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Buying and Selling Distressed Houses for Maximum Profit (Update)
If you want to become a real estate investor, find a "fixer-upper" owned by an anxious seller. Finding distressed houses at bargain prices, fixing them up, and then selling them on a consistent basis can make you a multi-millionaire.
Why Sellers Sell At a Discount
Home owners' problems often prevent them from staying on top of their home's upkeep. Factors such as job loss, divorce, serious illness, various addictions, or other personal problems quickly overwhelm distressed home owners, forcing them to sell. These sellers can't make the needed repairs because of financial or physical limitations, and when that happens, their home becomes a low priority and sometimes will go into foreclosure.
Look for the "Triple D"
Home sellers with three problems give beginning investors a great opportunity. A "Triple D" is a Doghouse, involved in a Divorce, and in Default. The label "doghouse" comes from Southern California Realtors who used this term to describe the worst fixers. These houses maybe "tired" and need only cosmetic work in order to favorably compare with other homes in the area.
What to Look for in a Doghouse
The hardest house for a homeowner to sell is a "doghouse," "dump," or "fixer-upper." These run-down houses scare off most buyers, who don't have the money to cover the down payment, closing costs, new furniture, carpeting, appliances, roof repairs, and other deferred maintenance required to bring the home back into top condition.
As you look through the classified ads or at Realtor listings, keep an eye out for terms like "handyman special," "as is," "fixer," or other tell-tale words. Also have your agent use similar terms when scanning the Multiple Listing Service for your target area.
Once you've found a property that you can turn from doghouse to dollhouse, find out the seller's problem and then offer a solution. Distressed sellers frequently experience financial problems and need cash as soon as possible. Therefore, if you're ready to close quickly, you'll be set to negotiate a lower sales price.
How to Close Quickly
Find an experienced lender and get yourself not only "pre-qualified," but also "pre-approved." Taking that second step assures worried sellers that you already have your loan in place for their property, and this puts you well ahead of other potential buyers.
How to Know When "Bad" Is Good
When you first start out in the real estate "fixer" business, you'll want to look for "ugly" houses needing only cosmetic work. Look for entry level fixers that just need some cleaning up, painting, and carpeting.
When you're new to the fixer business, always remember your limitations and use caution when considering houses needing structural repairs. My husband replaces structural beams, sub-flooring, walls, plumbing, and electrical systems, but he acquired those skills after years of experience.
If you find a house with structural problems, get estimates from reliable contractors to do the work. Experience teaches you how to do more over time. Until then, rely on experienced professionals to do the repairs. Take professional estimates into account before deciding whether or not to purchase an investment property.
The Easiest Houses to Sell
A dollhouse, located in a popular neighborhood, sells the quickest. For instance, we once sold a home we named "Orange Tree Cottage" in just three hours! To qualify as a dollhouse, a home must be in a location that buyers want and must offer the number of bedrooms, bathrooms, and amenities they're seeking. Beyond the price, however, buyers purchase the house that meets both their basic requirements and their emotional needs.
Filling Buyers' Emotional Needs
After many years of investment experience, we've found that using Design Psychology and Marketing Psychology techniques greatly increases our profits. Both concepts go far beyond "curb appeal."
For instance, we use colors that target our prospective buyer's income level and match the selling season. Generally, buyers of higher-priced homes prefer complex colors. And using cool colors during hot weather and warm colors in cold seasons makes buyers feel like they've found an oasis or sheltering haven.
We also paint the front door a happy color and entice buyers into the house by placing potted plants on the porch. Once inside, we use home staging strategies to create a buyers' dream home. We don't use a lot of furniture; just a few accessories to suggest happy activities. The idea is to make the buyers believe that if they buy your home, they'll enjoy a new lifestyle.
Over the years, we've bought and sold dozens of distressed properties. By using caution and common sense, as well as following a few simple rules and using Design Psychology strategies, you, too, can become a wealthy real estate investor!
(c) Copyright 2005 Jeanette J. Fisher. All rights reserved.
Professor Jeanette Fisher, author of Doghouse to Dollhouse for Dollars: Using Design Psychology to Increase Real Estate Profits, Sell Your Home for Top Dollar--FAST, Home Staging, and other books teaches Real Estate Investing and Design Psychology. For more articles, tips, newsletters, and blogs for your questions, see http://www.doghousetodollhousefordollars.com/
Investing in Real Estate Profitably: Financing Options for Purchase of Rental Houses, Part 1.
This is not an article about tricks for 100% (no money down) financing. Even if you do take advantage of various no money down strategies from time to time, these strategies are not generally applicable when you begin investing systematically in multiple rental homes with the goal of making significant rental income.
Real Estate Tax Incentives
Lower Your TaxesTax incentives for real estate investors can often make the difference in your tax rates. Deductions for rental property can often be used to offset wage income.
Why Selling on Lease Options is Glorified Landlording
I might upset some folks with this one, but that's okay as I think it's important to get some of my experiences into the light of day. If you fully believe the hype that you won't have any landlording responsibilities by selling on a lease option, go ahead and stop here.
Want To Be Profitable In This Real Estate Bubble? I'll Show You How In Just Three Easy Steps
STEP#1. First you have to recognize that in order to make money in almost any market (i.
Sell Your Home Without Paying Any Commissions
All of us know that real estate commissions can work out to quite a bit of money - anything from a few thousand dollars with discount brokers to 6% in commissions with full-service agents. That's a substantial sum of money to be paying for something you could very well do on your own.
Make Money With Room Rentals
I don't know why I didn't do it sooner, but one day many years ago, I decided to try renting rooms in my home. I was young and single, and had a nice mobile home on small piece of property.
As a Realtor, How Do I Attract Listings?
Have you ever noticed that despite the massive number of Realtors in your area, only a hand full are making a fortune selling real estate? Regardless of who these realtors work for; GMAC, Century 21, REMax, they are extremely successful where others in their office are barely scraping by. What is the secret to their success? First and foremost, it is their approach to marketing themselves and their customers.
Housing Bubbles and You
Are we in a housing bubble? To answer that question first we need to understand what a housing bubble actually is. A housing bubble is what happens when the there is a significant rise in the market that is mostly due to the expectation that the prices will continue to rise.
Seller Objections To Lease Purchase
A large percentage of the mail we receive are from people that complain that sellers don't want to do a lease purchase, they just want to sell their house. Or sellers come up with too many objections.
FSBO: For Sale By Owners Chapter Two
Sheriff's Deputy Ted Rasmussen was thinking about Carrie-his pregnant waitress problem-when he sighted the traffic disruption meandering near the yellow line on Bay Street. A Bremerton merchant had called the Sheriff's emergency number reporting a wet morning commuter mess.
Buyers Closing Cost
Buyers, borrower, closing costs can be divided into two categories. Nonrecurring closing cost and recurring closing cost.
Negative Gearing - It's Not to Your Benefit!
The concept of negative gearing has been originally developed to encourage real estate investment in Australia by allowing any income losses from property investment to be deductible from other income as a tax benefit. This means that the taxable income of the owner will be reduced after the deduction and therefore the total tax payable is also reduced.
Dont Overpay for a House, Even in Todays Market
If there's one thing American investors love, it's an over-inflated market. Which is why they keep buying houses and new ones keep coming onto the market.
How to Buy a Property in Bulgaria
The CostAlthough the property prices in Bulgaria are quite low compared to the other European countries, there is still a wide variety of prices depending on the property type and location (as a rule the properties in Sofia and at the Black Sea are more expensive). The first thing you will need to figure out is how much you can afford to spend and thereafter to determine the price range for your purchase.
Business Credit Card Dirty Tricks
My system teaches people that the proper use of credit is the fastest way to speed up your profits in real estate investing.And you can use this system no matter what your own credit score is.
FSBO: For Sale By Owners Chapter One
She reached the phone on its second ring. "This is Tami!" She confidently answered.
Real Estate Investing In Belize
Any trip to Belize starts fantasies of owning a beach villa, or a jungle resort. There are a lot of North Americans in this English speaking, former English colony.
What To Expect From Your House Appraisal
Having your house appraised can be a scary step in the moving process, especially if you don't know what to expect. Will your house pass muster or will they find some hidden defects and problems lurking in the basement and attic? Should you scrub the house clean?Don't worry - this isn't a test of how clean you keep your house or even if your house has problems (that will be for the home inspector to find out).
Preparing for a Showing
As soon as you decide to put your home on the market, all sorts of sprucing-up are in order. But let's assume you've already scrubbed to a fare-thee-well, touched up a bit of paint, cleared most of the stuff off your kitchen counters and straightened out your closets.
Understanding Title Insurance
Title to a property is a record detailing the owners of the property and rights associated with the ownership. Title typically shows a progression of ownership from the first owner to the current one.
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