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Real Estate Investors Association of Greater Cincinnati

Author: Vena Jones-Cox (9 articles found) - Clear Search

Are You Out of Your Mind? You’d Better Be, if You Want to Get Deals

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          If you don’t understand what’s funny about this line of thought, look again, because you may have the same problem. The investor is so focused on what the INVESTOR wants that he apparently hasn’t even bothered to find out what the SELLER’S story is.

          In fact, it’s a BIG PROBLEM when we get so focused on our strategies and our goals and our desire to get a deal done that, we completely forget that unless what our strategy has to offer meets the needs of our sellers, THERE IS NO DEAL.

          Jumping ahead to “How do I write up a creative deal” before you know what the seller owes, why she’s selling, and whether taking payments would meet her goals is putting the proverbial cart before the proverbial horse. Worrying about finding a buyer for property x before you know that the seller will take a wholesale price for property x is torturing yourself for no reason.

         And it’s easy to make assumptions about seller motivation: that a seller in foreclosure will always want to sell; that a seller who inherited a house doesn’t want it; that a se
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Advice for Wholesaling “Package Deals”

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        It seems like every new Wholesale School student immediately stumbles upon a landlord who wants to sell ALL of his properties, then wants to know how to tackle a package of 4, or 9, or 37 single family homes all at once. And they're already rented, and the don't need any work, and the new wholesaler is excited because this looks like a deal that could make tens of thousands of dollars all in one fell swoop.

        These deals are problematic for a number of reasons:

  1. I rarely see one where the landlord isn't asking more-than-market for the properties. He's willing to sell, but isn't really anxious to sell
  2. It's basically never the case that the houses don't need work. Yes, I KNOW there's someone living in them. That doesn't mean that the roofs aren't 22 years old, or that the furnaces work consistently, or that they won't need a $5,000 turnover when that tenant inevitably moves out.
  3. Each property has to be evaluated separately, which is a LOT of evaluation for a deal that's unlikely to come together.
  4. Coordinating a single buyer to buy a whole package of non-turnkey properties, especially if they're in different parts of the city, isn't
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Wholefailing: The Top 3 Reasons For “Failure to Launch”

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            Go to any real estate association anywhere in the country, and you’ll meet endless excited folks who are sure that their futures—and fortunes—lie in wholesaling houses. Go back 6 months later, and you’ll find that 90% of those folks have never successfully closed a deal. In most cases, this isn’t due to “inactivity” or “fear” or any of the usual excuses. Many of these folks have actually tried and failed, to make a go of it. In my experience, there are 3 main reasons for this:

1. They don’t understand WHY wholesalers make money. They understand, at least in a basic sense, HOW it happens: you put a deal under contract, and you find someone who wants to pay more than you did, and that “more” is your profit.

But they don’t understand something very basic: that buyers don’t just write a check because the deal is available, or cheap, or even because it’s cheaper than other properties that might be for sale in the same area.

Buyers for wholesale deals are real estate investors, right? So, in order to be interested in a deal, the deal can’t just “make money”; it has to make ENOUGH money to provide a satisfact
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Ten Things to Do to Avoid Making Deals

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   Let’s face it: making deals complicates our lives.  

    When we first become involved in real estate, buying a property can be very anxiety-provoking: I mean, really, even though we’ve done all our due diligence and run the numbers 15 different ways and talked to our favorite mentor about it and it STILL looks like a great deal, how do we ever REALLY know? And this leads to self-esteem problems, as we’re constantly second-guessing ourselves and berating ourselves over our lack of confidence. 

    And even for seasoned investors, taking on a new deal is stressful—an accepted offer means that we must find a buyer, start a rehab, or put an ad in the paper to get a tenant. Plus, there’s the additional bookkeeping when the checks roll in, and, of course, the taxes to pay on the profit at the end of the year… 

    Since stress and anxiety lead to psychological and medical conditions, including high blood pressure, overeating, bad hair days, fear of success, and a whole host of others, making deals should obviously be avoided at any cost. So, I think it’s important, for the sake of our own health and well-being, that we all learn how to NOT get trapped into making a deal. Here are some suggestions: 

        1. Make Sure You Know EVERYTHING Before You Do ANYTHING. <
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Negotiating with Sellers

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              Beginning investors have a tendency to get stressed out by the very thought of “negotiation”.

              They put off calling sellers (or calling them BACK) for days and days. They worry about what the seller might say and what they should say back to the seller.

              It’s as if they believe that something they could say to the seller—or fail to say—would make that seller motivated or not motivated.

      The truth is, sellers come to you already motivated or not motivated, and what YOU say doesn’t change that one way or another. And since that very important fact is completely out of your control, that means that the only thing you actually need to worry about in a “negotiation” is

  1. Building rapport
  2. Getting the information you need
  3. Protecting your time

              To that end, there ARE some things that experienced real estate entrepreneurs do, and do consistently, to maximize that chances that any given seller negotiation will be a successful one.

  •               Balance your need to get the information quickly
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3 Stages in Your Journey to Success

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For whatever reason, a lot of real estate investor have this idea that a career path in real estate is strategy-based; we’re all supposed to start with wholesaling, move on to the bigger checks (and bigger complications) of retailing, then buy single family rentals, and then, we we’re really knowledgeable, wealthy and experienced, end up in apartments or notes.

In real life, there’s no such prescribed life cycle; lots of people start out in rentals, or even note-buying; I myself discovered wholesaling only after nearly 5 years in the lease/option business.

But there IS a path that we should all recognize and be on that has nothing to do with our age at entry, or our favorite asset class or exit strategy, and that’s the journey from trading our hours for (highly-taxed) dollars to having our lifestyles completely paid for by our assets.

This metamorphosis takes place in 3 stages, the terms for which were coined by the great Pete Fortunato.

     Starters are folks who are still learning and exploring the trade. They’re willing to do what it takes to get educated and to do the hard work of finding deals, which means that, in a sense, they’re still trading hours (spend finding, constructing, and managing properties) for dollars. If they&rsqu
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How I Got My Brain Around 0% Financing

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      I’ll admit, I had an advantage over many of you when I got started in real estate:

     I had no money and no way to get any.

     I was just out of college, effectively self-employed, had a mountain of debt weighing me down, and had no assets that I could borrow against. Let’s just say that the nice bankers I met with were anxious to work with me…in a couple of years.

     How is any of that a good thing?

     Well, it meant that it was “Creative finance or die” in Venaworld. I had no choice but to offer to assume loans, or buy on land contract, or ask for seller carrybacks, or some combination of those things, if I wanted to buy and hold a property.

     But for many years, I had a limiting belief about seller financing: that the sellers who did it did it for the same reasons that banks and private lenders do: for the “return on investment”.

     In other words, I thought that they were doing math in their heads that went something like:

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Is Wholesaling Still Do-Able in 2022? (The Whole, Unvarnished Truth)

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              Ah, for the good old days of 2009.

              Finding deals was SO easy.

              We didn’t even need a marketing budget; there were literally thousands of bank-owned and short sale deals just sitting right there in MLS, and a day of looking at 15 houses and making offers would usually turn up at least one at literally fifty cents on the dollar.

              Of course, figuring out what “fifty cents on the dollar” meant was a guessing game; so few houses were selling that coming up with comps was nearly impossible.

              And getting those deals sold was a teeth-gritting, anxiety-producing process, too; even at a 40% discount, there weren’t a ton a motivated cash buyers in the market, and when we called 10 who’d specifically identified that kind of property in that area as their favorite, they’d all say, “Yeah, I might be able to get there in the next week or 2”. Buyers saw no reason to go runnin
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Why it’s Hard to Learn Creative Finance (or Anything Else You’re Struggling With)

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Why it’s Hard to Learn Creative Finance (or Anything Else You’re Struggling With)

When a topic (say, real estate, or creative real estate), or anything else) is brand-new to you, it's easy to hear, read, watch, whatever it is you do, something that strikes you as true and valuable...

But because your brain doesn't have anything to relate it to, it seems to store it in a place that's not accessible when you want it.

It's like there's a set of organized files for some things (I know how to quilt, or play the guitar, or drive to the grocery store) that if something else comes in that can be related to those "(I'm learning how to make collages, oh, hey, it's similar to making quilts. Here's a ukulele, oh, it feels like a tiny guitar, but oh, hey, the tuning is different this way. I need to go to my friend's house, oh, it's go to the grocery store and then turn left, right, left") it's easy to process and remember.

If there's nothing in there that the brain can relate to what you just learned, the new info seems to go into a junk drawer--or get misfiled.

"They're talking about options on houses. Those sound awesome. Apparently, you need some cash, which I have, and a seller who doesn't really want to sell, whi
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