How to Find an Investor-Friendly Real Estate Agent
Finding a real estate agent that is investor friendly is not as simple as finding an agent to buy or sell the average home.
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Real estate investing works under a different set of standards than buying or selling a home to live in, and it requires particular knowledge and a set of skills that not every Realtor possesses.
If you are considering real estate investing, you need to find the right agent and the right area to begin your investment search.
Finding the Right Agent
Ideally, every real estate agent should know about buying and selling homes. However, most agents focus on working with people who want to buy a property to keep – either to live in or to use for other purposes, such as housing a business. In contrast, not as many agents are familiar with the process of using real estate as an investment option. You want your purchase to ultimately yield you a profit – something only certain agents are capable of assisting with.
You need to find an agent that understands real estate investing. Look for these qualities in your next agent:
Personal Investment Experience
Ideally, you want an agent who has done his or her own real estate investing. It does not necessarily have to be substantial, but it is helpful if they have gone through the process on their own. This ensures familiarity with investing on a personal level, not simply as an agent. Agents like this will understand your motivations, and will be easier to work with in general.
Comfortable Making Offers
Real estate investing can require making numerous offers, often all during the same day. You are trying to get a seller to bite on the lowest possible offer you can manage, and this sometimes requires throwing out numbers one after another until something sticks. Not every agent is capable of doing this, as it requires a stomach for numerous rejections, and the ability to weather negative feedback from sellers and their agents.
Experience Working With Investors
There is no substitute for an experienced agent when you are trying to make money buying real estate. You want an agent who has worked with other investors, preferably three or more. It is not that you cannot hire an eager newcomer, but you should be prepared to learn the process together if you go this route. If you are looking for the fastest path to success, experience is usually the way to go.
A Good Reputation With Other Investors
If the agent has some experience, he or she should also have some references. Call each reference and discuss the individual’s experience with the agent. Not every real estate investment will be successful, and people that lose money may have negative things to say even if the agent was not responsible for the loss. However, most investors will be aware enough to hold criticisms to the actual work of the agent, not the quirks of the market.
Honesty and Integrity
Look for an agent who will give it to you straight. This means that if he or she is not comfortable throwing out ridiculous low-ball offers to sellers, the agent will inform you. Honest agents will explain to you upfront what they are and are not willing to do to help you in the investment process. Some are glad to help with flipping houses, while others may prefer the steadier route of buying and holding.
The best agent for you is one that lays everything on the table at the beginning, leaving you to decide if the fit is right. Integrity goes a long way in business, and should be a priority when picking a real estate agent for investing.
This is one of the biggest reasons why you seek out an agent. If you are like many investors, you are looking for where the market is prime for buying low and eventually selling high. This area may not be in your hometown or anywhere near it, which means you need someone with his or her finger on the pulse of the area market you are considering.
A good local agent can also help you avoid any area scams that attempt to take advantage of unsuspecting outsiders.
It may take some time, some searching and several interviews before you find an investor friendly agent in the town or city you want, but it can be done. Just don’t make the mistake of picking an agent that does not know the local market – even if he or she is perfect otherwise.
Markets Primed For Investment
Real estate markets are constantly shifting, making it impossible to pin down the best market for investing on a consistent basis. However, there are some markets that are ideal right now for investing in homes.
Some of these include:
Baltimore is an excellent place for real estate investing due to its close proximity to Washington, D.C. The nation’s capitol continues to expand outward, and prices there continue to rise. Those living in the city need a more affordable place to live, making nearby Baltimore an appealing locale. Baltimore may soon be considered a reasonable commute if trends continue, making it a prime place to buy up properties before prices increase.
Realtor.com considers the Silicon Hills in Austin to be one of the hottest areas for real estate investing in the country. The city continues to grow, and increasing numbers of businesses are choosing to make the city their home. All of this adds up to an ideal combination for real estate investors. The opportunity will not last forever, though, making prompt action a necessity.
Tucson has suffered from a substantial foreclosure rate for some time, but the market is slowly picking back up again. Savvy investors can still pick up many properties here for good prices, and if they are willing to hold on to them for a while, they should be able to make significant returns.
Find Your Market, And Find Your Agent
There is no sure way of being successful in real estate investing. However, you can increase your chances of making a profit by choosing the right market and the right agent for that market. Use this information as a guide, and do your best to find the right agent that works for you. Remember never be hasty when it comes to real estate investing.
Do your home work until you are reasonably satisfied you will be making the profit you expect to achieve!