In previous posts we learned how to analyze properties and attain financing. Now we need to find a good agent that can assist us with viewings, sales contracts, etc. in order to purchase our first deal.
Using a Real Estate Agent
There is obviously the route of not using an agent, but for a first time buyer that makes zero sense.
It does not cost you anything to use an agent on the buy side so you mind as well have one searching for properties and giving you access to view them.
On your first purchase you should have someone that can hold your hand through the process if needed. The agent on my first deal pulled a Houdini on me coming into closing and I had no idea what was going on. It wasn’t fun, but I did learn a lot. Needless to say that person is no longer my agent.
So it makes sense to use an agent on your first purchase, if not all of them.
The scaredycat investors want to know….
How do we find a good real estate agent?
Well, the easiest route is locating an agent that is experienced with investors or is an investor themselves. I can tell you from experience, these people aren’t just walking around on the streets and the good ones are so busy that giving you the time and attention needed is tough.
However, if you know someone that fits the mold and is willing to work with you, then definitely do it.
For the majority of us though, we will need to locate one on our own and somewhat mold them into an investor friendly agent.
We do this by taking the following steps:
Find an agent with a track record of happy customers of regular home purchases
Seeing they can provide good service to John and Jane Doe on their owner occupant home purchase, let’s us know they are competent in the basics and likely have a network of resources.
Let them know you are an investor
By putting that out there the agent knows what they are getting into. As investors we are going to look at more properties and put out more offers than their typical homebuyer.
Give them the parameters of your search to see if they can competently provide what’s asked
Specifically: Price range, Geographical area, # of Beds, Baths and square foot range
If after doing this they send you a bunch of properties that do not meet your criteria. Move on to someone else.
Find someone teachable – willing to learn.
In my experience finding an agent that has 1-2 years under their belt has worked out well.
The reason is two-fold. They have been around just long enough to be established and competent, but not so long that they are no longer hunger and willing to hustle.
An investor’s agent is going to hustle more than for owner occupant buyers, it’s that simple. We simpli look at more properties, put in more offers and thus – do more deals!
Also, see if they understand what a good deal looks like on a rental property. If not, give them examples of returns you look for and the basic math to see if a property will meet that goal.
On the Flipside
You also need to show the agent you are not blowing smoke and are a serious investor – even if it’s going to be your first deal.
To do this – be prepared with the items listed above and then…
- Confidently share what your property search criteria is.
- Confidently express what your investor goals are over the short-term and long-term
- Be clear what type of percentage return you’re looking for and that you’ve done the research to know those returns are attainable in your given market.
Time to get started
Use the above info to find an agent and get started, but remember…
Always trust your gut too, if you feel like someone is not working out, do not be afraid to make a change.