Why Occupied Houses Suck

After 1,000+ houses in my real estate wholesaling career so far, I’m going to state a fact that is true in all circumstances. Wholesaling occupied houses suck.  I wish I didnt have to say that. But I said it. When you’re hunting down motivated home seller leads, be wary of a few drawbacks to these properties.

Occupied Houses Are 20% of Your Deals

Here’s the occupied suckfest rundown: I don’t get very many owner-occupied houses, but when I do, it’s a challenge.

Owner-occupied sellers are the most attached to their home. They don’t like the idea of people (buyers) tromping through their house. There’s definitely an emotional connection between people that still live in their homes, and people that don’t.

They feel like they have to tell you, and your buyers, everything that they’ve done to improve the house over the last 20 years. They feel embarrassed if the house is a mess. They talk your ears off. And for some reason, they feel like you’re not telling them something. Definitely don’t turn them away before digging a little deeper, but quite often, they’re not quite the motivated home seller leads you’ve been dreaming of. Before you get stuck in cases like these, it can be useful to know a few keywords for identifying motivated sellers. These people who are in love with the homes they live in and don’t want to leave probably aren’t who you should be going after.

Tenant Occupied – YIKES!!

wholesaling occupied houses

I could tell you some stories about tenant-occupied houses.

I’ll try to keep it short and simple and tell you that they are a pain in the buttocks. You scanned your motivated home seller leads and found a great seller who wants out. But then they tell you, the place is tenant occupied. What’s wrong with tenants? They’re not very accommodating to showings, which sucks when you have a cash buyer who wants to see the house today at 3 pm, but the tenant won’t answer and won’t call you back.

The drug addict tenants are always fun. They peek out the windows when you knock on the door with their eyes bugging out.

And then there are the lunatics.  They’re just weird.  They look weird, they act weird, and they’re embarrassing. They want to tell you and the buyer everything that’s WRONG with the house, making it sound way worse than it really is.

I’ve even had contracts on properties where we couldn’t get in the house at all prior to closing.

The owner of the house didn’t want the tenants to know that they were selling the house, so they didn’t want us to bother them at all.  In fact, we couldn’t even get in the house to see it for ourselves!

We had to make an offer sight unseen. For that, we made an offer MUCH LOWER than we normally would have.  It all worked out in the end. If the house is owner occupied, be sure to tell them your plan to assign your contract.

You don’t want the seller packing up with a moving truck in the driveway on the say of closing, to discover that you weren’t able to perform on your end.

Other Cons to Wholesaling Occupied Houses

  • Installing a Combo Lockbox is pretty much out of the question
  • You’re always afraid they won’t be out of the house on the day of closing.
  • Wholesale houses usually sell faster and for more money when they’re vacant.
  • There’s nothing you can do to change the occupancy status of a house. You can, however, factor in a bullshit factor if you’re going to deal with an occupied property.
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