Foreclosure Statistics 2017-2018 Stats, Facts and Trends

Foreclosure Statistics 2017 - 2018

During the mid 2000s, the US housing market went through a very volatile time period. Leading up to 2006, the sub-prime mortgage industry issued millions of sub-prime mortgages, which led to a big increase in the demand for housing and ultimately the median value of a home increased as well. Once interests rose, and a lot of adjustable rate mortgages reset, millions of people suddenly were left with mortgage payments that were unaffordable and mortgage balances that were underwater.  Thus the need for many Americans to sell house fast to cash investors.

This activity in the mid-2000s had a big impact on the rate of foreclosures in the United States. While the rate of foreclosed properties declined, those that follow the housing market and overall economy continue to keep an eye on changing trends. At this point in 2017, there are several foreclosure statistics that people need to be aware of.

Increased Foreclosures in May
During the month of May, the number of homes that were in the foreclosure process increased by 5% compared to April 2017. At the end of May, there were a total of 647,000 homes that were in some part of the foreclosure process. This includes homes that are actively bank owned, in default, or going through the auction process. While the number of foreclosures in May was higher than in April, it is still down by more than 20% compared to May 2016.

Steadily Increasing Sale Prices
Another factor to consider is that the median home price has increased and the discount available when buying foreclosed properties has declined. In May 2017, the median list price was $230,000 across the United States with a median sales price of $215,000. The 6.5% discount of sale price compared to list price is a decline compared to the prior year when it was closer to 8%. While the median price of a home in the county has increased by four percent year over year, the median price of a foreclosed property has increased by six percent. This shows that the discount available for foreclosed properties has declined in the past year, which could show that there is a higher demand from speculative investors.

Foreclosure Rates Higher in Certain Markets
Those that follow the real estate industry will also find that the rate of foreclosures in 2017 is higher in certain states, which are spread across the country. Overall, 1 in ever 1,620 homes in the United States is in the foreclosure process. The states with the highest concentration in the country right now are New Jersey (1 in 512), Delaware (1 in 742), and Maryland (1 in 997). Other states with high levels or foreclosure are Illinois and Nevada. The areas with the lowest levels of concentration are included in the northwest and include Montana, North Dakota, and South Dakota.

Improved Credit Availability
One of the reasons why the price of foreclosures has increased, despite the increased supply, is that there is now more credit availability than there was in prior years. Lenders are continuing to grow comfortable with the housing market and overall economy. This has made it easier for the average consumer to obtain financing for a foreclosed property.

Expected to Increase in the Future
While foreclosure rates are lower today than they have been in the past few years, the recent increase compared to the prior month makes it seem as if the rate will continue to rise in the future. There are a lot of different factors that will influence the rate of foreclosures including rising interest rates, increasing home prices compared to stagnating wages, and overall higher costs of living, which will make affordability more challenging.

In conclusion, the housing market is one of the most significant industry sectors in the United States. One of the biggest indicators of the housing market’s overall strength is the foreclosure rate. Those that follow the housing market and overall economy should be aware of a variety of 2017 foreclosure statistics.

How to Sell Your House Fast in 2017

How to Sell a House fast in 2017



So you've decided to sell your house. That's great! Selling your home can be bittersweet, but it's also an exciting experience as you prepare to start your life in a brand new home! Once you've decided to put your house on the market, it can be a daunting task. You may even put it off for months or even years because you've heard about the state of the economy and aren't sure how to time your sale to get the highest profit.

Well, the new year just started, which means it's the perfect time to get the ball rolling and put your house on the market. Here's how to sell a house fast in 2017!

1. Get the Price Right

Cost is everything to sellers and buyers alike, making it the most crucial element to selling your home quickly. A house priced too low will leave you without much profit, while an excessively overpriced home will have you dodging repeated lowball offers with no end in sight.

In order to price your house for sale, investigate other recent sales and properties currently listed in your neighborhood. How does your house compare to them in terms of amenities and size?

Every real estate agent has their preference when pricing a house. Doug Hopkins a real estate agent in Phoenix Arizona, confessed, "I am a huge proponent of underpricing just ever so slightly. First-time home buyers are extremely savvy these days and watch the market like hawks on APPS like Zillow and Redfin. They are well aware of the bloated asking prices we are experiencing currently.”

Investigate the real estate market. Compare your home to other properties nearby, and price your home at a reasonable rate. It's okay to go slightly overpriced if you think you can get an offer for the price you actually want to sell for, but be realistic and understand that any buyers are already going to be well-aware of the competition.

2. Finance Your Own Sale

Some people have a hard time keeping their bank account in order, so the thought of financing an entire house sale on their own is pretty terrifying. But affordability is a major concern for buyers nowadays with the federal fund rate increasing. It's currently at 0.25 percent and expected to go up another 5 percent this year.

Financing your own home sale allows you to offer lower interest rates to your cash buyer than a traditional mortgage lending firm. This can speed up the sales process tenfold.

3. Stage Your Home

Your house should look showroom new when it's being shown to potential buyers. Open houses are a must, but you can't just vacuum, make the beds and call it a day. Hire professional cleaners to scrub the place top-to-bottom; add as much natural light as possible by pulling back curtains and removing blinds and screens; clean walkways; organize garages, cabinets, pantries and closets; hide personal items and create an environment that buyers are able to envision themselves living in.

More open space means more room for their imaginations to wander.

4. Prepare for the Weather

If you're selling your house in the winter, make sure you have gutter heaters installed to prevent water damage and leaky ceilings. In hotter climates, add new window glazing and weatherproofing tape to beat the heat.

Also, make sure any basements have a sump pump for flood prevention.

5. Time the Sale

Early spring and summer are the best times to sell a home according to the Huffington Post. The new election and an uncertain economic future may strike fear in buyers, so it's important to act fast and target the real estate market's prime sale months.

6. Target Millennials

Generation X is growing up and moving out. Millennials are one of the hottest demographics in real estate, so if you want to sell your house fast in 2017, market to them. Features they tend to love most are backyard decks, gourmet kitchens, balconies, open floor plans and vegetable gardens. If your house boasts any of these amenities or similar ones, be sure to mention them in your listing and show them off during an open house.

Should You Sell Your Home To A Real Estate Investor

Selling your home can be a stressful process, and it can be confusing to navigate the process on your own. Many homeowners list their homes and then see advertisements for real estate investors that promise to buy their homes quickly and for an excellent price. Making the decision to sell to a real estate investor is a big one, and you should keep the following in mind to make the best decision for your future.

The Benefits of Selling to a Real Estate Investor:
1. They'll pay cash. Many real estate investors are willing to pay cash for your house, which leads to faster payment. Instead of waiting for loan approval and haggling a lower price, real estate investors are able to offer an immediate cash price for most homes.

2. They'll buy your home without visiting, so you can avoid paying for repairs. Most real estate investors will buy a property without inspecting it, which allows you to put off costly maintenance or home improvement projects.

3. There are flexible payment options to fit your needs. Most investors will have a variety of payment options including scheduled cash payments, certified funds, or assuming the old mortgage completely. This makes it easier to find a payment that best fits your needs.

4. The process is fast! Many investors will be able to close the property deal in a week. This makes investors a great option for those looking to move quickly or increase their liquid assets.

The Downside to Selling to Real Estate Investors
1. Beware of scams. While there are countless reputable real estate investors available, there are also scam artists looking to take advantage of those who haven't done their research. Protect yourself and your home by doing research on your potential real estate investor. Find them on the Better Business Bureau to view their ratings, ask directly for references, or enlist the help of a real estate agent to decide whether your investor is legitimate.

2. You might make less money in the sale. All the benefits of selling to a real estate investor come with a cost, which means that investors can purchase a home for less than the original asking price. For some homeowners the benefits outweigh the loss of income, but you should be aware that investors will probably pay less than traditional buyers.

3. Your real estate investor may not be licensed. Real estate investors are not required to have a license, so it can be hard to tell whether you should trust them. Doing research, asking for references, and getting the help of a real estate agent can help you make the best choice when it comes to investors.

When it comes to selling your home, there can be an overwhelming number of options available to you. When using a real estate investor, you can make a quick sale without making costly renovations to your home. This quick cash sale can come at the cost of losing potential revenue or working with a fraudulent investor. If you decide to sell to a real estate investor, make sure you do research on the investor with the help of an agent before proceeding.

How "cash for houses" works with Doug Hopkins.

Last month we talked about how to sell a home with Doug Hopkins.  This month find out how our cash for homes programs alleviate home owner concerns and add to their quality of life.                        

After you contact us by phone or online, we'll let you know what you should expect and answer any questions you may have about selling your house.

                              Step one.

Meet with us. We'll want to get to know you and your situation. That process works best when we can meet you at your house, so we can understand your needs. Then, if it's appropriate, we'll want to walk through your house with you. At this time, we'll discuss with you any repairs or updates that may be needed to make your house market ready. Don't worry, we buy houses as is, so there's no need for you to do the repairs. We like to say, "Don't fix it, sell it."

                              Step two.

We evaluate your home. We determine how much we can pay for your house by doing a thorough evaluation of it. Taking into account the neighborhood, and current market conditions, our proprietary software will help us determine the most we can pay for your property in its as is condition. This gives our independently owned and operated franchisees the ability to make you a cash offer on the spot. Then, based on the offer, you can decide if it works for you. If it makes sense for you, we'll sign a purchase contract and agree on a closing date.

                              Step three.

We pay you. Since we pay cash, we can generally close quickly, or on your timetable. We pay most normal closing costs, which makes it possible for you to have a worry free closing on your property. With our well earned national reputation, based on thousands of homes purchased and sold over the past 2 decades, you can be confident when you deal with Doug Hopkins. Visit us online today at


The objective when we buy houses or "flipping" is of course to get in and rehab the house as quickly as possible and sell it for the most amount of money possible. With that in mind, I’ve outlined three major maintenance headaches that can kill the profit in your deal overnight.


One of the first things you need to look at on a house you’re looking to buy is the quality of the foundation. Whether the foundation is a crawlspace, a basement, or even a slab, you want to ensure that it’s in good shape. Look for water damage, cracks, uneven areas, chips, broken areas—anything that looks out of place. If the foundation of the house isn’t in good shape, you’re going to be looking at a huge repair job that will take a lot of time and money to complete. I’m not saying it can’t be done—if you can get the house at the right price, all types of repairs can be done without a problem. But it’s important that you go into these situations with your eyes wide open. The good news is that by carefully walking around the exterior of a house, you can generally tell if there are any major issues.

When you walk into a basement, look for signs of water and cracking, and examine closely any areas where the grout seems to be worn out or there are water stains on the walls. Also, don’t be afraid to examine the mechanical systems to see if they show signs of water damage. If you do see any warning signs of current or previous foundation issues, then consider carefully whether it still makes sense to move forward with the purchase. For new real estate investors, I do not recommend tackling rehab jobs of this magnitude. Instead, exercise the right to inspection clause in your contract and terminate the purchase agreement.


Replacing  a roof is another high-ticket item. When you’re walking around the property, don’t forget to take a good look at the roof and the gutters. Are there any visible indents or grooves in the roof? Are there shingles loose or missing? Look at the actual condition of the homes shingles themselves. Shingles that curl up or have two layers indicate that the roof is old and very likely needs to be replaced.


This issue is often overlooked but can mean you have to rewire the entire house. Head over to the electrical panel and take a good look inside—you want to ensure that the house has a minimum of 100 amps. If it doesn’t, the house poses a fire hazard and has electrical issues that you will have to fix. While we’re on the subject of electrical, take a look at the furnace and don’t be afraid to get it professionally inspected if you have any doubt. This is another big-ticket item that can seriously cut into your profits if you don’t plan for it.

When buying a property, don’t allow yourself to overlook these key maintenance issues just because the sellers are offering a great price. Be discerning. Maintenance issues are your job to fix and should never be passed along to a buyer (unless you’re wholesaling the property, in which case the buyer is fully aware and adds the repairs to their maintenance list.) If in doubt, get a second opinion from your trusted contractors like I do.


Love him or hate him, there’s no denying Donald Trump’s success as a real estate investor. If you’ve flown into LaGuardia airport in New York, you might have seen his Gulfstream airplane parked there on the runway. Or perhaps you’ve walked down Fifth Avenue and seen Trump Tower—all 67 stories of it—along with some of his other properties. He owns several million square feet of some of the most expensive real estate in the world. So how did “the Donald” manage to get so wealthy from real estate investing? Let’s take a look at 8 top reasons:,

1.   He has an incredibly disciplined work ethic.

Donald reports that he works seven days a week, putting in at least ten hours a day. He even claims to only sleep four hours a day so that he can keep an edge over his competitors. See - (realtors that buy houses for cash in Phoenix Arizona)

2.   He believes in himself and his abilities and, no matter what happens, good or bad, the outcome is the same in his mind—“the Donald wins.”

His almost superhuman level of confidence has helped him bounce back from many real estate experiences others would have self-imploded over. Four of his businesses have declared Chapter 11 bankruptcy. Trump said, “I’ve used the laws of this country to pare debt. … We’ll have the company. We’ll throw it into a Chapter. We’ll negotiate with the banks. We’ll make a fantastic deal. You know, it’s like on The Apprentice. It’s not personal. It’s just business.” All successful entrepreneurs show a remarkable resilience in the face of events that others would consider failures. For Donald, it’s not about what happens to him, but rather how he reacts to everything that happens to him.

3.   He’s a big-picture person who uses his talents to work on the strategic issues; he doesn’t get bogged down by the details.

This doesn’t mean he neglects the details—he is famous for doing random checks on the men’s restrooms in Trump Tower to look for puddles of water on the floor or washbasins that are anything less than sparkling. He hires the best professionals in the business to handle the details for him.

4.   He is cost conscious and profit minded in the running of his real estate investing business.

While he’s famous for spending a lot of money to get the very best quality, he gets the best price that can be had and doesn’t waste money.

5.   If you review all the key real estate moves he’s made in his career, the majority of them came at a time when it was not popular to make such moves.

In other words, Donald Trump zigged while everyone else zagged. He invested in depressed markets that other people were too afraid to even consider. He moves counter to the herd mentality.

6.   He learned from a great real estate mentor—his father.

Fred Trump was an incredibly successful New York real estate investor, and he had Donald managing his first multimillion-dollar deal while still in college. Having a great real estate mentor to learn from and help you along the way will save you a lot of time and trouble.

7.   Donald Trump never gives up.

No matter how many times someone tells him no, he only takes that to mean that he is that much closer to a yes. If he didn’t possess such persistence like us when we buy houses for cash, he wouldn’t have achieved such success. The highly complex deals he pulled together in New York City took many years and countless hours to accomplish.

8.   He takes time everyday to improve his mind and knowledge base, never thinking that he “knows it all now.”

He continues to learn because he understands that if he doesn’t keep getting better, he will stop being so successful. All great people are perpetual students of their business and the world around them.

Thinking of Buying Apartments? 5 Warning Signs Of A Bad Deal

I have bought and sold thousands of apartments over the years. It’s one of my favorite deals to do because they are a great passive income generator. If you’re interested in buying apartments, it’s a great way to build long term wealth but it’s obviously a big decision that requires you take many factors into consideration. Here are 5 major red flags that to me are almost deal breakers:

You Can’t Make The Numbers Work

When you buy an apartment building the goal is to make a lot of money. If you can’t get the numbers to work, the sellers won’t budge on price or you’re unable to negotiate better terms – move on to the next deal.

Incomplete Financial Information

If the seller can’t give you at least 2 years worth of profit and loss statements, plus the actual numbers from current year this is a major red flag. It either signals mis-management or something shady might be going on. Either way, I’d suggest you walk away.

Fictitious Numbers

Don’t get swayed by reviewing what’s known as “Pro forma numbers”. Pro forma numbers are not actual figures – they’re based on guesswork. While the proforma numbers might be educated guesses, they’re still speculative. Lenders completely disregard these numbers when giving loans and so should you.

Bad Neighborhood

Don’t try and push water uphill on this one. If you have a good apartment building in a bad area, it doesn’t make sense investing your money trying to reverse a trend. If the neighborhood is heading downward, then you can bet the tenants and anyone wanting to live in the building will be too. The good tenants will pack their bags and move on. I’d say pass on these deals.

A Long Time on the Market

Good apartment buildings often sell at the speed of light just like cash for homes programs. Bad properties can take months and months to sell, and sometimes years. linger in the listings for month after month. When you come across a stale listing, it’s time to do some digging and find out what the problems are. Speak with the tenants and the neighboring properties.  You’d be amazed at what people will tell you. Yes sometimes these kinds of deals can be a gold mine because it’s a great opportunity that others have overlooked. Be discerning though and pick your battles. There are plenty of apartment buildings out there. Your time may be spent pursuing properties that are less problematic.


In my twenty plus years of house flipping and real estate mentoring, I have learned a lot about first-time investors. All too often, we’ll see people decide to get into the business, and they’ll decide that they can save money by learning everything on their own online. They don’t sign up for any real estate coaching, and they try to skimp on building a team to help them with their flips. At this point in the game, they think of themselves as real estate pros when they really should be looking for mentors and thinking of themselves as real estate apprentices.

The thought process here is always the same. It goes something like, “If I can do it all myself, then I won’t have to pay anyone else. I’ll make so much more money!” Well, it’s just not true. If you’ve watched ever a single episode of Property Wars, you know that we have a really solid real estate team to help us with all of our flips.

And I’m a realtor that will buy houses Phoenix! Think about it this way. If real estate agents who’ve been in the business for years value the power of building a real estate team, then you really should, too. So, who do you need on your side when you start investing?

Who’s On Your Team?
At the very minimum, your real estate team should consist of a real estate agent, a real estate attorney, an accountant, and an insurance agent. Each of these people specializes in a specific part of the real estate investment process to get fast cash for homes, and each of them can mentor you in their area of expertise and help you make the right decisions for your investment.

Your Real Estate Agent
Choosing a real estate agent who’s experienced in house flipping is key. They’ll be able to help you find leads on properties, advise you on your purchases, and give you advice for staging and selling your properties once you’ve rehabbed them. They do charge a small percentage (usually about 5%) when you sell, but this is often more than worth it.

The Rest of Your Team
The rest of your team is just as important as your real estate agent to ensure that each deal goes as smoothly as possible. Of course when Murphy’s law kicks in (because it will), one of the most reassuring things you have is knowing you have a first-class group of professionals at your finger tips to help you through it. Your attorney will know the laws that pertain to your property and will help you greatly by simplifying paperwork and giving you a good understanding of the legal ramifications of your purchases, rehabs, and sales.

Having an accountant who specializes in real estate is essential, as well. They’ll help you streamline your taxes and stay in the IRS’ good graces without losing your shirt. And, of course, your insurance agent can ensure that you’re protected against a number of liabilities and/or damage to your property.

The Unspoken Team Member
Now, there’s one member of the team that every new investor should have but no one really talks about: your mentor or coach. While you can learn a lot about the different aspects of the business from each member of your real estate team, it helps a great deal to get some general real estate mentoring.

Frankly that’s why I started Winning The Property War. There just aren’t that many really high quality real estate coaching opportunities for new investors. So when you select a real estate coach or mentor – be discerning. Don’t just work with the first person you come across. Find out about how much actual activity they’re doing in real estate in today’s market. You want a coach with their finger on the pulse, who’s out there every day shaking trees and doing deals and who can teach what’s working now (not what worked 5 or 10 years ago when they did all their deals!)


Fear of getting stuck with a house is one of the main reasons new real estate investors fail to launch.

“I can find a deal…but what if I can’t sell it?”

The fear is understandable. We’re talking about flipping some big assets here, I mean we buy houses Arizona. I’d like to take that fear away from you with some simple tips.

First let’s examine what it means when you can’t sell a house. It’s simple. Either it means that the buyers in the market don’t agree with your asking price (note that this doesn’t necessarily mean you’ve priced it too high), or it means that your price is fine, but your marketing efforts haven’t yet reached the right buyers. Maybe your photos are terrible. Maybe the agent you have the property listed with is sitting on the listing and not doing anything to promote it. Maybe you need to get back into the driver’s seat with your promotional efforts and find the buyers yourself.

Here are 5 ways you can get your house to sell:


I’m always surprised when people go to all the trouble to get a house ready for sale, and then they don’t pay attention to the marketing that’s used to attract buyers. Your property listing is ground zero. Start here. Are your photos exceptional? Not good, but exceptional? Hire a pro if you need to. Get shots taken at night as well as during the day. The more photos you can show the better.

Now let’s talk about the “copy”—that’s a fancy marketing term for the words that persuade people that this is the house for them (ad copy is salesmanship in print.) The best ad copy transfers emotion. You need to give people an insight into what their lives would look like if they lived there. In many instances, you’re selling a dream. Don’t forget that.


Videos for fast cash for homes are becoming essential to sell a house. People want to know if their valuable time should be spent looking at your house. It’s the goal of your video to persuade them that it is.


Whether you do it yourself or pay a professional, staging a house is a no-brainer, in my opinion. This goes back to creating a dream for people—they need to know what living in that house would be like. People have very little imagination. Staging helps them envisage the potential of each room – using key pieces of furniture selectively without having to get the entire house furnished.


This is one of my favorite strategies because it’s simple to do, you’re genuinely helping people who otherwise would never qualify for a bank loan to get into a house, and you get to make some additional money in the process.
Selling a house with seller financing allows you to:

a. make a lot more money from the exact same sale price
b. create multiple streams of passive income for years into the future

If you offer your house with seller financing you will significantly increase your buyer pool and you’ll very likely be able to get a higher price for the house as a result.


Offering one of these is always a nice touch—especially if you’re selling an older home or you have a nervous first-time buyer. Just make sure your advertising promotes the fact you’re including a home warranty with the sale!


Asking this simple question can provide you with clues about what you need to do to get them to yes. Maybe they’re nervous about the big trees on the property. Maybe they prefer a 2-car garage. Note that this isn’t always about fixing the things that they complain about. For example, you might not have the $10,000 budget required to add a 2-car garage. But maybe installing a huge TV screen in the living room that comes with the house (a cost to you of $800) will go a long way toward persuading them that this is the house for them!

You’ll notice that I didn’t list dropping the price of your house. That’s because, in my view, that’s the very last thing you do—not the first—but it is what most people do when they feel panicked.

I’ve completed over 10,000 real estate deals, and I have never encountered a property I couldn’t sell. It might have taken me longer than I thought, but I’ve always been able to move it eventually. It’s all about matching the right property with the right buyer and putting in the legwork to ensure your properties sell. Don’t just hand a property over to your real estate agent and assume they’re doing a great job! Keep an open mind and be flexible. Everything changes. Keep up-to-date with your real estate education and you’ll stay on top of the changes and be able to take advantage of them!


Most novice real estate investors find talking to sellers one of the most intimidating aspects of real estate investing. It’s understandable since they are the key to getting a deal. But with the right training, you can become a pro at this in no time —and even enjoy the process.

1.  Go in thinking and believing that you are a real estate professional, even if this is your first deal. Your sellers will assume you know more than them about the whole process, so act that way. You’re there to buy their house not make new friends. Act that way.

2.  If the seller asks you a question you don’t know the answer to, don’t fudge it. Say, “Wow, that’s a great question. I don’t know the answer, but I’ll find out and get back to you.” Honesty builds trust. You’re not expected to know everything. But find out and do get back to them.

3.  Dress professionally. Do not show up to a house in jeans. You don’t need to break out the suit, but you do need to look every part the real estate professional that you now are.

4.  Drive a nice car, even if you have to borrow one. It is not ok to show up to a seller’s house driving your old junker. What does that say about your level of success?

5.  Park your car across the street from the house. Don’t ever park in their driveway or on any part of their property. It’s a psychological barrier to them trusting you—to them, it’s almost as if you’re already claiming ownership of their house.

6.  Take with you a leather (or faux leather) folder, some business cards, and a brochure about your real estate company, if you have one. (This is nice to have but not essential). You can pick up a faux leather folder from OfficeMax for $12. Get one—it’s a good investment. Have a nice pen to take notes with as you walk through the house.

7.  When the seller first opens the door, greet them with a smile, introduce yourself, and thank them for inviting you to their home. Ask them if you’re parked in an acceptable spot—it’s a great icebreaker and shows that you’re a considerate person. This is important to building trust.

8.  Ask if someone can show you around the home. Never wander around on your own, as this is an important part of the sales process.

9.  While taking the tour, be very careful about what you say. Be aware that every sentence you utter will either add to the purchase price in the minds of the seller or deduct from it. For example, never say, “This is a beautiful home” or “I could see myself living here.” Do however point out all the issues that you see in terms of repairs and tell them what you’d need to fix. Make a list of all these items so you can refer back to it later.

Remember, the goal of a home inspection with the sellers is to buy your houses and confirm the numbers you already know from doing your research and to verify that there are no major structural issues that would dramatically affect the price. Try and get them to talk about the issues with the house as much as possible. Sellers typically know where the issues are. Draw attention to them and then let them do the talking.

10.  After the house inspection, ask to sit at the kitchen table. Don’t sit at the head of it (it sends the wrong message). Take the sellers through your presentation and be prepared to sign the agreement right then and there.


If you’re a new real estate investor, you might be wondering if you also have to become a real estate agent in order to buy and sell real estate or pay cash for homes. The good news is you don’t. Let’s examine some of the differences:

Agents need to be licensed; investors do not.

Real estate agents need to be licensed by the state that they do business in. They have to take a real estate exam and then, depending on the state, keep up with their real estate education by attending additional real estate classes for CLE credits. Real estate investors do not need a real estate license to buy and sell real estate. The only time you need to get a real estate license is when you intend to represent someone other than yourself in the purchase and sale of the property.

Agents earn commissions; investors earn checks.

Obviously both real estate agents and real estate investors earn their living through real estate. The difference is how they earn their money.

Agents earn their money via real estate commissions—in effect, a fee earned for representing the buyer or seller. Agents earn 1–5% commission off every sale they are involved in. Real estate investors can be paid many different ways—by flipping the house to a new buyer for a higher price than they bought it for (less repairs,) by renting the property as a landlord, or by “wholesaling the property” and assigning the deal to another investor for a fee. The number of ways a real estate investor can get paid is many and varied.

Investors are called investors because they’re excellent at finding creative ways to turn real estate into paychecks for themselves!

Agents work for large brand-name brokerage houses; investors can call their business whatever they like and are answerable to no one but themselves.

Real estate agents work under real estate brokers that pay cash for houses. Once an agent has completed their exams and is licensed by the state, they can’t just start going out to find clients. They have to find a brokerage house to work under in order to hang their shingle out. Not investors. They are their own bosses. They make their own rules for their business and can market their business in any way they want. Real estate agents also have to share a portion of their commission check with their brokerage house and often pay a monthly “desk rental” among other fees.

Bottom line: you don’t have to be a real estate agent in order to be an investor. I happen to be both because it gives me more options in terms of how I can earn my paycheck, but you don’t have to get licensed as an agent to be a real estate investor.