When you are looking for properties to buy and owners that are ready to sell, there is nothing like getting in the car and driving around your town to see what is really there. Even with all the real estate marketing sites on the internet, when it comes to finding homes you might want to fix up and resell for a profit, you need to be your own detective and look for deals that might not be on the websites. It could be the owners are not internet savvy or the properties themselves are too droopy to lend themselves to pictures and video marketing.—
Driving for Dollars
Start by driving through nearby neighborhoods and mobile home parks. Look for vacant, run-down housing or vacant apartment units. Look for un-mown lawns, mail and newspapers piling up, closed curtains, un-watered grass, siding and trim that needs paint, as well as roofs in bad repair. If you are interested in commercial real estate, you can also look for retail and business space that looks like it has not been used for a while. Maybe the blinds are cracked, there is a tarp over the front door, and the windows never have any light in them.
FOR SALE—For LEASE
“For Sale By Owner” signs are also something to watch for. These are signs that the owner may not be taping into the web market. “For Rent” and “For Lease” signs may also be pointing to owners that really wanted to sell but couldn’t find a buyer. Look for estate sales signs and yard sale signs. Sometimes owners start clearing out their stuff because they are getting ready to sell. At the sale, ask the home owner if they will be selling soon.
Knock On the Door
When you find a home that looks promising, knock on the door. Knock on the neighbor’s door too. If no one answers, ask about what is going on with the property. Leave behind your business card. Write down the addresses and research the property from your computer. Keep a journal of prospects and follow up every month. You can keep an online journal too, photographing the house and making notes to help you remember to follow up.
In the case of commercial business space, the same strategy would apply. Try the door. Knock. Talk to the owners of nearby businesses and find out who owns the building and if they have shared their plans.
One tool that you can make for yourself is a door hangar. It can be something simple that you make yourself with a hole punch and rubber band, or something you more polished that you order form an online printer. It should say something like, “We buy houses. Call 512-555-1212.” If no one answers when you knock, leave one of your door hangars.
If you find a deal, give me a call for a fix-n-flip rehabilitation loan. You can e-mail too.
Pat St. Cin