What works for one investor may be a complete waste of time for another. This is the nature of the real estate business and why it is so important to find out what works best for you. One of the areas regarded as highly controversial is deals found on the MLS (multiple listing service). For some investors, this is the preferred destination for obtaining new deals while others have had little to no success. Like most everything else in real estate, it comes down to your contacts, your resources and how you use them.
There is no debating that the MLS is the go-to source for any new properties listed in a particular investing area. The best way to get that access is by being a realtor yourself. This will allow you to get new listing updates several times a deal. With this access, you can see properties before most other investors and can make offers. If you can get the jump on other investors, you should be able to pick up an extra deal or two every year.
If you don’t have your real estate license, you need to develop a relationship with a realtor you can trust and rely on. They will be your conduit to the MLS and solely responsible for alerting you of any new listings. They should know what you are looking for, in what specific area and for what price range. If they know this, they can alert you of new listings that could be in your wheelhouse. At that point it is up to you to quickly do your homework on the property and get an offer in. Quality new listings do not last long on the market and the speed of your offer is important.
Many investors feel that the MLS is not a viable option based on the properties they are looking for. The MLS was once the main source for distressed property listings (short sales & foreclosures), but with those numbers down there is less opportunity. That being the case, there are still good deals to be had from traditional sellers. In some cases, these sellers and properties are easier and quicker to work with. That usually means submitting an offer void of contingencies and other items that will bog down the process. This means knowing what you are looking at when you see the property and making your offer at the right price. The fact that a new listing is not a short sale shouldn’t mean you can’t take a look.
Between direct mail, wholesaling and social media content, there is numerous ways to get new deals. If you haven’t had success with the MLS in the past, it could have been because of the types of properties you were targeting or how you presented the offer. With property inventory changing, it may be time to give the MLS another try.