What do I make of what my realtor is telling me? Is it normal?

29 Replies

@Jared G. does your agent have experience working with investors? I know you mentioned she was a referral from a work colleague, but how did she help him? Her mysterious replies might be coming from a lack of experience working with investment properties.

Also, have you given her a clear cut understanding of what your goals and objectives are? are you looking for flips? rentals? condo conversions? etc etc..  it might be tough for her to "lead you to water" if you arent exactly sure of what you want to accomplish. 

hope that helps.

Everyone is giving amazing advice. I’m a realtor on a team in Chicago that specializes in buying/selling 2-4 unit properties, so we dive into analysis with our clients more than most realtors - but I am concerned with her slow response time. I don’t check my phone when I’m with clients but I still make sure I respond to everyone by end of day, or at the very latest within 24 hours. Real estate moves quickly and your realtor should, too. In my experience with buyers, the best cure for “analysis paralysis” is to go see these “maybe” buildings in person - I promise it isn‘t a waste of time, it‘s an important part of learning. I think the numbers you’re running start to become more tangible when you have a building to match them with. Are the numbers so-so but it doesn’t need a lot of work? Does the projected cash flow look great but you get there and find out it needs more rehab than the listing let on? Best of luck!!

@Jared G. ... weird... Set the expectation with her. I am sure once she has alittle but more direction from you, she will get it together and give you more solid help. I think someone may have already said this. I think its time to set up a meeting and let her know how you are feeling about this process. Get over that hurdle and I am sure you will be smooth sailing from there. If not then, its time to find a new realtor who will get you the answers you are searching for.  

@Jared G. What are you expecting her to do? Approve of your investment numbers? She's a Realtor you are an investor. Yshe goves you listings and you tell her to set up showings - she helps you facilitate the contract, negotiate a price- anything above that is going beyond what the average does.

So, a couple things here.

The comment "you're getting closer" would send me straight into another agent's arms.  It is more likely that (like others have said) she isn't willing to hammer down specifics with you because that really isn't the agent's job.  She finds the properties, you run the numbers, you buy the property.  I don't think she wants to risk giving advice based on hypothetical because one bad tenet completely destroys any number crunching you did before the sale.  

What I ask my agent when looking at potential properties that may cash flow are more like, "can you reach out to this listing agent and get rent rolls and operating expenses for the last year? I see "deferred maintenance" is listed in the ad, can you ask the listing agent exactly what that is?" What I *don't* ask her is how much she thinks the maintenance would cost, or anticipated operating expenses over the next year.

Beyond that, paralysis by analysis is a very real thing. We bought a SFH rental that should be a little over $400/monthly in CF... if the inherited tenets pay rent. Numbers can't always account for human error. They can help you anticipate these so you have reserves (which we do) but on paper this property was a home run. In reality, it isn't. Sometimes you take a leap of faith that works and sometimes it works on a different level.

I hope you find exactly what you're looking for! 

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