Real estate agent for flippers?
February 16, 2007 2:29 PM   Subscribe

Can you recommend a great real estate agent for wannabe flippers in Northern Virginia and DC?

My wife and I are looking to get into the residential rehab market in Northern VA or Washington DC. Any recommendations for real estate agents specializing in NOVA and/or DC? We live in Alexandria, and would prefer to buy in there, but DC would be ok, if we can't find anything here. An agent that routinely works in both areas would be ideal. We're not too familiar w/ either area, so bonus points for suggestions on good rehab neighborhoods in either area.
posted by gregoryc to Work & Money (8 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
I can't give you a name, as I don't live there. However, look for someone who has experience selling in a down market, not just an upmarket. From the news our media are carrying here in Canada, the US real estate bubble has burst and markets are going to take a downard spiral.
posted by acoutu at 2:39 PM on February 16, 2007

I'm from The City of Falls Church, land of overinflated real-estate. Things have been at a steady plateau for most of the past year, and show no signs of upward movement. Most of NoVA is suffering a similar stagnation. I know a few part-time speculators who have gotten out.

In short, I don't think this is a good idea.
posted by phrontist at 3:00 PM on February 16, 2007

If flipping is your game and you're up for the risks then the bottom line is your most important issue. As such, consider not using a real estate agent that will take a $15k for filling out boiler plate contract forms.

You need Camran.

We used Camran to sell our last home before moving back West and he saved us $$$. Basically, he will work for a flat fee assisting you in writing contracts, reviewing offers (checking credit and the like), and he can get you in MLS if you want. Wonderfully gregarious and knowledgeable, he was great to work with.

This leaves the job of house hunting, staging, and advertising to you. Sure you could pay a full service agent to do that for you, but if you are serious about flipping I'd think this is something you should do for yourself. With most home buyers using the Internet to do all their searches the use of a full agent is growing limited.
posted by dirtylittlemonkey at 3:29 PM on February 16, 2007

I know a broker who will do the paperwork if you want to do the rest of the work yourself. He is local. If you get to the point where you think this is a good idea, feel free to contact me.

He is not in any way an agent, and has no desire to fill that role.
posted by bh at 5:21 PM on February 16, 2007

One Word.

posted by CommonSense at 9:16 PM on February 16, 2007

Actually, let me elaborate. First off, I've had just a bit of wine, so I sort of flippantly posted that without thinking. Forgive me.

I'd actually say, first off, that this is probably not the time to go buying anything for flipping purposes. Prices are still going to fall for the next year or two. If you can buy a shell and afford to sit on it for as a couple of years (though I suppose you can do the rehab in that time), then go ahead. Otherwise, it's not really the best of times . . .

That being said, if you really must do it, it's less painful to do so in Baltimore than the DC area. From what I've read of late, Baltimore City hasn't been hit quite as hard by the bubble bursting, because it didn't get quite as ridiculously out of hand when prices skyrocketed over the last few years. (They went up, mind you, but not as insanely as in the DC area.) So the fall isn't as dramatic, either, from what I can see. Mind you, this is Baltimore CITY -- the 'burbs have been hit more badly.

The Station North and just-north-of-Patterson Park areas are generally seen as the "next big areas" in Baltimore -- it's too late to rehab/flip anything in Fells Point, Federal Hill, or the yuppie hell I live in, Canton. But those areas are worth looking into.

I don't see as much room for that sort of thing in NoVA or DC (except maybe in parts of NE DC); DC metro is in just at the beginning of being hit hard by the bubble bursting. And I'm a DC native and tend to go there instead of Baltimore, whenever I'm in the mood to go out, so there's absolutely no anti-DC bias here whatsoever. (Northern VA, on the other hand . . . )

Ah, well. YMMV. If you want the name of a good real estate agent here in Balto, let me know.
posted by CommonSense at 9:38 PM on February 16, 2007

You missed the boat in those areas. I would strongly advise to not get into this, especially in NoVa. At least look up the housing data, and see the large number of people that can't even sell there home right now. There are a lot of "flippers" left out in the cold right now. Concentrate on NE DC. It is rapidly gentrifying and I know someone who just bought a three bedroom house out there for only half a mil, which is pretty amazing by district standards.
posted by Falconetti at 9:20 AM on February 17, 2007

"Concentrate on NE DC. It is rapidly gentrifying and I know someone who just bought a three bedroom house out there for only half a mil, which is pretty amazing by district standards."

I can second that, my husband has been looking at a lot of properties in hopes of flipping himself and I am steady talking him down from the ledge. It's tempting though with the above.
posted by heartquake at 10:38 AM on February 18, 2007

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