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Your Real Estate Investment Team

By - 2007

I had a tough time at first with real estate investment. One reason was that I tended to be a "lone wolf," trying to do too much myself. I've since learned that to do well investing in real estate, you need to a team of people you can trust and rely on. Below are some possible team members, and what they need to be on the team.

1. Real estate agent. An agent with experience in the area you invest in and access to the MLS (Multiple Listing Service), can be a great help. If she's a seller's agent, she can still ethically bring you the best deals once she knows you're a serious buyer.

2. Real estate attorney. Find someone familiar with the laws and legal customs of your area, and with experience in the type of deals you intend to do (If you're buying rentals, she should be familiar with doing evictions, for example.)

3. Accountant. Keeping books for real estate investments is getting more complicated with all the tax-law changes. Find someone that understands the law and you.

4. Mortgage broker or mortgage banker. The first can offer many options, and the second can make the loan decision. Each has advantages, and you could use both. Either way, it's important they understand what you want (fast closings, lower interest, corporate loans?)

5. Real estate appraiser. A good appraiser give you an accurate valuation of a property, and they should be able to suggest ways in which you can raise the value of a property. Find someone that will talk to you.

6. Property inspector. Find one that is, or used to be, a contractor, so he can find the problems AND give you some idea of the cost of repairs.

7. Insurance agent. Good ones will understand what you want, and find ways to save money. Insure all your properties with one agent, and you're likely to have better service.

8. Escrow officer. They'll usually be with a closing company. Find someone that's efficient, and can explain things clearly to both sides. If he or she is confused by a slightly creative contract, he should educate easily or be replaced.

9. Cleaning person. A trusted person or crew ready means a fast turn-around when you buy a rental or rehab project.

10. Property manager. Be sure that the company you hire has experience, is responsive, and will have time for you when you call. A good property manager can tell you what you should get for rent in a given area - BEFORE you buy.

Real estate investment is more profitable - and less stressful - with a good team on your side.

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