I live outside US and am looking to purchase my first investment property. What are the key questions to ask when working with US real estate agents?

Asked by Derek, Outside U.S. Mon Oct 22, 2012

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opondomusa, , 10020
Sat Oct 27, 2012
Purchasing your first investment property can be an exciting, yet stressful, situation for anyone.

Not knowing what to expect is a usual worry -- but with help from the right Realtor, you can conquer your fears of the unknown and find the home of your dreams.

REF: http://www.realtypin.com/news/Story/726-Buying-Your-First-Ho…

Search for Homes at: http://www.realtypin.com
1 vote
Chris Godkin, Agent, Celebration, FL
Tue Oct 23, 2012
#1 question to answer is TRUST!
Can I ‘Trust’ my buyers agent to represent me to the highest standards and look out for my best interests?
Some great answers have already posted, many of which are correct & valid, but you have to have the trust between yourself and your chose agent with whom you work on your first, second and every deal now and in the future, not just someone selling you what they want you to have and moving on after closing!
Feel free to contact/call me anytime to discuss, my reputation and business is built on earned trust and ongoing service levels to my clients.
1 vote
Eric Mieles, Agent, Orlando, FL
Tue Oct 23, 2012
Derek, I think outside of the normal questions one would ask an agent such as

-What area do you specialize in?
-How long have you been in real estate?
-How many investors have you worked with in the past?
-What is your process for assisting foreign nationals?

I believe maybe you should focus on what kind of questions a great agent may ask you. If you notice most will go and focus on why they are the best candidate for the position rather than doing a thorough discovery to see if that buying client will be a great match for what the agent specializes in.

Questions a great agent may ask would be and the obvious being the MOST IMPORTANT

-What type of ROI are you looking for?
-What is your time frame for purchasing your investment property?
-Will you be using cash or needing financing
-What type of investment would suit your needs?
-Are you more of a passive investor who is looking for pure cash flow?
-Are you a hands on fix and flip kind of investor or a long term hold and equity build up investor?
-Would you be interested in investment/life style property such as a vacation home with short term leas options?
-Have you considered the need for property management?
-What type of capital are you working with?
-Are you prepared to trust the agent you are working with enough to write a contract on the spot since our market is very very competitive at the current moment?

As you see I could go on and on however my point is the questions a great agent will ask you will clearly separate the average agent that may not achieve the results your after from the great agents that will look after your needs and get you the results you deserve.

I hope this helps and if you need more information or would like to simply contact me please feel free to search all homes for sale in our market on my website as well as the #1 investment area in Central Florida at http://www.Lakenonaresales.com

Thank you
1 vote
Alan Martin, Agent, Orlando, FL
Mon Nov 19, 2012
ask me if I am experienced at helping foreign nationals buy property on the Orlando area. Answer. I have lost count of the number of foreign nationals that Ihave helped. If you are looking for an expert in thsi field. Please check me out

0 votes
Drew, Home Owner, Atlanta, GA
Tue Oct 30, 2012
Make sure there is a thorough Title search if its a foreclosed property. I am stuck with the bill for unpaid taxes of the previous owner eventhough it showed a clear title at closing.
0 votes
Margaret Has…, Agent, Tampa, FL
Tue Oct 30, 2012
Derek - Some key questions for your real estate agent would be:

Do you own investment properties yourself?
If so, do you own the type of properties I'm looking for?
How long have you been a full-time real estate agent? (over 10 years is a good answer).

Hope this helps,

Margaret Hassani
Broker, Lightning Realty
Phone/Text: (813) 766-1501
Email: Marg@tampahouse1.com
Website: http://www.TampaHouse1.com
0 votes
Vincent Paige…, Agent, Orlando, FL
Wed Oct 24, 2012
Visit my website and take a look.

Highest and best regards,

Vincent Warren Paige, Jr.
REALTOR® | RE/MAX Showcase
Luxury Property Specialist
8934 Conroy Windermere Road | Orlando, FL 32835
Direct: 407.256.8190 | Fax: 407.264.8073
E-mail: vpaige1@yahoo.com
0 votes
Richard Rutl…, Agent, Orlando, FL
Tue Oct 23, 2012
Call or E-Mail me When you can. I handle Property Management and Buying and Selling Investment homes.
0 votes
Carol Bauza, Agent, Orlando, FL
Tue Oct 23, 2012
Hi Derek,
Thanks for turning to Trulia with your real estate questions.

First things first, not only do you need to find an agent who is knowledgeable, but someone who you can work with.
Please feel free to check my profile and my recommendations, most of which are investors much like yourself.
You can private message me and we can set a time to talk.
Thanks a million and Good Luck!

Carol Bauza
Charles Rutenberg Realty
0 votes
Craig Rich, , Orlando, FL
Tue Oct 23, 2012
Hi Derek,

There are some great recommendations here for finding someone to help you acquire the property. We are a full service property management company and finding tenants, coordinating maintenance, collecting rent, etc. is our specialty. When that time comes, please contact me and I'd love to discuss what to look for in selecting a property management company. Or you can even visit our website.


Good luck!

Craig Rich
Real Estate Broker
Real Property Management Premier
Direct 407-374-9101
0 votes
Javier Rodri…, , Orlando, FL
Tue Oct 23, 2012
The 1st thing i suggest is that you determine what is your investment objective. Rent or resale? Then find a broker that deals with your objective and trust that broker to help you with decisions.

Javier Rodríguez
HouseStar Realty
Real Estate Broker, REALTOR ®
Lic: BK703443
Short Sale Foreclosure Resource Certified – SFR
REO Five Star Institute Certified

: 407.429.5243 | Cell: 407.301.3401 | eFax: 407.830.5633
: jrodriguez@housestarrealty.com
: Office: 1033 Semoran Blvd Suite 245 | Casselberry, FL | 32707 USA
"There are no perfect men, only perfect intentions"

0 votes
Tom Priester, Agent, Tequesta, FL
Tue Oct 23, 2012
Dear Derek,

One of the most important things to check is that the agent is capable of providing you a detailed analysis of any property so you know everything possible about the metrics surrounding that purchase and that you are making a knowledgable decision. There is a great one bedroom unit, move in ready with solid cash and cash returns and a prime location that if you would like to see what my analysis looks like please feel free to contact me and I will send it along.

There are two aspects to consider when looking into the purchase of an investment property; the return on revenue you can reasonable expect based on the purchase price and the location and how it might be affected by future price appreciation.

When looking at project returns you need to carefully evaluate the purchase price and ongoing expenses like association fees, property taxes, insurance, etc. You also need to thoroughly investigate the current rental climate in the area surrounding the property. What are similar properties renting for, how quickly are the renting, how many similar properties are out there for rent, etc.

You also need to carefully evaluate the condition of the property and determine what expenses may be incurred in getting the property into rental condition. Many of my clients prefer to put hard surface flooring throughout as it stands up to wear and tear better than soft goods. One thing many investors overlook is if you are in an association will they accepts pets. Many pet lovers have a difficult time finding home that will accept their pets and this can be a huge benefit to investors. If you find a pet friendly situation it will make it easier in most locations to find tenants willing to pay a little more.

Future appreciation is hard to put a precise number on but the better the location the higher that appreciation will probably be. You can expect a little lower up front returns (in my area from 4% to 7% cash on cash returns) compared with up to 10 - 12% % in less desirable areas and product types.

The best thing you can do is locate a qualified Realtor who can properly assist you in locating good opportunities and be ready to act quickly when the right opportunities present themselves. If your search brings you to Palm Beach or Martin Counties I would be very happy to work with you towards meeting your goals. The current market is really a perfect storm and in my opinion Florida real estate in the right location is one of the absolute best investment opportunities we will see in our lifetimes.

Best of luck and if I can offer anything additional please let me know.

Always at Your Service,

Tom Priester e-PRO
"Results Driven Real Estate"

Keller Williams Realty
561 308-0175
0 votes
Richard Rutl…, Agent, Orlando, FL
Tue Oct 23, 2012
Contact me @ AgentRich407@gmail.com I can help you find the best property for you and I also specialize in Property Management!!
0 votes
Annette Law…, Agent, Palm Harbor, FL
Tue Oct 23, 2012
Wow! Great question. Clearly some folks are off their medication.

HOWEVER, ERIC hit a home run!

The agent should be asking you about your:
1. investing goals
2. objectives
3. resources
4. budget
5. capability
6. Ownership/holding options
7. Your exit strategies / tax concequences when sold
8. Business model for rent, flip, hold, wholesale, etc
9. Value assessment

In essence, if the agents doesn't know your purpose and goals, their networks, connections and experience may not prove to be all that beneficial to you.

The list in Eric's 5th paragraph is an excellent summary.

Best of success,
Annette Lawrence, Broker/Associate
Remax Realtec Group

First Look: http://youtu.be/PumYpkgybXE
0 votes
Bill Eckler, Agent, Venice, FL
Tue Oct 23, 2012

Necessary information will vary from one individual to another. With this said, as new buyer of US real estate, it would be advisable to focus your interests on information that will make you informed about the buying process and the responsibilies you will have as an owner.

We are not in the Orlando area but are well versed in international buyers of Florida real estate and would be happy to answer your general questions.

Best regards,

Bill Eckler
0 votes
Mark LeMenag…, Agent, Lake Nona Orlando, FL
Tue Oct 23, 2012
Derek, there are no key questions because everyone is different. A quarter of my current clients (and half my current buyers) are foreign nationals.

Did you know that you can check out my references and the references of the other agents that answer right here on Trulia? Just click on our pictures to go to our profiles and read what our clients say about us. Read some of our blogs and other answers, too. Pick the person you’d be most comfortable to work with. Of course I hope it’s me, but if not then best of luck to you.
0 votes
Stephen McRo…, Mortgage Broker Or Lender, Tampa, FL
Tue Oct 23, 2012

As a Florida Mortgage Broker who has been in the business since the 90’s, through the highs and lows of this rollercoaster called the Florida Real Estate Market, who has extensive experience dealing with realtors all over Florida, I can't stress to you how important it is to shop realtors in advance. But as you’ll soon see, there are a lot of realtors in Florida who want your business, so shopping for that “Right One” can be overwhelming! There are literally thousands of realtors to choose from in FL, and most are good realtors who will do a decent job and get you a decent deal, but as a 2012 buyer you want an Extraordinarily Good Deal!

They say that approx. 68% of consumers end up working with the first or second buyer's agent they contact. Unfortunately, soon after many buyers feel they commitment to working with the wrong realtor, but feel obligated to work with that realtor throughout the buying process, all the while wishing they had shopped more realtors in advance to find that “RIGHT ONE.”

So here’s a quick 5 item test to help identify that “Right One.”

Find one who:
1. treats you as if you are buying a $5,000,000 property
2. is willing to disclose good credit and scores over 700 with no Foreclosures, BKs or Short Sales
3. has a smart phone so they can answer all your calls and emails quickly throughout
4. is a broker or buyer's agent who does not have to split the 3% commission points
5. is willing to offer Realtor Rebate to buyers willing to get Pre Approved in advance

Then, here’s a simple 2 step way to get your Best Overall Deal…

contact the realtors you think you like and listen to what they say they’ll do for you. Then ask them to refer you to their very best “Preferred” or “In-House” Lender. Listen to their best purchase strategy and ask for their best written quote on an estimated sales price, on a TBD (To Be Determined) property address.

contact me, I’ll present my best purchase strategy, show you what my realtor partners can do for you. Then compare to see which team offers the best purchase strategy and your best overall deal.

You’ll be shocked at the difference you’ll find with such little effort!



NOTE TO CONSUMERS: shop multiple Lenders and realtors for your Best Overall Deal!

Call me today, I actually answer and return phone calls.

Steve McRory
Pro Option Mortgage/ Florida
Ph: 888 662 4404

Prior Service U.S. Marine Corps
0 votes
Jennifer Bar…, Agent, Winter Park, FL
Mon Oct 22, 2012
Hi Derek,

That is a great question. There are a lot of great deals in our market. It is a matter of finding the right one that fits your needs. I work with many investors and it really depends on what your goals are. Are you looking to invest long term or short term? What kind of return on your investment do you expect?
What is the price range you are interested in? I know a developer that buys homes from the early 2000's and brings them back to life. He then places tenants in them and sells them. The great thing is he does not list them in our mls. The houses sell for aprox. half of what it costs to build new.

I practiced real estate overseas and it is different in the US for sure. I think you will find that there are several agents who will offer their services, but not all work with investors. Take a minute to look at my profile to see if you would like to work with an experienced agent. I work for one of the top ten brokerages in Central Florida, and based on your goals I can help you go in the right direction. Feel free to email me or call me directly to see how I can better assist you. I will be happy to send you over some numbers so that you get a better understanding of what the return would be. I look forward to speaking with you soon.

Jennifer Barker
Exit Realty Central
0 votes
Daniel Barto, Agent, Naples, FL
Mon Oct 22, 2012
I believe the best advice is logical and straight-forward, backed by facts. Investing in this market can be a terrible experience if you spend your time with an agent that has been out of the business for the past 5 years. Trust someone who has the guts to tell you the truth about wasting your time. The current market demands a balance of patience, skill and timing. If you end up searching for months or waiting on short sales, you loose time, opportunity and money.
So, yes experience in the market counts, but be specific. Experience in the current market is what benefits you as an investor.
I send my clients detailed information regarding the purchase process from search, purchase, tenant placement and management. Explaining what has worked and what hasn't in the past for other clients. Then finishing with a list of recent sales detailing type of sale, purchase price, rental price, management fees etc, with net returns to determine cap rates.

Best of luck with your investments and if you would like to receive an email from me with the details above, click on my profile and send me your email address or visit my website through the link below.

Best Regards,

Danny Barto
Web Reference:  http://GalleonProperties.com
0 votes
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