Finding the right real estate agent is vital to successfully capitalize on investment properties. Their professional awareness on location, value, and return on investment determines whether you lose or make money. A great real estate agent can also make the course of investing much less tedious and allow you to find some pleasure in the process of finding and owning investment properties. However, finding the right real estate agent for investing is a task within itself, so take a look at these tips!
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Agent vs. Realtor
The first thing to note is the difference between a real estate agent and a realtor. A real estate agent is a professional who helps people buy and sell a property. They carry a real estate license. A realtor also carries the same license and has the same job; however, they are also part of the National Association of Realtors which has a stricter code of ethics when working with consumers and dealing with property sales. Neither an agent nor a realtor is necessarily qualified to work solely on investments, which is why it is important to find an investor-friendly real real estate agent or realtor.
Where to Find the Right Agent
When looking for the right agent, the best method is by word of mouth. Ask fellow investors if they know local agents that have experience with investment properties. Check your local business agency to find real estate agent offices and search their ratings. Be sure to look for the consumer reviews! A pro investment property tip when looking for the right real estate agent is to ask for references. Do not be afraid to ask the agent for names of investment clients they have worked with in the past. If they have been successful with investment properties in the past, they should be willing to share positive references.
Can They Help You Meet Your Investment Goals?
When buying an investment property, outline your criteria. For instance, are you interested in foreclosures or short sales? Testing an agent’s knowledge on these types of investments is another way of knowing if they are the right agent for you. Ask the agent what types of properties they have worked with in the past and what they are most comfortable handling.
How to Choose a Professional for Your Needs
As an investor, you need an agent by your side that you are comfortable with and is able to cater to your specific needs. Since making a profit on investment properties often requires making lower offers, an agent must be comfortable with serious negotiating. This means handling the feedback from sellers and staying persistent after numerous rejections. Also, choose an agent that is quick to respond to emails and phone calls. Time can be the difference between finding or missing out on a smart investment opportunity.
Find an Agent that Understands Investment Properties
Finding a real estate agent that is familiar with investment properties versus simply buying or selling a home requires a different skill set. You are purchasing a property for the sole purpose of yielding a profit. Often, finding an agent who has personally invested in property before, will ensure they understand the drive behind investing and will understand your incentives. An investor friendly real estate agent should be able to provide investment property tips to help you succeed in making a profit, like being able to predict shifts in the market and guide you in the right direction.
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Find an Agent that Understands Micro-Neighborhoods
Use an agent that knows your local investing market. They should understand the shifts in the real estate market you’re in and how that will influence the value of your investment property. A real estate agent that is comfortable with investment properties needs to understand the micro-markets, especially in large cities with a bigger real estate market. Understanding which neighborhoods work best for the purpose of investing is critical as well. Mashvisor is a tool that helps investors find investment properties in numerous neighborhoods, and compare and analyze real estate data to provide investment insight.
Find an Agent that Understands Cap Rates and Cash Flow
An agent that understands investment properties will be able to calculate and find you the cap rate of properties. Getting a return on your investment is your sole purpose; your agent needs to assure you that you are spending your money wisely. Make sure the agent is capable of calculating cash flow. If you are planning on renovating your investment property or flipping the property, the agent should understand after repair values and have comparable comps in the same neighborhoods. The interactive property analysis tool on Mashvisor offers insight on your potential investments such as occupancy rates, cash flow and return on investment to determine if you are making a smart move. Mashvisor also has its own Airbnb calculator if you’re in the market for Airbnb properties.
Be Your Own Agent
Remember that a real estate agent works for you. If you are confident in the investing location and budget, the agent should respect your investment strategy. However, use the agent to your advantage when it comes to real estate investment advice, after all, that’s why you hired them!
Also, as having the right agent to help you navigate the investment property market is essential, you should understand all of these concepts to some degree as well. Having a real estate agent is important, but there is an abundant amount of information and investment properties tips online. Sites like Mashvisor can provide investment property tips and tools to navigate the investment market. Your insight is important to investing in addition to finding the best agent!
Related: How to Start Learning About Real Estate Investing