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Analyzing Deals and MLS Listings

Fast and thorough analysis of potential deals is a critical skill for finding the hidden treasures.

Many of the leading authors on RE investing say in one form or another "show me any neighborhood at any time, and I will be able to find a deal." Surprisingly, finding a bona-fide deal might be easier than you think. In the end, every deal comes down to 4 critical factors that add up to profitability: quality of the property and age of the large maintenance items (roof, furnace, windows, concrete, deck, etc), offer price, Seller concessions and financing. The overall deal can be won on some or all of these factors.

One of the most critical skills in deal-winning is the ability to quickly examine an MLS listing and other supporting documentation to determine if a property (and its owners) are worth investigating. Before attempting to make heads or tales out of an MLS listing, it is imperative to understand the past history and current trajectory of the neighborhood. What are typical prices per square feet? Do particular streets have soil settling or root problems? What is the average 'days on market' (DOM) for a property? Is average DOM increasing or decreasing in the neighborhood? How many bedrooms/baths/garage spaces are typical for homes in the area, and what financial adjustments must be made to your 'subject' property to compensate. What are the noisy/quiet streets?

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