Good real estate investors know how to keep busy and are constantly on the hunt for new investment properties to expand their portfolios. In a very competitive industry like real estate, finding new investment opportunities is key to profit. By making use of different tools, real estate investors can get an advantage over their competitors and can potentially close deals faster. This is especially true in current market conditions where bidding wars are common and supply is limited.
Below are 8 different methods and tools you can use to gain an edge and speed up the process of finding a property.
There are several different large websites dedicated to helping real estate investors and homeowners to buy and sell property. The most prominent is Zillow although there is plenty of competition in the field. Redfin, Trulia, Realtor.com, Opendoor, and HomeLight also have very active marketplaces.
On these websites prospective buyers can view new home listings along with their location, asking price, and photos of the property. Some even let you know if the property’s asking price is above or below the average. This is a very rough estimation based on the number of bedrooms and bathrooms and its location. It can also help some real estate investors refine their investment strategies and goals.
Real Estate Agent
Having a real estate agent by your side is always recommended, even if you’re buying via an online marketplace. They can help you negotiate with a seller and later help you find a renter for your property. In the United States, there are over 3 million licensed Realtors with certification from the NAR or National Association of Realtors. Many have experience working with investors and can help with your investment strategy.
There is even a specific qualification for Realtors who assist international clients. These are known as CIPS Realtors or Certified International Property Specialists. As such they specifically assist international clients buy and sell property in the United States.
In addition to that, usually, Realtors have access to MLS listing marketplaces. As such, they may have access to properties that are unavailable on online listings. A good Realtor can help an investor not only find a home but also make better decisions and refine your strategy.
Property Management Companies
Many real estate investors make use of property managers to maintain and take care of their investment. Usually a property manager takes care of several properties on behalf of a few owners. This typically includes collecting rent checks, screening tenants and maintaining the property. A good property manager will be in communication with the owner at least a few times a month.
As such they may have knowledge beforehand regarding properties that may be put on the market. This can assist real estate investors in finding an investment property and possibly managing it afterwards.
Fix & Flippers
The real estate market has plenty of short term investors that purchase properties in less than ideal conditions, repair it, then sell it for a margin. While this may be a bit more expensive than before the repairs, it could still be very beneficial for real estate investors. This is especially true if you’re able to be in contact with a fix & flipper before they list the property publicly. That can save you the time and possibly money from participating in a bidding war.
Real estate investors may want to seek out properties that are listed as FSBO or for sale by owner. As the owner is selling the property directly without the use of a Realtor, at times the property will be listed at a slightly lower price. Other times properties that are listed as for sale by the owner may need repairs that the seller cannot afford.
There are several places where an investor can find properties listed as FSBO. This includes craigslist and FSBO.com to name a few.
There are two main types of foreclosures. This includes bank foreclosures and government foreclosures. Bank foreclosures happen when an owner stops making mortgage payments and the property is seized by the bank. Government foreclosures occur when an owner stops paying taxes or conducts highly illegal activities on the property, which lead to it being seized.
In both cases foreclosed properties are usually sold at auction and generally at lower rates than standard properties. There are a few websites dedicated for foreclosed properties and investors can also check with local governments for auctions. Foreclosed properties can present certain risks as to its condition but can also be very profitable at times.
Investors interested in purchasing a new property may want to contact property developers directly. In some cases they can purchase a property before or while it is being built with a discount. The type of property can vary from condo, apartment tower, to single family residences. By purchasing a property directly from a developer, one can save realtor fees at times, which can further push down the price.
Typically if the developer is constructing a neighborhood of single family homes, the area can flourish in a few years. This could lead to healthy property appreciation. Condotels are also a growing trend amongst developers. It is condos or apartment towers that are also used at times for short term rentals. Condotels can possibly be a clever investment for real estate investors.
Word of Mouth & Social Media
Another avenue is simply talking to other real estate professionals and investors. This can include online groups for real estate investing, talking to mortgage professionals and others in the field. Online groups can include Reddit, groups on Facebook & LinkedIn, and other websites.
Other investors may be selling a portion of their portfolio or can assist in directing you to a seller. Either way discussion with others in the field is highly recommended in any investment.
The real estate market is still red hot and prices are on the rise. As such speed is needed when looking for an investment property and closing the sale. As such a clever real estate investor should use multiple tools to gain an edge over the competition and try to avoid a bidding war. By doing so, they can easily expand their portfolio and maximize profits.