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Ensuring Your Success When Working With Real Estate Agents

Mar 1, 2008
You have heard all of the hype surrounding real estate investing, and you're ready to get started. You know that there is money to be made - you've seen the late night infomercials, and you even know some people who are investing in real estate successfully.

But how do you find deals that will make you money? One of the best areas to make money in real estate is through fixer-upper or rehab properties. One of the best ways to find these types of deals is through a real estate agent. You know them. You have seen their billboards with their smiling faces and catchy slogans! But how do you find the right real estate agent?

First there are two types of real estate agents: Buyer's agents and listing agents. The buyer's agents are the ones that represent the buyer's and make offers on listed properties. Listing agents are the agents that list properties and represent the seller of a property. The seller can be a private individual, a bank, the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) or any other person or entity that has decided to sell a property. Some agents represent both buyer's and sellers, while some agents are only on one side of the business.

There are many courses and gurus that will tell you to find a real estate agent and you will make so much money you won't be able to stand it. But the key is to find the right agent. If you are to be successful in real estate investing or any endeavor at all, you must find the right people to do business with. You must find the right buyer's agent to work with you on finding properties. The buyer's agent that you work with must meet the following criteria:

1. Experience with working with investors
2. Ability to think "outside of the box"
3. Friendly
4. Aggressive

Experience working with investors.

You wouldn't go to Burger King and ask for a bucket of chicken, would you? Yet many investors will attempt to work with an agent that is used to working with first time home owners and expect to have success. You must have someone in your corner that knows the territory and knows what to expect. The market for real estate investors is very different than that of a homeowner looking for a house in which to live. The real estate agent must understand not only the value of comparable sales and how needed repairs affect a sales price, but a myriad of other real estate investing specific criteria. You also want an agent that is used to Bank Owned (REO) properties, Government owned properties (HUDs), etc.

Ability to think outside of the box

All profitable investors must be creative and go against conventional wisdom at times. You must have an agent that thinks like you and is not offended if you are making a creative offer or attempting to put together a creative transaction.

Friendly

This rule should apply to anyone you are going to do business with on a consistent basis. Real estate investing should lead to freedom and security and if you have to deal with someone who is not a joy to be around takes away from your freedom. Your agent should not only be friendly, but should genuinely appreciate your business. Friendly agents get better results; they develop a better rapport with sellers and seller's agents which will result in more closings. This will result in more money in your pocket.

Aggressive

Many times your buyer's agent must call the listing agent of a property several times in order to get a response. Your buyer's agent may also have to make several offers before one gets accepted. Your agent must be able to press and not get frustrated.

Once you have found an agent that fits this criteria, you want to grow and develop a long term relationship with them. You want to do your best to close on time once you have a property under contract with them. Once you have closed several deals with them you also should send them birthday cards, Christmas cards, take them out to dinner etc. to show them that you value their business.

A good real estate agent can make you a lot of money. Find a good one and grow your relationship with them and you will be well on your way to building your real estate empire!
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