How To Prequalify Your Deal As A Real Estate Wholesaler

By on March 10, 2017

As a real estate wholesaler, you are likely to come across a bevy of properties that have the potential to become your next deal. It’s worth noting, however, that while volume is typically something real estate wholesalers covet, it can become overwhelming — unproductive even — for those that aren’t prepared for it.

It gets to a point that there just aren’t enough hours in the day. That’s why you need a real estate wholesaler system to help you prequalify properties that are worth pursuing. Believe it or not, not every property is worth your time. The last thing you want to do is waste time on a property that won’t help your bottom line when there are others with plenty of potential just around the proverbial corner.

Let’s take a look at the info you will need to make an informed decision on your next wholesale property.

The Info No Real Estate Wholesaler Should Be Without

Wholesaling real estate

Not surprisingly, the first stage of the real estate wholesaler deal evaluation system has to do with gathering the appropriate information. The critical information I encourage you to gather isn’t relegated solely to the property itself, but also the individual intent on selling it. So without further ado, let’s find out what exactly you need to know at this stage of the real estate wholesaler deal evaluation system:

Seller’s Contact Information

For obvious reasons, it’s absolutely imperative that you collect all of the information on the seller if you intend to be a great wholesale real estate investor. In doing so, you will make facilitating future interactions a little easier, which can’t be underestimated. Remember, those in financial distress won’t always be easy to talk to — or even willing — so the more lines of communication you have, the better. Be sure to collect the following:

  • Name
  • Phone number
  • E-Mail
  • Fax
  • Additional contact

Realtor’s Contact Information

In the event you aren’t working directly with a seller, I would venture to guess your main point of contact will be with the respective Realtor. If that’s the case, be sure to collect their contact information as well. In fact, go ahead and collect their information even if you are working with the seller directly, as Realtors will oftentimes be more “in tune” with the situation and offer better information. Not unlike the seller, be sure to collect the Realtor’s:

  • Name
  • Phone number
  • E-Mail
  • Fax
  • Representing company

General Property Information

Once you are confident you have all the information you will need to keep in contact with the selling party, proceed to gather information on the property itself. Don’t forget to collect any of the following parameters:

  • Property address
  • Type of property (single-family, multifamily, commercial, etc.)
  • Style of property
  • Square footage of property
  • Number of bedrooms
  • Number of bathrooms
  • Lot size
  • Is there a garage? (Is it attached?)
  • Does the property’s location have any special characteristics (view, proximity to entertainment, in a special area, etc.)?
  • What amenities does the property have?
  • Does the property have any special features?
  • What subdivision is the property in?
  • What school district is the property in?
  • Take note of anything worthwhile

In addition to giving you a general idea of the property you are looking at, this info will play a vital role in the next stage: comparing it to similar properties in a close proximity. And like always, don’t always take the seller’s word as truth. Mind due diligence and check all of the information against the property card and the property itself. While there is a good chance they are telling the truth, you can never be too cautious.

Current Status Of Property

It’s important that you determine the current status of the property itself: Is it currently occupied by the owner, vacant, or serving as a rental property? In determining the status of the property, it’s entirely possible to uncover the seller’s true motivation, which will help you over the course of negotiations in the event you decide to move forward with the home.

Owners currently living in the home tend to share a strong attachment with the property and are therefore going to let their emotions dictate a lot of their actions. Those that can anticipate certain responses will have an advantage. Only once you know the seller’s situation can you effectively negotiate at a later date; commit that to memory. Few things aid in the negotiation process more so than understanding the owner’s situation. Not only will it tell you how to approach each conversation, but it may shed some light on a few bargaining chips you never even knew were in play.

For instance, if you are dealing with a seller that needs to sell yesterday, perhaps you can offer them a faster closing. You can even offer to help them find a moving company. Whatever the case may be, figure out the best way to meet the seller’s needs and provide in the best way you can. Only those that can uncover their true needs will find the process to be a lot easier than most let on.

Listing Information

It’s absolutely imperative that you uncover whether or not the property you intend to purchase is listed with a real estate agent. It’s not that the listing information will make it any more or less difficult to acquire, but it does change your approach. If for nothing else, it helps to know if you will be dealing directly with an agent or a seller. Whatever the case may be, be sure to get the following information:

  • Is the property listed with a real estate agent?
  • Was it ever listed with an agent in the past?
  • How long has it been on the market?
  • What price is the property listed at?
  • Have there been any changes made to the price point?
  • Have there been any offers made?
  • What price did the offers come in at?
  • Why were the offers declined?
  • Who is the listing agent?
  • What is the listing agent’s contact information?
  • When does the listing expire?

Property Condition

It should go without saying, but now is the time in which you should develop a feel for the overall condition of the property. You can’t know whether or not a deal is worth pursuing until you are comfortable moving forward with it. At this time, proceed to give photos of the property the “eye test.” Get a feel for the condition of the property and whether or not it needs extensive repairs. And while I know pictures can’t tell you everything, they can certainly tell you a lot. For the sake of this system, you simply want to determine whether or not the property is worth inquiring further. You can vet the state of the property further if you decide to move forward. For now, the property just needs to pass the eye test.

It’s worth noting that properties in poor condition are not a red-flag, but rather an investor’s best friend. While there are certainly extensive repairs that are worth avoiding, some of the best wholesale deals you will come across need work. In other words, don’t let a few minor repairs scare you away. Instead, use them as a bargaining chip. It’s only the extensive issues that you should avoid, not the least of which include foundation and title issues.

At this stage, be sure to identify the following:

  • What repairs the property needs
  • Whether or not the property has been updated in any way
  • How much it would cost to bring the property up to neighborhood standards

Remember, these questions only need general answers at this point. You can’t possibly know the exact answers, but do your best ballpark them. The idea is to paint a better picture for yourself.

Debt Against The Property

Any time you intend to invest in a property, it’s in your best interest to determine the seller’s equity share. Find out whether or not the seller has any equity in the home they intend to sell; their status will tell you a lot about how to proceed, or if you should continue pursuing the deal at all. Obviously, those sellers with little to no equity and current on their mortgage will be harder to work with, as there will be little room to move a deal in your favor. That said, as a real estate wholesaler, your job is ti find those sellers that have little to no equity and are currently behind on their mortgage payments. To get a better idea of where your seller stands, ask the following questions:

  • What do they owe against the property?
  • Does their debt include any liens?
  • Are they keeping up with mortgage obligations?
  • If they aren’t current, how far behind are they?

The Seller’s Bottom-Line Price

It’s in your best interest to find out what the seller’s bottom-line price is before you make an offer. That said, I’ve saved the best for last: What is the least amount of money the seller is willing to accept? In addition to learning their lowest price point, ask the following:

  • Is it flexible?
  • Would cash change their opinion?
  • How did they come up with the price?

I know this is a lot to digest as a real estate wholesaler, but I maintain that all the information you gather at this point will prove invaluable when it comes time to move forward with a deal. Take your time at this stage and be sure to ask the right questions. Otherwise, you may find yourself spending far too much time analyzing deals that aren’t even worth pursuing, or worse, making offers on properties that aren’t worth your time.