When you first start out investing in real estate and looking for properties you probably head over to realtor.com and start looking at the listings there. There is no doubt that the site has the most comprehensive listings of properties on the market in your area, but it doesn’t have them all. The first rule of investing in real estate is that property can be found anywhere and not all real estate deals can be found on MLS. In fact most of your best deals won’t be found on MLS at all.
There are tons of small residential units that are put on multiple listing service everyday so it is always worth a look. However the more competitive the market is the more your fighting over the properties that are listed on MLS. If you don’t have deep pockets then competing against the big guys can seem futile. That means you need to find another way to find deals. Let’s talk about how you can find them.
Auctions can be hit or miss, they have some really good deals and others that are not so great. However there is a lot less competition at an auction, bear in mind though that everyone at an auction is going to be an investor. The other thing you have to keep in mind is that you will need cash on hand to buy property at an auction. Not ideal for the first time buyer.
Word of Mouth
The first thing you want to do when you start your real estate investing career is to tell people about it. Let all of your friends and family know that you are looking for property and you can even sweeten the deal by offering a reward for any properties that you close on. You may even be able to get in there with an offer before the property is listed.
For Sale By Owner
There are a couple of different sites that list properties that the owner is selling themselves, you can check out fsbo.com or even CraigsList. You will have to weed through a ton of overpriced properties in order to find something that is worth your while. You can also check out Trulia and Zillow for houses that are being sold by their owners.
Take a Drive
As you drive around town keep an eye out for really distressed properties, you know the ones where the weeds are overgrowing and the house needs a ton of work. It may be worth your while checking in with the owners to see if they are willing to sell. Nothing ventured, nothing gained.
When it comes to real estate investments and finding a good deal, then don’t be afraid to think outside the box. Look at more than just MLS listings for a good deal.