Is the internet a good tool for finding a good deal?

8 Replies

I'm getting mixed messages regarding finding deals on the internet. I'm looking to fix and flip and some people tell me "don't waste your time looking online, if it was a good deal it wouldn't have ended up on Zillow, Trulia, etc" and yet, others, say they spend hours online looking for deals.

My question is, what is your experience with finding deals online? and are the websites I mentioned above a good tool for investors in finding a deal? or should I rather spend my energy networking and calling brokers?

The old adage that I've heard (and lived by) is this: The easier it is to "find", the less of a deal you can get. This is true for lists (i.e. Pre-foreclosure NOD's), or killer deals on property (i.e. listed on the MLS). It may depend on your area, but most GREAT deals that are "public" won't last long, so it would be a matter of timing to get one, such as waking up and pulling up a brand new listing and getting an offer in before thousands of other investors get involved.

A better way for most investors I know is to target market to motivated sellers. Again, the easier the list to get, the more competition you will have. But you might be alone in an area or in a smaller town and you can have the market to yourself. In any case, know your market and run your numbers, and who knows? Maybe you can find those gems online!

I would say that most good deals are made not found. I don't know that I would say that looking online is a waste of time but it should not be your only source for sure. Even in Denver there are people making deals off of the MLS and Craigslist and whatever. Don't look somewhere, look everywhere!

Generally the deals from the internet are the deals that you make. Meaning you figure out or get lucky and find a motivated seller that matches up with your offer. With the internet, the adage look at 100 offer on 10 and buy 1, means you screen via the internet down to the 100 you look at.

The saying is you can't steal in slow motion. The speed of the internet compounds that.

@Brian L. and @Bill S. thank you guys

Another thing I'm trying to understand is what people mean when referring to numbers.

Meaning, the numbers in relation to a deal. Is it just basic stuff or am I missing something?

E.G. A broker, who I found online btw:), told me he had a condo in SI New York, a short sale bank approved for 230k and resale at 270-280k and that he's even seen those go for 290k. Thats just basic.

What do I do from here?

What would be a way to assess repairs, closing costs and other expenses that I need to know about?

I find some deals scrolling through craigslist, but they are definitely few and far between. Using the Internet should be part of your acquisition strategy, but only one, relatively small part.

@Joe L. The internet has more resources in one place than any other place. So there are a thousand ways to find deals online, but as the other posters said, every other investor has access to those same leads. I try to find deals online all the time, but the ones I seem to actually get are not from an online source

Internet leads can be a goldmine if you know how and where to look.

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