Looking for a fast-track on finding properties to fix-and-flip? Do Hard Money gives you five ways to find profitable deals fast. But to be honest, finding properties quickly can be summed up in one tip:

STAY AWAY FROM THE MLS!

We’re definitely serious! This may sound strange, seeing that the MLS is one of the most popular sites to find and potentially purchase a home. However, that’s the exact reason why you shouldn’t look there. It’s TOO popular.

Here are a few other reasons why you shouldn’t look on the MLS for fix-and-flip properties:

  1. It has the highest competition – First-time flippers tend to want to take the easiest route. So, they all flock to the MLS. And then they get stuck in a massive traffic jam of competing offers until the house is sold… to someone else.
  2. It has the highest prices – It’s true you will find properties with not as much repair work needed on the MLS. However, sellers tend to use that fact to their advantage and hike up the listing price. With a high purchase price, there’s no way you can make a decent profit.
  3. It has the lowest number of profitable opportunities – Solid fix-and-flip deals post on the MLS once in a blue moon. And once they post, a giant herd of half-crazed real estate investors come flocking and war for the highest bid… more often than not, before you can even get there!

So, now you know where you shouldn’t look, let’s focus on where you should look. Here are our top 5 places to find lucrative properties quickly:

1. Bank Foreclosures & Short Sales

Bank foreclosure listings are a phenomenal resource for the following reasons:

  • Properties seek to be sold quickly and at below-market prices
  • You can purchase foreclosures with less risk and less competition
  • Foreclosures are typically lien-free

While foreclosures usually sell for fantastic discounts, be sure to investigate the neighborhood and the needed repairs for the property. First of all, it won’t do you much good to purchase a home only to find it’s in a terrible area. Second, it doesn’t make sense to purchase at a low price only to find it needs a new roof and has major foundation issues.

Short sales differ from bank foreclosures in that the seller is looking to sell a property before the bank seizes it and it goes into foreclosure. Short sales, like foreclosures, are bargain-priced with very motivated sellers. You can lock down a short-sale property more quickly if you already have a hard money lender and down payment or proof of funds ready to go.

Where to Look: For bank foreclosure listings, check out Foreclosure.com. You can also check out RealtyTrac and Re/Max. For short sales, you can either do a regional search online or go to Foreclosure.com.

2. Auction Listings

You can find some excellent properties selling for low prices at real estate auctions. To ensure you bid on the right property, go into an auction with the following information ahead of time:

  • The quality of the property location
  • The kind of repairs needed to make the property move-in ready
  • The maximum price you can bid for this property while still maintaining a solid overall profit

You can calculate a lot of this information using our helpful tool, the Advanced Deal Analyzer. As a result, you’ll get solid numbers you need about the property and your potential profit. Once you obtain the numbers on each auction property, stick to those numbers. Don’t let the heat of an auction get the best of you. You don’t want to be stuck with a property you paid far too much for.

Where to Look: For auction listings, check out Auction.com and Hubzu.

3. Estate Sales & Probate Opportunities

So many flippers ended up securing a profitable deal just by attending an estate sale. Typically, estate sales are held by the relatives of an individual who recently passed away. And the majority of the time, those relatives may seek to offload an older, outdated property quickly. We’ve seen many borrowers seek out estate sales and then ask the person running the sale about the house. Then, they offer to take the home off their hands fast with an offer. More often than not, these relatives are extremely grateful to find someone to take care of the property they no longer want to keep around. As a result of simply asking, our borrowers find themselves with an excellent REI deal.

Probate situations are similar: someone has passed and relatives aren’t sure what to do with their property. That’s where you come in and make an offer. You can snag an excellent rehab opportunity for a low price. Again, make sure these probate properties are in good locations.

Where to Look: Check your local newspaper and online obituary listings. You can also look in the classified ads for estate sales in the area. Another option is to request online probate court records.

4. Marketing, Mailers & Signs

Have you ever seen those yellow and black signs around offering cash for houses? Guess what… they’re from investors, just like you! They pound the pavement and take advantage of strategic marketing to find deals. There are many ways you can get the word out, but here are a few of the best:

  • Blast social media – Post, share, tweet, instagram, pin, do it all. The more you can advertise on social media you’re looking for a fix-and-flip opportunity, the better. You never know if a friend of a friend of a friend on Facebook is looking to sell a house quickly. As a result of your post, you could end up with multiple properties!
  • Send out postcards and other mailers – This is a very effective marketing tool to get the word out to those who may not be on social media often.
  • Use the fancy black and yellow signs (bandit signs) – The great thing about this strategy is that it’s simple and effective. For your sign, all you need is an offer (we buy houses – cash) and a contact number (123-45-6789). That’s it. Those who may miss your online blast or mailers will drive down the road and see your sign. And since your sign will be plain and highly visible, they’ll have no trouble catching your phone number.
  • Hire some help – Many flippers actually hire people to search for properties for them. This is a very effective method, especially if you pay a percentage based on when the deal is ultimately sold. First off, this motivates your hires to start searching right away. Second, it helps them focus on better-quality deals. You can pay a base and add a commission later. For example, for deals that get funded, they get a bonus as a result of their successful efforts.

Where to Look: You can design your own bandit sign online by clicking here. You can also send out mass postcards to mailing lists by clicking here.

5. REI Networking

To find profitable deals fast, networking is absolutely crucial. Here are some of the best people to know in the real estate investment industry:

  • Realtors – This is a no-brainer. Realtors not only know the business inside and out, but they have a lot of inside information regarding new properties which haven’t hit the market yet. As a result, you can snag a property quickly, ahead of the competition.
  • Wholesalers – Wholesaling is a phenomenal way to get your feet wet with real estate investments. Many investors wholesale full-time and are great resources for real estate hot spots. They can also help you learn more about the fix-and-flip process.
  • Lawyers – Like realtors, lawyers have the inside track on information and properties yet to hit the market. Many probate and divorce lawyers will know if their clients are looking to offload property to make the process easier, which gives you a leg up over the competition.
  • REI Groups – Attend your local real estate investment group. You can find them online and most advertise on Facebook. You’ll meet a ton of seasoned pros who can help you with the next step and first-timers who know exactly what you’re going through. Needless to say, you can learn a lot from everyone there.
  • Hard Money Lenders – A lender is a very valuable resource. Not only do they fund your deal, but many provide investment tools and knowledge to help you start off on the right and most successful track.

Where to Look: First off, contact Do Hard Money. We can help you right away. You can also search Facebook for local REI groups.

Speaking of lenders being a great resource…

Did you know Do Hard Money is far more than just a hard money lender? We provide our borrowers with exclusive access to our vast library of essential investment tools and resources. We’ll teach you how to find a property, how to get it under contract, how to execute a fantastic rehab and how to resell it quickly. To start on the path to financial freedom right away, click on this link to schedule your appointment with our investment associates. Regardless of whether or not you have experience or good credit, we can still help you achieve your financial goals!

If you already have a property in mind… excellent! You can get pre-qualified for a loan today by filling in the yellow ‘GET PRE-QUALIFIED’ box on the right. As a result, your deal will jump-start into success right away!

If you don’t have a property in mind yet… that’s ok, too! Feel free to give us a call at 801.948.9774. We can help you start your next successful real estate investment deal immediately! Schedule your appointment today!