New investors always ask me if I think they should have a real estate agent to help. My answer is, they should begin looking for one. A good agent can really speed-up your success. Interview several ’till you find one who seems willing to work with you.
One thing to remember here… Both you and your agent are new to each other! Don’t make the agent do all the work. You should help every way you can, especially in the “getting acquainted” mode. For example: If the agent is showing you properties in fair condition and you have told him you want junkers. Reiterate your instructions so you get what you want by helping your agent who is trying to help you. You’ll end up the big winner. The benefits you’ll receive by taking the time to develop this relationship will be worth big bucks to you in the long term. Here are several ways you will benefit:
First. your agent has immediate “pipe-line” knowledge about when a bargain property is listed for sale…Either as a member of the online listing service or by networking through his associates and contacts. You’ll get the information quickly so you can write an offer fast if the property is what you’re looking for. Being first or near first is important! .
My agent, Fred, always brings information that I need for making an educated evaluation on each deal. The information provided is normally a property profile, copies of existing promissory notes and either a filled out INCOME PROPERTY ANALYSIS FORM (the kind in my fixer house book), at least the necessary data to fill one out. This is valuable ”time saving” work for an investor, and it’s needed before any intelligent buying decision can be made. Obviously, it puts Fred closer to a commission if a purchase should result.
Finally, a good agent can put you in contact with money lenders, both private “hard money” guys and institutional lenders with programs that fit what you’re doing. Lenders shop real estate offices looking for qualified buyers among their clients. This is a valuable benefit to investors who are always in need of funds for upgrading and acquisitions. Naturally you and your project must qualify in order to take advantage here. Nonetheless, money is always the ammunition that keeps us investors in the hunt!