Let's make a deal: Negotiating for success

Now that you've gained an understanding on how to find cash-f lowing properties in economically strong areas (see last issue's "Diamonds in the Rough"), it's time to look at how to close a deal.

At this point, it's important for you, especially as a beginner, to work with an experienced real estate agent to help guide you through the purchasing process, says Real Estate Investment Network president, Don Campbell.

But that's not to say that your Realtor should be dictating the terms of your offers.

"You as the investor-buyer are in charge of what goes into that offer, not your Realtor. You're the one that's on the hook for signing that offer," Campbell says.

"In essence, it's a business contract between you and the vendor, so it's important that you control what goes in there."

With that in mind, start by writing down an outline detailing everything you want to be included in the contract of sale and purchase. During this step, it's important that you make sure you clearly state all information and that every dollar figure is accurate.

Once you've finished your outline, your Realtor will be able to take your information and add it to a pre-printed contract used by his or her local real estate board. Using these contracts is your best bet, Campbell says, because they've been written by lawyers specifically for real estate boards according to their jurisdictional rules.

But don't think you're limited to this form. If there's a condition you think needs to be included in the deal, you can add it to the contract as a separate clause. Doing so can make your life easier and protect you from loss, "but you don't need to load up on conditions just to prove that you're a genius," Campbell says.

"From an investor's point of view, your job is to mitigate your risk. And maximize your return and try to find the balance in between," he adds.

For the rest of this insider look into successful negotiating, download a copy of our January issue.

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