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Can You Still Make Money Investing in Real Estate with Fixers?

By Jeanette Joy Fisher 

Real estate investors have made money by buying fixers, fixing them up, and then selling them for years. It's not a new real estate investing method. But what if you live in an area where homes sit on the market and sell at less than full price? Can you still make money investing in real estate by fixing houses under such market conditions? The simple answer is yes, if you do your research, find the right seller, and follow proven strategies.

Real Estate Market

It's been a sellers' market in America for a number of years, with more buyers than houses, which meant that sellers weren't as motivated as they were back in the 80s, when interest rates were sky high, inflation was running rampant, and mortgage lenders were more cautious. Today's market is shifting towards a buyer's market and real estate investors find home sellers more willing to bargain, because like in every age, people get into trouble for various reasons.

You must know what houses sell for, under what terms the property sells, the conditions of houses sold, and how long the average home sits on the market. Once you know your market, you will know how much to offer a motivated seller.

Find the Right Home Seller

You might think you're looking for a bargain house, but what you're really looking for is a motivated seller. Look for sellers that have found themselves in financial distress, for whatever reason, and who need to sell quickly. Sellers with difficult situations have motivation, and will be willing to work with you to overcome the difficulties they face. Those are the houses that will make you money, regardless of the overall market in that area.

If you look at houses on MLS, tell your agent to request that the seller be present. This way, you have the opportunity to talk to the home seller and see what problems prompted the home sale. You can also run ads that say "We Buy Houses."

Fix the House Right

To give yourself the edge when you go to sell your home, don't just paint everything white and have boring beige carpeting installed. Today's home buyers look for a home that makes them feel "at home." Learn how to profile your home buyer and make decorating choices to target that buyer. You don't need to spend extra money fixing up the house; just make wise design choices.

Sell Your House

Since most home buyers look for houses with real estate agents, don't waste your valuable time trying to sell on your own unless you have sold many houses and know exactly how to manage all the disclosures and paperwork. Find an agent who is willing to show the house, not just place a lock box and forget it. Every time the house is shown, it needs to be staged with lights on.

You can still make money investing in real estate in today's market. Do your homework, learn as much as you can and follow proven strategies.

Copyright � 2006 Jeanette J. Fisher

Jeanette Fisher teaches interior design secrets for fixing houses. For more Real Estate Investing Information for beginners, visit -- the Internet's largest library of real estate investing tips and articles for beginners. Free ebook and teleseminars:

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