Category "Flipping"

10 Questions Your Potential Buyers Are Asking

Do you know what potential buyers are asking themselves when they look at your property?

We can anticipate the basics: Will they like the kitchen? Are there enough bathrooms? But what about the underlying questions every homeowner wants to know?

By now, we know that you make money when you buy and you realize that money when you sell. Easy. If you want to fully actualize all the money you can, consider some of the questions your potential buyers will have in mind when touring all the hard work you’ve made happen.

The more you can anticipate a buyer’s needs, the better you can work those into your repair plans.

But with so many various needs and demographics to consider, how do you cater to the desires of others in a way that helps you sell a house faster without going over budget and cutting into profit margin?

Can you have your cake and eat it too?

There are a handful of questions that most buyers will consider regardless of the neighborhood, ideal buyer, and price point.

Let’s count them down!


10. What about the seller’s disclosure?

Despite how a house looks, many buyers will want to know if there’s anything they need to watch out for. An inspection will show off all the properties flaws, but you may run into a buyer who wants to know what you know as soon as you know it. For instance, if there was an old septic system buried in the backyard that doesn’t affect the house’s current operation but may impact the buyer’s decision on putting in a pool someday, they may want to know.

9.What inspections do we need?

Speaking of inspections, many buyers will do multiple checks on a property; anything that the original inspector recommends. If there’s an issue in the fireplace, an inspector will recommend a professional opinion. Any problems could result in a delayed closing and further inspections. Though these things happen, and you can’t anticipate every problem, it’s worth considering what could result in future repairs for the home buyer before you put the property on the market.

This is especially true if your home buyers are using a picky lender (such as a VA loan) who requires certain items to be fixed before securing the mortgage. Have a basic understanding of codes–what height should porch steps be? Where do you need handrails? Does the bathroom vent go through the roof or stop in the attic creating possible mold problems in the future? It never hurts to know.

8. Has the home ever had mold?

There are some states where the question won’t even cross the home buyer’s mind. But in areas of heavy moisture or storm history, people will want to know. It’s assumed that a real estate investor who has flipped a property will know better than anyone whether there is mold or not. After all, very few people see behind the drywall. But what if the job requires only a few lipstick patches like new carpet and fresh paint? You may not know if there’s a problem.

It is also assumed–because there’s a rotten apple in every bunch–that some investors cut corners. Though you and I would never dream of doing unsafe, less-than-quality work, some people have been burned and word gets around. If a potential buyer asks for an inspection or the home’s history, be prepared. Buyers may also ask about radon, so be prepared if with any applicable reports you may have.

7. Why is this house for sale?

There are so many ways a potential buyer will know the house they’re viewing looked different before. It’s possible they know the neighborhood and saw the house in its distressed condition, or perhaps they’ve pulled buyer history. And usually, the beautifully staged home gives away that the property isn’t lived in at the time of sale. But buyers often want to know a little about the house’s history and why it’s for sale. This will often work in your favor as the desire for fresh upgrades is always on the rise.

6. Have all the safety features been installed?

With new builds and gutted properties, you or the contractor could overlook small details like working smoke and carbon monoxide detectors in all recommended places. Though this should never make or break a sale, you should catch the missing devices in the BLUE TAPE INSPECTION.


https://cogocapital.com/blog/blue-tape-inspections/

 

Want a checklist of all the Blue Tape Inspection points to look for before paying your contractor’s final bill?

CLICK HERE for a detailed list!

 


5. What are the zoning guidelines?

Although this may be more clear in some neighborhoods than others, buyers will often want to know if it’s possible to split the property into a multi-family home in the future or whether other houses down the street have been turned into insurance offices. Although this won’t be as important to some as to others, it could be a factor in the purchasing decisions of others. Because this effects other aspects–such as the home value and comps–you should already know the zoning and be prepared to answer any questions that arise.

4. Who are the neighbors?

This is one of the most important non-home related questions a potential buyer will ask. It’s also a question they won’t likely ask YOU directly (or the real estate agent); they’ll observe. Although you can’t control who lives next door or behind your investment property, you can make improvements to the property to compensate. If the neighbors breed dogs that are thought to be aggressive, you may consider putting in a privacy fence.

3. Does this house have everything I need?

It’s true that you can’t anticipate the needs of every buyer; that’s why houses vary so vastly. What a young couple just starting out in life needs is different than what a large family with an aging parent to care for does. You don’t have a magic ball, but you can look at trending desires; wider hallways to support both strollers and wheelchairs, a master suite on the same level as the living space on to avoid regular stair use, outdoor space in warm areas and additional parking for boats in lake towns. But how do you know what demographic will purchase your property?…

2. What neighborhood factors should we consider before making an offer?

If the neighborhood is nice but has mediocre schools, you can assume the street draws an older demographic and can plan your design and features accordingly. If the community has a plethora of trendy shops and startup tech companies, you’ll likely be selling to millennials buying their first or second home. There isn’t much you can do about the whole area, but you can make the property work for those who are most likely to purchase the property.

Understanding factors such as where the nearest stores are, if there’s public transportation or highways nearby, and what the local parks are like can help you understand what your ideal buyers look like. Though we live in blended societies, buyers will want to know what the area has to offer, who lives down the street, what the noise levels will be, and most importantly…

1. What’s the crime level?

Safety is vital! An interested buyer will look this up online or have their agent pull reports. Finding out the crime rate, area registered offenders, and more is just a click away. Although you can’t control these factors at the time of sale, you can consider them at the time of purchase and decide if the current quality of the area crime rate will affect your selling potential.

Remember the cliche that “crime has no zip code.” Anything can happen anywhere. Fortunately, most buyers won’t look at a house in a neighborhood they wouldn’t want to live in, so it’s safe to assume most of the leads you have touring the home will already be okay with the community in which it resides, but it’s always a factor to consider.


When you can anticipate the needs of the buyer and work any plans you have for the house around the most important ones, you have a better chance of selling a property fast.

However, none of these factors will matter as much as doing a quality job without cutting corners, hitting all the safety requirements, and pricing the property right. When you do your best to create a house that anyone could call home and provide a neutral slate upon which anyone could build their life, you’ll sell as well as the market allows.

Want to increase your odds of selling faster? We can help! Call us at (800) 473-6051 to learn what program will best fit your needs. Not everyone is ready for a coach or one-on-one training, but with events, home study courses, and certifications at your finger tips, why struggle along on your own?

Lee A. Arnold

CEO

The Lee Arnold System of Real Estate Investing

Follow me on Twitter: @CogoCapital  and @LeeArnoldSystem 

Have a deal? Visit us at www.cogocapital.com to fill out your fast and easy quote. Want to learn more about COGO first? CLICK HERE to get to know all the ins and out!

For our latest success stories, click HERE to read how others are finding, funding, and making money on their deals.


 

Attend a FUNDING TOUR to receive a $250,000 pre-approval letter for your next property. To learn more and claim your seat today, visit FundingTour.com or call us at (800) 473-6051.

2018 Predicted Real Estate Trends

2018 Predicted Real Estate Trends; and How it Impacts You

As we roll through Christmas and prepare for the New Year, let’s spend a few minutes discussing the real estate trends you should prepare for.

WHY?

Each year, the market looks different. As much as you can, you should spend some time evaluating the professional predictions, looking at your local market, and working the trends into your annual goals to see faster, more effective growth.

According to Zillow, inventory shortages will drive the housing market. With 12% fewer homes on the market nationwide than a year ago, 51% of them are in the top 1/3 of home values. Not only are these properties out of reach for first-time homebuyers, but the average buyers looking to upgrade won’t likely move to get them.

Because of this trend in real estate, it is expected that builders will focus on building entry-level homes, giving more inventory to first-time and lower- to middle-income buyers. According to Realtor.com, housing starts are predicted to rise 3% over the year, but single-family home starts will increase 7%. This increase in residential housing on the starter-home level, according to economists, is the key to leveling out and bringing down home prices. Home prices will still climb, and even with new construction on the rise, economists call this increase nearly “unstoppable.” Home prices are expected to rise 4.1% in 2018, 1.1 percentage points higher than the average appreciation of 3%, but slower than the current annual pace of 6.9%.

The millennial generation is also expected to move further out from urban centers where many of them rent, giving up their preferred ’round-the-corner entertainment and shopping options in favor of affordable housing. As these 25-34-year-old homebuyers have families, they will also look for wider halls to accommodate strollers, as well as larger communal spaces. Homeownership rate will stabalize at 63.9% (according to Realtor.com) after having hit bottom in the second quarter of 2016.

Another Zillow predictions for 2018 shows that instead of buying new homes, existing homeowners will invest in remodeling to make their current home feel and look brand new. The baby boomer generation will also drive home design as the need for wheelchair accessibility, step-in bathtubs, extra handrails, and stair mobility access is needed.


WHAT DOES THIS MEAN FOR YOU?

Since housing prices are still on the rise, the current methods you are using to acquire properties may not be as effective in 2018. You would be wise to have more than one strategy to find cheap properties in which to invest.

While working with the city to improve neighborhoods by doing what we do best, I’ve discovered a way to acquire properties that are hidden in plain sight. These houses have highly motivated sellers and offer a huge profit. And I’m teaching it to you in the Master Lien Abatement Certification.


With our first class under our belt, here’s what attendees had to say:


To read more about what this program is, what we’ll teach, and how to take advantage of this wildly untapped market in your area before the competition takes it over, CLICK HERE TO READ MORE. And then READ THIS ONE. This is not the kind of stuff you want to just skim over. This new strategy can change your business!

Why are we teaching this new method at the Lee Arnold System of Real Estate? In 2018, Cogo Capital is deploying more money than ever. We need that money to go somewhere, and we’d like that money to go to you.

If you’d like to get involved in the Master Lien Abatement, call is now at (800) 473-6051. Space for the next available class is very limited.

UPDATE!: Demand for the new Master Lien Abatement Course is very high. Our first 2018 class has already filled and is closed. Please be advised that the next available class is scheduled for April 16-19, 2018.

To Your Success;

Lee A. Arnold

CEO

The Lee Arnold System of Real Estate Investing

Follow me on Twitter: @CogoCapital  and @LeeArnoldSystem 

Have a deal? Visit us at www.cogocapital.com to fill out your fast and easy quote. Want to learn more about COGO first? CLICK HERE to get to know all the ins and out!

For our latest success stories, click HERE to read how others are finding, funding, and making money on their deals.


To learn more about how to get $497 tickets for FREE, go to FUNDINGTOUR.COM or call (800) 473-6051.

My Secret, Exposed

- - Borrowing, Flipping

 

Want to know a secret? Something that’s resulted in putting together more deals than I can count?

 

I have a client in San Francisco who I worked with back in April 2012. I’d been working with my client since the November of the previous year, teaching him how to find, work, and secure leads by using the Rule of 56. While in California visiting, my client told me he had a beautiful home (that’s code for completely trashed) in a nice neighborhood that he had gone “out of his way” to track down the owner.

So, I ask him what he’d done to find the owner. He said he went to Craigslist, searched on Google, tried People Finders, and even paid to $25 for a report. He’d contacted the owner’s nephews, nieces, cousins, and nobody knew where this guy was!

Clearly, at this point, I’m intrigued. So, while I’m out there doing business, I ask my client to show me the property.

He took me out to the property near UC Berkeley, behind the beautiful Clarion Hotel. This property sits right below the Clarion. The piece of land the house sits on is worth a million alone. Fix up the house, and the property value was $1.5 million without blinking an eye. And this was back when Facebook, just 20 minutes away, was turning out thousands of millionaires in the bay area via the IPO.

To get to the front of the house, we literally walked over trash, tumbleweeds, boards, and piles of garbage. Under it all, I could sort of see a house, but it was quite a trek to get there.

Now, I did something at that moment that if you will employ this one strategy into your business, you will make more money than you could possibly imagine.

This is my secret, but I’ll share it with you. I need you to pay attention and write this down.

Are you ready for it?

Here it is.

I knocked on the door.

It opened. “Can I help you?”

“Good evening, Sir,” I said. “My name is Lee Arnold. We’re real estate investors who love this neighborhood, and we’re looking to buy property in the area, and I’m curious if you knew of anyone willing to sell.”

What do you suppose he said?

“Well, I might be willing to sell,” he said.

Really?! Shocking, right? I mean, this guy had a proverbial billboard in front of his property saying, “I hate this home, come buy it from me.” No one trashes a house they love. (I wasn’t surprised by his answer, in case my sarcasm didn’t properly translate.)

So, my client continues to go back to this property, building a relationship with the owner. A few weeks later, he sends me a message stating that he has another appointment with the homeowner. So, I told him, “Do not leave that house without getting a signed offer.”

“But,” my client protested, “he hasn’t accepted an offer I’ve made him.”

I told him it didn’t matter and to print off a purchase and sales agreement with his name on it and the homeowner’s name on it, and to GO!

So, he went.


If you haven’t read my article about never leaving a property without making an offer, CLICK HERE.


Then, I got an email from my client later that day saying the man accepted the offer and signed the agreement.

“Great!” I said. “What’s the price?”

Want to guess what my client paid for that $1.5 million property?

$525,000.

All because my client followed the Rule of 56, created leads, and then followed up with them until he got an offer accepted.

I cannot tell you how many clients I have through the Lee Arnold System of Real Estate who spend all this money and energy producing and creating leads, and then they don’t mail, they don’t call, they don’t follow up, and they don’t write offers. Then, they wonder why they’re not succeeding.

It’s not too difficult.


If we sat down together and I asked just three questions, I could find out the status of your business.

  1. How often are you mailing?
  2. How often are you calling?
  3. How many offers have you written?

If you’d like to have a six-figure business in the next twelve months, all you have to do is follow this simple rule. To read more about what the Rule of 56 is and how to use it in your business, CLICK HERE.

Do you want to have a good problem to have? Be UNABLE to call all your leads because you have too many. But, until you’re overflowing with people wanting to sell you their house, you need to follow this simple formula to success. Then, once you have your pick of the deals, where do you go to get them funded? (I’ll help you out; the question is rhetorical).

If you’re ready to start working with private money lender that puts you first,  COGO Capital, call us at (800) 473-6051 to discuss your deal or go to CogoCapital.com to receive a rate quote. For our latest success stories, click HERE and HERE to read how others are finding, funding, and making money on their deals.

We can teach you what to say in your letters to yield results.

We can instruct you on what to say on your phone calls.

We can help you find events.

We can show you how to make offers.

Let us help. Call 800-533-1622 to talk to a business developer or attend an upcoming Funding Tour to learn how to solve the riddle of your journey to success.

To Your Success;

Lee A. Arnold

CEO

The Lee Arnold System of Real Estate Investing

Follow me on Twitter: @CogoCapital  and @LeeArnoldSystem 

Have a deal? Visit us at www.cogocapital.com to fill out your fast and easy quote. Want to learn more about COGO first? CLICK HERE to get to know all the ins and out!

Guessing Game

- - Flipping, Property Evaluation

It may not occur often, but if a home auction is happening with auction.com, Marshall & Swift, or another auction group, you may be allowed access to the property before the auction takes place. This can be a true advantage, especially since most trustee sale and sheriff’s auctions will not let you into the house unless you have a realtor key–or if the house just happens to be left unlocked. (Even if that is the case, if someone is living there, do not go on the property!)

If you get to see inside, you can better judge the ballpark rehab costs, watch for red flags, and better estimate your time and investment for that property. But it’s more likely that you won’t get to see inside.

So what do you do if you’re interested in purchasing a property at auction, but you have no idea what you’re getting into?

You can try to look through the windows from the sidewalk, sure, but the easier and more efficient strategy is to understand the type of people who occupy the home.

Go across the street, knock on the neighbor’s door, and say, “Hey, what can you tell me about the people who currently live there?”

Chances are they will unload on you! They’ll tell you everything you never wanted to know, and you’ll have a good idea what condition the home is in.

If you can’t get a neighbor to answer the door, the next best way to estimate the house’s condition is by analyzing the exterior. Generally, the inside will match the outside. So, if you’re staring down a forest of weeds with a cracked walkway and a car without tires in the drive, you can estimate your rehab costs on the high end. If the grass is trimmed and the paint is a little worn, but things seem alright, you’re probably looking at less work inside.

Houses can be like the prize in a cracker jack box–hard to tell from a little shaking. But, even though there is no true science to predicting the interior of auction homes, you will find that you develop a keen, instinctual eye the more you view, bid on, and purchase. Some may surprise you, but understanding the signs of neglect from the outside and knowing who occupies the property can save you a lot of guess work.

To Your Success;

Lee A. Arnold

CEO

The Lee Arnold System of Real Estate Investing

Follow me on Twitter: @CogoCapital  and @LeeArnoldSystem 

Have a deal? Visit us at www.cogocapital.com to fill out your fast and easy quote. Want to learn more about COGO first? CLICK HERE to get to know all the ins and out!

Handy?

- - Fixing, Flipping

I heard about a conversation recently with a client who was out to lunch with a team of other rehabbers. The server said something the effect of, “Looks like you’re having a work lunch” to which our client said, “We’re taking a break from a workshop. We’re real estate investors who rehab homes.” The server, with the understanding that I see from so many, said, “Oh, I’ve always wanted to do that, but I’m not handy at all.”

I know where this preconceived notion came from…TV programs that show people getting their hands dirty on a job site. And I’ll never tell you not to help out on your projects, but you don’t have to make the mistake I made early in my career by believing you have to do the work yourself!

Even if you don’t know a wrench from a pair of pliers, you don’t have to let that stop you. You have the same opportunity and potential to make good money in this industry.

How?

Stick to your strengths and follow a direction based on your skill level. I recommend that everyone gets a little education before you start building. In fact, I believe this so strongly that I will pay for your ticket to my next Funding Tour–a 3 day, intensive study with on-site training and more information than you can shake a finger at!

And once you’ve had your training on the basics, you can hire your contractor (the professional to do the handy work you can’t do) and jumpstart your rehabbing business without being a contracting expert.

For each project, get bids from at least three contractors. Look for any discrepancies between the proposals and address them.  Look for someone both competent and honest.  When flipping multiple times, you can work with the same contractors, earning both discounts and loyalty.


If you’re still hesitant, convinced that you don’t even know enough to lead a contractor, I recommend one of 2 things (in this order):

  1. Get a mentor. A coach. A leader. Walk alongside someone who has done this successfully dozens of times over. Need help finding a mentor, give us a call. 800-533-1622

or

  1. Work with a partner. I won’t always recommend this, but if you find a partner who has successfully completed several profitable rehabs, consider yoking yourself with them for a single project. Once you have one under your belt and know the process start to finish, you’ll not only see that it is possible, but that you could have done it yourself! Just be careful; research and understand your partnership before signing on the dotted lines.

No matter your skill level, there are things you can do to save more cash.  Know the cost of items: dishwashers, toilets, molding, sinks, paint, ceiling fans, etc.  This will help you budget, and know what you are talking about when working with someone. Have and stick to a budget and schedule.

You can still participate in real estate–the number one millionaire producing industry–even if you have limitations. I’ve seen people who have never picked up a hammer become highly successful.

It takes 2 things: consistency and the decision to start.

If you want to start today but don’t know where to begin, give us a call (800-533-1622).

We can help.

Lee A. Arnold

CEO

The Lee Arnold System of Real Estate Investing

Follow me on Twitter: @CogoCapital  and @LeeArnoldSystem 

Have a deal? Visit us at www.cogocapital.com to fill out your fast and easy quote. Want to learn more about COGO first? CLICK HERE to get to know all the ins and out!

7 Mistakes to Avoid When Fixing and Retailing Houses

- - Fixing, Flipping, Uncategorized

Fixing and retailing houses can be an extremely lucrative business. I should know. I’ve spent almost my entire professional life using this avenue to create wealth. Not only am I an expert on the topic, but have created a comprehensive system for you to use that takes out the guess work, the headache, and the trial and error so you can set yourself on a path to success.

And my system of education doesn’t stop at rehabbing homes. I’m guessing that flipping is your main real estate focus, but we have something for everyone who is looking to get started, improve their current career, or striving to branch out into a new channel of real estate investing.

I’ve been there on every side, in every part from being an agent to contracting work to brokering to buying houses with cash.

I can promise you one thing; regardless of where you are in your career and what hurdles you are facing, I’ve been there. If I can help you to avoid some of the mistakes I’ve made and see others make consistently, then I will. After all, our company motto (and my PERSONAL motto) is “We get more of what we want by helping you get more of what you want.”

So, I want to steer you away from these expensive mistakes that could leave you disenchanted with an industry that could otherwise change your life!

1. Thinking this is an easy, “Get Rich Quick” model.

Yes, I can teach you exactly what to do and how to do it. But it’s still a lot of work, a lot of time, a lot of offers, a lot of rejection. This is no “get rich quick scheme.” I will never promise you instant riches.

You must make the phone calls, market yourself, stay the course, and continue to learn. If you follow the Lee Arnold System of Real Estate, you will reach your goals quicker and with less frustration and financial growing pains. It’s a proven system, and you’re in good hands if you implement what we teach. It’s important that you understand you aren’t 2 weeks away from your first paycheck yet.

This is an investment, and although I’ve seen great success happen to people in short periods of time, you’re likely looking at four months of full time, dedicated work from the start to the payoff. But you must be ready for the work!

2. Jumping in with only minor research.

90% of your time will be spent researching, viewing, negotiating, and then doing more research before you acquire the property. Why? Because the most direct and least expensive way to avoid mistakes is by understanding the market, the contractors, the fine print, and expectations.

Knowledge is power. You can do all this research yourself (good luck, I can tell you from experience that the internet is a black hole of information!) or you can follow a system that is proven. Let us show you exactly what to look for, how to do each task and in what order, and where to find the vital information you need to put together a successful deal.

3. Doing all the work yourself to “save money.”

I’ve been there. I’ve done this. I’ve ripped drywall out of basement walls with my buddies only to get covered in roaches—ask Gary Myers who likes to tell the story on the road! Don’t do what I did and assume that if you can do the work yourself that you should.

You should hire and outsource almost every single task related to property ownership and instead qualify the contractors to do the job for you. Once a property rehab is underway, your priority is to manage the workmanship to assure maximum profit in the resale of the house, keep things on schedule, and properly manage the draw system and budget. You can’t do these things if you’re busy installing tile.

If you chose to do a task that you could otherwise hire out for $35 an hour, you are proving to yourself that your time is only worth $35 an hour. You can do a contractor’s job for $35 an hour, or you can go out there and find another house that has the potential to make you thousands. See what I mean?

4. Quitting your day job too soon.

I do a lot of private consulting, and my clients always come to me with interesting goals. They want to make a million dollars in a year and quit their job. It’s a noble goal, but aside from not being realistic, most people wouldn’t be able to wrap their brains around that drastic and rapid of change.

What I tell people is to stay at their current job and build their business in tandem with their work. It’s a lot of late nights and weekends, yes. It involves sacrifices, but here’s why it’s good: You need stability in your income so you can make rational, smart decisions in real estate. If you quit your job and rely solely on real estate as a source of income before your business is stable enough, you’ll end up making poor decisions just to put food on the table.

Keep your job and let me help you build wealth so you can walk away from the 9-to-5 with confidence.

5. Not having a real exit strategy.

If your main goal is to rehab a home that will be purchased with conventional or FHA financing, are you considering the standards in which conventional financing or FHA standards dictate? If you aren’t building according to these standards, you are essentially playing a game of craps. What happens if the house doesn’t sell?

If your strategy is to then purchase the home with conventional financing at the end of your private money term, can you qualify for conventional bank financing? If not, you need to rethink your exit strategy. Understanding each scenario is vital to your future success.

Remember how I said I’ve seen it all? I promise you, if you sell every house you ever rehab without having to use a different exit strategy, you’re a lucky investor. Things come up, and if you need help developing new exit strategies, give us a call, and we’ll plug you into the right source of information for that. 800-533-1622.

6. Paying too much when you buy.

You make your money when you buy, not when you sell. That’s why 90% of your research goes into the acquisitions part of the process and not the sales aspect. Start with the final selling price and work backward to deduct the selling cost, profit margin, renovation cost, and buying costs. Don’t forget to factor in holding costs and margin for error. You figure out your MAO (maximum allowed offer) by first determining the ARV (after repair value) of a house. $80,000 for a house means something different in every single market, so do your research!

7. Paying too much for the rehab.

I can’t tell you how many people get into this business and treat the renovation as if they are designing their dream home. This is an expensive, unnecessary, headache-inducing mistake and should be avoided! Your main objectives in renovating a house is to address every safety issue, update and clean the house to current market standards, and design it to appeal to the masses. This isn’t a luxury rehab.

Want to implement the “wow factor?” That’s where a few strategically placed designs can come in such as a small backsplash or a cool sink faucet. (And STAGING! Click here for more about this vital step). Don’t go all out on cabinets that are 300% more than you budgeted. By overdesigning a house, you run the risk of going over budget, turning the right buyers away, or having someone purchase the house only to redo what you thought was a good idea. Your budget should dictate your choice. Otherwise, the style choice comes straight out of your profit.


If you’re still having trouble creating and managing a project that yields you the highest investment, let us help you.

You can spend money 2 ways. The first, by investing it in your continued real estate education which will foster the right environment for you to see a return on your investment with higher profits. Or second, by making your own (possibly expensive) mistakes and losing money. You can learn a lot that way, yes. But you had better have thick skin and a whole lot of fortitude.

Don’t take my word for it. Listen to what several of our valued clients have to say.

The education I received gave me an added layer of understanding of how to work in this real estate market, the integrity used in developing and processing a loan, and how to become a better business oriented individual. Before this education, I thought that I knew what I wanted to do, but I didn’t understand what I needed to do until I went through the program.” Anita Cothran, Master Broker.

As a visionary from Chicago, I’ve been to many events, but have never had an experience like the Lee Arnold VIP session. I’m blown away by how powerful and impactful it was to have Lee Arnold sit with us and breakdown every fear and hindrance. He helped me think of the big picture, and take bite-sized portions in order to get the first deal done. There’s no stopping you if you’re backed with Lee’s education and COGO Capital’s financing!” Ray Colon, Chicago, IL.

Through an intensive training with a coach received one-on-one attention. I went out marketing, got agents and investors excited, got some applications back, and learned how to present myself in a better way. I learned how to develop different scripts, what to say and how to say it, how to originate loans, where I can go if I have questions. I’m confident that I can get clients excited and in turn close more loans.” Sherry Falk- Jacksonville, FL

I’ll see you out there!

Lee A. Arnold

CEO

The Lee Arnold System of Real Estate Investing

Follow me on Twitter: @CogoCapital  and @LeeArnoldSystem 

Have a deal? Visit us at www.cogocapital.com to fill out your fast and easy quote. Want to learn more about COGO first? CLICK HERE to get to know all the ins and out!

 

A Guide on Where to Meet Homeowners

When working with distressed homeowners, there are several key traits to working out a respectful deal that profits both sides and keeps the transaction professional.

I’ve discussed helping distressed homeowners before, and if you need a refresher course on the basics of putting together a deal with tact, please CLICK HERE to get your tips.

Now, let’s talk about where to meet a distressed homeowner to discuss terms and sign the purchase and sale agreement. Because the sale in question is their property, a homeowner may expect that the meeting will take place in their home. For reasons we’ll discuss, this isn’t a great idea.

I recommend meeting them in a professional office setting.

By signing in a professional office setting, you can maintain control over the situation. When you sign in their home, you convey that you are available to them on their schedule, giving them control.

You also convey the importance of them coming to you, securing the fact that although you may have reached out to them in the first place to offer on the property, you aren’t going to chase them down to get it.

When you meet at their home, you are also giving them more time to “think” about it because they don’t have to physically do anything or go anywhere to have this meeting. By removing them from their home, you give them an actionable step to show commitment–both to you and subconsciously to themselves. Additionally, if you meet them at their home and they decide to do business with you, they will expect you to come back.

By meeting in a professional office setting, you are setting the standard that you are a professional and giving the homeowner peace of mind.

If you don’t have the option of a professional office setting, you can use the middle ground of a location such as a coffee shop. Don’t let this be your first option, but if it helps you avoid meeting at their home, it’s a better way to go.

What is the purpose of this meeting?

First, you need to introduce yourself; who you are and what real estate services you provide. Then, listen to their story and find out their needs. Educate them on what you do and how. This is your opportunity to align their needs with your services and make the option of having them sell you their house a no-brainer. Most importantly, your goal for this meeting is to get the purchase and sale agreements signed!

When you meet at your office, stress how important it is to have the paperwork signed in order to get the ball rolling. They’re likely going to be hesitant, but if you let them bring the paperwork home, chances are you’ll never hear from them again. Remember to assure the homeowner that they are not signing their life away, and should be comfortable with the process. They may not be as motivated to work toward a solution for losing their home as you’d think, so it is your job to explain to them why they should be.

Before you leave the meeting, be sure also to ask these key questions:

– What condition is the house in?

– Is there anything else I should know about the property?

– Do you have any contact information for your lender?

– Are there any other questions I can answer for you before I leave?


When in doubt, put yourself in their shoes. Remember that many owners who are on the brink of losing their homes are emotional, desperate, and/or in denial. You must be aware of their position and ready to step forward with confidence.

Choose a professional office setting to meet, make sure they understand the benefits of working with you, and get them to sign the paperwork. From there, they can move forward with one less trouble and you can work toward a profitable deal.

If you’re ready to kick it up a notch, join us for a FUNDING TOUR and we’ll provide you with a $250,000 pre-approval letter to support your next transaction. For more information on what a FUNDING TOUR is and why I believe so strongly that you should attend that I’ll pay for your $497 seat, visit fundingtour.com or call 800-533-1622.

To Your Success;

Lee A. Arnold

CEO

The Lee Arnold System of Real Estate Investing

Follow me on Twitter: @CogoCapital  and @LeeArnoldSystem 

Have a deal? Visit us at www.cogocapital.com to fill out your fast and easy quote. Want to learn more about COGO first? CLICK HERE to get to know all the ins and out!

Blue Tape Inspections

- - Fixing, Flipping

You’re so close to the finish line…don’t stop now!

Just like with new construction, when you’re renovating a house, you need to do a final walk through. Regardless of the size of the project–whether you only needed fresh paint and new appliances or whether it was a complete overhaul–you need to throw your fine-toothed comb in there and pick out all the nicks, splits, and smudges before paying your contractor’s final bill.

Even the best contractors miss things. A final walk through is part of the job. But if you don’t know what to look for, you can end up missing the same things they missed, you run the risk of the potential home buyers pointing it out (or their inspector), and can spend more money when you thought the job was done.

There still may be things you didn’t notice–a bathroom vent dead-ending in the attic instead of going through the roof, for instance–but you can arm yourself for success with a quality walk. To avoid frustration and wasted time and money, review the items you’re looking for before you go in with a roll of blue tape.


First, let’s talk about your tool kit: 

Bring a level, measuring tape, notepad/pen, these checklists, a flashlight, mirror, and your camera phone or a camera to take pictures of problem areas (even if you take notes, you should have a visual on anything larger than a golf ball).


Before you start, keep these tips in mind:

Take your time. Schedule more than enough time for this processes. A quick 30 minutes isn’t going to cut it. If you don’t want your contractors short cutting you, don’t shortcut yourself.

Assure that work is complete before the final paycheck is issued. They want to get paid, so this not only it protects you for the resale value of the home, it motivates them to complete the job.

Stand your ground. If you’ve hired a trusted contractor who’s done their job on time and budget without unnecessary complications or stress (of what THEY can manage), then you should be able to trust their professional opinion at this point. But, don’t let them pressure you into disregarding something that you know needs to be handled. If you have a laundry list of outstanding issues, they should be gracious and eager to fix them. Again, this is a standard practice for them, too. They know it’s part of the job.

Double check it after they’ve gone back in for completion. Keep your notes, pull up photographs, and make sure you have all your questions answered on the spot.


 

Exterior

  • Walk the perimeter of the house to check for cosmetic deficiencies.
  • Check all exterior doors, insuring frames are secured and painted on all angles
  • Walk in and out of each door, looking at the home from every angle to assure everything is painted or stained uniformly and on all sides.
  • Check all windows, insuring frames are secured and painted on all angles
  • Assure the steps, sidewalks, and driveway are free of debris
  • Check that patios, decks, and balconies are accessible, safe, painted, free of lose nails or screws, and free of debris
  • Check window wells on egress windows, assuring they are free of debris, and if covered, that the cover can be removed in the event of an emergency.
  • Check the gutters and downspouts, checking that they are free of debris, in working order, and deposit water into to the ground and not onto another part of the house that can cause rot or damage.
  • Be sure the garage door opens and closes and is sealed securely on all four sides.
  • Open the garage door, especially if it was painted, and check all angles for uniformity.

Doors

  • Open and close all doors. See that doors are well-fitted and operate as intended.
  • Make sure all six sides are painted – front, back, top, bottom, and both ends.
  • Check all locks, including deadbolts, operate properly without binding, and that thresholds are adjusted correctly.
  • Look for warping.
  • Hinges should be clean and free of paint.
  • Sometimes doors must be trimmed to fit. Make sure the cut is at the bottom, that it’s straight, and that so much hasn’t been cut off that the door is now hollow at the bottom.
  • Check that locks are well-installed and do not rattle when the door is closed.
  • Check that the exterior doors have been sealed with weather-stripping.
  • Make sure all closet doors are secure and open and close easily.
  • Make sure all closet door knobs are secure.

Windows

  • Open all windows.
  • Determine that locks operate properly.
  • Tracks should be lubricated to prevent binding.
  • Make sure screens are in place and not torn.
  • Look for broken panes.
  • Check that any glossing was done properly.

Walls

  • Walk the perimeter of each room.
  • Check all floor and ceiling moldings for uniformity, paint/stain, and security.
  • Search for gaps that need caulking, protruding nail heads that need repair, and for proper
  • Scrutinize all wall and ceiling surfaces under natural light and under artificial illumination (close blinds or do so at night if possible). Poorly done drywall work tends to show most when the lights are on.
  • Check for visible seams, nail heads that have popped out and other irregularities.
  • Assure the walls are square, and consequently that it matches the angles in the flooring.
  • Inspect the wall finishes for uneven paint coverage, holidays (or spots with missing paint), and that texture has been applied evenly.

Electrical

  • Check all wall outlets and switches, assuring they operate correctly.
  • Test light fixtures; are they attached securely and contain the correct-wattage bulbs?

Stairs

  • Assure that flooring on stairs is secure, especially carpet. Check the corners.
  • Check handrails for stability and proper height. Most states require the top and bottom to run back into the wall to avoid catching.

Flooring

  • Tile and vinyl flooring should be clean and free of chips and cracks.
  • Check for missing grout, and be sure molding is installed and painted or stained.
  • Walk all carpeted areas, checking for loose fits at the edges, ripples in the middle or squeaks in the subfloor.
  • Walk across all floors in different patterns. You should have minimum squeaks spring when under pressure. Wood floor systems will have some unevenness, this shouldn’t be severe.
  • All flooring types should have a relatively flat surface.
  • Examine seams in carpets and vinyl to ensure they are tight and meet the edges of the room securely.
  • Inspect ceramic tiles for surface cracks. Joints between ceramic tiles should be well-filled with grout. Grout should be in good shape and free of chipping.
  • Inspect flooring for damage.
  • Examine carpeting for stains or shade variations, assuring the correct carpet and pad were used.

Kitchen

  • Check countertops for scratches and abrasions. Counters are a magnet for toolboxes.
  • Make sure the cabinets and appliances are level and properly anchored to the wall or secured to the countertops.
  • Check all doors and drawers. They should open fully and close easily.
  • Assure that every appliance works, is level, and free of debris.
  • Check faucets, outlets, and lightbulbs.
  • Check under the sink for any obvious signs of damage, leakage, or debris.
  • Test the range hood fan and light.
  • Make sure there are electrical outlets above the counter.
  • Check garbage disposal.

Bathrooms

  • Look for scratches and nicks in the sink as well as the shower enclosure and tub. Toolboxes often collect there, too.
  • Check that the sink and tub stoppers hold water.
  • Assure the shower strainer is fastened securely.
  • Flush all toilets.
  • Check that the toilet is securely fastened to the floor by sitting on it. (Don’t test the commode by trying to rock the fixture back and forth as it can break a seal that’s correctly installed.)
  • While sitting there, close the door and closely examine the walls and other surfaces to make sure they are acceptable.
  • While sitting there, check that the toilet-paper dispenser is at the right distance and height to avoid contorting to reach the roll.
  • Check for chips in bathtubs, toilets, and sinks. Check all grout, calking, and seals in the tub, sink, and around the backsplash.
  • Ensure that all faucets work properly, and check under the sinks.
  • Check that cabinets are securely fixed to the wall, all doors open and close easily, and all drawers work properly.
  • Assure that all installed towel racks are done right and will hold the weight of their intended product.

Heating/Air-conditioning

  • Test for cold A/C.
  • Check the furnace and hot water heater.
  • Locate the furnace filters and assure there is one in there.
  • Be sure the heat registers are not located below a thermostat.
  • Check the location and number of cold air returns and make sure they are unobstructed.

You should now feel armed and ready to tackle that “blue tape” inspection. If any of this was new information for you, or you still feel overwhelmed with the process, take a breath and rest assure that we have your best interest at heart. In fact, if this is an area with which you struggle, don’t let the fear of making a mistake stop you. Join us for a Project Management Home Study Course where you’ll learn in vivid detail what you need to know from the very start of a rehab project to the finish line.

If you would benefit from this course, call us at 800-533-1622 to speak with a business consultant to get enrolled. Not only is the return on your investment a wise move for any rehabber, you’ll save time, energy, and frustration by easily learning what TO do instead of difficultly learning what NOT to do.

It’s always easier when the experts help you.

Happy inspecting!

Lee A. Arnold

CEO

The Lee Arnold System of Real Estate Investing

Follow me on Twitter: @CogoCapital  and @LeeArnoldSystem 

Have a deal? Visit us at www.cogocapital.com to fill out your fast and easy quote. Want to learn more about COGO first? CLICK HERE to get to know all the ins and out!

Finding Owners of Vacant Houses

An investor recently asked me on Twitter, “I see vacant houses down the street. How do I find the owner? #asklee”

Whenever you’re driving or riding in a car, bus, uber, or taxi, you should be looking for vacant, boarded up, distressed properties, FSBO (“for sale by owner”) properties, and houses for rent. When you see these house, especially when you target specific areas to know when people are moving in and out, you can capitalize on the potential purchase of a property, but only if you can find who owns it.

Sometimes, it can take some time and effort to find these owners, but once you do, you have a chance that they will be motivated to sell. And that’s great news for you!

Here are a few ways you can uncover the owner of that vacant, distressed house, ready for the real estate pickin’.

ONLINE

Often, you can find this information directly on the internet.

Go to http://www.netronline.com/ Click on “public records,” then your city and state.

COURTHOUSE

Once you have the address, you can physically go down to the courthouse to find the owner’s name in the public records.

THE NEIGHBORHOOD

Stop by and knock on some doors. Talk to the neighbors on both sides, in front, and behind until you find someone who knew them. If you can get a name, you can look them up in tax rolls, appraisal districts, in the phone book, or online. Sometimes, they may know where the owner moved or have their phone number.

This can be one of your most beneficial resources because a vacant or distressed home can bring down the value of a neighborhood. When you introduce yourself as an investor looking to fix up and resell the property, you’re more likely to garner cooperation.

MAIL

Send out two letters, one to the address of the vacant home with the intention that the post office forwards it to the new address. The other, send to the address with the words “Address Service Requested; Do Not Forward” on the envelope.

UTILITIES

Check with the utility company to see if the owners set up a new account under the same name. They are not required to give you the address, and often won’t, but you might learn whether they are still in the area or not.

REVERSE DIRECTORY

If you have an address but not the name, try using a reverse directory to look up the owner. You can find one quickly online (try reverseaddress.com) or in the reference section at your local library.

FLYERS

Sometimes, the owners or family members of the owner will come back to the property to retrieve something, check on the house, or get the mail they forgot to forward. Leave your information on a flyer, business card, or letter for them to find. If they’re motivated to sell, they’ll reach out.

You see these homes everywhere. Now that you know how to find the owners, there’s no excuse not to reach out. The more you find, the more you contact, the more offers you make, and the closer you are to grabbing that next great deal before someone else does!

I can’t share my best secrets on here, but if you’d like to know more about what to do next, join me for an upcoming FUNDING TOUR or one of our specialty labs. For more, call us at 800-533-1622.

Have a question? Hop over to my Twitter at  @LeeArnoldSystem , follow me, and use the hashtag #asklee, and then check back here often to see if I’ve answered your real estate question.

To Your Success;

Lee A. Arnold

CEO

The Lee Arnold System of Real Estate Investing

 

Follow me on Twitter: @CogoCapital  and @LeeArnoldSystem 

Have a deal? Visit us at www.cogocapital.com to fill out your fast and easy quote. Want to learn more about COGO first? CLICK HERE to get to know all the ins and out!

Don’t Look Without Offering

There are few similarities between purchasing your home (your primary residence) and buying a distressed house with the intent of fixing it and retailing it back into the market.

For instance, when purchasing your own home, you will look at the house before deciding to make an offer. You’re going to make sure it’s a layout you like, and the quality is what you expect.

That isn’t the case when looking at an investment property.

You don’t always get the opportunity to look at a distressed home before buying it. At auction, for example, you may have driven by the property before putting in a bid. But if you find a property on the MLS or made an appointment with the owners, if you have the option to view it, you better be ready to make an offer.

 

WHY LOOK AT IT, THEN?

 

Contrary to popular belief, you don’t get in your car, drive across town to look at a property to determine IF you’re going to buy it or not.

You look at a property to determine the price you’re going to offer! You need to already have numbers on paper of what the property is selling for, what it’s worth after it’s fixed up (the ARV, or After Repair Value), and what the comps in the area are.

“But what if it has mold?” 

Then the price goes down.

“But what if it has fire damage?” 

Then the price goes WAY down.

 

WHY ELSE?

 

Sure, if you’re a newcomer and you see a house that you know is way over your head, I’m not saying that you’re locked in just by looking at it. As long as you have leads flowing and more houses lined up, pursue the next one. But you better have an offer ready, even if it’s a low-ball one.

 

But why?

 

Looking at a house without the intent to make an offer can kill your productivity.

 

  1. It’s a waste of your time. Looking at a property without intended commitment isn’t income producing. I can’t tell you how many people are afraid to make an offer because they think their MAO (maximum allowed offer) is too low and they figure the process will be a waste of time. Then, someone else comes along and gets that property for the same amount or less! It doesn’t happen every time, but you don’t know unless you try, and you’re not trying out of fear.

 

  1. You haven’t given feedback to the owner about what the price should be. If you’re looking at a FSBO (for sale by owner) property and they’re asking too much, your first inclination might be to let someone else burst their bubble. Many homeowners, regardless of whether or not they’re in distress, put an unrealistic price tag on a house from sentimental value alone. If you don’t give them an appropriately priced offer, they may never get any offers, and then they may end up TRULY distressed.

 

  1. It creates a false sense of accomplishment. If you have to make an appointment, get in the car, drive across town, put on your professional slacks and smiles, and take the time to view a property, you’re going to wipe your brow when it’s over and feel accomplished that you took a step.

 

I’m all for taking one step after the other, but the work has barely begun. Don’t pat yourself on the back just yet! Take the next step and write the offer!

At first, it can be tricky knowing what to do and what not to do, what to look for, how to write up an offer, how to communicate with a homeowner, etc. You may feel like you need to ease in, like inching forward in the icy water, acclimating with each step.

 

Jump in!

 

Not only will you acclimate faster, you’ll make all your mistakes right away (because you WILL make mistakes), and then you can move on to success.

If you want to make less of those mistakes, know what to do, what to say, and how to offer, might I suggest some assistance? If you can’t catch one of our upcoming FUNDING TOURS (ask us how you can get your $497 ticket paid for and a $250,000 pre-approval letter just for attending), try jumping in full force by getting a coach. For more information on what will help launch you forward into making offers faster, call us at 800-533-1622, and we’ll help you figure it out.

Don’t view a property just to see it. See it with the intention of making an offer.

Otherwise, spend your time on things that are income producing.

 

To Your Success;

Lee A. Arnold

CEO

The Lee Arnold System of Real Estate Investing

Follow me on Twitter: @CogoCapital  and @LeeArnoldSystem 

Have a deal? Visit us at www.cogocapital.com to fill out your fast and easy quote. Want to learn more about COGO first? CLICK HERE to get to know all the ins and out!