Dear Agents, I'm not worth your time.

35 Replies

I'm just starting out. Each time I contact an agent and let them know what I'm willing to offer they usually laugh and are quick to discourage the approach. I'm confused. Like most investors I want to make an offer low enough to get the best bang for my buck and I don't care if my offer isn't accepted if it's not a good deal. However, this is a royal pain and waste of time for a real estate agent. I remember in Rich Dad, Poor Dad, Kiyosaki emphasizing making low offers and finding an agent willing to do so. Are there agents out there who will support an investor who low-balls every seller in hopes of finding a great deal? I can't imagine why an agent would do this. Are there investors out there who became agents for the express purpose of being able to write the offers themselves? I'd love to hear your thoughts on this and more. 

You just have to find an agent and prove to them you can close. Once you for a relationship it can work.

Focus on forming the relationship. 

Hi @Blake Hansen ,

The list price IS the lowball price. That's how agents have been (stupidly) listing things for the last few years in our area.

You do not need an agent to write an offer. You are (almost certainly) a FTHB so you should absolutely have an agent, obviously, but you don't need one.

to answer you questions... yes and yes.

there are agents that will write offers.

yes, lots of investors become agents JUST so that they write offers. 

@blake hansen, 

I'm an investor and also licensed,so being licensed is a plus since  I can make offers directly all day long- especially on hud homes, walk homes as soon as it hits the market and best of all is list and sell your own deals. 

You will have to find an aggressive agent and prove that you can close, their initial thought will be that you are just wasting their time with lowball differs.  Reason they probably laugh is because they  are not aggressive and may not have the investor mindset as well. You need a hungry agent who is probably starting out.....

Your expectations are not retaliating for the deals on your local MLS.

What you're looking for will probably only be found off-market. So no need for an agent there.

Remember, agents work the MLS. These are the sellers that expect to get retail prices for their property.

Edit: not realistic

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@Blake Hansen you have to realize most agents are not investors. Most don't believe a property can be purchased 30% below market without an agent. 

Look for an agent who really has a deep understanding of investing. Making lowball offers on retail properties is not investing.

Look for an agent who is involved with the local investor community, and has established a large network of investors he/she can call to find the specific type of property you want.

Expand your network and knowledge so you can recognize a property worth investing your money in.

If your agent uses electronic forms, it's not time consuming to make offers, maybe 10 minutes...

Agents 'know' each other, at least in my market.  If an agent writes lowball offers all day long, it hurts that agent when they have a 'retail' buyer.

if your talking about Alameda and contra costa county in todays market then yes your not going to get very far if you want to do this.. then go get your own license and right your own contracts ..

Agents are busy..

When I owned my brokerage I would warn my agents not to get suckered into working like this its not the best use of their time..

if your working in areas were there are far more homes than buyers then this can work fine.. but generally speaking on the west coast or other high value areas or markets that are fully recovered.. its a non starter.

Brokers and agents that have nothing else to do are writing low offers.

2017 is setting up to be a record year again for real estate. Some economists are saying 2020 for the next cool off.

Either get licensed to write low offers or find a greenhorn with nothing else to do but twiddle their thumbs and watch paint dry in the broker office.

Most broker/agents working on the residential side with investors focus on buy and hold investors for rentals. Those types pay more for property. House flippers that rehab to resell are lower price. Bottom of the barrel is wholesalers trying to tie up a property to wholesale to a rehabber.

The lower you go down in price the lower a commission a broker/agent makes and the harder it is to find such a property with upside. A lot of rehabbers are going to building new houses with better margins as newbies wanting to try their hand at flipping overpay for older existing properties.

I saw this all before in 2005 to 2007 before the crash. Same type stuff is happening today. My regular residential broker and agent friends are too busy selling new homes or retail type houses at larger prices. In 2009 to 2012 some agents would work on finding low price homes to cash buyer investors because regular sales were not happening as much. Financing wasn't happening and cash was king. These days financing is readily available to buyers so sellers will generally take a chance on it for a higher sales price. 

I am having another record year in commercial real estate and next year looks to be even bigger with my own development deals in the pipeline. 

I'm sure if you are willing to pay an agent out of pocket they will write low ball offers for you. Think from the agents perspective. I want to make $10k on a transaction. Why would I spend 200 hours throwing out lowballs when I can work about 30 hours for a regular client to make $10k?

Don't be upset if a realtor won't make low offers for you.........Find one that will or become one yourself. Don't ever forget that you're the one in charge, you call the shots and only surround yourself with people that understand that completely. Don't let a fancy suit intimidate you, find people that think like you do, and use them exclusively,and don't forget to keep them fairly compensated. In my opinion the main thing to remember is to not be a time waster for people. Be ready and do what you say you will do, and help will never be too far away.  

Great conversation here folks. Thanks for being a part of it! All of the feedback is so valuable and I DO appreciate you taking the time. ;)

@Blake Hansen

You're welcome!  Although it's an uphill battle, you will find someone who can/will help in your area.  Let me know if CA is too expensive and want to learn more about the Reno market.   Good luck and IMO Kiyosaki's best book was Retire Young Retire Rich because he talks about different types of leverage and introduces some interesting financial ratios...

@Blake Hansen

There are licensed agents here in the Bay Area that will write "lowball" offers, If you want to private message me I will give you the name of who I used to buy a duplex in Oakland earlier this year.

Also....If you look for agents here on BP that work in the Bay Area they should most certainly understand what you want to do.

Furthermore when you talk with an agent, let them know what your methodology is for the lowball offer......In other words if you say...."I want to find properties that the asking price is $500,000 and I want to offer $375,000 on a bunch of them until one get accepted"....then yes....a lot of agents will give you pushback ......But if you tell them.."I'm looking for an investment property and ....I want to get "x" amount of cashflow from it based on based on vacancy rate, repairs, capital expenses, taces, insurance, etc. I know I can get "XX" amount per month in rent so that's why my plan is to find a triplex in Contra Costa County for xx amount or a 4 plex in Alameda County for".

When you let them know you are not seeking to buy because you love a property but you are looking at an investment property based on, xyz then you are good.

Ask the listing agent to represent you. Have a different agent (the listing agent) on every property. 

@Blake Hansen The advice that is given above from @Brian Garlington is the most sound advice on this entire page.  I have offered low offers on literally hundreds of properties, I have purchase every singe one that got accepted.  This approach takes an agent that understands and also is very good in dealing with the rejection and pushback that will come from sellers and their agents.  I have also found that you need a realtor that will present the office in such a way that it is taken serious.  

Good Luck with your investing!

I don't mind making lowball offers, but you'd better have real data to backup the price you're offering other than "I want a deal." Show me your ARV, rehab costs and desired ROI and how the gets you to the price you're offering. Otherwise, unfortunately, you're wasting your time and the agent's time.

Originally posted by @Blake Hansen :

I'm just starting out. Each time I contact an agent and let them know what I'm willing to offer they usually laugh and are quick to discourage the approach. I'm confused. Like most investors I want to make an offer low enough to get the best bang for my buck and I don't care if my offer isn't accepted if it's not a good deal. However, this is a royal pain and waste of time for a real estate agent. I remember in Rich Dad, Poor Dad, Kiyosaki emphasizing making low offers and finding an agent willing to do so. Are there agents out there who will support an investor who low-balls every seller in hopes of finding a great deal? I can't imagine why an agent would do this. Are there investors out there who became agents for the express purpose of being able to write the offers themselves? I'd love to hear your thoughts on this and more. 

 Blake - What areas are you looking at and what price range? Also curious what a lowball offer is to you. I've made a few offers recently at lower than list price cause the properties had been on the market longer than the standard 14 days.

I submit about one offer per week and most of them would probably be called low balls by most people's standards. However we were very very close on two properties recently and only lost out on terms. You can get semi-deals off the MLS if you have a system.

My agent knows I have data to back up my offer prices, and he doesn't mind submitting offers constantly. We have a good relationship and I've thrown over $75k his way over the last couple years so he knows we're serious and will follow through when an offer sticks.

Message me if you'd like his name.

One of the best things about this thread is that is sheds light on where I'm so lacking in my knowledge of the field. I continue to hear about analysis paralysis but it's clear to me that I need to continue to ask questions and LEARN. Appreciate @Brian Garlington talking about "...cashflow...based on vacancy rate, repairs, capital expenses, taxes, insurance, etc..." or @Chris May (who needs a profile pic) and @Sean Cole who remind me to back up my offers with data!

@Blake Hansen

How about showing POF and/or how serious you're in acquisitions ? There's got to be 1-2 newer agents eager to prove themselves.

And how about contacting the seller's agent directly to make offers? 

The beginning is always the most difficult. But once you find that agent or 2, it should be easier. 

Have the listing agent write up the offer for you ... they want to double end it and you want a good deal ... give them what they want to get what you want. Easier to write 100 offers through 100 different listing agents (who will get paid commission on both sides if they close with you) than to try to talk 1 poor buyer's agent into writing 100 offers for you with little chance of closing on 1.

Originally posted by @Blake Hansen :

I'm just starting out. Each time I contact an agent and let them know what I'm willing to offer they usually laugh and are quick to discourage the approach. I'm confused. Like most investors I want to make an offer low enough to get the best bang for my buck and I don't care if my offer isn't accepted if it's not a good deal. However, this is a royal pain and waste of time for a real estate agent. I remember in Rich Dad, Poor Dad, Kiyosaki emphasizing making low offers and finding an agent willing to do so. Are there agents out there who will support an investor who low-balls every seller in hopes of finding a great deal? I can't imagine why an agent would do this. Are there investors out there who became agents for the express purpose of being able to write the offers themselves? I'd love to hear your thoughts on this and more. 

Depending on what you're offering, if you're buying in a sellers market, you're wasting your time.  I'm in Berkeley and if you're seeking to buy in the Bay Area, we passed a peak in late 2015, so you should see the market flattening and turning more into a buyer's market.

Like others have mentioned, your buying strategy should change depending on what phase in the market cycle you are in.  If it's a sellers market, expect to make many offers in order to get just one excepted.  When I was buying in Charlotte, I'd have up to 30 offers out at a time to get one or two accepted. But it depends on how much you are low-balling.  If you're offers are so low that they have no chance of being accepted, it's likely better to move to another market where you can generate a decent return with the money you have to invest.

I suggest joining our local investor group. Checkout my profile for more info or message me.

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