There are some notable benefits real estate investors can derive by enlisting the services of realty agents to help them find investment properties. In this article, I want to point out just a few, lest investors wrongly conclude that real estate agents are not needed, and as a result, perhaps lose an opportunity to find the buried treasure they have been seeking.
Foremost, a good agent understands the local neighborhoods or towns you have narrowed as your choice location for making a purchase. Consequently, you not only are spared the legwork of having to do your own research, you avoid having to guess which areas are strong or starting to get hot. Good agents know the market and what rental properties are selling for. So they can truly guide you; you just sit back, ask your questions, and learn.
This is not to say, though, that you should shoot yourself in the foot and meet with an agent simply to gather the valuable information you want so you can go it alone. The idea is for you to enlist a real estate agent as a loyal and trusted partner because at the end of the day having a faithful “insider” eager to show you the properties that are (or about to come) available is where the payoff is.
I can’t count the number of times I turned my loyal customers on to a particularly juicy rental property the minute it was listed. In this case, time is of the essence because profitable deals generate a stampede of activity, and when my customer did in fact secure an acceptable offer, it was because he or she won the race thanks to my alert.
Along these same lines, you might have your eye on a specific income property that is not currently up for sale. Here again, having a close relationship with a dedicated agent who knows exactly what you want can make all the difference because you get a call when it does become available.
Fair enough. But there are other ways a good agent can assist you in addition to showing you properties and neighborhoods.
1) Help you run and interpret the numbers. True rental property specialists regularly have a real estate investment software solution in their arsenal of tools that will create cash flows and rate of return presentations. So you can better understand a property’s profitability, and see whether or not your investment objectives are met.
2) Suggest financing sources and techniques of which you might be unaware.
3) Present comp sales and rent levels to help educate you about realistic market values for the types of rental property in the areas you are seeking.
4) Act as your intermediary in negotiations to help persuade sellers to accept your price and terms, as well as handle innumerable details and problems that commonly seem to surface from contract to closing.
5) Recommend other professionals whose services you may need such as a contractor, property inspector, or property management firm; and maybe even suggest possibilities for value-creating improvements.
6) Share about future development plans for an area that might impact (for better or worse) a particular type of investment property, or about the pros and cons of various properties that might otherwise have escaped your attention.
In other words, your agent can become an effective partner that will help you sort through your neighborhood and investment property trade-offs, suggest realistic market values, keep you informed about what is for sale, and assist you through the buying process from start to finish.
Take it from someone whom investors have enlisted to aid them with real estate investing. All things considered, yes it was good for me to remain faithful to my investor-customers; but likewise, when all’s said and done, those investors who remained loyal to me over the years would gladly admit that it was good for them, too.