5 Tips on Finding Houses to Flip
When you’re starting out, finding houses to flip can be a challenge. How do you find out about homes when they go on the market? How do you get there fast enough to make the sale? How do you find a property that will make you the most money on the flip? Finding the right property takes hard work, a few connections, and a bit of luck. If you know where to look though, this part of the job can be a lot easier.
Add a Realtor to Your Team
If you’re not a realtor, then you’re going to want to hire one to be part of your team. Working with a realtor comes with a number of benefits regarding finding houses to flip. First of all, only realtors can access the Multiple Listing Service (MLS), a database maintained by real estate brokers that list all available properties for sale in the geographic area, along with their vital statistics, characteristics, and other details.
Realtors also tend to be familiar with the area. That means they know which neighborhoods are good bets for flipping houses, where houses come open most often, and the average market value for different neighborhoods in the area. Also, if you find yourself a realtor that specializes in REO (real estate owned) properties, they’ll be more familiar with—and more connected to—properties returned to lenders because of defaulted loans.
Make Friends With a Wholesaler
Wholesalers are the other half of this house-flipping equation. They specialize in finding rehab properties, and then selling them to buyers who intend to flip the house. They’re a middle man who connects would-be dream homes to those willing to do the work. Exactly what you need to find a house to flip.
The downside here is the wholesaler’s markup. Sure, they make it easier to find a house to flip, but buying it from them is more expensive than buying it from the previous owner. It’s a time-money tradeoff, one that may or may not be profitable for you depending on which one of the two you’re trying to save more of.
Check the Classifieds
While the use of newspaper classifieds have diminished significantly, classifieds are still alive and well. The “for sale by owner” method of doing business still works, it’s just moved online. Most areas across the country have dominant online classifieds. Sometimes this is run by the newspaper or other news outlet, other times it’s on Craigslist or a local Facebook group. Where ever it’s located, you’re bound to find a treasure trove of “for sale” ads in the venue you’re looking for.
If you want to broaden your search beyond just the online classifieds, then start using a search engine. Most listings these days can be found via a quick Google search, whether they’re broker listings or “for sale by owner” properties, so don’t underestimate the value of a general internet search.
Find a Real Estate Investment Group
It’s hard to overlook the value of joining a community of your peers. Networking in this industry is key, and there’s few avenues for networking as effective as a real estate investment group. These days, you can connect with groups in a variety of different ways—via Facebook, LinkedIn, investment forums, and local meetups. Connecting with others in the industry is a great way to locate potential properties, make valuable connections, receive education and advice from experts, and more.