Has Today’s Note Seller Really Changed?

Note seller changesThe real estate market went up and crashed back down.

Bank lending dried up faster than water in the salt flats and…

Robert Downey, Jr. has made three Iron Man films.

So, with all these things going on, and more, it begs the question:

How is today’s note seller different?

The answer may surprise you.


Nothing has changed in the motivation of why a note seller would like to sell a note.

People only sell real estate notes for two reasons.

Happy People…

Happy people are looking to sell for something fun to do with the money. You know, like a vacation to Disney world (not my first choice) or a private boat trip around Greece (now you are talking).

Sure, the “happy” people are not always looking for vacations. Maybe they want to remodel the house, buy a pony (yes, I had a deal like that), or get that dream sports car.

“Happy” people don’t necessarily need to sell. They may have given themselves permission to sell the note, at a discount, to enjoy something. The jingle from McDonald’s rings loudly in their ears… “You deserve a break today.”

But make no mistake… happy people do not need to sell. They want to sell…but they don’t need to. If the discount is too great…or they don’t like who they are working with, they will find something else to settle on.

Unhappy People…

Unhappy people need to sell.

This by no means assures you of a deal. It just means that they are a little more motivated.

They could be selling to pay off credit cards, pay their own home mortgage, send a kid to college or deal with a medical emergency.

Of the two, unhappy people are a bit more motivated but I don’t believe you should ever take advantage of that situation. Personally, for me, whatever the numbers are they are.

I don’t change the numbers (i.e. my return) based on how desperate someone is – it is just not right.

But back to the big question…

What has changed in the mind of the note seller over all these years?


Sellers are sellers. The economy goes up and down. When it is up, you may have more “happy” sellers, running off to pursue some new shiny object. When the economy is down, you may have more people in need.

The more things change (Yes, I think we have a new Batman), the more they stay the same.

You don’t need to modify your note buying business to the times when it comes to the seller’s perspective. They have the same needs and wants they have always had.


  1. Great insightful article Fred.I love the way you simplyfy complex things.I have learned a lot from your articles.Thanks,Bennie

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