Finding an Agent in New jersey

4 Replies

I' want to get into real estate investing. The goal is to start out owning a duplex, where I can live in one unit and rent out the other. My issue is, I'm willing to live in multiple counties across the state (Mercer [where i'm from], Somerset, Middlesex and Camden). How do I go about using the knowledge and expertise of an agent while not becoming too much of a burden by making them show me houses all over New Jersey?

Should I have realtors for each specific locations? 

How would you go about this? 

Look at the sales prices and potential rehabs needed and that should eliminate most properties. On MLS deals are difficult (not impossible) to come by and by running some basic estimates on your own, you'll find out quickly what has potential and what can be quickly discarded.

Also ask your agents for average 1, 2, or 3 bedroom rents of various areas you are willing to live in and compare to duplex comps. 1% rule is great, but there are areas of the state you can get closer to the 2% rule and that's where you want to focus. E.g. a place renting for $2000 and on the market for 400k is not a good deal, most likely (low cash-on-cash return) but a place renting for $2000 and on the market for 150k will have initial better COCR.

Hey Jay!

Hope all is well. I am an agent in NJ and thought I might be able to shed some light on your question.

I wouldn't be worried so much about asking an agent to go all over. I currently work in Somerset County but I travel to about 6 other counties too. Most agents needs to have a decent sized area to provide great service.

But I would implore you to take two things into consideration (that I appreciate when my clients have them or I try to narrow down when I first meet someone)

1. Know what you are looking for. Specifically. I know you said a duplex, but that is still broad. Whereas if you say a Duplex with at least 2 beds in each between 300 and 400k in these counties and it has to be close to a train, is an example of something much more specific that an agent isn't going to mind going aroun to multiple counties because they know exactly what fits your criteria and if /when they find it, they know they have a good chance of making it worth your while and theirs.

2. Be loyal. I have had people ask me to go all over God's Green Earth and then flake on me, which leads me to having to protect my time too. So if you are not messing well with the agent you find, be up front with them and tell them why its not working (maybe give them a chance to fix it) otherwise, tell them its over and make the break clean. 

Loyal clients get above and beyond service (or at least they should from the right agent) 

Don't feel bad about asking them to cover a large area, that's their job, just don't waste their time and I think the two above points can help with that.

Good luck in your search! Somerville, NJ is up and coming and produces a fair amount of duplexs a year. That is where I am looking to buy my first duplex once I finish my current BRRRR and the next flip I have lined up (looking at it today!)

Robert Webb

1. Narrow your criteria.  How much can you spend?  How many bedrooms in each unit?  Know your numbers so when a deal comes up, you can quickly analyze it to see if it works for you.  Being an investment property, you have to make sure the numbers are in your favor when you decide to leave.

2. Connect with an agent and ask to be set up on the MLS emails under your new criteria in the areas you are interested in living.

3.  Analyze every property that comes up.  When you find the one that works, contact your agent and set up a showing as soon as possible.  As long as you aren't wasting their time, you aren't being bothersome.  And narrowing your criteria and knowing your numbers will make sure no ones time is wasted.

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