Once you get the investor-savvy agent on the phone, you need to verify that they work with investors. “Hi Mike. This is Gena. Angie said you are the rock star agent for working with investors! Is that true?”
You are building rapport and taking the edge off the conversation. Who doesn’t like to be a rock star? If Mike says that’s him, you are off to the races. If not, ask for someone else, or call another office. Don’t waste your time or Mike’s time.
“So Mike, I’m looking for single-family homes in safe, entry-level neighborhoods. I like three bedroom houses that are 1,000 to 1,500 square feet. I want to renovate these houses, put them back on the market (you can list them for me) and make a nice profit. Can you send me a couple dozen houses that are vacant, need work, and have had a price reduction or have longer than average days on the market?”
Why are these points important? Vacant – someone is paying the bills and no one is living there. Needs work – a traditional homebuyer wants a home ready to live in, not a project. Price Reduction – the seller has started negotiating with himself. He’s getting anxious. Long days on the market – the longer the house sits, the higher the need to sell. In other words, these four characteristics define a Highly Motivated Seller!
This is not your all-inclusive conversation, but it will get you started. If Mike asks you questions you can’t answer, (which neighborhoods? what price range?) you can rely on his expertise and have him tell you what his other investors prefer. How Mike performs will let you know if he’s your guy. Sometimes you have to kiss a lot of frogs to find your prince, so pucker up!
Your real estate agent is your door to nearly everyone else you will need on your team. An agent who works with investors will know contractors, property managers, mortgage brokers, hard money lenders — everything you need! Referrals are always the best way to go.