Failing to research the title on the property. This is a very common mistake made by investors rushing to buy. The title history shows you who actually owns the property in addition to how much money owing is outstanding and the priority of any mortgages taken against the property. Tax Lien has top priority, First Mortgage is next, Second Mortgage is after that on so on. Make sure you do your due diligence in this area prior to bidding on any foreclosure auction property.
The bottom line is–if you do not understand basic real estate terms like “short sale”, “wholesaling” and “wrap deal”, then you are at a serious disadvantage. Also if you don’t know how to negotiate with contractors, realtors, loan officers, sellers and even the government, then you are a statistic waiting to happen. However, I believe that the investors who make the mistakes noted above are still better than the investors who analyze and then analyze and then analyze without ever taking action. Mistakes will happen, that’s inevitable, but learn from them and that mistake becomes invaluable.
Avoid attending the tax sale. Too many bidders means not enough good deals. You also have to buy houses for back tax sign unseen, if you buy at tax sale. This is far too risky for anyone – let alone a beginner.
A second benefit is that of rental property tax deductions. Owning real estate investments as a business venture allows you to treat many items as business expenses. Shifting some of your expenses for your cell phone, Internet service, auto and even your home is possible with a real estate business. Depreciation “expense” usually allows you to show a “loss” of value when in fact your property may be increasing in value. When you sell, capital gains taxes are often at a lower rate than comparable wage income. Overall, the tax benefits of owning real estate may allow you to live a better lifestyle while showing a lower income.
McElroy says the best approach is to be aloof, to assume every negotiation will end with the buyer leaving the table. Most deals simply are not deals, McElroy said. The savvy investor knows that it is dangerous to become committed to the idea of closing the deal.
When you’re out property investing, here are some common questions a real estate agent will ask: “Hello Mr. and Mrs. Buyer, are you buying, selling or looking?” And if they say, “Oh, we’re just looking.” The agent will ask, “How many properties have you looked at so far?” The buyers may respond that they’ve looked at a couple of properties. The agent will ask if they made an offer on any of the properties they’ve looked at. If the buyers answer no, the agent will inquire why not? This line of questioning just rolls off the agent’s tongue. The buyers get bamboozled. They don’t even know that they’re being qualified. And if the agent decides the buyer is too difficult, they will put them into the “too hard basket”.
One investor I read about in the past stated that he got his real estate power team by running an ad in a local newspaper advertising a property for sale. As he received telephone calls, he told the callers that the house advertised was sold. Then he asked each of them if they were home investors.