How exactly do you use MLS to find deals?

Ive had success in the past w/ bandit and direct mail to get deals. However, the past three months have been slow.

I want to know how others are using MLS to track down deals.

I am thinking I could search through fixxer uppers on MLS, and specifically target those in foreclosure or especially motivated. Then contact those agents w/motivated sellers and let the agent know what kind of price I had in mind. If he is receptive, arrange to see the house. If not receptive, move onto next listing.

Any thoughts on this type of strategy? What is a better strategy?

Well for starters a good deal doesn’t really last on the MLS long so you want to have something in place to notify you quick when a property is listed so you can be the first one on it. You can setup an auto notification thingy through most larger brokerages like C21, Re/Max, etc. Basically you signup and provide it the criteria you are looking for and it sends you an email every time something is listed. You can make it as general or specific as you want. Also network with realtors and get them calling you as soon as they get a listing signed. You can find some sharp (and not so sharp) realtors at your local REIA meetings.

Rich is right about the good deals not lasting long on MLS. I am an investor agent in KC, MO market and simply put you need an agent who is dealing strictly with REO properties only. Your agent should be able to spot a deal in heartbeat just by looking at the new listings coming on. They also should be able to take into consideration any listings that have taken a huge price reduction.

If you want me to find you an agent then let me know what market you are in and I will see who I can find that works this part of the industry. Send me an email since we are not suppose to promote here. I am not trying to gain your business nor get a referral fee from the agent I would send you too either. Just trying to help you get that info. Sheila

I’ve gotten a couple of good deals off the MLS. I am looking for a couple of different things.

First, I am looking for a listing where the agent has made a big mistake in the price. There are a couple of agents in my area who are really bad at apprassing, so I pay particular attention to their listings.

If the price is a mistake, the property sells really fast, so you have to check the listings often.

I like properties that have been listed for a long time at a bit too high of a price. That stops anyone else from being interested, and the sellers get pretty desperate after 6 months to a year.

I love properties that are not financable, but whatever it is that makes them non-finacable can be fixed.

I also really like properties that have sold and then fallen out of escrow after the seller has made an offer on a replacement house that they really like and don’t want to lose.

You probably aren’t going to buy these properties for 30 cents on the dollar, but it is possible to get desirable properties in turn key condition for a big enough discount to make me happy.

And for all I know, in some of the areas where sales aren’t happening, maybe you can get that type of property by offering 30 cents on the dollar.

The MLS subscription service we use in Philadelphia offers a “Hotsheet” option, so that whenever you log on , it will give you those properties within a specific pre-selected search criteria (by price range, expireds, by neighborhood, etc.) It helps alot to stay on top, but as the saying goes, “the early bird…” I would guess that most if not all MLS services have some form of this. It’s worth the $$

While it may be true that MLS deals go very quickly, it is also true that the MLS is a great way to find deals because you already found an owner who wants to sell. The “key” is still to find the owners who NEED to sell (no matter what).

So, what’s the big secret?

Investors who make offers…get deals.

Look at DOM (days on market), look for “estate sale”, “must sell”, “vacant”, “needs work”, “fixer-upper”, “tenant occupied”, “make offer”, “relocating”, “military”, etc.

Make offers…get deals!