Updated July 8, 2020
Maybe it's your first time purchasing an investment property, and perhaps not, but there is something to be said about using the expertise of a local Realtor® to find the right property. The barriers to gaining your real estate license are low, but you have to have the right skills, the ambition, and the time to do so. Spending the extra cash to find someone to do the legwork for you usually is your best bet.
Here are the qualities you'll want to look for in your agent
1. Has Experience
You don't want them to have just any experience, but real estate investment experience. Ask about the number of investors they've worked within the past and how many deals were successfully closed. It might even be worth the extra effort to find an agent with the investment experience of their own. If they've purchased their investment properties, they can better relate to your goals and strategies.
2. Knows the Local Area
As an investor, this is one of the main reasons you seek out a realtor for your investment purchases. You may be looking in an area of town you're not familiar with or even in a state you've never personally visited. You want someone who has the resources and the knowledge of the area to help you find the right properties, the likelihood of finding a quality tenant, and possible resale values. If they know the area and have the experience, they likely have connections there as well. Knowing the right people to contact can save you a lot of time and effort.
3. Willing to Get Their Hands Dirty
The investment business isn't always pretty. The agent needs straightforward communication, and strong negotiation skills, as many offers, may have to be made on several properties. You're looking to pay the lowest price for the highest return, and it's not always easy to get your offer accepted. The agent needs to be willing to facilitate negotiations like a boss, and not next Tuesday after you've already lost out on a great deal. They also need to have thick skin, as not every offer is received well.
4. Be on the Same Page
Let the agent know upfront what your plans are for the property. Do you plan to flip and resell? Are you looking for rental income or becoming a landlord? Then ask them for recommendations based on those criteria. Not only will you confirm they are quick on their feet, but you can also feel comfortable that they know their stuff.
5. Use the Right Technology
With all the paperwork flying around on multiple properties, your agent will need to be organized and willing to use technology to increase efficiency. That goes for communication as well. Ask the agent how they plan to organize, deliver, and communicate offer paperwork and statuses to keep you up to date on your offers and the best properties available on the market. If you want to see the property, are they comfortable doing it through Skype or another technology?
6. Ask About Commission Discounts
In 40 out of 50 states, buyer agents are allowed to offer buyer commission rebates for up to 1% of the home's purchase price. If you're able to recoup some of your commission costs through a discount and the agent meets all your other criteria, doing it seems like a no-brainer. In return, the agent might earn your business on all future purchases and receive your investor buddies as referrals.
Realtors® don't just offer value to the residential buyer or seller, but also investors. Choosing the right agent that can secure you the right properties will make or break your entire portfolio. Choose Wisely.
About the Author: Alissa Talimonchuk is a real estate enthusiast and head of product at Transactly. When she’s not trying to better the experience for the buyer and seller, you can find her in a book or playing Candyland with a toddler.
If you liked this article, subscribe to Rentometer's email newsletter to stay up-to-date on the latest trends in rental housing.