When Christina and I get a lead on a property, we’re out the door as fast as we can to go check it out. Because we do wholesaling houses for a living, we know the importance of being the first one on the scene and getting all the information possible.
Here’s what you need to take with you when you go check out a lead on a property:
1. A Full Tank of Gas
Ok this is stating the obvious but there’s nothing more annoying than driving around a neighborhood and running low on gas. First of all, you aren’t just checking out the property; you’re checking out the neighborhood and the surrounding community. Be prepared to take a drive and find out what kinds of amenities are around, how many houses are on the market, and how many vacancies are in the area.
2. A Good Pair of Walking Shoes
Now, you may not be able to actually get in the property, and you shouldn’t trespass on someone else’s land. However, you should be able to get a look at the outside of the house. Take a walk around as much of the property as you can, and walk around the neighborhood a bit, too. If any neighbors are around, feel free to talk with them and get to know them. They can tell you a surprising amount about a property.
3. A Tape Measure
If you can get inside, you’ll want to measure off rooms and appliances to find out what you’re going to be working with.
4. A Flashlight
If you can get close to the house or inside it, you’ll want the ability to see into dark corners, in the basement, and/or into drains and gutters. Plus, if the power isn’t on when you get inside (if you can get inside), you’ll be thankful for the light.
5. A Camera
You’ll want to show pictures to your real estate and contracting team to get an idea of what kind of price you should offer and how much rehab the property will need.
6. A Notepad and Pen
Don’t forget to take notes on everything you see on and around the property. The more information you have, the better you’ll be prepared to make a good decision, and you don’t want to forget anything. You’ll want to make note of any visible repairs you can see that need doing, the state of the yard, and of course any follow up info to look up when you get home later.
7. Your Smartphone
You can do a lot of research on the go, and this can save you a lot of time. Especially when it comes to establishing the current market value of the house and what other homes in the area have sold for. Often, Christina will be on her phone or iPad researching information on the house while I drive us to see it.
8. Your Business Card or Flier
If it looks like someone is still living in the home but no one is around, leave your business card or a flier to let them know that you’re interested in purchasing their house from them. A handwritten note taped to the door can go a long way to show that you’re a real person (not some nameless, faceless real estate company) who has a real interest in buying the property.
9. A List of Questions
If the owner is home and has the time to talk with you, be prepared with all of the questions you have about the house, what it needs in the way of rehab, their timeline for selling, etc.
10. Your Checkbook and a Sales Contract.
You won’t often find someone who’s ready to sell the same day that you approach them, but be prepared. Crazier things have definitely happened to us!
So, if you’re serious about wholesaling houses for a living, keep this list and make sure you have everything on it when you go to check out properties to flip!