Questions for realtors - Posted by JoelD(WI)

Posted by Steve C., Remax on May 03, 2000 at 17:16:20:

First, don’t mention the words “leg work.”

Second, you have a sales job to do , and the job is selling yourself. The first rule in selling is give them the benefits: lots of deals, lots of commissions, quick closes, etc.

Third, find a realtor who has dabbled in RE investments. They are most likely to help you, as long as they aren’t active enough to be your competition.

You will have to tell them exactly what you are looking for. You might have them show you the MLS system in your area so you and they understand the search criteria they can use. In Houston, I can search for listings in which the seller will finance a 1st or 2nd, assumable loans with no approval, homes that are free and clear in which the seller might take back a note and so on. Unless he/she has been really involved with investors, they probably won’t even know this.

If the first realtor you speak with doesn’t seem to have it together, go to the next one. There’s a million of us, and there’s a right one for you somewhere.

Best of luck!

Questions for realtors - Posted by JoelD(WI)

Posted by JoelD(WI) on May 03, 2000 at 14:35:33:

I am just getting started and want to “employ” some brokers to do some leg work for me. However, I don’t want to ask them the wrong questions. What do I need to ask a broker to find out if they are good at finding deals for a soon to be creative investor like myself? I have read some stories on this site about people who have run into problems with brokers and I would like to avoid that if possible.

Thanks -


Re: Questions for realtors - Posted by Bill Gatten

Posted by Bill Gatten on May 03, 2000 at 20:08:37:


Understand that a broker, who is smart enough to find a deal for you, will generally take it himself (wouldn?t you?). I’ve had that happen more than once (a gross understatement). However, I’ve also found brokers that really like working WITH (not “for”) me.

Here’s an idea that always works for me…I cut them for a part of the action. I give them a choice of either staying with me in the deal for a large piece of the pie, or taking a smaller piece and a smaller commission. As my partner, the broker is very diligent in seeking out the properties WE want. And when they find out hat I turn down 2 out of 3, they either give up or get more focused?and it?s only the one?s who do the latter that I work with (remember?stay unassociated with the end result?if the glove doesn?t fit?don?t try to put it on! (Unless, of course, you just killed your wife and Johnny Cochran is egging you on).

Jut remember that you have to bring something to the table to make it all work…you have to have the cash that the broker doesn’t; you have to have the credit that the broker doesn’t; you have to have the technical knowledge and ability to dispose of the properties (or deal with them) after you get them, that the borker doesn’t.

In my case…what I bring to the table is my experience, my knowledge of the business, my creativity and my ability to handle all manner of client, AND my ability to work with virtually ANY property…be it upside down, sideways or falling to the ground; etc…never money (I don’t believe in using that to buy real estate).

Bill Gatten

Re: Questions for realtors - Posted by Thom

Posted by Thom on May 03, 2000 at 18:01:28:

I am just getting started and want to “employ”

Are you going to pay me? I work on commission, are you able to make deals? Convince me of that! I’ll sent you a list daily, my computer does that automatically, but you better do your deals through my or you’ll be off my list. Working with a real estate agent is easily, all you have to do is make him/her money.

Re: Questions for realtors - Posted by Charity

Posted by Charity on May 03, 2000 at 17:18:44:

As a real estate agent myself, I can honestly say that there are a lot of incompetent people who are unfortuntately good salespeople. What I mean by that is that they can sell you on their services and then you find out that they are not as helpful as they played themselves out to be.

I would recommend this starting point: go to and register as a buyer (it’s free). You will get proposals from many different agents and you can interview them. It’s a starting point anyway.

I would ask them how many sales they do a year, if they are a buyer’s agent, are they full-time… You want someone who knows the market and has lived there awhile. Don’t get a newbie because they most likely will not understand the creative side of the deal and the legalities involved.

I would say this, however. Any good agent is going to stay busy most of the year. You need to make the process as easy as possible for them. I’ve had investors want me to show them home after home for days on end so they could then lowball the home and waste my time. I’ve instructed any investors I work with that I will fax or email listings once a week, they can ride by and peek in windows and call me on those that look possible. Then we do offers.