Questions to ask leading up to a deal

5 Replies

Yesterday in my 9-5 I met an individual who may be a good lead for a deal. I wanted to get some advice about what questions to ask to determine if it is even a deal or not.

Let me first provide some foundational information. I am located in San Diego, CA. I found about the deal because she had told me she had just traveled 600 miles. Upon asking her what brought her to San Diego, she said her brother had passed away and she was taking care of his estate. I asked if she was going to be selling the home and she said yes.

She said she just had it appraised at $420,000. I do not know many details about the actual square footage or number of rooms at this point. She said it is on 2 acres of land. Somebody, I can't remember who (either the appraiser or a realtor) told her with a little bit of work the property could be worth $800,000. That seems quite a jump to me, but not totally out the price range of this area. I intend to get the address and check comparable properties in the area.

She mentioned she thought about hiring some contractors and doing the work herself, but she said she really doesn't want to have to deal with it, so she is deciding not to.

What type of questions do I need to ask or what research can I do to obtain a realistic ARV on the home. What information do I need to determine this?

I have only recently begun to look at real estate investing and have yet to do my first deal, so I know next to nothing but what I've been reading and listening to on the podcast. I do know that these properties that have not been listed are where you find great deals, so I thought I'd mention it on here and see what advice I could get.

If you had met this individual and this was all the information she gave you, what more would you want to know at these initial stages?

@Traver Freeman

Just find out the address and then let her know if the property isn't sold that you have some interest in it. Then call me and I will help you determine if it is a deal or not, and maybe we could work together on this if there is anything there.

I know of a property in Blossom Valley (El Cajon) that was just listed and sold for $420,000 so maybe this is it and it is already sold. Hope not

I am in Santee and also own 2 1/2 acres in blossom valley so know the area well.


Nice job finding a potential deal--that's usually the hardest part.  Contact a realtor in the subject area to get a feel for what property values are doing there to see if the lady's numbers are correct.

If it is still available you want to go see the property for yourself and look for any major problems (foundation, roof, electrical, plumbing).  Don't get distracted by clutter, odor, obsolete fixtures or appliances, wall or floor colors, etc.--all that can be the value you add.

Most information about the house you can find on line and by walking through it yourself, otherwise you might ask the lady if she knows anything specific about the house's history (roof replacements, additions, flooding or mold issues, etc.).  You might also ask if the estate owns the house outright or it is mortgaged.  If the former, there may be an opportunity for creative financing benefiting both you and the estate beneficiaries.

Sounds like quite an opportunity, good luck!


Thanks everyone for the advice and offers for help. She said they're still just sorting through his stuff and she would let me know when they were ready to move on to selling. Once she gets back with me I will look at contacting one of you for further information!