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How to Buy at Real Estate Auctions: Understanding the Ins and Outs of Public Sales

Real estate auctions can be a great place to find a hidden gem. Smart investors use real estate auctions as one of their many sourcing strategies for good real estate investments, but beware; real estate auctions can also hold many dangers.

Prepare for the Auction

Most auctions send out a property list some time before the auction or hold a public viewing of the properties before the auction. These are a must visit for any investor potentially looking to purchase a property at the auction. Investors should do their best to take pictures and do a thorough review of the physical property. If possible bring an inspector along. They can point out the not so obvious issues with the property and even give an investor a potential costs to correct any damages. While this look will certainly be preliminary, it should help an investor avoid an obvious bidding mistake.

Next, head down to the local courthouse and do a lien search. Investors that want to become serious bidders at auctions should be very familiar with this process. To be certain that when the property is purchased from the primary lien holder, its ownership will revert to the investor, an investor must verify that there are no other lien holders. Most importantly, any property taxes or government liens on the property will not mysteriously go away after the auction process. These must be paid or settled and should be factored into the bidding price.

Last, come up with a maximum bid price. Create an investment plan for the asset and then work backwards. Understand how much a fully renovated property would sell for, how much it will cost to renovate the property, pay off the liens and hold the property until a buyer is found. Add a healthy profit margin for cost overruns and that will be the maximum price.

Bidding at the Auction

After preparing for the auction, investors should take their time at the auction. It’s helpful to have multiple properties researched and ready to bid on in case there are multiple bidders. It helps to come early to get an understanding of the environment and the bidding process. Stick to the maximum and never go over. If investors do their homework right, they should never have a reason to increase their maximum bid despite human nature.

Auctions are a great way to find good investment opportunities. They are often quick sales and require quick analysis of the properties and a quick ability to close them. Investors that prepare and understand the process, stand to reap huge rewards from this buying method.

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Deciding Whether to Add Distressed Property to a Portfolio

The following is a guest post on distressed property additions by Patrick Mackaronis, entrepreneur in New York City.

In real estate, a fixer-upper refers to property that needs an overhaul or that is owned by someone who no longer wants it or cannot continue to hold on to it. In other words, either the property is in distress or its owner is. Because fixer-uppers are usually ugly and poorly maintained, it should be possible to buy them for far less than the asking price. By fixing what is wrong without spending too much, an investor can resell the property for a tidy profit.

Or so goes the myth.

In reality, fixer-uppers can be challenging. Repairs may end up costing much more than expected. Renovations often take much longer than planned, and this keeps the property off the market for sale or rental for an extended period of time; not only is there no profit or rental income during that time, there are maintenance, taxes, utilities, insurance, and other expenses associated with the property.

All of this means that, before buying their first fixer-uppers, investors must know what is involved and whether they have what it takes to forge ahead. Specifically, with reference to their real estate investment plans, investors must determine whether they have the time, finances, interest, and perseverance to oversee or personally undertake the repair, renovation, or upgrade of a neglected property or to solve tenancy or other problems at a property.

Good Time to Buy Distressed Property

Although the real estate market is in a deep freeze in many parts of the United States, Stephen DiClemente, a real estate agent with Re/Max Tri County in Hamilton, New Jersey, believes that “for those with the time and finances, this is still a good time to buy fixer-uppers.” As he explains, “The price for fixer-uppers is decreasing at a higher rate than other real estate because of increased competition from the lower prices of homes that are in move-in condition.”

By the same token, he notes that, in a glutted real estate market, if an investor plans to sell a fixer-upper after renovating it, “the investor needs to have enough capital on hand after the renovation to sustain the property – in terms of mortgage payments, real estate taxes, upkeep, and other expenses – on the market for a longer period of time.”

Know What to Buy with Your Distressed Property

Most investors in real property want only to collect rent each month. This means that investors find much less competition for distressed properties than for properties that are in good condition.

Successful real estate investors study the real estate markets in which they want to invest and note which segments are in motion and which are stagnant. These investors then put their money in the types of property that other buyers are seeking. For example, if single-family homes are selling at a faster rate than townhouses in a given market, a smart investor will buy a single-family fixer-upper to renovate and resell to a buyer who wants a home in move-in condition.

After Due Diligence: Tap All Available Resources

After performing the necessary due diligence on targeted properties, investors need to determine the resources they have available for fixer-uppers. This does not only mean the investors’ own funds. There are also grants and low-interest loans from federal, state, and local governments for property rehabilitation. There is also secondary financing, such as second mortgages, lines of credit, and equity loans.

Other often overlooked resources include competent, trustworthy professionals who can make repairs at a property for a little more than the cost of materials, such as relatives of an investor who are licensed electricians or plumbers, certified mold remediators, and the like.

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Exiting Real Estate Investments: When Backing Out Is The Best Option

The following post is a guest post on exiting real estate investments by Alex Vasser, real estate expert and entrepreneur in Phoenix, Arizona.

Sooner or later investors will want to dispose of one or more properties in their portfolios. Market conditions and changing personal needs may play into the decision to get rid of a property. Nonetheless, individuals should be guided primarily by their investment plans to determine which properties to dispose of and when and how to do so. This will ensure that the disposal is the right move at the right time.

Disposal of Real Estate: Good and Bad Reasons

There are many good reasons for wanting to get rid of property, such as:

  • The property was a fixer-upper that has been rehabbed and made ready for sale.
  • The owner of rental property has tired of being a landlord.
  • The sale will provide funds to buy other property or invest in other types of assets.

Other valid reasons that may prompt a sale are a divorce judgment calls for the division of a couple’s assets, the desire to finance a luxury such as a first-class vacation or a retirement home, or the termination of the partnership that owned the property.

There are also bad reasons to sell, including that the owner has received an unexpected offer to buy one of the properties. Obviously well-kept properties in acceptable locations will always attract buyers. This does not mean that the owner has to entertain unsolicited bids from buyers. The property is likely a good income producer for the owner and selling it too early may defeat the goals of the investment plan.

Another bad reason to sell is that a property has been owned for so long that it has used up its depreciation under the U.S. tax laws. Again, if the property still offers decent cash flow and is in good condition, it may not be the right time to sell. Investors should never over-rely on the benefits of depreciation when they select a property to purchase; similarly, the existence or lack of depreciation should not control an investor’s decision of whether to sell.

Yet another bad reason to sell is that a property has become rundown and unattractive. Serious investors never allow their assets to lose value through neglect because they know that real estate investment is a business.

Exiting Real Estate Investments: Keep Return on Investment in Focus

When owners act impulsively out of a need for instant gratification or fear that market conditions will deteriorate, they risk undervaluing property that they improved and maintained and – if it is rental property – into which they installed good tenants. An impulse- or fear-driven sale also may result in the payment of capital gains taxes that could have been deferred or even avoided. All of this stands in sharp conflict with the ROI goals articulated in a well-designed investment plan.

Another problem is that investors may not have realistic expectations about what their properties are worth. For example, Nancy Newbie from the Northeast may need $350,000 to finance a retirement condo in a sunny climate and the relocation expenses involved, so she puts two of her properties up for sale for a total of $400,000. If the market conditions where the properties are located are such that Nancy will net less than what she wants or expects from the sales, she may choose to dig in her heels and to wait until she gets the price she wants or she may have to postpone or revise her relocation plans. In the meantime, she will have wasted a considerable amount of time, all because she neglected to research her market.

A tax professional or financial advisor can guide the investor through the murky waters of indecision over whether to dispose of property in a portfolio. These pros can also advise the investor whether the exit strategies set out in the investment plan are the best means for reaching the investor’s financial goals.

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Tax Consequences of Becoming a Landlord

This is a guest post on the tax consequences of becoming a landlord by Aleksandr Vasser of Avky Inc.

As the real estate market deteriorated, many homeowners found themselves in need of a way to move out of their home without taking a large loss in value or to avoid foreclosure. A large amount of homeowners decided to become landlords. As tax time approaches, it will be important that landlords understand the implications of this decision.

Tax Consequences: Real Estate Tax Basics

Any homeowner turned landlord should consult a tax advisor when preparing their taxes. Many homeowners, who filed their own taxes in the past, will find that this simple life change complicates their taxes tremendously. It will also be extremely important to save every receipt related to the rental of the home. This includes any flyers or marketing materials, agent fees, repair costs, etc. Many of these expenses can be deducted from the rental revenue to lower the overall income from the rental. Additionally, the mortgage on the property should also be considered when deducting expenses.

Consulting a tax professional before renting the property can help to minimize potential issues related to comingling spaces. For example, if a homeowner only decides to rent a room or the top floor of the home, while keeping the basement for him/herself, there will be very different tax consequences, than if the homeowner had chosen to rent the entire home.

Tax Consequences: Real Estate and Depreciation

Homeowners are traditionally not able to count depreciation as an expense; however, once it becomes a rental, homeowners will be able to deduct depreciation. Be careful when considering this deduction, however. If a homeowner moves back into the home to use it as his/her primary resident this tax deduction might have to be repaid.

Traditionally, it is not worth the headache (or money) to deduct depreciation from a small single family home. The savings will be minimal for two reasons. First, many times the tax preparer will charge more to calculate this deduction. Second, homeowners will need to pay a depreciation recapture tax and/or more capital gains taxes when selling the home. If renting out a home is a short term strategy, don’t bother taking this deduction. If it appears that it is a longer term strategy (5+ years) then it may be worth it.

Tax Consequences: Other Real Estate Tax Considerations

Homeowners should look at their homes completely different when renting them out. Property taxes can be deducted if the home is a rental. Furthermore, any loss that a homeowner suffers while renting their home can also be deducted from their overall income. For many homeowners that find themselves in the position of renting their home for less than their mortgage, this can be a silver lining.

Again, before considering renting a home, consult a tax professional. Importantly, make sure that tax professional either specializes in real estate or has a substantial client base of real estate investors. Smart tax professionals can help first time landlords avoid the many tax pitfalls of renting their home.

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Real Estate Investment Cost Cutting

Below is a guest post on real estate investment cost cutting from Kyle Uchitel, half of chemicals business Avky Inc and an avid real estate investor. 

In down markets, investors need to find a way to increase the value of their investment, while still maintain competitive rents. Many investors turn to reducing their costs by deferring or eliminating important maintenance items. During down times investors need to stay focused on the long-term and continue to perform maintenance capital expenditures at a minimum.

Real Estate Investment: Maximize Revenues or Minimize Costs

Investors seek to maximize value in two ways, increasing rents and decreasing expenses. In down markets, they only have one tool available to them, decrease expenses. As investors seek to do this, many make the mistake of eliminating important maintenance capital expenditure items. Novice investors especially fall prey to this temptation.

Investments like cleaning gutters, changing filters, trimming trees, inspecting furnaces, etc. represent relatively small expense items in the budget. Deferring or omitting these types of expenses will hurt the long run value of the property. Additionally, investors can expect to need to put additional dollars into larger repairs at a later date. The short-term savings will cause investors long-term pain.

Real Estate Investment: Watch the Competition

Another consideration investor need to factor into their investment decision is the look of comparable properties. In down markets it is even more important to keep pace with competitors. If a competitor property has additional capital improvements, then deferring these improvements in a down market could mean significant vacancies.

As competition heats up, the investor with the best property and service with competitive rents will win every time. A lack of spending at this point will lead to increased vacancy. This will further decrease the income coming from and going into the property. At some point, the investor must break this cycle and inject additional cash to stabilize the property and make it more competitive in the market.

Real Estate Investment: Involve the Tenant

Investors should consider more creative ways to cut costs. Consider writing leases where tenants pay the first $200 of any repairs. This will prevent tenants from worrying the landlord for small repairs and might make them more responsible about the treatment of their property. Additionally, an investor might consider sharing the total property budget with the tenants and awarding the tenant some percentage of any cost savings at the end of the year.

These creative ways of keeping costs down enroll the tenant in the process and serve to get them more invested in the property. In the long run this will be the best way to keep costs low and tenants happy. This allows investors to maximize revenues and minimize costs.

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Real Estate Auctions: How to Buy and What to Do

The following is a guest post on real estate auctions from Avky Inc real estate entrepreneurs Kyle Uchitel and Aleksandr Vasser.

Real estate auctions can be a great place to find a hidden gem. Smart investors use real estate auctions as one of their many sourcing strategies for good real estate investments, but beware; real estate auctions can also hold many dangers.

Real Estate Auctions: Prepare for the Auction

Most auctions send out a property list some time before the auction or hold a public viewing of the properties before the auction. These are a must visit for any investor potentially looking to purchase a property at the auction. Investors should do their best to take pictures and do a thorough review of the physical property. If possible bring an inspector along. They can point out the not so obvious issues with the property and even give an investor a potential costs to correct any damages. While this look will certainly be preliminary, it should help an investor avoid an obvious bidding mistake.

Next, head down to the local courthouse and do a lien search. Investors that want to become serious bidders at auctions should be very familiar with this process. To be certain that when the property is purchased from the primary lien holder, its ownership will revert to the investor, an investor must verify that there are no other lien holders. Most importantly, any property taxes or government liens on the property will not mysteriously go away after the auction process. These must be paid or settled and should be factored into the bidding price.

Last, come up with a maximum bid price. Create an investment plan for the asset and then work backwards. Understand how much a fully renovated property would sell for, how much it will cost to renovate the property, pay off the liens and hold the property until a buyer is found. Add a healthy profit margin for cost overruns and that will be the maximum price.

Real Estate Auctions: Bidding at the Auction

After preparing for the auction, investors should take their time at the auction. It’s helpful to have multiple properties researched and ready to bid on in case there are multiple bidders. It helps to come early to get an understanding of the environment and the bidding process. Stick to the maximum and never go over. If investors do their homework right, they should never have a reason to increase their maximum bid despite human nature.

Auctions are a great way to find good investment opportunities. They are often quick sales and require quick analysis of the properties and a quick ability to close them. Investors that prepare and understand the process, stand to reap huge rewards from this buying method.

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Comparing Long-Term Care Insurance Policies

Although the need for long-term care is on the rise in the United States, the percentage of people purchasing long-term care insurance policies is relatively low. Often this is a result of the price of long-term care premiums. Having a long-term care policy in place offers more choices and more control in long-term care decisions. Knowing what to look for in a long-term policy and buying the policy at the right time keeps premium prices low.

The Need for Long-Term Care

Determining the likelihood for the need for long-term care is the first place to start when choosing a long-term care policy. Your current health or the health of your loved one and what things you are doing now for certain conditions all factor in to your need for long-term care. Individuals with diseases causing deterioration over time, like diabetes, dementia or Alzheimer’s, will likely need long-term care services more than those with fewer issues.

The emotional health and availability of family members to care for loved ones should also be analyzed. If there is a strong network of capable family members to help in the event that long-term care is needed, the decision to get a long-term care policy is less crucial than for those with no close family available.

The financial situation of you and your loved one should also be a primary consideration when looking at long-term care policies. If your financial situation is such that you can pay for long-term care without such a policy, than the need for long-term care insurance is greatly reduced. However, if your ability to pay out-of-pocket for long-term care services is small, then a long-term care policy may be right for you.

Long-Term Care Policy Choices

When comparing long-term care policies, there are several factors to consider. Long-term care policies have limits like other insurance policies, and it’s important to know these limits before making a choice. Some things that should influence your choice are:

  • Basic care coverage. Since most long-term care needs come under the umbrella of basic care and not skilled nursing, your policy should include this area. Any policy should provide of list of exactly what basic care needs are covered.
  • How much will the policy pay? Long-term care insurance policies are set up on a daily pay system. So you need to know how much long-term care typically costs on a daily basis and how much a particular policy will pay before making a final choice.
  • Exclusions to care coverage. Many long-term care policies have a list of covered services that are excluded. Make sure you understand what is excluded from the policy you choose.
  • Coverage for home care. Most patients needing long-term care would prefer to remain in their own home if possible. Look for long-term care policies that include coverage for home care, and are not limited to assisted living and nursing home care. In addition, be sure the policy has adequate coverage for home care services. Home care is on the rise, and the industry is constantly changing to meet demand.
  • Coverage for certain conditions. Some long-term care policies exclude coverage for certain conditions. Look carefully at the policies your are comparing and make sure your are fully covered for any health condition.
  • Allowance for cost of care increases. The cost of health care is continually on the rise and the long-term care policy you choose needs to have yearly cost of care analysis and increases available. If your care policy doesn’t provide for these increases, you won’t be adequately covered.
  • Miscellaneous expenses. A quality long-term care policy will include coverage for miscellaneous expenses that are likely to arise when long-term care is needed. Check for inclusion of miscellaneous expenses when comparing long-term care policies.

The Right Time to Buy a Long-Term Care Policy

Long-term care insurance policies, much like life insurance policies, are less expensive when they are purchased early. This is especially true when purchased before certain health conditions arise. If you are considering purchasing a long-term care policy, doing so long before it is needed will save you and your loved ones both time and money.

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An introduction to insurance

Most people are aware of insurance in one form or another. Regular payments are made towards the insurance provider, known as premiums, in return for which the insurer agrees to pay out when a specified event or events occur. Sometimes this payment is a one off, lump sum. Other forms of insurance provide a series of payments, providing an income over a defined period. There are many different types of companies now offering these services, leading to an expansion of the market and increased competition

Home insurance is an umbrella term that covers two different types of policy, although many insurers now provide comprehensive policies that cover both bases. Put simply, buildings insurance covers the physical structure of your home, while contents insurance protects the things that you put in it. Combined home insurance policies are often offered at a discount compared to the cost of buying separate buildings and contents policies. An added advantage of this kind of cover is that there is only one insurer to deal with in the event of a claim.

Motor insurance is pretty straight forward in that it is concerned with damage associated with owning and driving a vehicle. Policies vary in scope, from the very basic third party fire and theft to fully comprehensive cover. Third party fire and theft is the legal minimum requirement for driving in the U.K. This basic policy covers the cost of damage to another person’s vehicle in the event of an accident, as well as addressing the self explanatory scenarios of fire and theft. Fully comprehensive cover can allow you to drive not just your car but any vehicle that you are licensed for. In addition, such policies can meet the cost of any repairs required to make good your car, and often also medical treatment and legal cover in the event of litigation.

Critical illness cover is designed to pay out upon the diagnosis of a qualifying illness, such as a stroke or heart attack, and can help meet the cost of private medical bills or loss of income due to absence from work. There are several similar types of policy designed protect your income in the event of illness or unemployment, such as payment protection insurance. Some pay out a lump sum, while others provide a regular income for a specified period. These policies can be quite complicated in scope, and you’ll often need expert advice to be able to determine just which events are covered by the insurance policy.

Travel insurance can provide funds to replace lost and stolen property while on holiday, as well as covering the cost of any medical bills, or changing flights due to unforeseen circumstances. Some policies will cover the cost of the whole holiday if disasters natural or otherwise lead to cancellation, while others will even provide kidnap cover!

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Medicare: Choosing insurance to cover what Medicare won’t pay

Seniors enrolled in Medicare Parts A and B often discover once they become ill that these two Medicare parts won’t pay for all their medical costs. Part A pays most hospital, skilled nursing and some home health care costs; Part B pays most physician, outpatient services and some other home health care costs – but both parts have deductibles, limits and gaps in coverage. Neither pays for any prescription drugs and many medical supplies are not covered.

The private insurance marketplace responded with products designed to cover many costs not paid by Medicare coverage. Products can be chosen to help with cost sharing depending on the need of the Medicare consumer, and seniors continue to be enrolled in Medicare Parts A and B. Plan design and scope are heavily regulated by both Congress and the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services to make certain that these plans and products pay exactly what they are required to cover. Seniors can choose from stand-alone supplemental plans and or prescriptions drug plans (Part D), chronic illness special needs plans, or a comprehensive HMO or PPO type plan (Medicare Advantage) that bundles Parts A, B and D together with additional coverage that covers all medical costs and is referred to as Part C.

Each Medicare product is designed to cover different services, and may not be available where you live. While Congress has passed many laws to make the design of these products uniformly specific and the sale ethical and careful, making a choice can be a confusing experience. Here are the basics of a few products:

Medicare Part D Prescription Drug Plan

Part D plans cover most all prescription drug costs, but insurance carriers will offer differing lists of covered drugs and pharmacies. You must be enrolled in both Part A and Part B of Medicare to be eligible for a Medicare Part D plan. The federal guidelines require insurance pays for a prescription after an initial deductible of $320. After this deductible, you pay only a small copay for each drug until drug costs equal an annual total of $2,840, including your copay charges and drug costs. After this $2,840 total is reached, you will will pay any subsequent drug costs for the year (the “donut hole”) up to a total drug cost of $4550, including all costs, charges and copays for the year. During this “donut hole” period, you receive a discount of 50% off the cost of generic drugs, and some insurance companies also offer a discount for brand name drugs. After drug costs have reached $4550, the insurance will pay all drug costs after a small copay for the rest of the year (called Catastrophic coverage). Carriers may enhance their plans to cover the deductible, copays or some of the donut hole but may not offer a plan with lesser benefits than the minimum required coverage. Part D coverage premiums range between $15 and $60 per month, depending on the plan’s design and where you reside.

Medicare Supplement Plans

Supplemental coverage pays some of the out of pocket medical charges (except drug charges) that are not covered by Original Medicare Parts A and B. Medical charges contracted to be covered and paid for by each Medigap plan have been outlined by Congress. The different plans are labeled A, B, E, F and so on up to N. For the outline of each plan’s covered services, go to: Medigap policies . In other words, if you buy a Medicare Supplement F or N from any insurance carrier, each carrier will pay exactly the same for each Medigap alphabet policy. Supplement plans are allowed to vary their premiums and the plan’s provider network, but must cover what the federal guidelines for that specific plan require: no more, no less. Monthly premiums range from $100 to $500 or more, depending on the plan you choose, age when you enroll, and where you reside.

Medicare Advantage Plans (Part C)

Advantage plans bundle Parts A and Part B (and usually D) costs along with other medical services into a comprehensive health insurance plan with varying but limited copays and deductibles. Insurance carriers receive payment from the federal government (through the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services – CMS) for covered medical services as well as the Part B premiums paid by members to the government. Plans can be offered as an HMO (Health Maintenance Organization) with gatekeepers and authorizations; a PPO (Preferred Provider Organization) plan, where you can visit any physician, but pay less with network providers; a POS (Point of Service) plan, which is a hybrid HMO/PPO type plan; or a PFFS (Private Fee for Service) type plan where you can see any provider who accepts the plan. Costs and available plans depend on where you live; HMO, PPO and POS plans are typically only available in metropolitan areas due to provider network requirements.

Special Needs and Chronic Illness plans

These plans help offset the significant medical costs related to certain chronic or serious conditions and offer a comprehensive care review and coordination not available in original Medicare. Many people with these long term conditions also may qualify for premium subsidies. Plans and coverages, again, will vary by state and by insurance company.

Review each plan’s options carefully and choose wisely as you may only be able to change your plan once a year. Finding the right Medicare product can offer financial security and save out of pocket charges once a serious illness strikes.

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Connecting with the Right Realtor: Real Estate is a People Business

Real estate is a people business. Novice investors often struggle with finding the right people to do business with. The right real estate agent brings deals to an investor and helps investors determine if a property is a fit from an investment objective perspective. Similarly, strong realtors can recommend other professionals to round out a real estate investment team. Here are some tips and tricks for connecting with the right realtor.

Connecting With The Right Realtor: The Lynchpin

Sourcing great investments starts with a good real estate agent. A good realtor is the most connected person an investor needs in the world of commercial real estate. Not only will they have their ears to the ground when it comes to market pricing and investment opportunities, but they can also provide important connections to contractors, lawyers, accountants, title companies, etc.

Finding a good realtor starts with recommendations. Investors should consider attending a local real estate investment club meeting, a local real estate trade show or simply speaking with a local mortgage broker. Starting with an investment professional assures an investor that he/she will be getting a trusted recommendation. This also assures that the realtors an investor speaks with will have experience working with investors.

After compiling a list of three or four local brokers that work with investment professionals, call each of these professionals in for an interview. The interview should help an investor find a real estate professional that meets their needs. It will be important for an investor to have a very clear idea of their investment objectives and their investment potential. There is no point in interviewing a realtor that specializes in 10-20 unit multifamily buildings if an investor only plans to purchase single family rental homes.

Connecting With The Right Realtor: Interviewing Real Estate Professionals

The goal of interviewing real estate professionals is to ensure that their style fits the investment needs of the investor. Not only should they be very familiar with the property type, but they should also be familiar with the investor’s investment style. Novice investors should be cautious about working with realtors that traditionally only work with veteran real estate investors. The agents might assume the novice investor is familiar with the area and the way business is done and omit critical details around a potential investment.

Investors should also be very clear in what they expect from a realtor. If an investor knows nothing about the market, they should seek to understand the market fundamentals from their realtor, as well as be connected to other important real estate professionals. Good realtors can provide these connections. Importantly, the quality of the referral also reflects the quality of the realtor. Before signing any exclusive engagements speak with the mortgage broker, lawyer and accountant that the agent recommends. If these are not a fit, the realtor is probably not a fit either.

Don’t overlook this process. Connecting with the right realtor will increase the chance of finding a successful investment.