Successful companies and individuals throughout time have been using their "unfair advantages" to find success in their business or profession. From Henry Ford utilizing an assembly line process before others caught on, to Starbucks marketing making us feel ok to spend more and feel great to have that so common green logo on our drinks.
Well, in today's fast moving real estate market you need your own "unfair advantage," or strategies to find and cut a far better deal on a fixer-upper home for yourself or a real estate investment. So I'm here to deliver you a few of these "Unfair Advantages" that I literally use daily to uncover deals most others simply overlook or can't find.
And before you feel bad about the word "unfair," in this case it is nothing more than knowing something others don't and being smart enough to utilize it.
We're coming off a period of extreme negative sentiment about real estate. The crash in real estate was deep, damaging and left few areas untouched. For savvy investors and many families alike, this deep dip in real estate made investing in a home something that seemed better to be put off until better days. Well those better days are here now and there is no time to delay!
What's been a surprise to many is the steep and immediate uptrend instead of gradual improvement. Particularly in the hardest hit markets in states like California, Arizona, Nevada, and Florida, the shift has been sudden and buyers are finding that they're being outbid when making offers, even offers above the asking price. And, it's not just in those tough market states either. All around the country, buyers are finding that they must compete for properties, whether they're investors, move-up buyers, or first time home buyers.
The question so many are asking when they are scratching their heads is: Could the market really be rebounding that fast? The answer is a big fat YES!
If you haven't seen this steep reversal in your area yet, don't become complacent and let it surprise you, because in my opinion the shift is coming to an area near you. Once markets begin this uptrend, buyers find themselves competing with many others who have the same goals. They'll want a fairly-priced home in a certain price range in specific areas, just like you will. What are they going to be doing to find that home?
- Contacting friends to keep an eye out for homes they might like.
- Approaching a friend, relative or suggested real estate agents to search listings for them.
What results can they expect? They'll get plenty of emails and a lot of phone calls about homes that may meet their needs, but those will be the same homes, calls and emails that all potential buyers in that area will be receiving. This causes the demand to outweigh supply and the inevitable feeling that" all of the good deals are gone". But, with a few advantages the tables will turn in your favor. If you want different results, you'll need to take a very different approach ... and that's where my "unfair advantage" techniques come into play.
You'll still need to work with a real estate agent, but you'll be giving them very specific instructions as to the type of homes you want them to bring to your attention and how you want the information delivered. Using these techniques few others know about, you'll have an advantage over all of those other home shoppers and investors:
1) Tell the agent to set up searches that will yield not only homes that meet your size, area and features requirements, but also homes that have at least one of the three keywords or phrases in their MLS (Multiple Listing Service) descriptions or meet certain criteria:
- "as is"
- and have had at least one recent "price reduction"
2) These are keywords and phrases that indicate a home that's probably not in perfect condition, (fixer-upper) in other words. It's not a home that all of those other buyers will be competing for. It is also a home that has a deeper level of motivation by the seller to sell.
3) Also tell the agent to send you these listings in the same report format that the agent sees. There is a simple version that is typically sent and a more detailed one with additional comments and notes that the agents see. You want the more robust version.
4) Using the full descriptive data from the "agent" listing reports, you can then look for other tell-tale words and phrases that are signs that the seller is ultra motivated to sell and take a lower price. Look for slogans crafted by agents to put a positive spin on a somewhat negative thing. If the house needs work, the agent may say "Diamond in the Rough". These are your key words that can open the door of opportunity for you to make a lower offer and have it accepted:
- "handyman special"
- "must sell" or "must move"
- "already moved"
- "needs a little help" or "needs some TLC"
- "bring any reasonable offer"
When these 'unfair advantages" are used properly you are not just out there hoping to find a good deal. You are using tell-tale proven techniques to CREATE a good deal. These are techniques that most people know nothing about. While the vast majority of regular buyers and many investor buyers are out there checking out the same homes as their competition, you'll be secretly and selectively evaluating homes not even on their radar. Not only will you be reducing your competition, but you'll be locating the homes most likely to have highly motivated sellers willing to negotiate discounts instead of take bids.
Don't take my word for it. If you are looking for a fixer-upper for yourself or for profit, test the above and be amazed at the results. Happy Hunting.