Probate leads intimidate some real estate investors. There’s more legal processes involved and for many, they are afraid they’re going to offend the heirs of the deceased. To each their own… but probate leads are some of the BEST leads out there and we’ll explain why here in just a moment.
What is a Probate Lead?
Probate is, to put it simply, the formal legal process that occurs once someone has died. The decedent’s debts are settled and any property thereafter is legally passed onto their heir(s) and many times, their property includes a personal residence.
If there’s a will and the decedent’s property is subject to probate, the executor of the will can start the probate process in the courthouse of the county the property is in. If there isn’t a will, someone can ask the court to become the executor of the estate. This is usually a family member of the decedent.
Why they Make Sense for Real Estate Investors
Sellers going through probate often times have different motivations compared to your normal motivated seller. They aren’t behind on payments or have a house that needs so much repair that they can’t afford to fix it up. Most people in a probate situation have no use for the house as they already have a personal residence and can’t keep up with another property.
This makes them very motivated to sell.
Mailing lists that contain properties going through probate aren’t cheap, but they can bring in a higher conversion rate than other lists you can purchase.
Some executors of the estate (the heirs oftentimes) live hours away from the property. Others can’t keep up with the mortgage payments if the house isn’t owned outright. As a real estate investor, you can provide a solution in a quick and respectful manner.
Understanding Their Situation
Everyone reacts to a family member passing differently. Some mourn for months, while others want to close the door and have their lives return to normal after a while.
What some people don’t realize though, is that probate doesn’t usually start right away.
There may be a few months in between the person’s passing the probate process even starting. Keep this in mind when sending out any mail as they’ve had a decent amount of time to grieve and many times, are now ready to get everything settled.
You should be respectful in your message but make it clear that you can help them out if they’re looking to sell the property quickly in “as-is” condition.
Just like with any motivated seller, they might not be ready to sell when they see your letter the first time, so you should send follow up letters every month or two so that your name is thought of when they’re ready to sell.
Nurture the Lead
If you talk to a probate lead and they tell you that they aren’t ready to sell yet, ask if you can keep them on your mailing list so that when that time comes, they might reach out to you. As you continue to follow up past the 6 month mark, start spreading out how often you’re sending direct mail out.
Probate leads can perform well compared to other lists but real estate investors need to understand how to handle them. They won’t always be the cleanest deal, but they’re oftentimes one of the most motivated leads you’ll find.