How to not get beat to the punch

I’m a newbie and I’ve been looking for a property to launch my real estate investment portfolio with. I have given my realtor very tight criteria, and I’ve set those same criteria on Redfin. I’m getting immediately notified when something meeting those criteria pops up, but invariably when I ask my realtor to inquire, she comes back with “already under contract” or “in escrow” or “sale pending.” This has happened multiple times in the past month.

Is there some way to find out about these kinda deals before they hit the wire? Any advice?

Our Realtors will tell us if they get a listing we would be interested in. They have a certain time they have to get the listing on the MLS. I think it’s 24 or 48 hrs here. So sometimes you can get a jump like that. Your Realtor should also have a way to search where it will notify them of listings matching your criteria. Maybe expand your parameters some. No matter how active we are, we will inevitably miss out on some. Don’t get discouraged. Persistence will pay off. You could also start your own we buy houses marketing campaign. I’ve never had to do that. Once you establish yourself as an active buyer, deals will be easier to come by.

I agree with justin0419 . I am fond of saying it is important what you call things. What happens if you call something a name you see all things with that same name as the same thing. All Real estate agents are not the same. You are undoubtedly using a retail real estate agent not an investor grade agent. In this situation she is looking at the MLS listings which is a very pedestrian activity. What she is doing is not looking for houses for you she is looking for listings for you. What you need is a listing agent. These are the ones that have names on the signs in the front yards of houses that are for sale. She goes out and finds houses to list for sale. If you can let her know that if she comes across your target house and calls you before she goes through all the trouble of listing the house you would appreciate it. She likes that because she gets both halves of the commission and does less work (listing it in the database and putting up signs taking pictures etc.) What I would do is search your target area and look at the names on the for sale signs. The one with the most houses with her name on them give her a call and let her know what you are looking for.

Since you are not just buying a house what you should do as a business set up step is to drive your target area and write down all the names on all the for sale signs. Call them all. Tell them what you are looking to buy. Tell them if they come across that house you would appreciate a call because you are looking right now and will buy that house without her having to spend any marketing effort at all. You want a list of at least 20 agents looking for houses for you. You don’t need any agents looking for listings for you instead you need 20 agents looking for houses. Then whoever brings you a house that does not meet your requirements (and they will) make sure you explain what about that particular house made it not work and refine her search. Also call each of them at least once a month just to touch base. Also although they don’t know it they are all on your team. You need to keep your name on the front of their mind by sending them stuff periodically. Don’t spend any money to send them things, you can send them coupons for 10% off Starbucks coffee (you can find them free on the internet) or send them interesting articles etc. Don’t spend any money but keep your name fresh.

There are a few options outside of the MLS that can produce good leads.

First, check out some of the online databases that feature discounted properties including foreclosures, REO, short sales and auction properties. Some are free and others have membership fees. Those that cost a little upfront are going to have more up-to-date information.

Secondly, keep your eyes on foreclosure notices in the paper, FSBO signs, unpaid real estate taxes and out of area owners. All of these are great ways to flush out a good buy and beat others to the property.

This is solid info. I guess like most things worth pursuing, it is going to take some work on my part. But I guess that’s what separates the guys who get the great deals from the ones who don’t. It seems like there’s a critical window of 24-48h before the listings hit the wire where one has to act fast to get a deal. If it’s already on MLS, it’s probably already too late. Sorta like stock prices to the public already having everything already factored in by the time Average Joe buys or sells; it’s the people with the inside scoop that can profit prior to that point.

You are absolutely correct. If you are in a hot market where there is more demand than properties, then waiting until the MLS posts their new listings is going to be way too late. To find the hot deals both you and your realtor need to be pro-active and find the deals. Only the loser ones will find you. Good luck!