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By: James M.

The author has permitted the reprinting and redistribution of this article.


Craigslist is great for searching for just about anything, but the problem Real Estate Investors face is that Craigslist is divided into Cities. If I want to search for homes for sale I have to check four different cities in my area.


The tools:

I stumbled on a web site that allows you to search multiple cities at one time on Craigslist. This site is


Besides searching for items on Craigslist, you are able to see what is availible on Ebay as well. As of this writing it looks like there are plans for them to add functionality to the site so that you are able to search Kijiji and Backpage.


Craigshelper has a location for you to type in the zip code that you want to search around and a cool little slider you can use to specify the radius of the search.


As powerful as Craigshelper is there is another Craigslist tool called Ad Notifier for Craigslist that will alert you the moment someone posts something on Craigslist that fits the criteria you have entered. There is a video on the site that shows the software in use.


Here is a link to a screenshot of someone who has used it to search for anything with the word “free” in it:


You can even configure Ad Notifier for Craigslist to text your cel phone when a match is posted.


Search terms are vital.


Instead of using generic terms like “homes for sale” or “ranch home” that focus on the properties, I use search terms that locate the motivated sellers.


The follow search terms may be useful for finding people that need to sell their property:


“Motivated seller”

“will finance”, or “Owner will finance”

“seller will carry second” , or “Seller second available”

“Take over Payments”

“Owner Desperate”, You may get more than just property with this type of search.

“Homeowner must sell”

“house must go”

“All offers welcome”, or “considering all offers”

“will sell on terms”, or “terms available”

“will sell subject to” although this is rare to find.

“OBO”, or “Or Best offer“

“below appraised value”

“will sell for what I owe”, or “will sell for what is owed”


“flexible seller” , or “Flexible terms”

“creative financing ok”

“please help”

“Lease Option”

“rent to own”


This is not an all inclusive list of terms to search for motivated sellers but will certainly get you started.
James is a real estate investor in the Southwest Wisconsin area. He has been investing in real estate for 13 years in both residential and commercial property. He enjoys talking with those just starting out and can be reached at Other articles by James can be found at:

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