Realtor/investor question

10 Replies

For those of you who are buying properties off the MLS, how much does your realtor do for you?

To date, our realtor has simply set us up with property alerts that fit our by criteria and then submitted a small amount of offers for us. We've bought and then resold about 15 properties so far in 2015. Granted, 15 purchases isn't a huge number, but it's enough that our agent has at least made some decent money.

My question is, is it realistic to expect an agent to do more than just write a few offers here and there for you, if you are a serious and I'm going by her? It would make our lives much easier if we had an agent to pull comps and prescreened deals for us. However, in the past I've had a hard time finding one willing to do much extra work. For those of you who are successfully buying and reselling houses on a regular basis, can you share with me what all tasks your agent performs for you? Do you think I'm better off continuing to do it all myself or should I be expecting more?

Speaking as a full time real estate agent (who just returned from a site visit with two investors), I work VERY hard for my flippers.

I'll run deep comps, know the neighborhoods and apply expertise to helping them know which properties to consider and more importantly, which to avoid.

Example - the house we just looked at is on the market as an REO at $209K. The 1st-pass comps come back at $632K.

I know the area well. This home is larger by a factor of 2.5 than anything else in the area. This was just one of the factors that distorted the ARV.

The TRUE ARV is about $400K, no matter what the numbers say.

In addition to all that, I connect my investors with various lending sources, network extensively and overall work hard for them.

My goal is not to be a "one and done".  It's to build a relationship that lasts until I retire.

It depends on how bad your realtor wants your business...I do business with people who are willing to go the extra mile.  @Charlie MacPherson gets it!  Realtors like him are worth their weight in gold because they help you build your wealth and give you all the information at your fingertips (which is what you want and need)!!

Hi @Cheyenne Davis

I am an Investor/Realtor/Wholesaler here in Central Florida. Unfortunately, it sounds like you have a realtor who is used to mainly retail business, and may not be aware of the extra needs of a wholesale investor. 

I also have to agree with @Charlie MacPherson. He's doing what a realtor should be doing for their investor clients. 

I have many investors call me on a daily basis to run comp numbers for them or tell them about an area they are not familiar with. If needed, I can also make connections with contractors for the rehab process. Just recently I had an investor that bought a house through me. I followed up midway through their rehab only to find out that they were "dead in the water" with an electrician that couldn't seem to get the job done in a timely manner. I was able to send over a contractor that I've worked with in the past to finish the job. They were able to get the house re-listed without a huge loss of time (and money). 

The short and sweet answer to your question is yes, you should be expecting more!

I know from my own past that there are good and bad Realtors. I've had that problem myself and ended up getting my license so I could better serve my needs, it's like Charlie said its about relationships, if your not happy with the one you have fire them, and find one at your REIA that understands investor needs and is not afraid of having to do extra work even if the deal doesn't work.

@Cheyenne Davis  Obviously there's a lot left to be desired...I would think a 3% cut is enough to work their tails off for you, but it doesn't look to be the case.  For someone that deals in the volume that you do, having a go-get-em agent is the difference between 15 deals and potentially double that.  I would start asking colleagues, going to networking events, and meeting other individuals that could potentially refer you business.

Heck, even in the short-term, I'd look to get your license, become a realtor, and set up your own alerts on your own MLS account and save the 3%!

As a Realtor who works with investors (in Missouri) I'm going to guess that you probably have an agent who is more focused on "typical" transactions.   I got my license after I'd started investing, so I came at it with a more investor mindset.  I know some very successful agents who would cringe at the sort of things that I consider a normal level of service for an investor client (non-exclusive agency agreement, write offers for low priced short sale, bank owned transactions, etc).  The needs of an investor are very different and I suspect your current agent doesn't appreciate that.

When I have a flipper client my arrangement (which I know others also have) is that if I find them the house I get to list it when it goes for sale. I would argue that the net amount of work is similar (if you're doing comps for ARV as well as acquisition costs it's similar to comps for a buyer as well as comps for a listing) investors require a different mindset and approach. Is this the arrangement you have with your current Realtor?

If you've talked to your agent and you don't feel like they get it, I'd recommend a search for someone new.  Ask around on BP or at local investor associations.  There's someone else investor friendly out there, and if you're averaging a flip a month that should be enough for an agent to give you the level of service you need.

In all honesty, an agent for ANY type of client should be sending comps out. If you've asked for comps and they're not doing that they're failing in their fiduciary duty.  For my clients I have previewed houses, sent comps, brought the contractor in (I have contractors to recommend if they don't have one) and discussed comps for different rehab scenarios with them before we sit down to write an offer.  I wouldn't necessarily expect that level of service from everyone, but sending you comps is pretty basic to my mind.

Working with your agent is a negotiation just like any other one in your business.You need be clear in what you want and ask for it.And if you expect your agent to be working hard for you, you need to be loyal to them. I am not sure what type of properties you buy, but have you considered paying a commission greater than what they receive from the sale?I do that with investors all the time.If they can find you the better deals (i.e. more profitable to you) why shouldn’t they share in that upside?