No deals on the MLS

22 Replies


It has proven to be quite a task trying to find deals on the MLS. The good ones receive multiple offers driving the price up and are under contract in a day! I am looking for my first cosmetic flip to give me some cash to work with. My long term goal is to buy and hold. I'm currently doing my first yellow letter campaign. Hopefully this generates off market leads and cuts out a lot of the competition. I'm a little frustrated so if you have any encouragement and/or suggestion they will be greatly appreciated!

@Devin Pickett While the MLS isn't the only way to buy, I think there are still deals to be had. We are pending on an MLS deal right now! And this is after about 10 offers on homes that didn't pan out. I think the market cools off in the fall and winter, and there may be more deals now than in the popular summer. I've heard of people catching MLS deals over the holidays (and even superbowl sunday) when the majority of people are busy with other things. I'm still a beginner, but it was over a year of interest and intent before I even bought my first property (which I found through word of mouth in the neighborhood). Yes - try other strategies, yes - keep watching the MLS, and yes - be patient and learn as much as you can from BP. All the best!

Network with agents, with other investors, banks/credit unions and etc. Its all about relationships.

@Devin Pickett ,

You're quite right, really.

The best deals will frequently be off-market - properties which are not yet listed with an agent or on the MLS.

U can always drive around looking for bandit signs. Then ask if they have any deals. You mentioned yellow letters campaign, when did you put them out? How many did you sent ? 

I have done well over 100 deals. I bet less than 5 have been listed properties.

@Eric Le I just dropped some of them in the mailbox last night. Very helpful and interesting information guys. If you don't mind me asking @Ned Carey what has been most productive for you?

@Devin Pickett I specialize in the somewhat unique niche of tax lien investing.  I buy a LOT of liens and wind up foreclosing on a good number of them. That becomes my funnel for wholesale deals or rentals that I keep.

However before that business grew so much, my favorite and most consistent,was tracking down owners of vacant houses. I have gotten houses all kinds of ways, from simply listening to a quick pitch at a real estate club, auctions, direct mail to door knocking on a house about to go into foreclosure.

I think MLS is the path of least resistance. It's easy to sit at home and get on the computer to see what the market has to offer. But the MLS represents a very small percentage of the market. There are lots of ways to find deals, and I believe there are plenty left to be had. It's just going take more effort. I think those who are willing to dig a bit deeper and work outside of their comfort zone will find the deals.

Make offers! 

If you are targeting a low demand market, you can still make an offer with 20% less than what the property is listed for in the MLS. However, the tricky part about this is finding an agent who wants to work with you.

Check Craigslist and contact absentee owners.  I think Brandon mentioned List Source...

I found this podcast from Danny Johnson really helpful with invigorating my MLS hunt.

Hello, just have a question are you guys experiencing any major shift in the market's in regards to your marketing dollars to deal percentage??

Devin I'm so glad you bought this up. I've been experiencing the exact same thing. It has been incredible how fast these properties are going. 

Great topic. Keep at it, don't become discouraged!

great topic I Am on the same boat ! I guess to get out of my comfort zone because mls is saturated and the Best deals are from the source !! 

Calling bandit sign number is a good idea or yes drive by and auctions 

I got my first call from my yellow letters today. I don't think we'll make a deal but it's great to see they are calling!

@Devin Pickett That's the first step! Awesome, great to hear positive things coming out of your campaign!

@Devin Pickett don't be discouraged by the competition. Deals on MLS are still up for grabs in almost any market. You and your Realtor just have to know how to play the game. In the market I invest in, San Antonio, the market is SUPER hot with a lot of competition as more and more people jump into the game. I have been able to get quite a few properties for myself and other investors even during the hot spring/summer months by being able to properly assess the properties and the Sellers situations. If you are using a realtor to help out with finding you properties I would suggest they put you on a daily or twice a day search for properties. Setting up the proper search is key in this. Having all the key words that you can possibly think of that are associated with Investment Properties can get you a decent list of properties a day to analyze. If you get any that fit your criteria have your realtor, or yourself, call the listing agent and ask them several questions to feel out the situation. Even if they're listed at 10k-20k+ over your best offer if you read the situation correctly you can still get it! In my recent experiences what's worked for me is putting down a higher earnest money deposit that the standard 1%. I also put a max of a 2 day option period but normally go no option. If you still haven't gained the skills to properly assess the rehab needed for a house, don't be afraid to take your General Contractor out there to make the decision making process easier for you. As long as you're able to properly run your numbers and make a decision on your offer price within 4-6 hours you should start getting a little more traction on your MLS searches. Another big factor in all this is having a competent Agent who understands the Investing side of RE and not just the retail side. MLS provides you with the convenience of having sellers at your fingers tips which is great. And although they come at a slightly higher price because of realtor commissions, if you do it correctly you can still make them work! I've been able to beat offers up to 15k+ higher than mine because I'm able to give the Seller what they WANT and NEED. Hopefully this helps you out a bit as you continue to make offers on MLS. As far as the Off Market leads you're trying to gain, consistency is KEY to success. I've had the most success with leads that I continued to work for 6-8 months until they were ready to sell. Having a "Helping" mentality at all times will get you a long way with Sellers, whether its on MLS or Off Market. Hope this helps you out a bit!

Here is the best plan that I guarantee will land you a good deal quickly. Join your local REIA and find out who are the top rehabbers in your area. Offer the top rehabber something for free in exchange for them training you for x amount of time. If that is not doable offer to partner with them on a deal. If they only offer training for a fee pay it. Your learning time will be cut greatly I promise you.
Many on BP will tell you not to pay anyone when everything is free here on BP. I say do both, pay and utilize BP, you can never learn too much. Let me know how it turns out.

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