i’m sure this has been asked before. i’m having trouble finding deals. would it be a good idea to become an agent? that way i could find deals more easily and wouldn’t have to rely on other agents?
where do you live that you are having trouble finding good deals? There are great deals everywhere!
i’m in brooklyn, new york. i know there are great deals everywhere. i just need to find them.
what types of deals are you looking for? short sales, subject to, wholesales, lease options, pre-construction, rehabs, buying notes, buy and holds?
Write 'em up!
i’m looking for a good flip. doesn’t matter where its coming from as long as i can get it at a low price.
motivated seller, foreclosure, probate, bank owned, wholesale, distressed, buy fix sell, whatever… as long as the numbers work.
but my original question was. is it a good idea to become a realtor and have access to the MLS to find these deals easier?
You don’t need to necessarily get a license just to look at the MLS to get good deals. Go to investment clubs, talk to other investors, etc.
Many MLSs are online now and you can search for properties fairly easily. Some do not give the address for the property, but most give enough information that you can tell which ones are worth following up on and which aren’t.
that link is great. I’ve been searching for something like this for weeks. thanks Christine.
do i have to get a realtor license in order to get access to that database?
You would need a license and membership in the MLS to see private info (such as owner contact info, loan balance info, etc). The only thing you will be able to access is the stuff that isn’t confidential…about what you would get if a realtor gave you a Buyer sheet…and sometimes you don’t get quite as much as a buyer sheet.
You can also use the MLS number to access the listing for the property listing on Realtor.com…which sometimes has additional info. Just go click “More Search Options” to the right of the Search button on the Realtor.com home page…then go all the way to the bottom and enter the mls number.
Don’t expect to find the best deals on MLS. There are deals on there, but not many, alot more competition, and harder to structure creatively (more parties involved=more potential problems)
My advice is to start marketing and prospecting. You will find deals.
What are you currently doing to find deals?
I’d suggest getting your license to anyone, but not so much just for MLS leads.
For what it’s worth, I became licensed strictly to do investing. It has advantages but be sure to get a broker who truly understands what you do and how you do it as the broker you park your license under takes full responsibility for any illegal or unethical things their agents might do. For example, if you give out your key card to anyone else and the board of Realtors finds out, this could result in a fine or even loss of license for you and your broker. There are ways to be licensed and invest legally and ethically. There are some states where you have to be licensed as a real estate agent to sell houses if you sell more than a certain number each year, even if you outright own these very houses.
Just be aware that being licensed could mean more liability to you since you are supposedly more knowledgeable than the average layperson and a judge could invoke this if you are dragged into court. If you do become licensed, full disclosure will be your best friend.
I began investing three years ago and decided last year to get my RE license. Partly because I wanted a career change and partly to educate and immerse myself more into real estate.
First, I’ll say this… becoming licensed is not necessary and does not mean you’ll have access to better deals than being unlicensed.
Now… that being said, here’s how being licensed has been of value to me. For one thing, I understand the process and players a WHOLE lot better than before I got licensed. When I bought my first home (pre-license days)… I had no clue what forms, disclosures, contracts I was signing. I also didn’t know the difference between an escrow company and a mortgage company. Now, a year later, I’ve done other people’s deals and worked with everyone involved to perform the escrow to completion. It’s been a great education.
Secondly, I’m more familiar with the market. Before, I had to rely on what I saw on tv, or worse yet the newspaper which is always biased and slow. But when you’re talking to other realtors, buyers and sellers on a daily basis… you KNOW where the market is. Plus you begin to see the different scenarios and motivations used by smart buyers and sellers. You meet other investors who aren’t shy about putting in an offer because they’ve got all their ducks in a row and have a game plan. So you learn from buyers and sellers, seeing them in action.
Nowadays, when I put in an offer I simply add into the comments section, “Buyer is a licensed real estate agent.”. Apart from that, I know which forms are to my favor and will keep me out of hot water should anything go weird later down the road. It’s a good feeling to know you’ve done a pretty good job at covering your own behind with the proper disclosures and contracts.
Hope that helps,
Have to echo that… there is a lawsuit in my office right now where we sold a house where the owner made a ton of cash on it, but some would say it was below market when it sold. We documented everything of course. But we are now wrapped up in a court case because a former owner, who quitclaimed (gave away) his interest in the property to the seller, is suing us. We’ll win, eventually. but for now the guy has the cajones and the money to tie our asses up. Meanwhile there are plenty of guys out there with signs on telephone poles saying “I’ll buy your house for cash in 7 days” that can get away with just about anything.
My thoughts on those who sue because they sold thier property to a buyer that’s an agent…
First, I believe and practice disclosing that I’m an agent when I make an offer… always.
Second, if the Seller for a moment thought the playing field wasn’t level… nothing but pure greed kept them from getting an agent of their own to handle their side of the deal. That’s why the courts will honor the initial disclosure, among other reasons. The Seller had every opportunity to bring in their own Realtor as counsel… but instead went the ‘cheap’ way and did a half-assed job at assessing the property value themselves. They only have themselves to blame.
Third, Sellers don’t let go of property below market value unless they are highly motivated. That means they are either facing a foreclosure, divorce or weren’t realistic with their loan payment when they initially bought the property. So, in a capatilistic society (thank God we have one!)… who suffers for bad planning? The Seller, and rightfully so. If they got themselves into a bad spot and need to unload this house fast… that provides a bargain for any Buyer, whether an agent or not. That’s basic economics.
For a Seller to take a Buyer to court because they got the short end of their own stick is yet another symptom of people who just refuse to take responsibility for their own bad planning. For them to use the excuse that the Buyer was an Agent is just grasping at straws.