A real estate investor can hope to be successful in this field if he can identify and successfully close bargain deals. How can you hope to make money if you are not able to purchase properties at less than their market value? You can renovate and sell properties only when you find them. There are many ways of spotting properties that can fetch good return on investment for you. Many investors depend upon wholesalers while others make use of letters targeted to property owners. There is no dearth of investors relying upon brokers to lay their hands-on bargain properties. But there is another, very good source of attractive properties and that is MLS.
‘Multiple Listing Service’ is a huge database of properties used by realtors around the country. It contains details of most of the properties on sale in the country. Of course, there are many luxury properties that never come on the MLS but then you do not need luxury properties if you are a real estate investor. In fact, you can easily build your portfolio as an investor by using MLS alone.
First, MLS contains details of foreclosure properties. These are the properties that come on to the market when the owner is not able to fulfill his obligations towards his lender. The owner is motivated to sell his property quickly because he knows that he will get the best possible price only through a realtor. They also know that they will not only lose ownership but also any money that they can make by selling it the traditional way.
It is not just foreclosure properties but also short sales that you come across in the MLS. Then you also find different types of estates. In fact, from a studio apartment to a large villa, there is everything you are interested in when it comes to MLS.
The database of properties is available not just to the realtors but also the common people. However, you can only find details of properties shared by realtors on realty websites like Zillow and Realtor.com. To get access to the entire database, you need to develop friendship with a realtor. You can also choose to become a realtor yourself to get access to all the properties in the MLS. As a real estate investor, you must decide which of these two methods is easier for you. Both methods have their own pros and cons. Of course, you will have to work harder to become a realtor yourself.
Irrespective of the method you use to get access to the MLS, you now have the best tool to zero in on the best properties according to your criteria. MLS has many search tools to get down to just the type of properties you are interested in. For example, you can search according to location, size, price range, and even type of properties. You can conduct your search on a daily basis, or you can set email alerts to get notified about any property that comes on to the market and also matches your criteria.
In addition to the MLS, the best way to identify a bargain deal is to first understand your own housing market. It will not take you much time to spot an attractive property if you know the trends in your housing market. There is no need to waste your time and effort on looking at thousands of properties in the MLS.
Finally, you need to keep your finances ready to be able to move in and close the deal as soon as you have spotted a good property.
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