Having worked with many aspiring "flippers", I felt I should share the agent's view of the process.
First let me say, nothing is like is it on TV. The garden variety show on flipping only highlights the highs and rarely tells the lows of this venture.
As an agent, the first thing I would advise is to get your real estate license. Now, I am not a proponent of losing business by telling folks to get licensed and do it on their own, but for flipping purposes, this is truly a cost saving matter. You will need to spend a lot of time analyzing the various neighborhoods, the market value of improved properties, days on the market, etc. Asking an experienced Realtor to give the tremendous amount of time necessary to help you find the right investment vehicle is a tall order. In fact, the savvy Realtor experienced in this type of investment property most likely would start investing them-self if they found a true "diamond in the rough".
Second, you will need to align yourself with terrific and trustworthy tradesmen: carpenters, flooring specialist, roofers, foundation repairmen, electricians, plumbers, etc who can view the property prior to your purchase to give you a true estimate of the costs involved in bringing the property up to current market standards. This is where many would-be flippers fail. They always underestimate the money and time needed for the rehabilitation of the property.
Third, please, please get the home inspected before you purchase. Read that sentence again and again as there are so many hidden items that can cost you a future sale and break the bank.
Last, you need to have very deep pockets to absorb the "mistakes" such as underestimating repair needs, overestimating market value of the property when finished, underestimating time on the market before you are able to sell, etc. This is not a venture for the faint of heart.
One more thing to consider, the most successful flips are occurring in neighborhoods that have unique architecture as opposed to the cookie cutter homes that have been built for the last 20 years.
Good Luck to you and Happy Flipping.