There are homeowners out there who don’t know they’re going to sell their properties?
As a bird dog, you find these properties before anyone else, before the owners decide to sell on their own or hire an agent to do it for them, and before their greedy relatives get into the picture.
Finding these properties boils down to keeping your eyes and ears open at all times (no matter where you roam), and asking good questions. An understanding of the wholesale process helps, but for the purpose of this article let’s keep it simple. The first step in the bird-dogging process is finding potential sellers.
Oh, you thought I was going to say “finding potential properties,” right?
No, because everything in real estate investing relies on building relationships. You build relationships first; the property and the sale comes after.
So, how do I do this bird-dogging thing, you ask?!
The short answer is to learn what to look for.
The longer answer is to learn to ask the right questions of the right people everywhere you go. This goes back to keeping your eyes and especially your ears open.
As a bird dog a.k.a Property Scout, it is your job to gather as much information about properties that are not yet on the market that you possibly can.
One of my mentors called this being a P.I.G. or “professional information gatherer.” Oh, he’s so right. The more information about the seller (first and foremost), the property and the market you can gather the better for people like me.
As a real estate investor with my primary focus on being a wholesaler I’ve done literally hundreds of transactions over the past few years. I don’t have time to get out there like I used to so I can find sellers and properties. That’s where my bird dogs come in.
Just like the name suggests, bird dogs point out properties once they have gathered all the information I require to move forward on the deal. When I do and once I buy the property, that’s when I get to pay my bird dog for a job well done!
That’s the exciting part for us both.
Want more information on being a bird dog? Download my FREE eBook. Click this link now!
How to be an effective P.I.G.
Right now, you might be thinking that being a bird dog is something you’d like to try. But you’re yelling at the screen, “Hey, Mike… what questions do I ask?!”
The information you need to gather is pretty basic. It starts when you’re chatting with potential sellers.
Let’s say you are walking your dog in your own neighborhood. You spot a property that looks in disrepair. Shutters are hanging off and paint is peeling. The trash bins have been on the curb three days in a row. The yard is a shattered mess. Any one of those can be a clue that tells you the owner may be open to selling his/her property.
Chances are that if you see hints of a distressed homeowner then that is a potential property for me, so you need to be bold. Talk to the neighbors first if you see any in the yard to get the story. Believe me. They know a lot.
You can do a little door-knocking, too. As long as you are incredibly polite you can strike up a gentle conversation about something unrelated to buying the house all cash. Please note that your words will be remembered (so keep the foul mouth at home). Then move the conversation into the zone where you can find out if the owner is open to the IDEA of selling the property to an all-cash buyer.
If the answer is a maybe or a yes, tell them you work with all-cash buyers and you’ve been looking at this house/property for the past couple of weeks. Then ask if it would be alright to ask a few questions. When they agree, which if you’ve been polite and friendly … and you have been a great listener… you ask:
- Are you the owner of the property? You may wonder why you need to ask, but some people will pretend to be the owner with rights to sell the property when in fact they are an aunt, uncle or tenant. That means they don’t have any right to sell.
- Is it just you on title? This is important. If the person standing in front of you is indeed the owner, he/she may not be on title alone. If there is someone else, you need to know. The investor you work with needs to know.
- How do you spell that? Because a records search will be needed, you want the right spelling of the owner’s name.
- Do you know of any issues with the property? This could be repairs that need to be done or even legal issues (if they will be open about that part).
- If I were to bring you an all-cash buyer, how soon would you be able to move realistically? Understand that you didn’t ask how much they want. The investor should negotiate the price, but you should speak with the investor to see if he/she wants you to gather that information. At the very least, I’d need to know how quickly things can happen if I like the property, so asking that question helps me make buying decisions.
There are a few other questions to ask, but this article is just to get you to dip your toe into the pool just a little to see if you think you can do this sort of work. To see if you would enjoy doing it.
Once you have the basic information, plus the property address, you need to do a little research on the property. These records are accessible in many places online. You can start with the county’s assessor’s website. Again, the more information you can gather the better.
Why go further in this records search?
Because it’s helpful to learn if the payments are up to date, which will be reflected in the status of the property. For example, will you find out that the property is in pre-foreclosure status or already moved to foreclosure status? These are public records.
But that’s a topic for another article.
For now, just understand that being a great bird dog that can help you earn between $500 and $1,500 per deal done… and literally thousands in extra income per month depending on your ability to strike up conversations with strangers and asking the right questions.
For more information, download my FREE eBook. It’s a guide to being a great bird dog. It’s an easy read with a whole lot of punch! Click the link below: