Your Key to Finding Motivated Sellers

Finding sellers in a  small town
Finding sellers in a  small town

Learn how to find and contact motivated sellers to generate leads even during low- inventory periods. As the market shifts, so should your lead generation strategies. Knowing how to find motivated sellers is essential during dry times.

What Are Motivated Sellers?

Motivated sellers are homeowners ready and willing to put their house on the market.
They either want to sell or need to sell. There are two basic categories of motivated sellers: active and passive.

Active Motivated Sellers

Active motivated sellers are eager to sell and have already taken steps toward selling.
They might have started searching for an agent, called wholesalers or cash buyers, or tried selling on their own.

Passive Motivated Sellers

Passive motivated sellers want or need to sell but haven’t taken any action yet. Reasons vary from not knowing how to start, health issues, fear of selling at the wrong time, or previously failed attempts. Real estate agents need to guide active sellers to closing and motivate passive prospects to start the process.

But how can you find these leads?

10 Ways to find Motivated Sellers

1. Use Probate Sales to Find Motivated Seller Leads

Probate sales, where a home must be sold to settle a deceased person’s estate, can be both easy and lucrative. Though it might seem morbid, it’s often an underutilized niche.
Here’s how to find probate leads:

  1. Check obituaries in local newspapers and match names with property records.

  2. Watch for estate sales on Craigslist and

  3. Access probate records at your local judicial district court, many of which are online.

Approach these leads sensitively. Offering a free market analysis is a non-intrusive way to start a conversation and demonstrate your value.

2. Hold Events for Potential Seller Leads

Building relationships through in-person events can yield motivated seller leads. Even small events can be effective:

  1. Piggyback on local events by providing something like free lemonade at a charity run and offering a local housing market report.

  2. Host a banquet featuring regional food or a themed party, inviting people from your neighborhood.

  3. Offer free workshops or webinars on topics like preparing a home to sell quickly or maximizing property value.

    Collect contact information at these events for follow-up.

3. Target Distressed Sellers

Distressed sellers urgently need to sell due to debts, foreclosure, or emergencies. Here’s how to find them:

  1. Drive for dollars: Look for homes in disrepair, a sign of distressed properties.

  2. Search online: Use sites like or

  3. Target expired listings: Filter your MLS dashboard for expired listings, as these sellers may still be motivated.

4. Reach Out to FSBOs (For Sale By Owner)

FSBO leads are usually warm leads. They might realize the difficulty of selling on their own and be ready for an agent’s help. Find FSBO listings on sites like or Zillow. Gather information and reach out, showing your competence and readiness to assist.

5. Work With Divorce Leads

Divorce leads can be challenging but profitable. Partner with divorce attorneys or lenders specializing in divorce cases, or use public divorce records to identify potential sellers. Targeted ads on social media can also help.

6. Assist with Relocation Services

Corporations and government agencies often relocate employees. Partner with movers, storage facilities, or HR teams at large employers to offer relocation services. This can provide a steady stream of motivated sellers.

7. Network with Real Estate Investors

Real estate investors seek distressed properties and quick sales. Attend local real estate investment meetings, join online forums, and participate in networking events. Offer your expertise and collaborate on deals to build connections.

Use social media advertising to target motivated sellers. Platforms like Facebook and Instagram allow targeted ads based on demographics and behaviors. Create compelling ads and direct users to a landing page for more details.

8. Leverage Social Media Targeting

9. Handwrite Letters

Handwritten letters to distressed property owners can make a personal impact. Craft a compelling, empathetic message and personalize each letter. Include a call to action, such as scheduling a free consultation or visiting your website.

10. Use Market Leader’s HouseValues Leads

Market Leader’s HouseValues leads capture prospective sellers early. Potential sellers request a free home valuation and provide their contact info, which is then sent to you exclusively. This service offers a predictable number of exclusive leads each month, ensuring your business remains steady during market shifts.


Finding motivated sellers is crucial for maintaining a steady stream of leads, especially during low-inventory times. By exploring probate sales, hosting events, targeting distressed sellers, and leveraging social media, you can uncover a wealth of motivated seller leads. Additionally, using services like Market Leader’s HouseValuescan provide a consistent flow of leads, ensuring your business thrives even in challenging market conditions.