In the real estate industry, time is often of the essence. You need to be able to make quick decisions based on the information you have available. This is especially the case if you are considering making an offer on a property. Regardless of whether you are dealing with a bank owned property or a traditional seller, the quicker you can act the better chance you have of getting your offer accepted. Since your time is valuable and you want to gather and retain as much information as possible from the initial viewing, it is important that you carry a few items on you at all times. Without these, it will be very difficult to know exactly what you are making an offer on. Having said that, you must be prepared when you visit a property for the first time.
Every investor should carry a basic set of items on them at all times. For starters, you need some method of taking notes on properties or areas while you are mobile. Technology has made this task much easier over the years, but you do not need a tablet or electric device to be successful. A simple yellow legal pad can do the trick. You should also have a one or two page checklist detailing the interior, exterior and neighborhood of every property you look at. The easier you can recall what you looked at on a property, the sharper your offers will be.
In addition to your checklist, you need a few items to help with your initial walk-through of the property. A good flashlight and a good camera are essential. Many bank owned properties will have shoddy electrical or outlets with old light bulbs. It would be a tremendous waste of time if you were to drive twenty miles to a property and not be able to see the basement or any dimly lit rooms. A quality flashlight will at least give you some idea of what you are looking at and the condition it is in. Subsequently, your camera will make it easy for you to retain exactly what you are looking at. It can be easy to get properties confused if you are looking at multiple ones every day. Dated pictures will alleviate this problem.
A listing sheet can give you an idea on the dimensions of a property, but you should never neglect to preform your own research. In addition to the flashlight and camera, you should also have a tape measure in the trunk of your car at all times. The size of a third bedroom can have a huge difference in the asking price of the property. The same can be said for the overall square footage. The listing may be accurate, but it is also possible that the listing agent used dated information from years ago. The tape measure does not lie and will give you the most accurate information possible.
You should be as prepared as possible for every property you look at. Your goal should be to get as much information as you can and if you are interested make your offer within 24 hours. By preparing yourself for anything that comes your way and retaining this information, you save yourself time and possibly money with every offer you make.