I am looking at buying my first rental property in a relatively small town in Ohio. I have looked at all the websites from local real estate companies and many of these properties have been listed for a long time, six months or so. Are there other sources that I am missing out on? I feel like the better rentals are being swooped up by other experienced investors before I even have a chance to find them.
That's probable not entireable true as the more motivated seller is the one who's property has been on the market 6 month's. Don't be afraid to make an offer even though your numbers may be really different than the sellers asking price!
Once your seller is six months down the road, anything goes!
Find a real estate agent. They charge commision but you don’t really pay it. I think they’re worth it, especially as you get started. Find one who owns rentals and is like minded. He has to understand what you are doing with a place to determine what to show you and what kind of advice to offer. Make sure he’s comfortable making offers that some consider “lowball offers.” I hate that term because any offer is useful to the seller. I sometimes make offers on places that I don’t particluarly want to buy. I tend to try this strategy from banks and not individuals - but if I like it and think it’s a good deal I don’t want to miss out on I offer near the asking price. If I want it less I offer lower. There is some price between zero and the askng price that you would agree to pay for it - make an offer and see what happens!
Even if you get shot down 90% of the time, you’ll probably get a deal on the tenth one.
A motivated property will not be on the market 6 months. A truly motivated seller will dump the property. It will have a price that is half of what every other house is selling for.
The deal is not what makes the seller motivated it is his situation. Look for the 3 Ds (Death, Disease, Divorce) People exposed to these want the money out of the house and they want the money now. They are not holding out for “market price” they want money yesterday.
In a small town you may not have any motivated sellers at the present time. To test out the market do what Estrogen Hostage said and make some low offers in an attempt to see who is willing to play ball. I would decide what I want to pay for a house (independent of the asking price) base this offer on what you want to pay for the house for your end use. You are not trying to take advantage of anybody but you just want your price.