By now I’m sure you’ve heard of the real estate site/app monster called “Zillow.” For most real estate shoppers, this is the number one resource when beginning their real estate shopping. With 124 million users on the site, this is a marketing resource to be taken VERY seriously when planning to sell your real estate.
First of all, if you’re a smartphone user (which you definitely should be in this business) you want to make sure you download their app. This is great for two reasons: 1. You can easily manage your properties on the go and 2. You can receive alerts of area properties for sale as you travel. This gives you the ability to check out real estate constantly and stay “in the know.”
But how do you get listed on the site?
- First of all, from the app or website you need to search your property addresses.
- Then, you’re going to “correct home facts” or establish yourself as owner.
- You will need a log in for this and to enter your contact information for Zillow to verify you are the true owner of this property.
- Now, you can go through and add photos of your property, establish square footage, bedrooms, bathrooms and amenities. You can also keep it “unlisted” or list the property FSBO or Make Me Move which means you’re entertaining the idea of selling but not quite listing it yet.
Why is this important? Any time there are millions of people looking for what you’re selling you want to make sure you’re ready to pull the trigger. I highly recommend listing your properties as “Make Me Move” and entering in your property description that the property is currently under construction but will be available at a certain date. This creates a blue dot on maps when potential homeowners search in your area for homes. You’re creating a buzz before the paint dries. This leads to faster and easier flips.
Thinking about flipping a home or investing in real estate is very exciting. You picture yourself walking through a construction zone picking out flooring and pointing out where changes need to be made. This is your vision. One that could make you large profits.
But, there’s more to flipping than being the foreman on the job site. You need to be well prepared BEFORE you put an offer in on a home that needs a little TLC. This will avoid big headaches down the road.
Here’s some tips on what to do before signing on the dotted line:
- Before you see a realtor, make sure you have a pre-approval letter. If you’re a cash customer, you won’t need this, but you’re wasting your and the realtor’s time if you don’t know what you can REALLY afford. You might think you know, but it all comes down to what you’re approved for. Without that, you more than likely are looking at the completely wrong type of house that you need to purchase.
- Research a real estate agent. Make sure you are working with someone who is familiar with buying real estate for investment. The majority of realtors are working with clients who are looking for primary residence or vacation homes. It’s even better yet if you can find a realtor who invests in properties herself. This will save you even more time. And we all know time is money and can kill a really good deal.
- Have a plan. How long can you afford to work on a home? How much do you want to invest into it? What time of year do you want to list the home? What are the BEST neighborhoods to invest in? These are all answers you need to have before buying. You don’t want to get talked into a home that needs major renovations and you have to have it back on the market in a month. This isn’t feasible and will cut into your bottom line. Plans are major.
- Have a team in place. We hate to break it to you, but most investors can’t pull off flips on their own. Who’s going to help you? Do you have agreements in place? Not only do you need to be ready to pull the trigger, but your team needs to know that: A. They are part of your team and B. That it’s Go Time.
- Don’t think you’ll skip due diligence. Think you’ll just do this quick without an inspection? Don’t need to look too closely because you plan on gutting the house? Think again! Don’t be in such a hurry that you can miss major structural issues with your investments. Be ready to take your time and make an educated decision. Again, money, money, money!