Thursday, May 19, 2016

Investing In Real Estate – Building The Right Team #1: Realtor

Last week, we briefly reviewed a list of the team you should consider building if you want to become a real estate investor. Over the next set of posts, we will elaborate on some of these team members and what you should know. To begin, we will start with arguably the most important member of your team... the realtor .

What should you look for when choosing a realtor to help you with investment properties?

Consider a realtor who specializes in income properties, or at least has significant experience with dealing with investor clients both on the buying and selling side. Ask for a list of properties they have worked on and possibly for references. It is also a huge bonus to have a realtor who is an investor themselves. They will be able to speak from first-hand experience and should be able to offer excellent insight. Choosing the right realtor is especially critical when investing outside of your home market, where you’ll be relying on them more for information about that market.

In what ways will my chosen realtor help in the process?

Your realtor should meet with you, understand your goals for investing and gauge your financial and management abilities to invest in properties. They should provide you information about the rental market, including rents, vacancy rates, employment info, demographics, municipal and fire code regulations, neighbourhood info and more. At this point you should be ready to look into specific properties and narrow down your focus to the right property for you. After finding the right property, your realtor will handle offer negotiations, facilitate inspections, appraisals, etc. to meet conditions and generally handle the sale right through to closing.

In what ways can my realtor go over and above?

Your realtor should have ideas and insights to help you be successful. They should understand the rental market and what makes a unit marketable to tenants. They can provide advice regarding value added renovations, marketing of vacancies, how to handle tenant inquires and applications and general maintenance of the property to keep things moving steadily. They can also provide referrals to other professionals for your team, including lawyers, mortgage brokers, insurance brokers, building inspectors, management companies, etc. Lastly, they should protect your interests at all times. They should see red flags such as blatant fire code violations, undesirable tenants, inefficiencies (electric heat loss) and other potential headaches of future problems.

This is a brief discussion about what to look from your realtor when looking at investing in real estate. It should give you some guidelines to get you started. Good luck!

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