Tips for looking at real estate via the computer... How To SPOT A DEAL. 101

Real Estate Broker/Owner with Barnes Real Estate Brokerage

I know I do this alot.  At least a few hours of my life everyday.  So how do I determine if I am going to go look at something. 

Make a needs vs. wants list.  This is easy.  If you have to have it, then its a need.  If not its a want.  Alot of time I have found that wants are less specific then needs.  If you have a home based business you need an office.  If you have 2 children than you need three bedrooms.  If you want a screened in porch, you may be happy a nice back yard that you and your family could enjoy. 

Now what...  Here's when it comes down to numbers.  Price per squ. ft. is a great place to start, lower the better.  This number will change with the types of homes you are looking at.  Waterfront in Destin, Florida is around $250 and up.  Some properties are under $100.  Now figure out how much of that is usable.  Two story home have less usable square footage due to the staircase. 

Next... look throu the pictures and see if anything jumps out at you.  Now really ugly properties can be gems, as long as the numbers are right.  My home was pink and teal.  It was really bad.  My grand mother told me it was bad, but it had the layout I wanted. 

Aerial photos will tell you alot about a property.  Google Earth is a great tool and its FREE.  I love free.  Look at the lay of the land.  Look for how water would drain.  Neighboring properties.  Rail roads.  How busy is the street.

Now LOOKING for that DEAL.  A Deal is simply the sell with the proper motivation.  That motivation could be diffrent things, but it really does not matter.  Now Go to the county official records and find out how much they borrowed against the home. Such as for okaloosa county.  Yes you are being nosie, but knowledge is power.  Make sure you check for 2nd mortgages.  Now you can figure out about what he owes the bank, if the mortgage is current.  This + closing cost will be the break-even point for the seller.  Everything on top of that is profit.  Compare that to list price andyou will find about the wiggle room for the seller.

 Subscribe to my blog...  102 coming soon.  This is information you can't afford to miss.




Aaron Barnes
Barnes Real Estate Brokerage



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Associate Broker Falmouth MA Cape Cod Heath Coker & - Falmouth, MA
Heath Coker Robert Paul Properties Falmouth MA

Or you can use a good and full time real estate professional to do all this for you and more.  They can probably do it faster and more completely.  Would you use an online will writing service just because it is online?  probably not because you may miss some important info.  Real estate professionals are worth their time - and yours!

Jul 13, 2008 01:00 AM #1
Aaron Barnes
Barnes Real Estate Brokerage - Destin, FL

I am just listing off what I have done For Years.  I believe buyers want to know more about the inter workings of a real estate brokers mind set when looking for a DEAL.... subscribe to my blog for more.


Aaron Barnes


Jul 13, 2008 01:06 AM #2
Lorraine or Loretta Kratz
Crescent Moon Realty, Inc. & Land N Sea Auctions. - San Marcos, CA
Certified Negotiation Consultants


My only objection is that photo's are not always what they seem. I saw this home on the Internet in our area, went by to check it out and the photo's were not even close to how the home really looked. The view was only from the outside of the home not inside like the agent indicated, the home was not in a good neighborhood etc.

Jul 13, 2008 01:21 AM #3
Sally K. & David L. Hanson
Keller Williams 414-525-0563 - Brookfield, WI
WI Realtors - Luxury - Divorce

Hmmmm...price per square foot...not really.....A house can be huge and have a tiny expensive part of updating....or smaller and have an eat in kitchen that is updated and more desirable...And since this industry has no universal to measure square feet...adding room sizes, or measuring the perimeter...square feet is one of the worst ways to determine anything since  a home that looks "smaller" in square feet may be larger because bathrooms, hallways, closets, etc, were not considered.

Jul 13, 2008 01:47 AM #4
Herb Hamilton
RE/MAX Preferred Inc. Realtors - Portland, OR
Real Estate Broker ,CDPE, Downtown Portland

Your aproach is an Investors style of purchasing in volume. I work with many Investors, and this is the first habit I BREAK them of.

You just miss to many good deals using that aproach. The use of a savvy Real Estate Broker with an eye for value will net you the best properties.

The next step is for the Broker to show you the top choices. This will eliminate all of your $5 an hour activities that yo have been doing and netting you marginal results.


Jul 13, 2008 02:30 AM #5
Li Read
Sea to Sky Premier Properties (Salt Spring) - Salt Spring Island, BC
Caring expertise...knowledge for you!

"The sell with the proper motivation".     I like that, and am adding you to my bulletin board of thoughts to keep it all straight, on busy days -- good description of the "deal".



Jul 13, 2008 03:59 AM #6
Aaron Barnes
Barnes Real Estate Brokerage - Destin, FL

You really only Need one true DEAL to be set. 
So I can Afford to miss some. 

Jul 13, 2008 10:36 AM #7
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