How to investigate a bad deal?

4 Replies

Hi there! I need an advice.  I am working with an investor from out of state. I found a property that looks really good on paper so far and he wants to buy it. My concern is that I found it on the mls and it's been on the market for 240+ days. The listing agent is an investor himself. I think there is something wrong. A bad deal if you wish. Good deals rarely go on the mls. Do you have any helpful tips on how to investigate? I called the zoning department and I am waiting to hear from someone at comprehensive planning. Thank you

I find good deals on the MLS, but they are usually gone very quickly (under contract within a day). That many days on the market is not a good sign, unless there has been a recent and significant drop in price. I would definitely have an inspection on that one. Depending on the age of the house, look for big issues like aluminum wiring, Poly B pipes, cloth wiring, Chinese drywall, galvanize/lead pipes, etc. Also, check on anything indicating structural problems, flooding, prior fire, etc. Call the listing agent and ask what is wrong with the house. He or she should disclose any known issues.

agreed, being on the MLS that long means it's overpriced due to some reason.

One similar house I found was attached to an auto repair shop. Not a huge deal, they are pretty quiet, small, and close at 5pm. But found out that a conventional mortgage won’t be underwritten for a house abutting a commercial (hazardous?) property.

Happy I asked around before getting too invested in that property!

What about starting a conversation with the listing agent and seeing what you're able to find out?  This might not be relevant in Florida, however where I invest, a seller would need to disclose material deficiencies/weaknesses in the property (and those found during an inspection).  The property has probably fallen out of escrow, and likely there was something found during an inspection?  This could help save the costs of a new inspection.

Florida law requires that real estate licensees disclose all known facts that materially affect the value of residential real property and are not readily observable (chapter 475, section 278 of the Florida statutes).