Buying and selling foreclosures is a tested recipe for real estate investing success. For flippers as well as landlords, buying a property that is about to be foreclosed upon can provide the ideal buy price as the owner chooses selling and getting out from under a mortgage than being foreclosed upon andbuying foreclosures losing the house as well as the equity.

It just makes sense for distressed homeowners to take advantage of a real estate investor’s offer before the lender decides there’s no way the owner can pay the mortgage and files a foreclosure notice. There are any number of ways to find homeowners who need to sell quickly as the foreclosure process requires multiple legal filings in the public record. All one needs to do is pay a visit to the recorder’s office and research mortgage default notices and foreclosures.

Getting someone out of a bad situation and avoiding a foreclosure is a true win for everyone. You, the investor, get a great deal, the owner gets to move on with no foreclosure, the lender gets rid of a non-performing asset and renters have more properties from which to choose.

But what might be common sense to you, it may not appear that way to the owner about to sell. It’s a tender situation. Owners who can no longer afford to make the mortgage payments have obviously experienced something rather traumatic in their lives. A loss of job, extended illness or death in the family or a painful divorce. Don’t forget the owner is living in a completely different world than you are. You’re an investor wanting to profit from a foreclosure and the owner is under an undue amount of stress—perhaps more stress than ever before.

Treat the owners with respect. Be courteous and not heavy-handed. Don’t judge and don’t expect them to come to what you feel is the logical conclusion as quickly as you’d like them to. If they had a real choice, they would choose not to have been in this position in the first place.