Real estate investing is usually good and sometimes it's blazing hot. When it's hot dozens of real estate seminars begin rolling across the country and thousands of people spend thousands of dollars for investing education.
We here at Turn-Key Properties LLC know all too well here when the seminars have been in town. We start getting the calls looking for "distressed sellers" Properties at 40% below market and properties that will cash flow.
First of all, if they were distressed sellers they wouldn't have cash flow. Secondly, if they were cash flowing why would they sell at 40% below market value? These great investment opportunities seldom come with tenants in the home. Generally you are purchasing from the homes occupant.
It's startling to learn that of all those thousands of eager folks who attend these seminars only about 5% buy even one investment house. Why? The real estate gurus sell the "sizzle" and make profiting from real estate sound easy. The truth is that it's simple, but not easy.
Here's a quick plan that will enable anyone to begin building financial independence.
There are basically four steps to investing in single family homes:
1. Buy homes below full market value. Yes, people really do sell homes for less than the home's full value. The key is to understand that most home owners will only consider a purchase offer that is all cash and within 5% to 10% of their asking price. This is an exceptional time to buy. We are experiencing one of the greatest real estate market slow downs I can remember since TEFRA. (That was in the 1982)
The successful investor learns to find financially distressed home owners who have no choice but to sell for less than market value. They have lost their job or been suddenly transferred; they are divorcing; they been living beyond their income; the family has been overwhelmed with medical bills and, not uncommonly these days, their money has gone to support a drug habit. Or a parent or spouse has just passed. Don't forget the Obituaries can be a great source for distressed sellers.
Those are examples of motivated sellers. They have to sell and they will accept something other than a conventional, all cash offer.
2. How do you find motivated sellers? You work at it! Like any business it is important to develop a little marketing plan. One that is simple, yet very effective, is the one that was proven 75 years ago by the Fuller Brush company; door to door sales.
You are selling your skill as a home buyer to people who must sell. Your are there when they need you and you have the skill to help them solve at least part of their problem. With door to door prospecting you will learn more and buy more homes quicker than any other method. However, most people just won't walk door to door for three or four hours per week. OK, there are other ways.
You can watch public notices for the announcement of foreclosure sales. Meeting with a home owner right after they've received a notice that they are about to lose their home allows you to deal with a very motivated seller. Other public notices that provide buying opportunities include probate, divorce and bankruptcy. You can follow the Homes For Sale listings in your local newspaper or Internet site.
You can telephone the names, unless they are on the no-call list! found in these notices or, and this is the least time consuming, send a postcard expressing your interest in buying their property. It will produce buying opportunities, just not as many as personal contact.
3. After you've found a motivated seller you must understand how to frame offers that provide benefits for both you and for the home owner. A good real estate investor quickly learns that this is not a business of stealing property, but of solving problems in a way that benefits the seller.
The home owner is in a tight spot of some kind and you can save them from public embarrassment and, in most cases, give them at least a little cash to get a new start.
No investor can afford to leave cash in every deal. You must use creative techniques like, leases, option and taking over mortgage payments. Little or no cash is needed for those deals. You can find plenty of reasonable priced educational material on those subjects in book stores or on EBay. The same education that seminars sell for thousands of dollars.
4. You make your profit when you buy! Never make a purchase until you've carefully determined exactly how you will get to your profit. If you hold it as a long term investment will the monthly rental income more than cover the monthly mortgage payment? Will you sell the deal to another investor for fast cash? Will you do some fix-up and sell the property for full value? Will you quickly trade it for a more desirable property? Have a plan before you buy.
There you have four steps that even a part-time investor can execute in three to four hours per week. What's the missing ingredient? Your determination and perseverance. If you will unfailingly follow the plan for a few months you will be well on your way to financial independence.
Don't forget, if you do not know the market, find a Realtor who can tell you the homes value. Find a property manager who can tell you what it will take to make it rent ready and how much it will rent for! Don't assume that because they are in foreclosure that it is a great buy, they may not have any equity.
That is why we are here Turn-Key Properties LLC