A Few Questions before I get started...

Let me start off by saying this forum has been a great tool for learning about the real estate business.

Training camp is over, and its time to put the pads on and start taking some live hits. But before I do, i have some things i need assistance with.

Finding deals appears to be the hardest part of this process. Realtytrac.com appears to have some good REOs in my area, but by the looks of it they are probably old, and I have read of problems encountered when assigning REO contracts. Also, the MLS listings are old and picked through by the time they arrive in online MLS searches.

So my question is this…what single source has provided you with your best leads? I am still quite unfamiliar with the pre-forclosure market, but perhaps this is where I need to be to find the good deals.

Secondly, the consensus here seems to be that assigning contracts is easier than flipping them. Once I assign a contract, I understand that legally I am no longer bound by the terms of the purchase agreement, but what are my responsibilities after the contract is assigned. I.E. Do I need to deal with closing companies or any other agencies, or am I pretty much done after the contract is assigned?

Also, when do I collect my assignment fee? Am I paid when the assignment contract is agreed upon, or at closing? Do I need to show up at the closing?

What method do you use to show the property to prospective buyers? Do you ask for a key with the purchase agreement? This seems like it would work if the property was vacant, but if it is owner occupied it seems touchy at best, and if it is an REO, i would presume it would be very difficult to gain access to the property. Has anyone had any problems with not being able to get back into the property after signing a purchase agreement? if so, how was that resolved.

I am sure I will have many more questions going forward…Just a few to get me started. Thanks for all your help. Some of you have no idea how much you have helped me out in just the past few weeks. Thanks

Forget Realtytrac.com. I’ve had very poor experiences with them. For one, it’s expensive and two, most of the leads were way out of date. I would go to make an offer on a house that had sold 3 weeks ago. Check out Reonetwork.com. Just email all the agents in your area and tell them you buy REO’s. But you’re right about some banks not allowing you to assign the contracts.

To find fresh MLS listings I go to realtor.com . When the listing falls out, I just send the owner a letter as they might be a bit disgruntled at not having sold the house.

For Preforclosures, I go to the court house and look up NODS and send letters, knock on doors.

I don’t do assignments ( so far) I get the property under contract with an out clause. Sale FSBO ( getting the key when I place under contract) then flip using an open title close.

Hope this helps.

I don't do assignments ( so far) I get the property under contract with an out clause. Sale FSBO ( getting the key when I place under contract) then flip using an open title close.

How much of a hassle do you find this to be? It seems like flipping takes a bit more work than just assigning the contract, though its better at protecting your profit.

Is there a reason you choose to flip vice assign these contracts?

I don’t find it a hassle at all. If I assigned the contract I would have to tell my seller that I was letting my associate handle it. Thus letting my buyer and seller meet. Also, Depending on how the contract for the assignment was written my fee would come after the closing. In some instances, if with another investor, they could also add a clause stating after they sold the property. Too many ifs and butt’s for me.

I prefer to flip, getting it done and collecting my $ at the closing. I flipped a house with zero down, double closed and walked away with a check. Easier, cleaner for me.

Thanks for the help!

You mentioned getting the key. Is it common practice to obtain a key after signing a contract with your seller? What do you tell them is the reason for this? What would you do if they refused? I assume you put a clause in the contract saying you should have unlimited access to the property.

Also, when you go to the courthouse, who do you talk with? What am I going to be looking through when i get there? You say that you look up NODS and send letters. Are you using a computer program, looking through paperwork, etc. How hard is it to find what you are looking for? I am just trying to avoid looking like i have no idea what I am doing…though I’m sure i wont be able to avoid that for the first deal.

First, here is a thread that explaines title searches, what to look for, how they are done and forms to use. To much to repost here but very helpful. It also explaines how to look up nods and notices. ( I also use my on-line county recorders office for this but they are so far behind… OYYYY)


Each situation is different. I have had homes I can’t put in the contract to have unlimited access. For instance if the house is occupied. IF the house is vacant, I simply ask for the key. I don’t offer any info they don’t ask for. If they say no, I simply knock on the door and get access that way. Use the rule : If you don’t ask, you won’t get !!