Finding properties

11 Replies

I'm curious what the forum finds to be the most effective means to find their properties. I imagine driving around does well, if not the best.  I get the sense it'd be the best way to find the truly good deals before anyone can see the listing online. 

Whenever I'm searching for properties via Redfin / Trulia / Zillow, I never know how accurate the sites are and tend to think if a house has been sitting up there for a few months, it must not be a good deal.  Would anyone agree with that?  

I would say that it depends on a lot of factors. There's always the option of low-balling if you think the seller is asking too much and they may take a low offer if it has been sitting for a long time. I would say foreclosures and condemned properties are a good deal a lot of the time and they sometimes sit on the MLS for a while.

@Kevin K. Zillow/Redfin/Trulia are good but they have a bit of a delayed compared to the MLS. If you find a good Realtor in the area they would be able to send you MLS listings that meet your criteria as soon as they hit the market or drop in price.

@Jassem A.  @John Cimino Thanks to both of you. I keep running into the question of "Well if it's such a good deal, why has it sat on MLS for over a year?" Once I get a better feel for what's a good or bad deal I'll get a little more confidence in longer-listed properties.

@John Cimino  

I'm in the same boat of looking for properties to work the numbers on and get an idea of how the market in my area works. I worry about a realtor feeling I'm wasting their time by just looking at properties for 6 months before getting into one. Do you find this to be true?

I've been working with a realtor for 3-4 months now.  She set me up on an automatic update to my email based on criteria (location, asking price, etc.).  This doesn't create any additional effort for her.  I'll review those properties on line, drive by the ones I'm most interested in, and select 1 or 2 that I'd look at more in depth.  That's where she comes in, and we keep working together to find a way to get one within our criteria.

Kevin- sometimes homes will sit for months because they are way overpriced and the owner doesn't lower it. NEVER HURTS to throw out an offer, no matter how low! They could be fed up with it and will consider a very low offer.

If an REO, or any deal for that matter, hits the MLS at a very low price, there will likely be SEVERAL offers right away.

I also recommend getting a real estate license and MLS access. Then you don't have to worry about over-nagging an agent, can look at properties when you want, and have instant access to all information.

@Blake Messina In pursuit of a real estate license, how does that work in terms of brokerage sponsorship? Do you just have to pay the dues without actually being an agent? Are most brokerages open to this sort of thing?

@Yaseen Ali I am in the same boat as well of just analyzing deals over and over using the BRRR calc in my ideal markets (sometimes analyzing one deal several times just tinkering with the numbers), in order to get comfortable with the numbers, finding tax info in different counties (a true joy lol) and really understanding how the variables can/should work.

However, speaking on the forum post, although the Zillow/Redfin/Realtor sites somewhat operate on a lag time, as a new investor I don't mind rolling with the wheel that's already been invented. I will say that one of the most fun but overwhelming lead-generation activities I've engaged in has been Driving for Dollars. It has helped me get to know the neighborhoods in one of my desired markets especially when I speak with the neighbors (sometimes in Spanish) to find out about the owners of distressed properties.

It's overwhelming because most often the owners are absentee and the tax records may not yield much in the way of contact info. As a newbie, adding another layer of problem-solving to my pursuit in light of all the other concepts I'm trying to work through (rehab, landlording, financing, etc.) doesn't do much for my confidence. Lol! So for that reason, I'm sticking the MLS-like sites and working with my realtor to start making offers on deals I vet.

My property searches all changed when I met the right realtor. Mine is investor focused, she doesn't show houses, she's not holding hands BUT she will email me a list every night of all new MLS properties, with a good history, suggestions, rent estimates, and more. She will put in offers for me as much as I want and advise me on what she thinks things will go for.

A GREAT investor focused realtor can change everything imo 

Do your own marketing and link with investors in your area. Wholesalers will take a little bit of your profit away but they will at least be deals you can decipher through. Interested in your progress let me know how it goes

@Kevin K. every brokerage is different. I would try to get in touch with some brokers in your area and tell them what you are trying to do. A lot of brokerages charge monthly fees, so I would probably try to find someone who doesn't charge a fee but wants to help you. Maybe you know a family friend or an investor who has a broker license that you could hang your license under. Good luck!

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