Network extensively and talk to potential buyers before you even start looking for a house to flip. Do whatever you can to build relationships with future buyers. If you have a buyer lined up when you purchase an investment home, the home sells as soon as the updates are completed. You can also save money long-term if you take the time to get your realtor’s license, which will enable you to broker your own deals and avoid paying another agent.
If you know a successful house flipper, ask if they’d be willing to mentor you. You might even want to consider offering this person an incentive to be your mentor. For example, ask if they’ll mentor you in exchange for a small percentage of your first successful flip. This way the mentor is motivated to tutor you, and you’ll be sure to get a high-quality education. Offering a financial incentive also enables you to approach experts you don’t know personally since being compensated for their efforts will make them more receptive.
Many websites provide foreclosure listings. Some of the most popular include: You can also find foreclosure listings through real estate company websites like Re/Max. Under search filters, select the option for “foreclosures.” Your local newspaper is another source of foreclosure listings. Legitimate auctioneers put notices in the legal section of local papers, and you can usually find their specific listings by visiting their websites. Another way to find foreclosures is through a bank. Search for a particular bank along with the letters “REO,” which stand for “Real Estate Owned.” This simply means that the homeowner no longer owns the home; the bank does. This search will take you directly to each bank’s foreclosure listings. Once you find a home you want to buy, check out its background with BuildFax. For $39, BuildFax provides a comprehensive background check on a home. You can review extensive details about the home’s history, including repairs, remodeling, and additions. This can help save you money. For example, let’s say you want to buy a home whose listing indicates its furnace was replaced 10 years ago. When you run a report on BuildFax, you learn the furnace is closer to 20 years old. You can now go back to the seller and negotiate a much lower price.
Once you find a home you like, it’s time to make an offer. If it’s a great house selling for a low price, you might have competition. For many flippers, flipping is a full-time job, and they will likely know about this house too. You can sneak by the competition by targeting a neighborhood and going door-to-door making offers. Before you make an offer, make sure you know the highest price you can pay for a house and still make a profit. This includes your estimate for repairs, interest, and taxes. Remember to pad your estimate by 20%. If the homeowner or bank won’t sell to you for this price, walk away. It’s better to keep looking than risk going broke from a bad investment.
If you have some solid DIY skills, you might opt to do some or most of the renovations yourself. This can save you a significant amount of money – if you know what you’re doing. Knowing when to DIY and when to hire a contractor is crucial. You should only tackle projects you’re sure you can do well and on budget. For projects you can’t do on your own, you need to find a great contractor. If you don’t know of any contractors in your area, you can use HomeAdvisor. They research and put contractors through a thorough screening process. So it doesn’t matter if you’re looking for a general contractor or someone who specializes in a trade, HomeAdvisor is going to give you the best in your area. A general contractor, or GC, is a building professional who manages the whole renovation project and hires their own subcontractors to do the necessary work. Hiring a GC can be expensive; they’ll add 10% to 20% onto what their subcontractors charge when calculating your final bill. However, they can be worth their weight in gold if you find a great investment opportunity, can’t do the work yourself, and are willing to incur the extra expense. A good contractor can help you avoid costly renovation mistakes and save you a significant amount of time on a project. This means you can get the house up for sale faster and make fewer mortgage payments. If you’re flipping a house while working a full-time job, hiring a GC is probably a necessity; someone has to be available at the house to oversee the work at least part-time, or the project will never get done. A general contractor will also be in charge of obtaining the necessary building permits. This means their name will be on every permit, and they’re responsible for making sure the job is done right for every inspection. Make sure to apply for permits as soon as the sale is final to save time and get the process moving. Start building a network of contractors you trust, including plumbers, electricians, and landscapers. Services like Handy.com, Angie’s List, Porch, and HomeAdvisor can help you find reliable professionals in your area. When you interview a contractor, ask yourself the following questions:
Many flippers end up listing their homes with a realtor. Realtors eat and sleep real estate, have access to buyers, and can list your house in the Multiple Listing Service (MLS) database. They also know the current market fluctuations and have the skills and network to get you the best price quickly. You can also choose to sell your house yourself. You’ll save money in realtor fees, but in some markets, you might end up waiting a long time for the house to sell. In addition, listing and showing a house takes time. If you can’t be available every time someone wants to see the house and you don’t want to host open houses, working with a realtor might be the best choice for you.
Name brand clothing is one of the best thrift store items to flip for a profit. Often, you can find clothes from jeans to dresses, from big name brands, like Ralph Lauren, Nike and Calvin Klein. And, even though these clothes are from well-known brands, they’re often sold at pretty reasonable prices. People are usually willing to pay more for name brand clothing. So, you can easily pick up a piece from a well-known brand like Adidas or Coach for a low price, and then sell it for a much higher price on a site like eBay. As people often search for certain brand names online, like Abercrombie and Fitch, for example, brand name clothing often sells really well. It’s a fairly easy way to make a tidy profit. Keep in mind that you won’t always find clothes from well-known brands at thrift stores. You’ll have to sift through a lot of generic stuff. But, if you take the time to have a good look, often you’ll be surprised by what you’ll find.
If your wardrobe or home is in need of some specific items, write and bring a list. You can even keep an ongoing thrift store wish list on your phone. This will focus and streamline your shopping trip.
Another item to look out for at the thrift store is frames. Often, thrift stores sell paintings and other framed artwork. But, it’s not the artwork that you should be paying attention to – it’s the frame. Often, the frame can be worth more than the artwork itself, especially if it’s ornate or antique looking. And, picture frames are highly sought after, both online or offline, so they’re a good item to resell. Even if you don’t like the picture or the artwork in the frame, you should still buy it for the frame alone.
Sometimes wealthier areas have more valuable thrift store merchandise. The potential downside could be that regular thrift shoppers will come a distance to shop there, and buy the best stuff before you can. Or the store itself could be in the habit of charging higher prices because of the area. Try out a few different stores, and see where you have the best luck.