Finding great real estate deals is key to making money in real estate. If you know where to look, you can find real estate deals without needing a big marketing budget.
Some methods for finding real estate deals require a lot of money. Other methods require a lot of time. In this post, we’ll focus specifically on ways to find deals that require no money at all.
Deal-Finding Tip #1: Drive Around
This is a time-tested and proven technique: Just go for a drive in an area, looking for potential deals.
Some of the telltale signs of a great deal are easy to spot: distressed neighborhoods, rundown homes. But there are also more subtle signs that experienced real estate investors look for:
- A rented dumpster in front of a building
- Furniture getting hauled out
- A signpost with no sign
These are all signs that it’s worth your time to pull over, knock on the door, and ask whether that home’s owner is thinking about selling!
Deal-Finding Tip #2: Get Online
While you’re on those websites, it’s also worth looking for “Seeking tenants” and “For rent” ads. The owners of homes for rent are often willing to entertain offers. We’ll build on that in the next section…
Deal-Finding Tip #3: Look for Landlords
When people are renting out a home, they’re often small-time landlords. Many of them own only one property. They might even be accidental landlords… which means they’re at high risk, and they often can’t financially handle even a single vacancy.
Those small-time landlords might prefer to sell rather than live with that kind of risk. They might also be open to selling the home just to resolve the stress of dealing with problem tenants.
As mentioned above, Craigslist, Facebook Marketplace, and other places where people publish local classified ads are great places to look for potential deals.
Deal-Finding Tip #4: Hit up the Expired & Withdrawn List
On any given day, active listings expire or withdraw from the market. With a service like Mojo, you can efficiently autodial all of those expired and withdrawn listings.
This is a common tactic for real estate pros, and there can be a lot of competition. But here’s how you can find homes that haven’t already gotten a dozen calls from agents today: Go back and see what expired 1-3 years ago and never re-listed. Since it’s rare for investors and real estate agents to look that far back in the past, you’ll have an advantage.
Deal-Finding Tip #5: Reach out to agents who have sold in your target area
If you’ve got a target area where you want to find deals, reach out to the 20 top listing agents in that market from last year. Ask them if they’ve got any upcoming inventory – they’ll be happy to tell you about it.
Deal-Finding Tip #6: Go to condos. Talk to door staff, managers, assistant managers
If you’re looking for condo investment deals, go to condo buildings. Talk to door staff, managers, assistant managers, and anyone else who might be in the loop about who’s thinking about moving.
Often condo staff knows who’s thinking about moving even before that seller has thought about talking to a real estate agent – giving you an opportunity to show initiative and be the first real estate professional to reach out to them.
Check out my bestselling book The HyperLocal HyperFast Real Estate Agent for more info on how I started my real estate career focusing on a single condo building, and within one year sold $22M in volume.
Deal-Finding Tip #7: Estate Sales
Look for estate sales! Public documents are one way to get this information, but you can also network with good real estate attorneys in your area.
If a real estate attorney tips you off on an upcoming estate sale, research the deal and find out whether it’s a good deal for you. If so, make an offer!
Deal-Finding Tip #8: Retirement homes
Retirement homes are great places to network. Talk to managers of retirement homes and check in often with anyone who’s helping to onboard new residents.
Often retirees have homes to sell. Those homes are often older, and they might not have been kept up quite as well as other homes in the area. There might be a lot of equity there, yet not a lot of money for repairs – so retirement homes can be a great source for potential deals.
Deal-Finding Tip #9: Look for Wholesalers
Network with real estate wholesalers – they’re often out actively looking for deals in their target areas. Ask them if they’ve got any upcoming deals.
Getting in touch with wholesalers is pretty easy. Look for in-person real estate meet-ups in your area. Meetup.com and Facebook are great places to find in-person and online real estate networking groups. My business partner Sunil Saxena and I run an investor meet-up in Arlington, VA called GRID. We also run a larger national investment Facebook group called HyperFast Wealth – Real Estate Investors, so that’s a great place to start wherever you are in the US!
Deal-Finding Tip #10: Knock on doors
If there’s a specific area where you want to do business, try geo farming: do a little homework, make yourself a facts sheet about the neighborhood, and go knock on doors or call homeowners in that area.
Give them a sales market update on what homes in their neighborhood are selling for, and ask whether they’ve considered selling their home. This is a great way to find more deals in your target area.
Deal-Finding Bonus Tip
Building and developing a home involves a lot of people in related fields: attorneys, contractors, engineers, architects. Network with them – these people often know about upcoming deals!
No matter what the market is doing, transactions happen every day.
If you’re observant, and if you’re consistent about networking and searching for deals, you’ll find them – and at the same time, through practice you’ll get better and better at finding deals.
Dan Lesniak has sold billions of dollars’ worth of real estate, developed over 500 homes, and written multiple best-selling books. He is a speaker, real estate coach, six-time Ironman, father of four, and husband to Keri Shull.
📱Text Dan your toughest questions about real estate, business, and investing at (703) 215-1684 or click here: https://my.community.com/danlesniak
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