchased for a significant discount. Why is this the new trend real estate investors are experiencing? When a loved one passes away, someone needs to take responsibility for dealing with all of the personal items, investments and property that the individual owned prior to their death. To deal with this issue, the court assigns an Executor, who has the right and responsibility to close out the individual’s financial dealings. The Executor is charged with the decision making ability to sell homes, personal property and close accounts in order to pay funeral bills, medical charges, close credit cards and distribute money to the heirs. This responsibility comes with the ability to sell property, which is the point at which they become a lead for a real estate investor.

The Baby Boomer Generation Will Provide Extraordinary Leads

The aging of the largest generation in the history of the United States will mean that there are more leads than ever for real estate investors. What characterizes an actual “lead?” According to writers at Realtor Magazine, they state:

“I believe a ‘real lead’ is someone who will take action in the next 30 days and has a defined need or void that can be clearly identified and filled by my service. Either they have a high level of exclusive commitment to me or I can get them to that level by meeting with me (and they’re willing to meet with me). Eventually, I learned to tighten my definition to anyone who would buy or sell within a year. Then I tightened even more to anyone who would buy or sell within six months, then 60 days, and finally down to my current demarcation. If I had done this from the beginning, I would have saved myself from a lot of mistakes, anguish, and lost income. Now, I’m not saying to throw the long-term leads away. Actually, let me put it as clearly as possible: Do not throw the long-term ones away! Today, we’re finding people in the search process much earlier than before because they’re out looking and shopping. We need to engage and connect with them.”

As you can see, a viable “lead” is one where the Executor is willing to sell their property in the short term. The reason that so many Executors are quick to sell is that they need cash to deal with the estate’s bills. These can include more than just the cost of the funeral, but also credit card bills, income tax, real estate taxes, estate taxes, medical bills, home maintenance fees and much more. In reality, Executors need investors who are willing to purchase their home quickly. That said, short term leads are not the only ones that are viable. While you may want an Executor to sell quickly, having leads that you can pursue over the long term will give you a constant stream of homes to evaluate to add to your portfolio.

Due to the need for cash, probates tend to sell not only quickly, but for a reduced rate. The reduced rates you can find as a result of good leads can save you from thirty to fifty percent on assets owned by the estate. With some careful research, you can find many opportunities within each probate to profit.

More than Just Homes with Probate Leads

While you may think that probate leads will only give you information about residential property that is simply not true. With probate leads, you can learn about many investment opportunities that are available in any given estate. These can include commercial property, such as warehouses, office buildings and restaurants; vacation homes that can be rented out for a profit and enjoyed by your family; and apartments and condos. Additionally, you can find businesses that are for sale that are currently running that will quickly add a stream of income to your family.

With probate leads it is also possible to create more than just a real estate investment business. There are many associated services that can lead to profits. Thinking creatively about how you use your leads may include starting an estate sale service and helping Executors to sell the personal items that have been left behind by their loved one. Using a lead service can also help you to offer rehabilitation services to commercial property owners. If you have experience in antiques, collector cars, boats, art, ATVs, RVs, model trains or personal watercraft, you can specialize in buying and selling these valuable items by using leads to locate them.

The Best Source of Leads

If you are serious about building your business, then the best way to do so is to get your leads from the nation’s best source. At US Probate Leads, we offer the highest quality leads in the United States. Our trained team visits courthouses in every county across the country accessing the most up-to-date and viable probate leads. This data is sent to you directly to your inbox each week, saving you the time, expense and hassle of going to the local courthouse and sifting through filing after filing.

In addition to our leads, we offer a wide range of supportive services that can help you to build your business. From software to books, e-books, webinars, seminars and even individualized mentoring services, we can ensure that your business grows and develops to meet your vision. Call us today to speak to one of our friendly, knowledgeable team members about leads in your community or other resources. Call now!

 

Sources:

http://www.karensperspective.com/100-ways-to-create-real-estate-leads/

http://realtormag.realtor.org/sales-and-marketing/feature/article/2011/08/what-lead-you

PROBATEfeatured

Probate Investing: Getting Inside the Mind of the Executor

By Sharon Vornholt

Today I want to talk about getting inside the mind of the executor. Most people know that probate investing is my favorite real estate niche of all. This group of sellers is very motivated to sell any property in the estate. Once you can understand the seller’s viewpoint, it’s easy to see that investors provide a much needed service to anyone settling an estate.

Who Is In Charge?

The terms executor and administrator are interchangeable. The term personal representative refers to either of the above. So what’s the difference?

The executor is named in the will by the deceased. In this case the deceased has specified who they want to be in charge of their estate. In the absence of a will the court will appoint an administrator. Both the executor and the administrator (also referred to as the PR or personal representative0 have the same duties and legal responsibilities. That person is the decision maker, so that is the person you ideally want to be in contact with regarding the sale of the property.

There are times however when one of the heirs will be the one to show you the property. This is generally because the personal representative isn’t available. Maybe they live out of town or they can’t be there for some other reason. This isn’t unusual, but you need to be aware that they cannot legally sell the property unless the heir is also the executor or administrator.

Get in the habit of asking the person contacting you if they are the executor. If they say no, ask what their relationship is (family member, heir etc.), and ask who the executor is and get their contact information.

The Typical Investor’s Mindset

If you ask the bulk of the investors out there why they aren’t working in probates, they will tell you that they feel uncomfortable since the property is being sold due to a death. Many will say they don’t know how to talk to those sellers; they don’t know what to say. Sometimes they will say probate investing is just plain “creepy”.

The truth of the matter is, these are just regular people that have a problem. They have an estate to settle that involves selling property. This whole process can be very confusing to the executor or administrator. They aren’t familiar with the terminology or the timelines. In addition to settling the estate, they have their own lives to get on with. They have jobs, families and other responsibilities. The last thing most of these people need is an unwanted property they have to sell. When you can show up as the expert, they will be so thankful for your help.

Once you understand your role and how you can help those folks selling the property, it’s easy to get inside the mind of the executor and understand how they feel and think.

Why do they put off Selling the Property?

There are two main reasons.

One is being overwhelmed. The executor is being pulled in a lot of different directions. Often times they just don’t know where to start. The other reason is all the “stuff” in the house. They have to decide how to dispose of all the personal belongings. I can tell you from experience that this is a gut wrenching experience.

Those were the deceased’s treasures. They were things they loved in many cases, but they have little if any value to the family. Family members will choose keepsakes, pictures and heirlooms and then there is … the rest of it. The family has to decide what to keep and what to dispose of. There can be a lot of guilt in the mind of the executor and the family members when it comes to disposing of personal belongings.

When you can step in and offer to finish this job for them you have just solved a huge problem for the executor and the heirs.

That is what investors bring to the table where estates are concerned. A solution to a problem that allows these folks to get on with their life.

Remember that in most cases they don’t want the property. They just want to sell it, settle the estate and move on. When you can help them do that, it changes everything for the seller. That’s why having a clear understanding of their viewpoint makes your job as an investor so much easier.

findingdeals

Finding Deals Through Probate & Eliminate Your Competition!

By Jimmy V. Reed

No matter who and where I have taught, the Million Dollars question has always been “how do you find a Deal”? Cause folks, without a deal, its just real estate. It doesn’t matter what area of investing you are in whether its buying, selling, or holding, it will always comes down to the numbers and do they work. So my goal is to show you what I believe is one of my top five ways to get a deal, and that is probate.

Probate is a guaranteed source of real and personal assets. We don’t always like to talk about it but there are two certainties in life, death & taxes and both are involved in probate. Our objective is the real assets i.e. real estate property that usually through a death ends up in a situation where taxes are due. It has always amazed me that 70% of Americans do not even have a will. While the other 30% do they may still own it in their name which means it is still going to go to probate.

I always encourage other investors to hold real estate in some sort of entity to avoid the probate process. This is why my partner and I decided to create a how-to training book on finding deals through probate. Our program is “The Hidden Treasures and Profits of Probate” In this book we teach 7 ways to buy probates.

The basic process to them all is getting to the Executor before anyone else can. The Executor is the person in charge of probating the will. They actually are now the seller who must satisfy not only the will but also the taxes owed on the estate or on the property. Most people with a will usually make a big mistake by making a relative or a friend their Executor. This is where we come in as Problem Solvers.

We help them by buying the property at a cash discount. In doing so we solve the tax situation and take the property as is solving the problem of having to repair it so it can sell. I can only give you the basics here, but in our manual we go in step by step details for all 7 methods of buying probates.

Remember the basic process is getting in and tracking down the Executor, and then the inventory lists, then we get the contact info. Then it’s off to the tax office for the assets to be tracked down. From there we use our tracking form and pre written letters to start the initial process of making contact. Once contact is made we use our conversation form to ask the right questions. Once we have all our info its time to make an offer. Understand the main goal of the offer is to offer just enough cash out of pocket to satisfy the courts and any debts. We can get very creative on the purchase price, what matters to the Executor is getting the money owed for taxes and removing the problem from them to you.

I hope this can open your eyes to the possibilities of doing what others won’t, yet it is a very simple and easy process to do in the Probate arena. And most of all, out of the 4 million probates in the courts right now, you would be approximately one of only 5% of investors out there who are working them.