My partner and I drove around looking for properties and now we are in the process of calling them, but we need to figure out exactly what questions to ask them. And also, how do we check the market so we know what the homes in the area are being sold for?
Investor from Montesano, Washington
Hey Jordan -
I'm not the wholesaling expert, but I'll take a stab.
By driving around, do you mean looking for vacant homes? or do you have a list and you are following the list? A lot of your questions will be based around that.
Either way, I think it would be important to find out how much they owe. This can be a touchy subject, so you'll need to preface it with some tact and conversation. You'll want to know the condition of the house (though, everyone will say it's great!) and find out their reasons for selling. I think it's important to get to the heart of the issue, and to build up a good conversation to build trust.
Sorry I can't be more helpful. You might want to ask @Stephani Davis, Ibrahim S, or J Scott for more insight on talking with sellers.
As for knowing the market - you can usually get a "comp list" from a Realtor for free. This list will tell you all the sold, pending, or listed properties in a certain location for whatever price you set. Study the sold ones, and keep an eye on how long they sat on the market.
Determining price is tough - which is why appraisers need to have so much training. When in doubt - make friends with some real estate agents. While eternally optimistic, they will have much more insight than most.
Also - Be sure to set up a "Keyword Alert" for the term "Wholesale" and "Wholesaling" so you can jump into those threads whenever they pop up.
(To see what I'm talking about, watch my BP video here
Brandon Turner, BiggerPockets
E-Mail: [email protected]
Entrepreneur/Investor from Atlantic County, New Jersey
Hi Jordan, I have a few questions...
1 have you done a direct mail marketing campaign yet?
2 gathered a buyers list of any sorts?
3 done any type of marketing (bandit signs, flyers, google adwords, handing out business cards, word of mouth, Craigslist...?
The reason I ask is because I've learned time is money.
Not everyone has money to start a business but it's more about making the right decisions and learning from the bad ones. Think about the time you spent driving around excited, looking for beat up or vacant properties. Cost of gas, maybe food, 3-4 hours of driving? Then going home and researching the property trying to find the owner/tenant just to come up with a property that is underwater, 2-3 liens, passed away or simply walked away. You've now spent an entire day on one property that you can't wholesale...
Time is money.
Direct mail takes a few minutes...
Figure out a way to save money for DIRECT MAIL!! Postcards are cheap, letters cost more but they both work! Time is money! I used zillow for sold comps.
Here's the deal, send mail to absentee owners and use postcards, send out as many as you can monthly and follow up every single month for upto 7 months. You will get a deal from someone fed up with tenants, old, tired or just needs to sell.
Time is money!
Send out the mailers to buyers and sellers, answer the calls, coordinate the deal and collect your check!
It's not that easy trust me... IT IS A JOB and when you complete that first one you'll know what I'm talking about!
Real Estate Investor from Audubon, Pennsylvania
Investor from Union, New Jersey
Jordan you've received some good tips on what questions to ask. Now as someone who specializes in vacant and abandoned properties I'll offer some suggestions as what NOT to ask:
1) Don't come off like a bill collector by asking "yes can I speak with Mr. Johnson". They'll only tell you that you have the wrong number. Instead (regardless of who answers the phone) start off by introducing who you are, what you do and why you're calling - in 10 seconds or less. Once you tell them why you're calling they will automatically route you to who you need to speak to.
2) Don't read from a script. It will sound rehearsed and make you sound like a telemarketer. Which means you'll get hung up on. Especially when you're new and you don't yet know how to "wing it" when it comes to speaking on the phone. Know the facts about the house and owner (YES do your research first) and then be able to address their anticipated concerns based on their specific situation. Sound as natural as possible.
3) Don't commit cultural taboos like referring to owners by their first names (unless given the ok) or calling them on Sundays. I prefer to call between 11am - 4 pm during the week. Sets me apart from telemarketers who like to call 6-8 pm on weekdays.
Ibrahim Hughes, We Buy NJ Real Estate LLC