Buying Investment Property What Are the Best Alternative Sources for Finding Investment Properties for Sale? by Eman Hamed December 24, 2017February 10, 2019 by Eman Hamed December 24, 2017February 10, 2019 No doubt you’ve seen “For Sale” signs in front of homes, but there are many other sources to find investment properties for sale. When using a variety of resources to find properties, you give yourself a great chance of finding the best investment. Here are the best alternative sources for finding real estate for sale. Finding Investment Properties for Sale through MLS The Multiple Listing Service (MLS) is a service used by a group of real estate brokers. Its purpose is to provide them with accurate and structured data about investment properties for sale across the country. The MLS has been the main source for the vast majority of real estate transactions over the years. This is because it gives seller brokers more exposure to their property, and provides buyer brokers with more options. In return, both brokers receive a commission on the sale. In addition, the MLS listing databases are considered the most accurate as far as property details on the Internet or elsewhere go, and access to information to the MLS listings is provided to the public free-of-charge. On the other hand, competition is high when using this alternative as property listings are widely distributed for the most eyes to see. Related: Everything You Need to Know about Multiple Listing Services (MLS) Finding Investment Properties for Sale by Networking Real estate is a people business. The relationships you create over the course of your real estate career are a valuable asset; someone you know may have a deal up their sleeves, or perhaps know someone else who does. Networking is a great way to find investment properties for sale that are not known to everyone. Useful groups to network with include: Personal Investor Network: This can include landlords you have met who own investments properties or an old college contact who is now a real estate investor. Real Estate Investor Meetups: These groups are quite easy to join. For example, Meetup.com is one resource for getting into the investor network. Simply search for “real estate investing” and a handful of groups will appear. Go to multiple meetups you are interested in to make the necessary contacts and grow your real estate investment network quickly. Investment Clubs: These are very useful because oftentimes there is an email list where members of the club share and advertise investment properties for sale. If you don’t belong to any, it is a good idea to join one. Personal Acquaintances: People in real estate are not the only ones who can lead you to a great investment deal. Friends, family, and professional contacts can be great resources to find potential investment properties for sale; they might have networks of their own who know of a great real estate investment opportunity. That said, it’s best that you make your intentions known. By informing everyone in your inner-circle that you are in the market and interested in buying a real estate property, you place yourself in the best position to find deals. It’s completely possible that a coworker, for example, will know of someone looking to sell. Related: Creating a Real Estate Investment Network: Who Do You Need? Finding Investment Properties for Sale Online Technology has made finding real estate investment properties much easier. There are many different websites designed to help real estate investors find investment properties for sale. These sites offer various resources, and some sites even offer property records and neighborhood information to further help in analyzing the investment property. Two known websites that are helpful in conducting your property search are Craigslist and Realtor.com. Craigslist.org is one of the most popular free online websites in the world. Millions of people use it to buy and sell almost everything, including real estate. Using Craigslist to find investment properties for sale is fairly simple. You go to the area of the country you are interested in and then to the “Real Estate for Sale” section to see if there is any property that might interest you. You can set your criteria by typing search words such as foreclosure or short sale, in addition to setting a minimum and a maximum price to narrow down your property search. Realtor.com is the National Association of Realtors’ official site. You can use this website to search through millions of property listings all over the country. You have the option to search exclusively for foreclosures. Another nice feature of Realtor.com is that it allows you to type in a street address or zip code, and it will provide you with an assessed value of homes in the area. Moreover, you can sign up for a service called “SearchAssis” that delivers up to date listings of real estate for sale to your inbox as they hit the market. Related: Finding an Investment Property: Traditional vs. Mashvisor Finding Investment Properties for Sale at Auctions Auctions are becoming a popular real estate source for finding investment properties for sale, especially for investors who are looking for a bargain. Real estate experts often buy property this way. Also, technology has simplified the process and made it more approachable to new real estate investors. While you can find any type of property at an auction, most of these properties will be foreclosures. Bear in mind that there are two types of real estate auctions: live (in-person) and online. The latter is becoming more and more dominant as people become more comfortable with making purchases online. You can search for investment properties for sale on online auction sites such as Auction.com. However, beware the risks before a purchasing at a foreclosure auction, such as: The inability to have all the cash/cashier checks available on hand in order to purchase the property. Not being able to see the interior of the real estate property before you make a bid. Inability to receive clear title after purchase due to other unpaid loans or owed payments. Finding Investment Properties for Sale in Print Media The last alternative source for searching for local investment properties for sale is through print media. Some of these properties may in fact not be advertised online, thus there is a high possibility that you might not have as much competition for them. Examples of print media in which you can investment properties for sale are: Newspapers: They are a great source to find properties that are “for sale by owner”. You can look at the main newspaper for your chosen region, as well as smaller community newspapers that are tailored to more specific cities. Local Marketing Publications: In the same way, they are a potential place to find properties for sale, since realtor offices frequently advertise their property listings in these pamphlets. Bottom Line No matter which alternative you choose, always remember that buying investment properties can be complicated. Moreover, when looking for investment properties for sale, it’s more important to understand these alternative real estate sources than to master one. Reducing your property search to only one method will essentially limit your chances of finding the best investment property. Real estate experts are aware that their next deal may possibly come from anywhere. If you’re a real estate investor looking for your next investment property, don’t forget to check Mashvisor Property Finder. This real estate investing tool allows you to quickly find investment properties in any state, city, or neighborhood within the US through a number of metrics. It also allows finding investment properties of a specific type and even within a set range of cap rate. Start your trial with Mashvisor today! Start Your Investment Property Search! START FREE TRIAL Start Your Investment Property Search! START FREE TRIAL NetworkingProperty SearchReal Estate Websites 0 FacebookTwitterGoogle +PinterestLinkedin Eman Hamed Eman is a Content Writer at Mashvisor. With a focus on market reports, she enjoys researching the state of the real estate market in different cities across the US. Eman also writes about trends, forecasts, and tips for beginner investors to gain the confidence and knowledge they need to make wise decisions. 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