Get creative to find a good deal
In a tight real estate investment market, you need to get super creative to find a fix and flip house that works for your lifestyle, financial means, location, abilities, and real estate investing game plan.
To start, here is one useful way to use the MLS to find fix and flips that most people do not think of doing.
Run a Zillow search using different keywords (we have found it works best to add one keyword at a time to search.)
To add a keyword, go to the “MORE” tab on the Zillow navigation bar. Then, do a search with the following words … one at a time:
“Traditional Financing,” (this will bring up properties that WILL NOT qualify for traditional financing), “Investor,” “Cash Buyer,” “Fix and Flip,” “Fixer Upper,” “Bank Owned,” “Foreclosure,” and “Motivated.”
You can zoom the map out to see the results, like everything listed as a “fix and flip” either by realtors or for sale by owner, all over the country.
As a sidenote you can also use this search technique using the keyword “Owner Finance,” which could potentially give you some alternative financing options on potential fix and flip properties.
Another option is to search Zillow for properties that are not listed by realtors, by clicking on the “Other Properties” tab next to the “Agent Listings” tab on the main screen. This brings up “For Sale by Owner Properties,” which could also present some fix and flip opportunities.
Finally, you can search Zillow based on how long a property has been on the market, which can sometimes indicate an issue with the property (think: flood damage) that you might be able to fix (and flip).
Another technique for finding fix and flip deals is “driving for dollars,” which means driving around looking for homes with deferred maintenance and then skip tracing to find the current owner (Deal Machine is a valuable resource for this strategy).
Another approach to finding off-market fix and flip deals is tapping into area foreclosures and auctions by talking with local realtors, reviewing courthouse records, and researching and/or subscribing to online services like www.auction.com and www.foreclosure.com that provide this information.
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Here are a few other approaches to finding a good fix and flip deal:
- Attend area real estate meetups and network with other real estate investors and real estate funders.
- Get on the lists of area wholesalers (you can find them at local real estate meetups) and ask them to send you fix and flip deals.
- Follow up on word-of-mouth leads for fix and flips from friends, neighbors, local contractors, and businesspeople.
- Stop by garage and estate sales and keep your ears open — does the owner need to sell due to changing circumstances or losing a family member?
- Tell local realtors you are interested in their “pocket listings” (properties that have not yet hit the MLS) for fix and flips.
Keep in mind that the best fix and flip projects are deals that you add value to in order to boost your ARV. And, by “adding value” we do not mean putting the proverbial lipstick on a pig but creating actual value in the property by adding bedrooms, bathrooms, or additional living space.
You can do this Investor Nation!
Let’s get after it!
The iFC Team
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