Which to do first?

I’m a little confused as to what to do first when investing. I am trying to set up financing right now but they want to know what the property is first. What is the correct order? Find the prop then get financing- I thought it was the other way around. I always thought that realtors would want to know how you are going to finance it before they show you a bunch of places.

the chicken and the egg.

You need to get a pre-approval letter. Most lenders will do this and most realtors want this to show you anything.

You should know where you stand before wasting your time looking. If you can’t get a letter but are confident you will get a loan to your liking, call a realtor until you get one to work with you–if you are using a realtor. There are PLENTY out there.

If you don’t have one, find a property you would like to see and call up the listing realtor. They should be happy to show you the property because they get to double dip on the commission if you buy it and they represent you.

You can browse potential properties from web MLS systems like realtor.com. It is not a complete listing by any means, but it is a start.

Make sure you get pre-approval as opposed to pre-qualified. Pre-approval means they’ve actually checked your credit and you qualify for a loan up to a certain amount. Pre-qualify usually means you told them you make x dollars per year. Big deal. Listing agents know the difference.
The lender will still need to give final approval once you find a property but you look good to a buyer with pre-approval.
I would be careful about letting a listing agent double-end the sale. Their allegiance is to the seller. Get your own buyer’s agent. Won’t cost you a penny.