In Blog, Chicago

While at a dinner party last week with friends, I met a guy who was having some trouble finding cheap Chicago property to invest in. He’d already been trying to invest for over a year but admitted he was spending more time chasing good deals through a few of Chicago’s government programs than actually buying and renovating a property to sell. He’d also tried attending a few auctions, but hadn’t found any luck there either. He was clearly frustrated. To get out of the rut he was in, he’d been thinking about using a real estate agent specializing in investment properties and was glad he’d met me to run the idea by. I was glad he met me too. I like working with real estate agents, and I like helping out other investors too.

How to Find a Real Estate Agent Specializing in Investment Properties in Chicago

Using Real Estate Agents Who Specialize in Investment Properties

Chicago-based real estate investors have some choices when it comes to finding leads on distressed homes within the city and its suburbs. In addition to lender-owned houses that go up for auction, there are opportunities to buy Chicago city-owned properties and Cook County Land Bank properties. There’s even the Chicago forfeiture program, which, like the other government programs, offers properties to investors at a discount in an effort to reduce neighborhood blight.

But, as my new friend found out, having more opportunities to sift through doesn’t necessarily mean you’ve got a better chance of buying some of Chicago’s best investment properties. There’s a lot of competition and, with some of these options, too much red tape and restrictive oversight. To really source good leads on distressed homes, it’s better to have professional help. That’s where, for many investors, a real estate agent who specializes in investment properties comes in. There are several things to look for, however, when deciding which one to use.

Real estate agents who specialize in investment properties have a unique skill set that’s different than those who strictly work with buyers planning on living and/or working in a home. They understand that when you’re in the market to buy a Chicago investment property, you’re looking for a fixer-upper with the intention to renovate and resell, either now or later, and with good returns. So when they’re keeping an eye on local inventory, they have your motivations in mind and not just your budget.

They also understand that they’ll often be expected to submit an offer that’s below asking, even on a property that’s already listed for less than market value, and that this can add up to a lot of rejection. But, they know it’s a numbers game and that you’re playing to get the best possible purchase price to increase your chances of getting the highest potential returns. So, they don’t take rejection personally. Instead, they make as many offers as you need them to make and go to bat for you every time. They are persistent in pursuing deals, comfortable in negotiating with the other side, and expeditious in their responses.

If they’ve been working with real estate investors for a while, and especially if they’ve invested in properties themselves, they’re also going to possess a bird’s eye view of Chicago’s up and coming neighborhoods. They may even have leads on off-market properties in those and other areas. So, when there are neighborhoods that are ripe for buying, renovating, and selling houses, like Avondale and Roscoe Village, a real estate agent who specializes in investment properties will keep you in the loop–and ahead of the game.

Finding the Right Real Estate Agent For Your Investments

Finding a good real estate agent who specializes in investment properties shouldn’t be difficult, either, especially if you’ve got a network of fellow investors to ask for referrals. In fact, your best bet for finding an agent who knows their stuff, and who fits your style, is going to be through word-of-mouth. Otherwise, you can always check with the local Chicago chapter of the National Association of Realtors or make a call to one of the better known real estate brokerage firms.

If you haven’t worked with a particular real estate agent before, however, don’t be shy about asking for references and checking online reviews. Also, be sure to conduct an interview and ask questions. If there is something they’re not comfortable or interested in doing, it’s better that you know up front so that there are few misunderstandings, and fewer lost deals, down the line.

In my experience, however, most Chicago real estate agents who specialize in investment properties are as hardworking as I am. They’re just as willing to do whatever it takes to get, and close, a good deal. That’s why I rely on them for closing on a property that I’m buying and for marketing a property that I’m selling. But, for finding the best leads on distressed homes for sale in Chicago, I rely on something else.

Reliable Leads for Investing in Chicago Properties

It’s been many years since I joined the HomeVestors® team and became an independently owned and operated franchisee. Before then, I chased deals all over town much like my new friend did–and like many real estate investors still do–before deciding that there must be a better way to find reliable leads that I had a chance of closing on. Since then, HomeVestors’® “We Buy Ugly Houses®” national ad campaign and real estate investor lead generation system has been bringing “ugly” house investment deals to me. So, my days of getting frustrated over finding fixer-uppers are over. My success closing these deals, however, hasn’t stopped. I have the great team at HomeVestors to thank for that, as well as the hard work of some of Chicago’s finest real estate agents.

To join the team that specializes in getting the most reliable leads in town, contact HomeVestors today!


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Alan Washer
I first became a Homevestors Franchisee in October of 1999 when my cousin and I bought a Franchise in Dallas in the great state of Texas. We did well and were 'Rookies of the Year.In 2003, Homevestors opened up in the Chicago market. Along with my daughter, son, and wife, I moved back 'home' to open the first franchise in the greatest city on earth.In 2010, I became a Development Agent to help mentor and teach new franchisees this incredible business. To this day, I still love the career path I chose and the opportunities that continue to be available to me.

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