If you are already an active real estate investor, you probably see a few houses every week. When you receive a deal whose numbers look good, the next thing is to make an appointment with the seller to take a quick tour of the house. As you inspect investment properties, here’s a list of things that will come in handy every time.
When you’re going to inspect investment properties, take a flashlight with you. You might find the utilities disconnected.
This applies to most of the vacant homes you will go to see.
2) Face dust mask
As unlikely as this sounds, I have found it necessary to wear a face mask several times when I inspect investment properties.
I am referring to the mask that covers your mouth and nose, not the ninja type mask.
Recently I went to see a house that had been vandalized. They vandalized everything including the copper in the plumbing.
And the good old vandals left the water spraying all over the house. By the time the neighbors called the city to turn off the water, the house had been flooded for a few days.
Of course, this resulted to mold in the house.
And I had to cover my face and make sure I did not breathe the mold just to see the house.
Keep a simple face mask in your car as part of your toolbox. A box of dust mask at Home Depot costs about $7.
3) Hand sanitizer / insect repellent
Lots of vacant houses stink and are infested with fleas.
You end up touching dirty doors, knobs, etc.
Sometimes you end up getting infested by fleas. I always spray my shoes with insect repellent before I get into such properties, and I sanitize my hands after I am done inspecting a house.
4) Digital camera / Video camera
Get a good digital camera and video recorder. In most cases you just need a good smart phone.
Always take some pictures and video whenever you go to see your houses.
I have made a habit of recording my voice to narrate useful things whenever I go to see a house. I find it easier than having to take notes.
Of course, this is an obvious must have. I generally find the one on my smart phone enough for my needs.
This is one tool you will always need, whether you are estimating repairs, making offers, etc.
6) Screwdriver, hammer
These come in handy when you find houses that are boarded up. You have to gain entry, then re-board it after you are done.
Keep these in your car, you never know when you will need them.
I like to carry a small toolbox with an assortment of tools. You never know when you’ll need them.
7) Deal analysis
By the time I go out to see a property, I already know about the repairs needed when I pre-screen the sellers.
So, my visit serves to confirm the information I already have.
I already have comparative sales done and I have an idea of the offer I will make.
I can revise these numbers if things on the ground change.
Always be prepared to make an offer before you leave. If you have done your pre-screening well, you will already know the asking price when you go to see the house.
Most motivated sellers will accept your offer right there.
Most people will accept a written offer that you make face to face than an offer you make over the phone or by email.
If you have an Interactive real estate investing website, take your laptop with you, open the deal and pull up the deal analyzer from the analysis tab. You can quickly tell if your offer will make you some money or not.
8) Purchase agreement
The time to sign the contract is when the seller accepts your offer, not later. Take a copy with you!
Keep some blank ones in your car, but by all means, have it ready to sign when they accept your offer.
9) Business cards
Most motivated sellers know other people who are in a situation similar to theirs.
Make sure you pass your business cards to them. Of course, remember to promise a gift if they refer their friends.
10) Take yard signs when going to inspect investment properties
As soon as I get a house under contract, I put a “We Buy Houses” sign on the yard, with the owner’s permission.
These signs can bring you a lot of extra business.