Sending Letters to Owners (Guidance) - Posted by lamarr

Posted by lamarr on July 31, 2001 at 16:49:28:

Thanx for getting back to me so soon Matt. I think I must have omitted this in my original message, but these properties are all vacant and substandard. They’ve been inspected by the city and given this designation. At the Recorder’s office, they give you the assessed value of the land and improvements. I thought I’d throw out number’s 10-12% below this value. And say something like “I can close in 30 days” something to add or create motivation.

Sending Letters to Owners (Guidance) - Posted by lamarr

Posted by lamarr on July 31, 2001 at 15:21:09:

Hi gang!
Before anything, a very special THANK YOU to Jim in Florida; Your kind words really helped out, I needed a boost of spirit and YOU WERE IT PAL! OK, that aside, I’ve found what I think are a number of good candidates for “flipping,” I’ve been to the Recorder’s office and I’ve got the location of the owners. Now, where I’m looking for guidance on is here: Should I try to make an OFFER in this letter, cast a few arbitrary numbers into the water to entice a bite, or do I just use this as a way to let them know that I’m interested in the property? How strong should my interest show, I’m wondering if I should use a phrase like, “With your help, I INTEND TO BUY YOUR HOUSE.” Would this be “over the top?” I’m just itching to put these in the mail. I just don’t want to chase off a deal before I can make it. To all of our “Wisened Sages”, please direct my footsteps. And By the way, should your advice/guidance on a particular issue get the deal, I’ll need an address, to send you your $100.00 check! Thanks in advance.

Here is the letter I use - Posted by Tim Jensen

Posted by Tim Jensen on July 31, 2001 at 22:10:01:


Here is a copy of the letter I use. You may need to change some of the verbage, if you can’t pay cash. I like what Ed has to say. I try and keep the letter short and to the point.

Here it is:

July 31, 2001

Dear Mr. Bulaw,

I happened to notice that you own a property on 410 N. Henrietta in Rockford. I buy houses in that area and would be interested in purchasing yours.

As an investor, I can pay you cash and close in a matter of days. If we come to an agreement, I can handle all the paperwork and make all the arrangements. All you have to do is to show up to closing and pick up your check, thus you get a quick cash sale without any hassles.

If you are interested in selling please call me today at 815 558-4663 or e-mail me at I look forward to hearing from you soon.


Timothy Jensen

P.S. Respond by August 1, 2001 and I will pay ALL closing costs!

Re: Sending Letters to Owners (Guidance) - Posted by John G.

Posted by John G. on July 31, 2001 at 21:56:59:

I would keep the letter to a maximum of four paragraphs. If you include too much information they may be inclined to just file it away in the trash can.

Never mention price in the letter. There are too many variables to consider to even mention a price. And once you mention one, they will always remember the highest price said.

The purpose of the first letter(s) is to pique interest and determine the level of motivation and/or flexibility that the seller has.

Remember: keep it short and too the point.

John G.

Re: Sending Letters to Owners (Guidance) - Posted by Jim FL

Posted by Jim FL on July 31, 2001 at 19:07:05:

Thank you, for the thank you. It was no problem. Frankly, without the help, guidance and support of many different people, this websites participants included, much of what I have accomplished to date may not have EVER happened, both in my personal and professional life.
In fact, I’ll let you in on a little detail…I used to be in Law Enforcement, and my last few years I worked inside, as a Deputy Sheriff Corrections Officer.
So I do know what you are dealing with.
Being married to someone who is or was in that business is never easy.

Now, with that said, lets move on to your questions here.
Sending letters is a good idea, and maybe even calling these folks, or going to see them.
What you need to accomplish with this is initiating contact and starting up dialogue with them.
To mention any numbers at this point would be foolish, to say the least.
You need to first see if the property owners are interested in selling at all, and then what they NEED from the sale of this home.
What are there individual situations?
What if you went in and offered $20k to someone who did not NEED that much CASH, maybe only $5k?
you just lost out on a $15k payday.
Frankly, I also think the letter like Matt suggested below is not a good one for your particular situation.
It is a good letter in my opinion, if you are looking for L/O deals via FSBO ads and signs.
But, you mentioned these homes are vacant, and you found them thru public records.
So, mention that in your letter to the property owners.
Some will wonder right away anyway how you found them.
I’d make it a short, sweet, and to the point letter.
You want the property owner to know that you are asking if they’ll sell the home to you, and where to get ahold of you.
I may start out with something like this;

"Dear Property owner,
I noticed your property while looking through some public records the other day. I am looking to buy some homes in your area that make sense for me, and was wondering if you would be interested in selling at all.
If you are, you may contact me at xxx-xxx-xxxx and we can discuss what I may have to offer you.
If you are not interested in selling at this time, I apologize for the inconvenience.
Should your situation change, and you decide to sell this home, please feel free to contact me in the future.

John D. Homebuyer"

This way you give the seller a way to contact you, and yet, you are not too intrusive.

And after the first letter, followup with more, and perhaps phone calls, or post cards.

and, while you wait for them to respond or not to these mailings, market other ways.
NEVER shut down that marketing machine, EVER!
You will regret it, trust me. I learned the hard way.

Best of luck to you,
Jim FL

Re: POB 281, McARTHUR, OH 45651 - Posted by Ed Copp (OH)

Posted by Ed Copp (OH) on July 31, 2001 at 17:26:46:

No chain letters please.

The only purpose of the letter is to get you and the property owner talking.

If you try to make an offer in the letter, you run the risk of looking rather foolish. It is impossible to know what the seller needs without first talking to him, or her. I have met a number of people who, DO NOT NEED MONEY. How would you know that if you have not talked with them? Some of the people who do not need money also have no relatives to leave thier property to. How do you handle that one? There are a lot of little complications that you can not know about by just viewing public records or ads.

The best letters say nothing, or almost nothing. The only reason to send the letter is to make the contact, nothing more. A fellow who I will not name, gleaned my name from this site recently, he sent me some e-mails promoting something or other. In one of the e-mails he told me point blank that he had made 500 million dollars last year with this program. He even spelled out the numbers so that I would be sure about the dollars. Know what? I did not and do not believe him. His credibility is shot, with me. The point is that it is not a good move to talk about numbers until you have more information, I mean if this guy made $500,000,000.00 last year; then what does he need me for?

When sending letters I find that it is better to send a few too many, or too often rather than to try to talk numbers in the letter. I made a study a while back (just for me) and found out that over all that it was on the eighth attempt that I made several contacts that were fruitful. So what if I only tried five times?

Another thing that I like to do is to send letters on a regular schedule (mine), like perhaps every 8 days for five mailings, and then make some kind of change. I am still working on this one.

Good fortune (not luck) to you, and unlike some business people; I do take cash…

Re: Sending Letters to Owners (Guidance) - Posted by Matt B

Posted by Matt B on July 31, 2001 at 16:10:01:

Yep, I think you are trying to put too much into a letter. How can you know what to offer without talking to the seller and finding out what they’ll take, what the appraisal is, etc.? You also do not want to come across as an anxious buyer.

Here’s the letter I send out to FSBOs-
Dear property owner,

I recently noticed your ad for a property for sale. I would like to discuss with you the possibility of purchasing your house. I am an investor who buys homes to resell for a profit. If your house qualifies, even if you have very little or no equity, I would be able to offer you a deal where I would take over the payments on the house, guarantee all maintenance and repairs, pay the taxes and insurance and eventually buy the house from you.

If we can come to some agreement, I am able to move fast to relieve you of the payments on the house. I am not a real estate agent and am not affiliated with any real estate agency. I do not want to list your property. I am a private investor who buys houses and resells them for a profit.

I can offer you a FAST solution to the problem of a slow-selling house. In many cases, I am able to offer you close to the appraised value of the house. If you are willing to consider a lease option, I can move fast to take over the payments on your house, take care of repairs, maintenance, insurance, or any other expenses related to the house.

If we were to sign a lease option agreement, I will put a tenant/buyer in the property. This is someone who has been put through an intensive screening process by my company to make sure that they are able to actually buy the property at some point in the near future. I then work closely with this tenant/buyer to help them get qualified for a mortgage. It is in my best interest to deal only with quality tenant/buyers, because I make my money by actually selling the property, not by renting it out long term or charging you any fees.

The best part of this is that there is NO COST to you as the homeowner for this! As I mentioned, I make my money by actually buying the house from you and selling it to my tenant/buyer. I manage the property, take care of maintenance and repairs, make your payments, AND actually buy the house in the near future!

We do not want to deal with people who are only looking to rent and will not take care of the property. We deal only with people who want to become homeowners and do their best to maintain the property while they occupy it. Our tenant/buyers are put through an intensive screening process to qualify them for the houses that we buy and sell.

Even if our tenant/buyers do damage the house in any way, we guarantee in writing that we will repair any damages and bring the house back to the same, if not better condition than it was originally. We continue to make the payments on the house and replace the tenant/buyer with someone who is more qualified to actually purchase the property from us.

It is in our best interest to deal with only qualified, high quality tenant/buyers, because as I said, we make our money by selling the house, not by charging you fees. While we help our tenant/buyers get qualified for financing, we still maintain the property and pay all expenses related to the house so that you never have to bother with anything related to the house again. That is, until we call you up and tell you that it is time to come to a closing and collect your check.

We can offer you all this even if you have very little or no equity. Even if you have had trouble selling the property in the past, we can help.

Give us a call today!


Send me an e-mail and I’ll let you know where to send my $100 check, Lamarr.