Preforeclosure Cold Calls: Do or Don't?

Preforeclosure Cold Calls: Do or Don't?

I went to my county's superior court website. There are thousands of people in the foreclosure mediation process. The online-available court documents reveal homeowner name and address. I get their phone numbers from the with this information.

Has anyone here been successful cold-calling preforclosure owners?

I called four preforclosure owners last night. Results:

Owner 1 - Left a message: "Hi I'm Pedro. Live in Manchester. I might be interested in buying the property at [address here]. Are you interested in selling it? I so please call me at [my phone # here]."

Owner 2 - Not interested in selling house.

Owner 3 - Phone number no longer active (disconnected service).

Owner 4 - Owner says, "I'm sitting on the sofa with my dying wife. No, I don't want to sell my house. Thanks for asking though." Did not know how to respond to his statement. Threw me off guard. My wife later told me, "call him back and see if there's anything we can do to help. Make them a meal?"

That was the last call I made for the night. I'd just like to know:
Am I wasting my time here?
Has anyone found motivated sellers via cold calling?


Nobody with preforclosure

Nobody with preforclosure owner cold-calling experience around here?

I personally has never tried

I personally has never tried it but hey, you never now, that's thinking outside the box right? I would still try and if I called...say xxx amount of times with negative responses, then i'll probably stop. If they have email addresses, then I would also try that too. Good Luck and don't ever give up!



"A Winner Never Quit And A Quitter Never Win!"

D'Angelo - Thanks for

D'Angelo - Thanks for Encouragement

At this point I'd love to find out about someone who has succeeded with this strategy. I'll make calls till I'm blue in the face if I know there is a chance of success. There are SO MANY PREFORCLOSURES OUT THERE! I used to think not, but they are littering the court records!

I do probably need to adjust my approach over the phone. Right now I am simply asking the owner if they are interested in selling the property because I may be interested in purchasing it. I'm just looking for a 'yes', at which point I can go into options with them.

I've called to date as of this post 7 preforclosure homeowners. I've spoken to 3. All 3 have said no to selling. The others calls are either voice messages left or disconnected phone #s.

Anyone else with

Anyone else with experience/advice?

cold calls

I would keep on trying, you never know if someone is ready to sell..Just remember they are just as nervous and down on their self for being in that position. Like Dean has said over and over again, Make sure its all about them and how you get them from where their at in to a better position in life. You may even help them find a better home that can afford.
Keep trying, YOU might have to make a hundred calls but it will be worth it!!!!!!!


I've never tried cold calling but am interested to hear if anyone has and what tips they may have for you. We send letters. If they tell you they are making an effort keep their property and trying a loan modification you could wish them the very best with it and ask them to let you know how this goes for them. Then let them know you would like to follow up with them in 2-3 months. When you are sincere about this they want to talk to you down the line if they need your help. You could follow up with a letter and maybe include your business card for them to keep until then. A loan mod usually takes 3-4 months.

I wish you the very best with this.

SPR Property Solutions, LLC

We Have had Success on Cold Calls

We have had success on cold calls, but on the probate/estate side of the box.
The reason we stay on this side is because there can more motivation to sell if a spouse is gone, or a parent, & the heirs live out of the area. This way they don't have to worry about taxes, insurance, repairs, tenants, or vandalism. Also, usually the elderly people have little to no mortgages & have bought the homes long ago & paid less for them. As for pre-foreclosures, usually they have been purchased at the height of the market & are way up-side-down on the mortgage amounts vs FMV. Plus, a lot of people will ride our the system & stay in the house for free until foreclosre is completed because it can take 1 to 2 yrs before they are forced out. Either way, stay confident, professional & understanding when making the calls; & remember that the acceptance rate will be a very small percentage, so you will have make many calls. We have even had people call us 1 or 2 yrs after to make deal on their property, so stay commitited. Gary/Jill

gceriani - Question & Comment: )

Your post is VERY accurate on the preforclosure side. I am seeing what you are describing: a lot of owners going through preforclosure are upside down on their mortgage. Even if they wanted to sell, it wouldn't be a bargain buy. The banks are now trying to short sale a lot of these preforclosures at market value. After reading your post I've done some research on probates. I must say it makes sense to cold call probate heirs more than preforeclosure home owners. Heirs will likely be motivated to sell the real estate fast. I will probably call both preforclosures and probates to see which one brings more success.

I did some research on how to find probate properties. It seems I have to go to the local town courts and ask for a list of wills going to probate? This will give me the decedents (dead person) information along with property info?

How have you accomplished this? Can you share your strategy? I'd like to give it a try as well.


What I have found is that these people are usually in a state of denial. They are waiting for something great to happen and save their home.

The best way is to go and knock on their door. Introduce yourself and tell them you help people through situations when they are facing foreclosure. Let them know that you are only there to help find a solution. Be straightforward honest and have much sympathy for them. Let them talk and cry and basically get all their emotions out. IT is a very emotional situation for them. Ask them what their solution to what they are going through. Explain if you can how the foreclosure process works in their state like how long it takes and how long they have left before their home is taken.
Then tell them what you do and how you are able to help people in their situation.
Tell them if the bank takes their home their credit will be ruined for as much at 10 years. If you are able to help them they can get things back together and be able to buy again in a couple years.

Tell them to talk about it and call you. Tell them even if they just need to call and express their emotions of what they are going through to give you a call. They need a friend first and them someone to solve their problem.





Remember too these people are getting many many letters from investors everyday and they are probably to the point where they just throw the letters away. You have to be different to get their attention. Go knock on their door. If they don't answer leave them a handwritten letter on their door letting them know you came by to see if you can help them with their situation.




Cold calls vs. letters


First off, GREAT POST! You might want to share with others on the site how exactly you go about finding their pre foreclosure information because it will help others see exactly how to get to that information when they look up their area.

I always send hand written letters and post cards first. I always do this and then after two or three direct mailings, I will call them not unless of course they call me back after reading one of my cards or letters.

It's easier to build rapport and break the ice with people in this type of situation after you have sent them something letting them know you can help them out plus it will give you something to reference when you call.

"Hello, my name is Gary Rabatin, I sent you a few letters and a post card about wanting to buy your house. Are you interested in selling it for cash?" This has been great for me.

All you can do is just make the offer and follow up down the road if they are not interested in selling initially. They will ask you the following:

- Are you an agent?
- Are you with the bank?
- Are you a creditor?

- How did you get my number?
- Who do you work with?

- Or something extreme like the situation you disclosed earlier about the gentleman's dying wife.

* You just have to anticipate anything and everything and as long as you have the heart of a teacher and are compassionate and understanding, you will be able to built rapport with people which will allow you to get the needed information from them you are seeking.

Great post again!

Have you ever sent any letters to people in pre-foreclosure? If not, feel free to use mine. Best of luck.


Gary Rabatin
Certified Cash Flow Consultant
Founder & President of Gold Bar Funding Group L.L.C.
Private Real Estate Investor
"Building Wealth by the Numbers"


Remember too that they are getting letters (maybe phone calls too) from attorneys, REA's and investors especially in the beginning. As sistreat said they are in denial also afraid, sad, angry, ashamed, frustrated, overwhelmed etc., etc. Follow up with them again in a few weeks as many people that send letters send only one and they've probably thrown them away. When they've had time to think more about their situation your next call or letter will arrive to them.

Keep us posted on how this works out for you.

SPR Property Solutions, LLC


Depending on your town or county, it might be on the web. 1st we go to the county clerk's web site & put in probate in the document spot & go back only about 1 month. Then we scroll down looking for real property (houses, which will have the legal description (lot & block) in them. Make a list of those in your area or the area you are interested in...while there you can pull up the document to view the heirs, addresses, the percentage splits between them,
& the trustee. Then we go property appraisers web site to see when the house was purchased, how much, size, beds/baths, upgrades/permits,taxes, to be able to comp the property. Also check to see what name/address the county/town is sending the taxes. This would be your contact person. Now with all that info,
you can determine what price you would offer so as to obtain a great deal & still help the family out. Then as I stated before you can either draft a letter and/or cold call if the phone number is available. Hope that helps. The
letters are good because they can re-read & think about it without "sales pressure" & have them call you. We usually get about a 70% response to the letters, but only a very small percentage of purchases because the heirs sometimes believe the property is worth a lot more (they're thinking of 2005/2006 prices). REMEMBER, if you get only 1 deal, that's 1 deal more than you have now, & lets say you made 10K for writting a dozen letters & making
phone calls...I think that's pretty damn good when you break it down to the time involved. If anyone needs any assistance, send me a PM. Gary/Jill

Great Post!

Great post and great subject!

Just adding two things....I agree that most people going into foreclosure are in denial. I had two co-workers in my office no-less, who lost their home or are in the process of going into foreclosure and they wouldn't really listen to me at all. Maybe because they know my through that job and don't believe I know anything about real estate, I don't know. One waited until one week before the move-out date to find an apt.!

Also, I met someone recently who is doing a whole marketing campaign with post cards and her coach says it's 95% marketing and 5% response. You're totally on the right track, just don't think the system is failing because you get a bunch of people that are not interested. You will probably have to make a lot of contacts.

Good work!

Whenever a seller tells you

Whenever a seller tells you something like they are on the couch with their dying wife, the only thing you can do is apologize for bothering them and ask if it's ok for you to follow up with them in a few weeks, but you really want to see them through this situation especially under the circumstances.

Usually when you handle a call like that they will be more likely to speak with you later when you call back.


Bird Dog Training We have free webinars on Bird Dog Training. Sign up now to get trained on becoming a successful bird dog.
Sell your House
Stop Foreclosure Now
Charlotte Wholesale Properties

Thanks for stopping by - I think you're right

I am overwhelmed with excitement about the # of preforclosures out there. There is a crisis going on that just doesn't come through in the news (I rarely watch news), but when you see how many folks are going through foreclosure mediation (trying to work with a lender to stay in the house) it is unbelievable.

Sis, I think you are right about these folks being in denial. If bank's gonna take the house WHY NOT SELL IT? Don't know the answer to that question, but I will find out by talking to more preforeclosure folks.

Last night I find a preforeclosure home near my area. Phone number disconnected, so I drive by the house to take a look. Owner is in the building watching TV! Can't afford to have the phone service remain on, but can afford to watch TV??? I am planning on sending a letter to see if I can open communications up there.

I find a beautiful home on the same street. Built 2005. 2K sqft with a fore-sale sign on the yard. For some reason I decided to find the name of the homeowner through the reverse address search. Got the name and decided to search the preforeclosure database against the homeowner name. I discovered they too are going through foreclosure mediation! Two houses on the same street. Around here I never thought that would be possible, but it's true. So I sent message to the listing agent to see what the deal is on the property.

Got a call from a RE agent today who represents a family going through foreclosure mediation. Agent sounded desparate to get an offer. I emailed her this:
"Hi Sheryl,

I got your message.
I need to know the lowest cash offer the seller is willing to accept within a 30-day closing period otherwise we risk possibility of offending you and the sellers.

If nothing else comes to the table I have your offer, I'm the last go-to guy for the sale.

She emailed back this:
"I will check on that and get back to you--Thanks"

I don't expect anything from this. They are asking 400K on a 5BD/4.5 bath 5K sqft home in a rich neighborhood. Comps are around 500K, but they aren't getting offers. Unsure why. If they come back with lowest cash acceptable offer below 300K then i'll take a further look and post it up on craigs list for 50K more than the sale price to see if anyone bites.

I'm starting to realize that this RE investment business is a marathon not a sprint race. I'm fine with that as long as i'm building towards a successful sale.


Sistreat - The reason I decided to cold-call is because I assume many preforeclosure homeowners are getting a lot of investor letters. I'd rather talk to a person over the phone rather than wait for a respons to a letter. Unsure this is an accurate or successful approach, but I can do both.
I'm not comfortable yet knocking on doors of preforeclosure homeowners. Is that safe? Is that respecting their space? I'm unsure. Your thoughts?

A little empathy wouldn't hurt...

Keep in mind that while these people are desperate and going through tough times, they still are people and have pride and at the least want to be respected. Saying something like;

"Hello Mr Jones my name is $$#@$. The reason for my call is that I assist individuals who are having temporary financial issues.

How are you doing???(Allow them to respond)

I don't expect an immediate answer nor will I make an offer and insult your intelligence; what I would like to do is perhaps set up an appointment with you, perhaps over lunch, to discuss options I may have that would benenfit you first

I am a firm believer in keeping things short and simple and to the point in the first sentence; from there you can elaborate in the way that is easiest for the client to understand and digest. Most important is saying things in a way that convey they first will benefit from this. They know you're trying to make money, but if they feel like they aren't getting crapped on and can honestly feel the difference you can provide for them, they'll comply

Hope this helps

Goldbar - How to find the Preforeclosures

Hi Goldbar,

This is what I do to find preforeclosure homeowners:

1. Google this: "[enter county name here] superior court housing session". This should bring up a list of links that point to the superior court housing session website for the county of your choosing. Go to the website. You want to look for a case-lookup search button or page that can give you docket numbers, case numbers and court schedules. I can't give specifics because every county uses a different database or method for listing their case information online, so my method will vary from yours. Some counties have this information available online, which is WONDERFUL. Other counties do not, which is a DRAG.

For example: I cannot search probate records online. This means I have to put in quite a bit more legwork to find potential probate deals compared to preforeclosure deals, which I can find easily 10 in my area A DAY just by sitting at my computer for free.

If you reach the schedule of court events it will have all you need: Homeowner name, address, when they were summoned to court with a foreclosure notice, when they entered foreclosure mediation, if mediation is being extended or if it has expired. If it has expired they better be selling that house soon or the bank will gobble it up and their credit report will look like dog doo. Listen, if anything gets confusing (which it surely will and does) just call the superior court phone number. Ask a human being you are trying to find the housing session cases. You want to see the foreclosure cases currently in mediation. Someone should point you to the right direction like they did me. If you get someone rude on the phone (sometimes can happen - cranky people having bad days) just thank them for their time and call again to speak with someone else. Ask. Ask. Ask! It's their job to help all callers!

You can also ask me. If I have successful experience I will share it. Otherwise I will not speculate on what does or does not work. I believe listening is more important than talking. Especially in cases when I'm new.


I called my town probate court. They tell me the records are not available online, only at the court. This seems to be the case for other towns in Connecticut. This will mean legwork to find the probate leads. Maybe that means less competition than preforeclosures.

In cases where you need to go to a physical building to get your probate leads:

Do you make copies of documents available or just write down the addresses, heirs, the percentage splits between them,
& the trustee on a pad?
Can they copy this information for you on request?
Do they charge for this?

Thanks in advance for sharing your successful experience!

Hi Eric

I'll pursue if I can get 5K assignment fee for it. Otherwise, I'll pass.
It's only a deal if I can find an end-buyer.
I just don't know of any buyers at this time who are in the 300K cash-purchase level, which means I'd have to find one on short notice. There are no shortages of buyers out there, but I wasn't initially looking for buyers who operate at that level.


1st of all, what city/county/state are you looking in ? We will research & let you know what we find...we have had fellow DG'ers tell us they can't find info in their county(different states) & we find some info. Please keep in mind some counties have a service that enables you to obtain more info than the general public(title companies use this & there is a small fee, around $50 or so). ALSO, PRE-FORECLOSURE is when the bank files lis pndn,(law suit
for non-payment) & begins the legal process. The homeowner can only sell the house for the amount owned on the mortgages, unless the get bank approval for a SHORT SALE, when the bank will take less than what's owed...remember even if the owner accepts a certain sale price, it MUST BE APPROVED by the bank. This process could take 3 MONTHS to 9 MONTHS to close, because the bank isn't in any hurry because the property is not in their "red ink" column yet, so from an accounting stand point it is not a bad loan. It does not become "red ink" until the legal process is completed & the house goes to county sheriff's sale & if not sold at county auction, goes back to the bank. Now it is a REO, & the bank's asset manager has it listed with a RE broker & sold. We have bought many properties at county auction back when the judgement amounts were less than the FMV...NOW, the judgements(the total money the bank is out, default on mortgage,late fees,interest,legal fees etc.) are always MUCH, MUCH more than the FMV. Gary/Jill


Mainly, I'm looking in city/county/state = Manchester/Hartford/Connecticut.
Neighboring towns I am also looking at within the Hartford county area are:
South Windsor
East Hartford

On chasing the preforeclosures:
I'm operating on two assumptions;
1)Owner wants to walk away from the property for the balance owed on the mortgage. Additionally, the mortgage balance + repair costs must not exceed 70% of the ARV price the house can market for.
2)Bank just wants to recoup the remaining balance on the property + any missed mortgage payments.

In above situation I would be looking to assign the property to another end-buyer.
If the deal does not have 30% equity built in then maybe I can do a lease-option with the owner and sell to tenant-buyer. There are a lot of those out there too that I've spoken with.

I have some knowledge. Cash buyers list. Tenant buyers list. Now I'm trying to find some motivated sellers. I've yet to complete a deal. I am a landlord though with steady tenants.

If I can ask: How many probate sales have you successfully completed?


I'll let you know what dollar amount the agent comes at me with. I'll find out what date they need to sell by. I'll shop it around here and if no biters I'll pull you in. I'm fine doing a 50% assignment fee split if you got the buyers with an interest and the cash.

I've seen pictures of the place. It's gorgeous with an indoor pool. The taxes in the place are just astronomical - 13K/year. It's relative though. Folks with 300K in cash or money to live in those homes probably don't think 13K/year is a big deal.


Regarding #1 :I think it will be difficult to find an owner that will walk if the pay-off/repairs do not exceed 70% of market value. In most cases, if they're in default, the house is usually up-side-down.#2: Banks will usually accept 50% of the loan amount(if short sale) & as much as 30% of the judgement amount(REO)...Lease Options are great if they will walk & are not too far behind in their payments.(Classic Greg Murphy-A to B to C). We have 174 entries on the county clerk's web site, between us personally & our corporation, but I believe there were about a dozen probates. BTW, when we lived in NJ, our house was 6500 sq ft. living area & the taxes we $8300/yr (9yrs ago) & after we sold it they went up to $ 17K/yr & no matter how much cash you have it still ****es you off to pay those kind of property taxes.

Just Signed Another Probate Contract

We just signed another contract that Jill found cross-referencing probates & properties listed for very long periods of time(about 365 days). House was originally listed at 100K, then dropped to 84,900, then 79,900, then 69,900...we offered 41,500 & it was accepted. We close next week. Gary/Jill


Fascinating. What are the house specs??
Let us know how the close and resale goes.

Have you found any online probate databases in my area?


Thanks, it is a 2 bed/1.5 bath/1 car garage with additional den, eat-in-kitchen, & screen porch. About 1200 sq. ft. living area under A/C...As for Hartford County; not an easy web site to navigate. We have only found what foreclosures are going to county auction, we can't find any probates. Now they do have a spot where you can log in, if your a subscriber...maybe there is where additional info is, you would have to contact the county to see. Here it's about $ 50 fee for the access.


Do you pay for access in your county to get this additional information?


We have the access code for the additional info, but I got the code from my title company so it doesn't cost us anything. This is part of what Dean teaches, about the assembly of your team. But if you are going to concentrate just in that area it might be good to have...