Just starting out and reluctant and real estate agents are helping the cause.

14 Replies

Hello everyone,

Hope you are enjoying your Sunday afternoon.  This weekend was a fail trying to look at properties again.

I would like to purchase my first buy and hold by the end of April. 

I am looking in Baltimore.  I don't mind finding a property that may need a total rehab if the numbers are right. I plan on holding properties for a very long, long time. I plan on paying all cash for the purchase and rehab.

However,  two realtors so far seem not interested in showing me home in which I DON'T MIND the key is I DON'T MIND doing a rehab.  I am looking for properties on streets where there are other occupied properties and the house next to the one I am interested is adjacent to at least one other occupied property.

However, all they say to me is that property is a lot of work because it may need a complete rehabs.  Which, I am fine with it as long as the number match.

I have asked them are they use to selling these types of homes and are they comfortable and they both said yes.  However, I am not sure.  

Any advise?

PS: The guy, I saw today was like yeah our company has 1200 properties (which I ask if they could show me a few in my price range in prior emails which I was told would be okay ).  He kept telling us they are in really bad shape and I wouldn't want to see them.  Is he trying to sell these properties for his company or not? I don't get it.

Sometimes as a buyer you have to kiss a few frogs to find your "prince charming" agent. Your criteria seems quite straight-forward, and frankly I can't think of any agent that wouldn't love to have an all cash buyer looking at distressed property, since lenders generally won't give loans out on those types of properties anyways.

I'm sure they are more accustomed to working with buyers who will be financing and want "move-in ready," whether they tell you that or not. But if you have showed them proof of your ability to close (bank statement(s) ) and they are still not getting it, time to move on and find an agent who does.

Also, if these agents know you are working with multiple agents, they may not be as motivated to find you property, since they perceive a risk that they may not end up getting paid if you purchase through another agent. You need to find an agent hungry enough, or commit to one agent by signing a buyer's rep agreement. Agents who are assured of getting a commission will treat you much differently than those who aren't sure where your loyalties lie.

Good luck!

Thanks Sharon,

I agree, I do know what I want.  I know about real estate agent loyalty so I am careful.  The first person, I inquired with he is slow to respond and I just don't get the feeling he wants to put in the time to help me find a property.

So I have moved on.  I hope this one works out.

@Shannon Fong  i WISH I could be your agent!   Unfortunately you and I are a couple thousand miles away from each other.  I've done lots of deals prior to getting my license, so I feel your pain.  Don't be discouraged. Just find another few agents to work with.  You'll eventually weed through them and find one that you mesh well with, who is also willing to work hard for and with you.

While trying not to sound too negative or come off as a pessimist, I'll say this;  it's been my experience that a lot of agents will tell you they are "happy to work with investors". However many agents never have actually worked with our type, and few agents are willing to really do the work that we as investors need done in order to find good deals and make $.  They must forget that closing deals is directly related to making commissions.

Some agents have the mentality of being a bull-rider.  "Gotta work really hard for 8 seconds, then it's time to sit back and have a few drinks until the next rodeo starts"  

Go find the one that can get beyond this who will really go to work for you.  I'll be surprised if you can't find one here on BP.  Check out the Marketplace.


You can find investor friendly agents on this site or real estate meetups pretty easily, but I wouldn't purchase using them if I were you. If you have the cash to buy quickly it's best to network with wholesellers because it'll most likely be cheaper than the MLS.

@Mark Parzych stole my thunder. If you are looking for distressed properties in Baltimore, try a wholesaler. I am a wholesaler. I am always looking for cash buyers, especially ones that are looking for rentals in Baltimore! Another reputable wholesaler in Baltimore: @Ned Carey . @Anil Samuel is an investor friendly agent in the area.

Hope this helps.

E. Harris

Thanks everyone

I have been reading and researching for a few months now.  Been getting my finance straight so I can start this process.  All ducks are in row and I am nervous but I know that is because I have not done.

I just didn't think it would take this long to acquire my first property if I was paying cash.

@Shannon Fong Imagine you work as a sales person at a high end dealership. Someone walks in off the street and wants to ask a lot of questions and test drive that Ferrari (of course they would!). 

Now, As a prospective buyer, you'd  expect sales person to jump to attention as you may be a prospective buyer.

But you, as salesperson, don't "smell money" and (wisely or foolishly) dismiss the buyer as another unqualified looker who just want to drive a fast car and waste their time. 

Would you be offended as a cash buying prospect? Sure!  However, if you had that kind of dough you'd also know a few things about human nature: many, if not most, salespeople are lazy and misread people. This is unfortunate for the new investor, of course.

Your challenge is to study real estate away from the agents sufficiently so tgat your questions sound like someone who know what they want and how to get it and is merely asking about specific properties as whether they might meet your investment objectives.

It's not the agents job to teach you real estate. They only show you the listing. If they won't for that, call their competitors and use this experience to motivate you in future dealings.

I once looked at custom home lots along with two women friends. Both were high net worth folks, savvy investors and could buy the develop with cash on hand, but the salesoerson treated them like poor relatives. I made a point to avoid anything listed by that brokerage. 

Do you spot my contempt for lazy agents?

What is your price rang? You sound like the dream buy with the question of what is the realtor going to be earning from you? If you are looking at houses that are only 10-20k you could have trouble finding someone to work with you because of their take home!

Since you sound like a dream, the issue is to look beyond and see if you are asking too much! If your not it is probably like they say. You will need to sort through the bad to find the princes.


That is what I feel like.  They are looking at me and seeing I am serious.


Yes, I am looking for properties that are around the 10 - 30K.  I think patience is the game. However, I am not getting any younger.

Welcome Shannon.

The first thing I would advise is that you Google and then go to one of the many meet-ups in and around Baltimore: Mareia, the real deal, Bareia, BWI, etc

You could network with wholesalers, agents and other investors face to face and get people that you are comfortable working with that understand your goals.

I would also say that it is crucial to remain patient and not jump in to the first deal that comes your way out of desperation to " have a deal." Make sure you analyze it carefully so you dont just blow your cash.

 Finding deals are tough, and it could take awhile, but just keep plugging away!

Good luck!

@Shannon Frog

I'm delivering this comment from the perspective of a working realtor, and am NOT IN ANY WAY promoting myself to you as a realtor. You may however, look up many great investor-realtors at BP who know Baltimore very well, such as Tyrus Shivers, Anil Samuel and Christina Ramirez. 

So here's something to think about when you approach a realtor. A new buyer who needs a lot of coaching and handholding to buy that first $30K house to turn into a rental requires as much time and effort as (if not more than) an experienced and well-funded buyer who is looking for a house to rehab/resell. 

You see, in Baltimore the agent helping a buy and hold investor is working almost pro bono. What will the realtor earn on a $30K property? In the case of the brokerage with 1200 properties, the agents are probably working on putting together packages of several properties instead of selling one. 

So maybe this is what's tripping you up--the disparity between what you are asking for from the agent vs. what you have offered to pay for that service. Agents are in business, and they need to get paid, just like everyone else.

So maybe think through the nature of the business partnership you want. Start the relationship with a little respect. When you approach a realtor you want to work with you might say something like: "I know this represents next to no pay for you, and I want to be sure you are fairly compensated for your service. I will pay you the difference between the commission the seller will pay and a commission minimum we agree to. So you will get paid every time we close a deal together if the seller's commission is inadequate. What is the minimum commission that would work for you to support me through this process?"

That amount then gets written into your buyer-agency agreement. This is perfectly legit, but a lot of agents don't get taught to think about investors differently from how they think about owner-occupants. You may have to help them with it, i.e., show you can be a good partner to them.  

Good luck with your investing.

Nancy Roth

Was the agent with 1200 properties Kieth French or John Keller? There may be an  unrelated reason they were unresponsive. 

Most agents just are not in the business of selling investor properties. A $20,000 property is hardly worth the time for an agent to show. You need to find the agents who specialize in these types of properties. 

Another factor that may be in play. I sometime discourage new investors I know from buying some of my properties. I sold a property to @Nancy Roth and some others mentioned in this thread. I know I told at least on of them " I really don't want to sell you this one" Of course I would explain why.  Just because someone new is willing to take on a big project that doesn't mean they should or that they understand the risks. 

Since I know Nancy, Anil, and Christina very well, I want to make sure they are successful with anything I sell them. Especially Nancy who seems to be my #1 Cheerleader.

@Shannon Fong   I agree with the theme of what most people here have said.  When I work with investors two of my first questions are: do you have proof of funds from a Hard Money Lender for this property or are you preapproved with a bank.  There are so many deals in the city they are really never ending.  Most people do not have the funding lined up to pull the trigger on a deal even if it fell in their lap.  The caveat is that most agents are looking for people that are ready, able, and willing to buy/sell.  Some people have two of the three but still are not willing to pull the trigger.  Like @Nancy Roth stated, for most Realtors it is a lot of work to show people properties, calculate comps/ARV, and be responsive and timely in communication when the purchase price is so low. Most listing agents don't respond half the time, so it may appear your agent is not being responsive when in reality they are working on your behalf way more that you think. I do agree that if you state up front what your situation is and do things that are mutually beneficial for yourself and your agent this will go a long way to ensure your success!

Hi Shannon,

I agree with Sharron and Blair.  It seems odd to me that the agent keeps stressing that the properties need a lot of work especially since you expressed that you were ok with fixing them up if the numbers worked.  

The first thing I would do is work out the numbers in the property for yourself and if they work out then call the agent and make an offer.  If the agent still is reluctant, then tell him or her that if they don't make and offer then you will find someone that will! I had to do that a few times myself with agents.  They will do it because they want their commission.  Sometimes I had to be firm to be taking seriously. 

Good luck.


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