Talk to every seller in there. If they're not interested in selling today, when would they? Does your buyer HAVE to move immediately, or will your buyer move in in 6 months? Get the owner's phone number.
If they want to sell in 6 months or a year, have your buyer write an offer subject to inspection with a 30 day escrow and put your commission in the Additional terms section of the offer. Include a lease back addendum that says the buyer will lease it back to the seller for whatever the owners mortgage payment is, for a term of 6 months, or whatever is acceptable to your buyer and you think the seller may go for.
Then call the owner, tell him you have something very important to discuss with him and make an appointment; then go present the offer. Bring a counter offer form in case he likes the deal, but wants to make changes. Also bring comps and a listing agreement; in case it goes that direction.
If it doesn't work out. The owner will be impressed by your tenacity. If he sees you working that hard for your buyer, maybe he'd like a hard worker to find an investment property for him?
Buyers often buy something different than what that started out looking for because they learn what a good deal is and why they shouldn't pass it up.
Instead of talking with the owners, write an offer and leave it with them. Putting things in writing are much more visible (75% of people have visual tendencies). There are only three possiblilites with a written offer, yes, no or a counter/maybe, so two of three are good. Research the property, so you know when they bought it and what they paid (check with my customer service 619.521.3478), so you will have some idea if it will be possible.
Irina Karan, CDPE
Beachfront Realty, Inc.
That is pretty ironic that I got this question, as I am in the midst of sending out a personalized letter to a neighborhood where I have 3 pre approved buyers and much like you, no sellers. While I do not have anything too creative, I would stress making your letter as specific as possible. Use names, numbers and any other pertinent information, so that the owners know you are serious and not simply trying to solicit their business. Best of luck!