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Real Estate Has anyone purchased a property not on the m.l.s?

Discussion in 'Real Estate Investing' started by anunez, Dec 27, 2007.

  1. anunez
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    anunez New Contributor

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    I am feeling lazy because I am only using the m.l.s to find investment properties. I am interested to know how the real investors are finding their deals?
     
  2. andviv
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    andviv Gold Contributor Read Millionaire Fastlane FASTLANE INSIDER Speedway Pass Summit Attendee

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    Well, in my opinion, there is nothing wrong with finding properties in the MLS. However, it should not be the only place to get them from.

    Realtors have been important for me in the past as often they call me to offer me properties that have not been listed. Many Realtors do marketing with the people in their short list of buyers as they could get the whole commission for themselves, instead of splitting it with the buyer's agent.

    I recommend you join your local real estate investment group as you will meet wholesalers and birddogs who can also offer you their deals.

    Another alternative is to have the home owner contact you, and that is why you will see those sign that say things like "we buy houses, pay cash" or "we stop foreclosures", which are targeting distressed sellers.

    another places like newspaper ads, craigslist.org, and FSBO magazines (FSBO == For Sale By Owner) provide more leads.

    Now, you being in the bay area may face some extra added challenges as property prices are really high. Anybody here investing in SFHs in that area? S928? Russ? Sean?
     
  3. Jason_MI
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    Jason_MI New Contributor

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    I have NEVER bought a property through MLS. Ummmm.....okay, that's not true. I bought and sold both Self-Storage places through MLS....maybe one or two houses. The vast majority of my leads come through direct mail from red-tag homes. People who have either lost interest or didn't know they had an interest in their properties.
     
  4. Jakko
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    Jakko Contributor

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    I am from the bay and I have never seen a bandit sign that says we buy houses around here. It is kinda weird.
     
  5. S928
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    S928 Contributor

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    Jakko, wow, yeah I don't ever recall seeing bandit signs. Yet, considering how hard it is to penetrate the market, because of high prices, it makes a bit more sense...still kinda odd though.

    Nunez, what you should be focused on right now is foreclosures and short sales. A ton of people are currently falling behind on their mortgage payments, especially in the Bay Area, and that can only mean on thing: opportunites are everywhere. There are plenty of online websites that offer such info, realtytraac.com, foreclosures.com etc. Purchasing a foreclosures can be a lot of work. A few years back I purchased a foreclosure in AZ and I had a nice chunk of instant equity. Due diligence is necessary, yet the rewards can be immense.

    It seems like you are interested in the Bay Area? If so, you'll obviously have a bit more homework to do. Once you target your market, try guerilla marketing and of course advertise on Craigslist, Craigslist, and more Craigslist.
     
  6. yveskleinsky
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    yveskleinsky Bronze Contributor Speedway Pass

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    I just contact people directly that own properties that I want to own. I tell them that they are doing what I want to be doing, and tell them that maybe down the line I might be interested in buying their property. I then ask if I could take them out to coffee and talk to them about what has worked and how they got involved in what they are doing. ...I have a coffee date like this for tomorrow morning! I also reiterate that I don't want to waste their time, as I don't know how serious I am- but if I could take 30 minutes of their time I'd appreciate it.

    Most people will want to meet with you- especially if it is a commercial building and they know they'll sit on it for awhile when they do go to sell. Worst-case scenerio you meet with someone and learn from them! Best-case, you may get them to sell you the building!
     
  7. andviv
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    andviv Gold Contributor Read Millionaire Fastlane FASTLANE INSIDER Speedway Pass Summit Attendee

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    This is a topic that have been mentioned in many other threads... I mention it here because I have a similar 'problem'. Living in expensive areas does not help when buying properties that cashflow (or at least break even) as rents are not even close to mortgage payments.

    Given this situation, WHY NOT INVEST IN AREAS THAT DO MAKE SENSE?

    That is what I am doing in my investments these days. Go where the cashflow AND appreciation happen. You don't HAVE to stay local.
     
  8. Reisteve
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    Reisteve New Contributor

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    It really depends on what you are looking for and what your exigt strategy is when looking..

    I only look at a MLS when I am selling to get comps....

    With most markets having declined or at a minimum flat... there are deals out there, you just have to go look at everything in your area where people list.

    Craigslist is actually pretty good for homeowners in trouble.

    Just my thought.

    Steve
     
  9. S928
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    S928 Contributor

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    Definitely true. Some people say deals are everywhere, and in fact that's a true statement, yet why work A LOT harder to find good deals when you can just extend your horizon and invest in other parts of the country. I was living in the Bay Area when I first became interested in RE, and everything on the market was above my purchase price, so I decided to invest in Arizona (which is were I'm from so I knew the area quite well). Within no time, I found many superb deals, and within a month I had a contract. Oh, yes, and then I rode the wave and experienced an unbelievable rate of appreciation. If I would've stayed local, such wouldn't of happened.
     
  10. Bilgefisher
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    Bilgefisher Bronze Contributor Read Millionaire Fastlane

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    My first and only deal was not listed on the MLS. It was a foreclosure picked up through redemption. My partners held the junior lien on the property.
     
  11. Jakko
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    Jakko Contributor

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    How long did it take for you to find the right investment? Did you have to keep going back and forth from Cali to Arizona? Also, did you have any trouble finding the right property manager at the start?
     
  12. S928
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    S928 Contributor

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    Jakko, I actually had a bit of help from my dad; he was my eyes. What I did was scope out the MLS and whenever extremely good deals came about, he would make an appointment to physically inspect the homes. In all, I reviewed many listings, but only had him visit two homes and within one month, I had a contract..Before I even sent him on my home hunting trips, he knew what to look for and I was already preapproved for the loan, so all he had to do was take a look at the property and thoroughly check it out. Sounds easy, and it actually was because he knew what to look for, and so did I. After closing, he managed the property and I actually had owned it for a year before I even saw it. I guess I'm kinda lucky.
     
  13. nomadjanet
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    nomadjanet Contributor

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    We have bought several properties in a resort area a couple hours drive from our home area from owners that were not advertised and without bandit signs. When we are down there having fun we spend a few hours driving around the "cabin areas" and take down the address of the ones that look unused. I look them up on the tax roles and send the owner a nice letter about our interest in the property. I never say we are investors or make any specific claims, just a casual, hey we are interested in buying a place in the area and thought you might be interested in selling. I don't do this often but we have purchased 3 properties this way in the same area out of about 30 letters.
    Janet
     

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