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Finding Deals on the MLS

Published on Tuesday - November 19, 2013

Investing in real estate is a numbers game. The more offers you make, the more opportunity you will have to get one of them accepted. While the MLS has become a popular destination for investors to find deals, there are still other opportunities to be had. If you talk to investors at local meetings or in your community, you may sense their frustration with how many new investors are flocking to the MLS to find deals. In reality, while many investors have turned to the MLS for deals, many others are shying away. This may be the opportunity you need to get on track with your business. Finding deals on the MLS might be easier than you think.

If investing was easy, everyone would do it. The days of waving a proof of funds letter around and waiting for your offer to be accepted are over. You need to do your homework on every property that hits the MLS if you want the deal. Some of these properties will be better than others, but each one should be looked at individually. It is easy to find a reason not to like a property. However, small indicators that are often passed over can make for huge profits. Did you even make an offer? The listing price is just a starting point. You have no idea if the seller is really waiting for an offer to come in so they can close.

The more properties you can make an offer on, the higher chance you have at getting one accepted. This does not mean you should offer 30% off the asking price of every property. You have to pick and choose which ones may not be financeable or have been on the market for at least 90 days. Your realtor should be able to discern the motivation of the seller and if they are willing to entertain a cash offer with a quick closing. Look at the listing sheet and read between the lines in the comments section. Often times you can get a sense of the property and what the seller wants to do just by reading the listing.

You and your realtor have to have thick skin if you are making below asking price offers. Some sellers and selling agents will simply reject the offer while others will make it a point to question your sanity. Support these offers with repair estimates, demand, days on the market or the ability to close quickly. What the seller wants and what reality is may be two completely different things. Your realtor may get chewed out, but in a week or two they may also get a call asking if their buyer was still interested. You never know unless you offer.

Realtors and investors often fall for the latest trends and fads. New investors have missed the short sale and foreclosure boats and are now looking for newly listed homes they can flip quickly. You may not be able to make as much, but if you find the right properties through the MLS, you can still make money. Now you need to dig in and select a property that may be overlooked by the masses. There is still plenty of inventory on the MLS, you just have to know how to find it.

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