We have been working with a realtor who is “slow” in getting back to us on properties that we are researching. As a result, we are missing or losing out on deals because we aren’t the first to the plate, if you know what I mean.
Does anyone have any advice on how WE can find comparables ourselves (i.e. websites, software, etc) so that we can jump on a deal when we see one.
We have seen things like realtor.com and Real Estate ABC on the web. What do you think?
I know I have been posting many questions lately, but my questions are being answered quicker here than anywhere else. Thanks for all the help! :beer
This agent that has been “slow” to get comps for you, is it YOUR agent, as in are you using them to present your offers? Are these properties listed? If you are not using them as your agent, are you compensating them for their time/effort in pulling comps?
Second, an agent’s comps should only be used to backup your numbers anyway, not as the end-all of the value. You, as an investor, need to learn your market, and in particular, your farm area. If someone gave you a street address, the basic particulars of the prop (bed/baths, # of floors, etc), you should be able to ballpark the ARV of that property. The comps are just a way to verify the number.
Example: a 3 bed, 2 bath 1200 square feet brick ranch on 1/2 acre lot, no basement, 2 car garage in my farm area will sell for $115-$125K depending on condition. I know this. The comps are only there to “fine-tune” that figure.
I can only recommend that in the absence of a good realtor, you might be able to use your county’s auditor, recorder or similiar websites, if they have one. My target area has a great Auditor’s website that even has these computer-readable files of all the conveyances (sales/transfers) over the last 90 days or so.
If you have MS Mappoint and a little computer skills, you can suck that data into Excel, massage it a bit, and then stick pins all over mappoint showing all recent transfers with a price value. I’ve been doing that with the sheriff sales and MLS listings as well, and keeping a history of everything so I can see what’s been going on.
The key to being successfull in the real estate industry is to be able to identify good deals and then profit from them. But it all begins with identifying.
You must learn the market yourself. Understanding what the prices need to be is a critical part of this business. In real estate many times prices fluctuate from one block to another. And simply pulling comps in a particular area many times does not account for those fluctuations. Different web sites at best can give you a general range.
Thus, real estate agents and web sites should only be used to confirm what you already have in your head.
I would suggest looking and evaluating as many deals in the beginning by yourself as possible. Study and learn the market place and be able to account for those price fluctuations and what things are really selling for in the areas you want to work in.
Once you learn thie pricing and the areas your work as an investor gets much easier, quicker,and most importantly accurate.
You want to befriend a Realtor if you don’t already have one on your team (you should).
You should then propose to them that you need access to the MLS, you will not share this password with anyone else, and you will let them be your listing agent when you need to sell deals, and you will recommend them as the listing agent to anyone who you can’t do the deal with.
The reason is mainly out of respect for the Realtor’s time (they get annoyed at having to pull comps for someone all day when they don’t “feel” that you will become a buyer), and your need to have real-time data.
Some of the Realtors I know do “get it” but they are struggling in this market to sell and they have to take on the prospects they deem “qualified”. Therefore, they may drop everything and run from helping you when one of these prospects comes along.
Since most people look to a Realtor when selling their home, the MLS data seems to be very helpful.
Herbster is right though… take all info with a grain of salt.
Early in my career I studied the ins and outs of the MLS just in my spare time. I discovered a huge rabbit hole of opportunity to learn market data, find sellers to market to (expired listings), and track historical sales in an area.
However this would be against the MLS rules. When you get your MLS ID you have to acknowledge that you are not going to share it with anyone else… So if you find a realtor that would be willing to give you his id… Treat him VERY well… :O)
Experienced Wholesaler - you are absolutely right - the MSL is very helpful to get some market knowledge. I am still learning the system, but it seems very helpful. The thing I like most is the fact that you can see how long the property has been on the market and what happened to its price over time… When you see a property that have been on the market for 200+ days and the price has been coming down steadily you may have found a motivated seller… :O)
ask your buyer agent for a printout of all the houses sold in your target area within the last 6 month. these will have a lot of good info like : days on market, original price, listed price and sale price, sq ft. it will help you understand your market and whats going on there.