Depends on alot of things Ramon-
Step one: Determine what types of financing options you have available, and what type of exit strategies you will be using?
Step two: Do some research on the HO. Determine their situation and see if their needs coincide with your own. With the realtor involved things can get tricky.
Best idea- request a showing with the HO present. You’ll get an opportunity to get a feel for the house and the HO, and to educate them both on how you work. Make sure everybody knows they will be treated fairly however you plan on buying.
You could, of course just knock on the door, but you run the risk of offending the agent, and that’s a risk I wouldn’t recommend. Keep everybody smilin, know what I mean?
Step three: Research the property itself. See what repairs (if any) will be needed and what they will cost ya. Do some title work to see what encumberances there are. Feel out the neighborhood, see if you want to put your time, money, and effort there. Then you can decide what to offer.
A formula I’ve seen others on other boards use as a rule of thumb is 70% ARV - repairs- holding = Max Allowable Offer. Of course, factor in terms and exit strategy into this. On a side note, ALWAYS PRESENT YOUR OFFER IN PERSON. Especially if it’s a creative offer, and absolutely if there is a realtor involved. Present it to both the realtor and the HO, preferably in the house itself-at the kitchen table. That’s the only way to handle objections. If there is a minor question about something in your offer, it’s alot easier to reject it than to call you back for clarification.
In terms of really getting going with your investing, make a personal commitment to do whatever it takes. And really mean it. Don’t fall into the trap of saying that you want to be successful and you’ll do ANYTHING…except for (blank). Don’t be scared to call people, knock on doors, pass out flyers, mail letters/postcards, do everything you can with the time you have. Once you get some funds behind you then you can refine what you personally do and delegate the the poop work.
Hope this helps.
P.S. - I’m finishing up on my first personal deal as we speak, so I’m no huge investor yet, but I’ve been working as an assistant for a “big wig” investor in my area as well as a Realtor to get my chops. Just to value my 2 cents.