As you probably know, Christina and I were both real estate agents before we started flipping houses. That means that we have the experience necessary to find great deals without enlisting someone else’s help. We have access to the MLS, and we know what to look for in a property to see that it will sell at a good price after we rehab it. Even when we find a house that needs to be completely gutted because its last renters totally trashed it, we know how to rehab it to bring it up to market value without losing our shirts.
You don’t have to be a realtor to get into flipping houses, though. In fact, a lot of really successful flippers make a lot of money by hiring real estate agents to help them instead of putting in the time and effort to become experienced realtors themselves.
Think of it this way. You’re not a professional roofer, but you know that a lot of your flips are going to need new roofs. Do you go out and spend the money to learn the trade, buy all the tools, and do it all yourself on your flips? Of course not. It’s much more cost effective and efficient to hire someone else to do it for you.
If you don’t already have a lot of experience in the real estate business, it makes sense to hire a good realtor who has experience with investment properties and flips who can help you locate deals and fill your lead funnel. Here are my best tips for choosing and working with a real estate agent for your flips.
Don’t just settle on the first realtor you find. Talk to other flippers and ask who they’ve worked with. Look at online reviews. Find a realtor who has worked with flip properties before. And, most important, choose one who you really get along with. The two of you are going to be working together a lot, so you shouldn’t choose someone who you butt heads with all the time.
Understand That They Need to Make Money Too
Realtors are paid on commission. If your realtor doesn’t find houses that you want to buy, then they won’t make any money from working with you. That means that you need to be really clear and open about your business model and the kinds of properties you’re looking for. The more information you give your realtor, the more focused they’ll be with their search and the more quality leads they’ll find for you.
Make Sure They Know That You Mean Business
Working with house flippers can be really lucrative for a real estate agent. If you let them know just how many houses you intend to buy with their help, they’re going to be pretty excited to work with you. So let them know that you really mean business and that you want to make a lot of deals with them.
Listen to Expert Advice but Don’t Be Afraid to Say No
Finally, remember that you’re hiring a real estate expert to help you find and choose the very best flips for your business. So, when they come to you with property recommendations, listen to them. They’re probably going to have some insights that you never would have thought of on your own.
But don’t be afraid to say no. Your realtor knows that working with you over the long term is going to make them a lot more money than selling you on one bad deal now and never seeing you again. However, they may still try to sell you on some deals that you’re not comfortable with. When all else fails, go with your gut and move on to the next opportunity. Flipping houses always involves some risk, but you don’t have to buy a property that doesn’t feel right.